Last week, Tuesday, I think, Andy noticed a tender spot on his tailbone. Since it proceeded to get worse, Andy went to the doctor on Thursday to see what was up. The doctor explained that he had a pilonidal abscess and his treatment was to cut it open and let it drain. According to the doctor (who is from California), the abscess will drain and heal itself. Such abscesses are quite common and it could have been there for awhile until it was aggravated by the long flight. Andy came home from the doctor in good spirits laughing at the doctors recommendation to use women’s maxi-pads to cover the open wound. Within about an hour, his spirits changed quickly from jovial to miserable. During that hour, we were watching a downloaded version of “Grey’s Anatomy” where the wounds are quite serious so I didn’t think that the fact that Andy was starting to complain about being cold was that big of a deal. But, by the end of the episode, he had on a hooded sweatshirt, a down vest and asked me to get him the down comforter from the bed. His teeth were literally chattering. He told me that he really didn’t feel well.
Despite the fact that it was 4am Boise time, I called my dad, who is a surgical Physician Assistant, via Skype. He groggily answered and I explained what had transpired that day. At first he was not too concerned and said that it might be okay if he just took some stock Cipro that I had brought from the US, but he said it all depended on what his temperature was and what the wound looked like. I explained the wound and went to find a thermometer hanging up telling him if it was high that we could call him back. We took his temperature and it was 101.6 F. In the meantime, my dad must have woken up a bit more and referenced something with medical information and he called me back and suggested that we get to a hospital. There could be bacteria in his blood which is potentially life threatening. I thanked him, hung up again, looked up the directions to the hospital and called YiZhen, one of the managers at HP who lives close to us. I told him that Andy needed to go to the hospital and he quickly drove to our apartment complex to pick us up.
As we were walking into the hospital, I really started to worry about Andy because he seemed really “not right.” I don’t really know how to explain it, but I think a person can just sense that. There is an international wing of the Shanghai East Hospital so luckily the nurses and doctor all spoke English. Everything that the doctor (who is from Scotland) did was what my dad had described should happen (culture to test the blood for bacteria; prescribe antibiotics intravenously; etc.) so I felt confident we were in good hands. At this point, his temperature was over 40C (104F).
As he was sitting on the table in the entry room, I think his fever broke and he began to feel warm which was a welcome sign. They still decided to admit him to the hospital taking every precaution. At that point they started pumping him full of antibiotics and moved him up to a room in the hospital on the 12th floor. After some more poking and prodding, he fell asleep.
When he awoke in the morning, I asked him how he felt and he said, “a lot better.” He basically felt normal besides the wound he had on his back side. We were a little surprised when the doctor came in to do rounds and he mentioned that he would need to stay a few more days because they wanted to aggressively treat the abscess with IV antibiotics as well as kill off any bacteria there might have been in his system from opening the wound up (because the labs had not come back yet to confirm or deny this.) The funny thing was that there were two doctors, a couple of nurses and two women dressed in suits, who almost seemed like hospital administrators, and they were all staring at Andy’s butt. I couldn’t help but chuckle a bit.
The following three days and nights were spent in the hospital. We came home this morning. Needless to say, Andy and I were both very happy to be out of there, especially Andy. We were grateful for the nice international wing of the hospital. It was quite different than the rest of the hospital (which was packed with people). One big difference from the US was that I put the hospital stay on my credit card and now need to figure out how to get reimbursed from the insurance. The hospital does not bill the insurance company directly. Yikes. Luckily it was much cheaper than a stay in a US hospital.
Besides the facts that Andy is better except for his wound, the awesome advice I received from my dad (and support from both of our parents), the visits from co-workers and the surprisingly good hospital food (which I ordered too), the additional saving grace that truly made my very long day when I discovered it, was the fact that Starbucks had a shop in the lobby of the hospital. My goodness what a breath of fresh coffee-smelling air each morning! You gotta hold on to the little things when everything else is going wrong, you know.
No related posts.