9 Jan 2017

And Then A Cold...

I’m not a sickly child but the past few days I’ve had a cold that only seems to burst forth with coughing fits when I’m a-bed. Happily, her indoors has the same so I can lay the blame on her for passing it along to me.

As stated, I mostly seem to steer clear of colds an’ such and, in fact, the last illness I suffered, other than the self inflicted back and since my trip to the bone bender, it’s been remarkably well behaved, was a little under a hundred years ago when I was on a rig on tow from Singapore and getting close to location offshore Balikpapan which is situated in East Kalimantan which is situated, not as you may suspect close to Aberdeen, in Borneo, when I went low with a kidney stone.

If you’ve been unfortunate enough to have suffered one of those you’ll know the extreme discomfort they cause. If you haven’t, keep drinking the water. You really don’t need one.

Anyhoo, on the rig I was hurting and passing blood. Medic said stone and I was shipped into Balikpapan to see the French doctor in the oil company compound they had there. A stone it was decided was wot I had and I was later packed off to Jakarta to an expat hospital, run by the medical insurance outfit we were covered by, for further tests.

Before I left Balikpapan, the French guy told me, and I remember it like it was yesterday, that in the old days they would tightly wrap two tennis balls to your lower back, lie you down on ‘em and slowly inject about two litters of contrast fluid into you, via your wrist, while taking X-rays. The tennis balls, he said, were to flatten out your innards the better for the X-ray to spot the stone. This process, he assured me, was in the past as it was total agony. Thanking him for this good news I hobbled into a fast-black and headed for the airport.

Upon arrival in Jakarta, I looked out the aircraft window as we taxied to the terminal and saw an ambulance coasting alongside the plane. Mmm, wondered I to me; who’s that for then? Yup, it was for me. How cool is that? All arrival formalities taken care of for me and we raced through Jakarta – no easy feat – with, at my request, lights a-flashing and siren a-wailing. No, they wouldn’t let me drive.

The hospital was very small and staffed by Australian doctors and, unsurprisingly, Indonesian nurses. The next day they came along to take me to the diagnostic unit. This turned out to be the couch across the room.

As I lay down I saw a pretty little nurse approaching deftly juggling with... yup, you guessed it, two tennis balls.

You want episode two? See you tomorrow then.

Quote;  Dave Barry.

“I become faint and nauseous during even very minor medical procedures, such as making an appointment by phone.”

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