Malaysian Medical Care

So, several weeks ago, Troy wasn’t feeling well and went to the doctor. The doctor diagnosed him as having ‘excessive wind’ and gave him anti-wind pills. In Malaysia, this is what they say when a person has gas. They don’t say a person is gassy. They say they are ‘windy’. Kinda makes me wonder if this means they think the sky is passing gas when it is windy outside………..haha.

Anyways, a few days after that visit to the doctor, Troy called me from work to say he was feeling worse and asked if I could go to the doctor and get him some antibiotics. Say what? Apparently, someone told Troy he could send ME to the doctor for HIM and the doctor would just hand over antibiotics. I tried to tell him that didn’t sound right, but he insisted it would work. So,  I went to his doctor’s office. And they all looked at me like I was crazy. The nurse said they couldn’t just give antibiotics for someone else because a person said the other person was sick. At first, she said Troy needed to come in and talk to the doctor because if he wasn’t getting better on his wind medication, they would need to check for something else. I explained that Troy and I were leaving for Borneo in a few hours and that Troy was working still, so he wouldn’t be able to come in and asked if a phone call would suffice. Thankfully, the doctor agreed to talk to Troy on the phone.

After that phone call, Troy called me back and said to tell them to forget the meds because the doctor wasn’t prescribing antibiotics, so he would just go to a doctor in Borneo and get antibiotics there. This, again, made me look like a total idiot because the nurse showed me where the doctor had prescribed antibiotics. *sigh* Apparently, Troy really sucks at understanding Malays when they speak. Which doesn’t make sense since he works with several.

Anywhoo, I got him his meds (several) and we made our way to Borneo. Every day in Borneo, Troy seemed to be feeling worse. He kept complaining about stomach aches, lower abdominal pain, feeling bloated and headaches. We arrived in Borneo on Friday night and left on Sunday night. By the time we got to the airport on Sunday, Troy was barely able to walk or stand. A very kind airport worker let Troy sit in her chair until the doors were opened to let people inside. Apparently, you can only go inside the airport a specified amount of time before the flight.

On the flight, Troy said he was considering going to the hospital right away because he was worried he had appendicitis, but he had some meetings to go to as well as we were leaving in a few days for Australia, so he didn’t want to get stuck in the hospital. They had just fired his supervisor and promoted Troy to be the new team lead, so he had that added stress as reason to not miss work. So, he said he would see how he felt in the morning and go from there. When he woke up, he said he had to go to the hospital because the pain had gotten worse.

Getting to the hospital wasn’t too bad. Took us about a half an hour to get there and it was pretty easy to find the emergency room.

The wait in the emergency room wasn’t too long. We sat for about 10-15 minutes before a nurse called him over to the small desk in the center back of the photo. She got his personal details and sent him back to wait for another little bit. That’s when we got called back to the medical area.

We were super impressed with how fast they got us back here (about 30 min), but after a while, we realized the waiting had just begun…………………

Overall, we were in the back area for about 4 hours. It was so not fun. After a few minutes, a nurse came and put a crazy tube on the back of his hand.

About 30 minutes after they put the tube in his hand, a doctor came and said they needed to do a body scan to see what was going on. About 15 minutes later a nurse came back with a lovely gown for Troy to put on.

About 31 minutes later they took him back for his scan and 30 minutes after that he was back in normal clothes and the excruciating waiting period began. The doctor did come back and talk to us shortly after the scan and said they would need to admit Troy for IV antibiotics because he had an intestinal infection that had caused appendicitis. Dang food here and all the bacteria floating around.

Once the doctor said that and Troy went to fill out papers to be admitted, we figured things would move quickly. Boy, were we wrong. Three freakin hours later and all the people around us coming and going and nobody came back to talk to us. I finally went and asked a nurse if Troy was going to be moved to a room soon and she said, “Oh, you want a room now”? Uh, no, we want to sit in the ER area for the rest of the night. *sigh* I was polite, though, and said that yes, we wanted him to be moved to a room now. Well, okay, maybe not as polite as I should have been. It was kind of annoying after seeing everyone goofing off to get that reaction from her. She had to look at his chart because she didn’t really know what was going on with him and where he needed to go. Which was strange, because she was the nurse he’d been dealing with all along. Apparently, she had forgotten he was even there. How on earth do medical professionals forget about a patient?

After that whole fiasco, Troy got taken to a room.

He had requested a private room and we thought he’d gotten one, but it turned out to be a double, which wasn’t too bad, except for the other guy’s machine that kept making a high-pitched beeping every few hours, all night long. And the guy snored really loud. And the guy had his tv on loud all the time. It was an interesting experience. The other guy complained about having Troy in the same room because, apparently, he had requested a private room, too. Troy spoke up and mentioned that he had requested a private room, too, and the nurse was very surprised about that. She said she would try to get things sorted out. The next day, they took the other guy out and brought a new one in. So, they sorted it out for the Malay guy, but didn’t sort it out for Troy. At least the new guy was quiet and didn’t snore. Troy thinks he got such crappy care is because they don’t like white people. We’ve run across that a few times, but I’m not so sure that is the case here. Troy was only a short-term patient and the other guy was in for surgery, so I think that was the reason they got the other guy a private room and not Troy. But, who knows.

Troy was very bored while in the hospital. And hungry. They kept bringing him stuff he couldn’t eat (and not very much of what he could), so after Troy got all settled into his room and rush hour was SUPPOSED to be over, I went home to cook him some food and get him some entertainment. It took me an HOUR to get home when it should have only taken about 20 minutes. That’s how fast we got there. But, traffic there is fickle and it was raining, so that just made it worse. Poor Troy kept calling me and asking me when I was coming back with food and stuff for him to do. His phone was almost dead and he didn’t want to just stare at the walls. I hurried and made him up some pancakes (gluten-free) and some chicken and threw together a bag of his pajamas, some shower stuff, my laptop, his tablet, his coding notebook and assorted snacks. I decided to take a taxi back to the hospital because I planned on being there the entirety of Troy’s stay. That, also, was a fiasco. Took me almost 40 minutes to get a taxi. When I did get a taxi, the driver told me that drivers didn’t want to pick anyone up because some of the roads were flooding and traffic was worse than usual from the bad rainstorm.

Finally, I made it back to the hospital and as soon as I got to the elevators, they announced that visiting hours were over. Uh, no. I didn’t come all that way and go through all that stress to be turned away as soon as I got there. I was prepared to beg and plead my way into Troy’s room, but it turned out I didn’t need to. They were willing to let me in, but only if I had the right room number. They have guards right off the elevator that will only let you into the patient area if the patient is on the list and you know their room number. This turned into another fiasco because I went to the correct floor, but Troy wasn’t on the list. So they sent me to another floor. Not on that list. They sent me to another area. Not on that list. I went back to the original area and told the guard that I was CERTAIN Troy was in there, so he kindly took me inside to the nurses station to ask the nurse. That’s when I saw Troy’s chart and started jumping up and down and pointing. I got more crazy looks. I was just so happy to finally be where I needed to be and have the chaos over. The guard added Troy to his list (grumble grumble) and I had no further issues getting in and out of the section.

Troy gobbled up his pancakes and was pretty worn out, so we both crashed out. I didn’t realize the weird chair next to the bed folded out into a cot, so I slept on a chair with my legs on Troy’s bed. It was an interesting night.

Once I figured out how the other chair worked, I was able to sleep like a semi-normal person.

Poor Troy wasn’t able to sleep the whole night through because the other guy’s machine kept freaking out and then the nurse had to give the other guy medication and then give Troy medication at midnight and then the other guy started snoring really loudly. It was a very long night for both of us. The overnight kit I’d brought had earplugs in it (they were already in the bad, I didn’t add them), so Troy was able to use those to get some sleep.

The following day was pretty mundane. We watched tv shows on the laptop, I did some schoolwork, Troy did his own work, we both played games on our phones and we had fun with the meals. Seriously, you’d think medical professionals (at least the people in the food department) would understand what No Wheat means. But, no. They don’t. The two meals they’d served the day we came in were mainly gluten products, so we had to send those back for something else. You’d think after having that happen twice, it would start to sink in. But, no. It didn’t. Breakfast came with TOAST and milo (a chocolate drink that has barley in it, which is in the gluten family).

What killed us both about that meal was that it came with a menu. Every meal comes with a menu. Below is the dinner menu.

See how it says No Wheat? Every single menu had that on it. The breakfast menu killed us because right next to the No Wheat marking was Toast with a CHECKMARK!!!!!!! Seriously?!?! The milo, though, I’ll give them that one because that one isn’t as easy. I didn’t know barley was part of the gluten family until after Troy told me. Not that I’m a genius and know everything, but I’m fairly good with common sense, ie: bread had gluten. But, I digress. They also gave him the fish porridge for breakfast, which they gave him at every meal. The boxed porridges have flour in them, but the nurse insisted these were made fresh every day and didn’t contain wheat, so she kept bringing it to him. We didn’t believe her, so I ate the porridge at every meal. It’s not too bad.

Anyways, I talked to the nurse and explained the gluten stuff to her (again……) and she brought a menu so Troy could pick his own food. That was nice. I found it funny that the nurse chose that moment to say she wasn’t sure he could eat the things he’d chosen. Um, he chose eggs, fruit, a hotdog (it came with the eggs and he didn’t even want it) and apple juice. *sigh* I supposed we should give her points for trying.

At lunch though, they brought him more gluten. Troy just about hit the roof. He got very upset and explained his frustration to the nurse for the FIFTH time. Seriously. Lunch, snack, dinner, breakfast and lunch. The mid-morning snack was fruit and juice, so it was fine. But the rest of the meals, come on. You’d think SOMEONE would have picked up on the gluten thing by now. The nurse took his tray away and brought him another one with porridge, some nasty soup (i tried it, it was awful) and fruit. I felt so bad for him. I had to go home to take a final shortly after lunch, so I made sure to bring back some more pancakes and chicken. If they weren’t going to make sure he had enough proper food to eat, I would. Dinner, as you can see, ended up fine and we were glad about that. Breakfast the next day had a roll with it, but I just ate it. The rest of the food was fine. Small favors, right?

We were very happy when Wednesday morning rolled around and the doctor came to see how Troy was doing. The only thing the doctor was unhappy about was that the nurse hadn’t given Troy his IV antibiotics since 9pm the night before. She was supposed to have done it at midnight, but she came three hours early and said she’d be back at 9am. The doctor came in around 10-10:30 and wasn’t too happy about the nurse not coming back, so he said Troy had to have two injections and then be released. We had a lot to do, so Troy talked the doctor into letting him leave the hospital after his morning shot and then coming back for his afternoon shot. The doctor was fine with that, so we packed up and left. Troy went back that afternoon for his final antibiotic injection and was then released from the hospital. Thank goodness!

Too bad the whole ordeal wasn’t over. The doctor gave Troy a week’s worth of antibiotic pills to take and Troy took them like clockwork. After the pills were gone, though, he started getting sick again. He’d improved while in the hospital, but once the antibiotics were gone, he headed back down the sick road. I did what I could to help: made sure he wasn’t eating anything spicy, did research on what foods he should avoid (didn’t have much luck there) and started making soups every day so his digestive system could take a break. Nothing really helped. He ended up going back to the doctor who admitted him to the hospital and he put Troy on some additional antibiotics. Apparently, he had treated one form of bacteria, but not the other. Not sure the reason, but he’s the medical expert. He gave Troy antibiotics to treat both forms of bacteria and sent us on our way.

Before that, though, we had a lovely conversation about what foods Troy should avoid. Sort of. The doctor kept misunderstanding my question and I’d rephrase it and he’d still think I was asking something else. I finally told him I’d seen that Crohn’s Disease patients needed to avoid certain foods (since he said Troy’s symptoms were similar to that) and that’s when the doctor started going off on how he wasn’t diagnosing Troy with Crohn’s Disease and that all these tests needed to be done to diagnose that and that Troy had already had those…………….. Yes, I was there for that whole conversation. I then proceeded to say that one website said to avoid onions and asked if there were other foods Troy should avoid while healing. This doctor then made the best statement ever. He said that since Troy is allergic to gluten, we should avoid flour. I was so proud of myself for not rolling my eyes or making a snarky comment. I thanked him and said I would do that and asked if there was anything else. He said Troy should stay away from anything that irritates his digestive system. *sigh* No help. At all. So, we left.

Yesterday, we went back for an emergency follow-up since Troy was developing more pain and swelling. The doctor said he didn’t know what was wrong and sent us to another guy who then performed a bunch more tests. We were there for six hours. Went back this morning and he said Troy’s blood count was good, the scans revealed he was healing just fine and that he couldn’t find anything wrong. Troy also said he’d woken up this morning feeling noticeably better than the day before. It makes me so happy and provides so much relief to hear that Troy can actually notice a difference in how he feels. He says he doesn’t feel 100% yet, but that he does feel better than yesterday. The only thing I can attribute it to is the prayers from Troy’s family, from me and from my family. We’ve all been praying so hard for his health since the whole thing started and we’ve all said extra ones the past few days and it’s so wonderful to see those prayers being answered.

haha. Troy is feeling well enough right now to be telling me how bored he is, waiting for me to finish this blog so we can watch a show. He’s been working almost non-stop since he got back from the hospital this morning and I was worried he’d start feeling super worn out again, but he seems in high spirits and not as weary as he has been the past few weeks. Such a difference from yesterday. This makes me very happy. I guess I’d better go so we can watch Hell’s Kitchen. Troy loves Chef Ramsey. lol. Keep praying for Troy. The prayers are working.