Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Our First Hospital Stay In A Strange Land.

We had our first experience with having to have a child of ours stay in the hospital. Thankfully, we’ve been blessed with really healthy children. Then a couple weeks ago, I got a viral infection that I generously gave to every single family member. The boys in our family had it for 24 hours, but it hit the girls harder. After a week of running a low grade fever at home, my daughter started complaining that she couldn’t walk and completely stopped using her left leg. We decided to take her in to see a doctor and ended up being admitted to the hospital.

Experiencing something new for the first time is always interesting, A hospital stay for the first time in a totally different country than what you’re familiar with adds a whole new layer.

We were in a public hospital with nine other children in the room with us. My husband and I did shifts, while one took care of our daughter, the other took care of our son, who could not be in the ward with our daughter since he was under the age of twelve.

About three hours into my first shift, I was ready to pick my daughter up and head home. Her blood tests, her xrays, everything was coming back normal. She was not running a fever, she just refused to use that left leg and complained about the pain.

In my ideal world, I would take her home where there are less germs floating around and more sanitary bathroom facilities. Home, where things were familiar for her and not scary or uncomfortable. I would bring her in for consultations instead of having to indefinitely hang out in the hospital ward. But it’s not my ideal world and we were told we had to stay several days before they would discharge us.

My first night shift, I wondered at the parkas that the other parents put on, but as the night went on, I understood. It was cold. Frigid. And me in my thin t-shirt was having a hard time staying warm. I was given a hard blue plastic chair to sit on next to my daughter, and reprimanded several times, after I climbed into the bed with her to cuddle and soothe her; that the bed was strictly for the patients. The lights in our room did not get turned off until 11:00 pm and for my daughter that is usually asleep by 7:30 pm, it was not helping her adapt. Since we were in a ward with nine other children, we occasionally added to the wailing that lasted all night. The noise level would take an hour break around 2:00 am just to start back with a vengeance at 3:00 when a new patient was wheeled in.

Public hospitals are definitely not for the faint of heart. Growing up in the Philippines, I know that this public hospital is not evenly close to the experience that the public hospitals are like over there. But even though public hospitals may not offer the best conditions, after our four day and three night stay, having taken multiple xrays three different times, an EKG, an ultra sound of her heart to check for an echo, all the blood work drawn, and finally a weeks worth of antibiotics to take home with us, when we checked out our bill came to a total of $150.00 HKD. In American dollars, that equals out to $20.00 USD. Yes, you read that right. Crazy. You would never have that kind of bill back in the United States.


  1. Is she ok now? Able to use her leg normal again?
    Wow...$20.00 Wonder what the wages of the nurses are.

  2. She is back to her normal walking self again. It was a strange thing that happened. :)


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