Don’t get sick in Bangkok on your own
– Thara House is a great hostel and after walking the 5 flights of stairs for a couple of days it occurred to me that as I passed each floors hallway, I would hear more and more coughing, wheezing and moaning from ill backpackers and locals who were holled-up in their rooms – hacking up the bangkok pollution.
It was friday night and I was set to leave Bangkok for Koh tao to start my island hoping adventure and hopefully do some awesome diving. I booked the express coach and ferry for that evening and went and grabbed a coke and some wifi at one of my favourite spots on Soi Rambutri. After taking a couple of swigs from that coke can I realised something was not right and it had awoken a nauseating feeling of churning and cramps in my stomach.
After a while I started being sick and excreting like I had never done before. I laid in bed hoping it would pass but instead it just got worse and worse and fever, delirium and a whole bunch of weird eye hallucinations started to set in. I was burning up for about 4 hours and I could not hold any water down. Whats worse – I knew that I was going to miss the ferry I had just booked.
As the night progressed and my symptoms got worse and worse I made the decision to go to hospital. I jumped in a cab and got them to take me to the Chao Phia Hospital where they assessed me and tried to understand my symptoms. This medical facility was clean and modern but out of all the places I had been in bangkok they spoke the worst english and had a real hard-time understanding me. Trying to explain that I was dehydrated and could not hold down anywater was really hard but when I drunk some water and hurled my guts up in the toilet where I was meant to be giving a urine sample they started to get the picture.
They gave me 5 litres of IV drip and the first one was loaded with happy, calming drugs which made me feel alot better. They tried to contact my insurance company but had no success in understanding the dialling codes and as it was the weekend they actually wheeled me to the ATM machines in the lobby while in bed on a drip and tried to make me withdraw cash to pay with. I had already withdrawn my maximum amount for the day so I tried to explain that I would have to wait for the next day.
I stayed over night and they monitored me whilst my fever was yoyo-ing all over the place every hour.
By the next afternoon I felt a lot better and they had diagnosed me with Bacterial Bronchitis. I was relieved not to have Denghi Fever or Malaria if I am honest but I knew this would still be a set back to my plans. I declined to stay another day in hospital as it was a sunday and I was not 100% sure that the insurance company would end up paying out for my claim. The total cost of one night in a bangkok hospital was £320 and they actually gave me a 1500 baht discount off the total bill because I physically had no more money to pay for it. They also tried to charge me for midwifery service and also 200 baht for an egg salad which I did not even eat. The facilities were good and the staff were attentive even though they did not speak English. They packed me up with a huge bag of antibiotics and prescription strength medication and sent me on my way. I spent 4 days recovering in my Thara House Bangkok hostel drinking nothing but water and smoothie shakes.
I am hoping to get the insurance company to pay for the room, missed transfer costs and deposit for my diving as well as the medical expenses which they have agreed to pay out on. So fingers crossed when I actually wade my way through their paperwork I will be able to claim some funds back for the rest of my adventure.