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The Worst Time of My Life

So, shortly after  my last post in Phnom Penh, I went and hit the hay at my hostel.  I was freezing cold bundled in towels.  Then 10 mins later I was burning hot, stripping off all blankets.  I tried to sleep but 30 mins later started peuking my guts out.  I figured a little water and I’d be catching some zzz’s…. WRONG.  2 Hours later I started peuking again.  Then about 3 hrs later I was peuking and overheating… I was sprawled out on the tile floor trying to keep cool, and could only crawl to the toilet.  I told Duncan if I passed out to drag me to a hospital, and If i Made it through the night we’d get a hospital in Vietnam – since we believed their healthcare was more westernized compared to Cambodia.  I made i through the worst night of my life and hopped on the bus.


Then we hit the Vietnam border.  A health check guy went through all buses taking temperatures.  I got halled off the bus with a high temperature and taken to this little quarantine room.  I met a guy from Cali who also had a high temperature, whose father was there waiting for him.  They cotton swabbed me, then Duncan hopped off the bus to join me.  They then took us via ambulance to a quarantine hospital where we were told we would have to stay at least overnight.

This was far from a legit hospital.  Rank squat toilets were there, no showers (just buckets to dump on yourself), MOLD growing in the corners, shoddy electricity, burnt out lightbulbs, Gekko’s on the walls, a fan ready to come off it’s hinges, and rebar sticking through the cracked concrete walls.

We weren’t fed.  We only got 1 bottle of water.  They gave us 2 types of pills.  They at least gave us a mosquito net for sleep – which was on a metal-barred bed, leaving one with aches and pains in the morning.  At night they took out a funky lung-scanning machine and scanned me and the American guy.  Then they took a razor to our fingers and took a blood test.  The Americans were on a tour so they made their tour guide bring us  4 food and stuff.  They also brought in a translator.

Nothing to do, so we slept.  At 11 in the morning they came around to say results would be in soon.  Then around 11:30 the American was cleared, but my test result came back positive… I have Swine Flu….

Too Fine for the Swine, Eh Luke?

So they said they’d contact the Canadian Embassy to make sure they could move me, which apparently they did (I don’t believe it, I think they just fed me some BS).

So we went in a Quarantine Ambulance (quite speedy) to a Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City.  Even the locals all stared at us, with a fear for their lives in their eyes.  The guy was driving like a lunatic.  We (not joking – I am dead serious) saw 2 guys crash their motorcycles into the barrier and lie hurt on the road, and 1 DEAD MAN (or just bleeding and completely unconcious) lying to the road while others drove by worried.  I had to pop some pills in this crazy ride, and when I did I choked on them, and peuked out the window in the middle of the highway.

So they got us to the hospital.  At least it was nice and modern clean.  Duncan was permitted to leave, so he is going to stay at a local hotel, and come check in tomorrow.  We are only on a 15 day Visa, so I might send him forward and just fly up to Hanoi once I get released to catch up with him (If i get out early).

So they provide me with meals here, I seem to have adequate water.  I’m already buddies with an Australian here – there are lots of english speakers as patients… Unfortunately doctors don’t speak so much english.  A Vietnamese-born, Californian girl named Min was kind enough to let me borrow her laptop to type this, so I will only be able to type so long as she’s here.

They drew some more blood for tests on me today, and the doctor just came by and told me I will have to stay a minimum of 4 days in here, even though I’ve already been improving.

So here’s to hoping all goes well…

I’m not so much scared about the health issue, as I’m confident I will get better soon.  I’m just worried about separating from Duncan here and going through that difficulty of locating each others current locations.

Oh, also not cool: my papers with Canadian Embassy numbers and locations in Vietnam, Laos, Thailand was left at the airport..

Until next time

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