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Mom...please don't freak out...

I have bird flu

sunny 82 °F

I really don't have time to be writing this. I have an insane amount of homework to do but I have to write about my latest cultural endeavor. This past week I have been on spring break. I used that week to its fullest, as in, I didn't.do.a.damn.thing. My plan was to go into it at full speed, pump out my independent study paper that has been haunting me and then be more relaxed the rest of the program. Instead, I spent every day with huahua and every other day with wangchuan. That's ok though, we all need a mental break for a week. But NOW... I have so much to do I've hit the "one day at a time" mantra stage. However, I'm afraid to say all of my playing and going to bed late only to wake up early in the morning turned around to bite me in the butt.
I.am.so.sick.
It started last week. I had a nice long walk in a different neighborhood of Nanjing, dubbed the "new development are." Well development comes at a price, and that price was....horrible air. Almost immediately after we got home I had a sore throat. The next day a stuffy nose, the day after that the weather was unbearably hot so I wore modest shorts and a hoody. But come Thursday morning I was stuffed up completely and could hardly talk. And of course it was because I wore shorts on Wednesday, or at least that is what my host family is refusing to let go. Needless to say, my "cold" has been getting worse and worse. Huahua has had a "cold" for over a month now. These aren't colds, but in fact just side affects of the crappy air. Statistics say that breathing the air that we breathe every day is the equivalent of smoking one cigarette.
So, after not really leaving the house much after Friday (except to go see iron man 3, which was awesomeeeeee!) I stayed in my bed and slept, and watched game of thrones completely legally for free. ;) Monday morning rolled around however, and I felt worse, but I had to go to school. After class I was completely on fire, I was covered in sweat, having chills, could hardly breathe and had a relentless stuffy nose. My teachers both thought I was running a temperature, so it was off to the doctor for me, as those are....the exact signs of bird flu....

Now, don't get me wrong usually I'm all for a lovely trip to the doctor,most of you know it's a place I frequently visit, but I was a little on the fence today about going. I thought it best to wait it out, but i had heard good things about the hospital. It eventually took the program director demanding me to go, and a few classmates scared looks at the mention of bird flu. So no mom, not my idea.

I don't know if I have mentioned but I go to school in gulou district, the wealthiest district in one of the wealthiest provinces. This hospital as you can imagine was enormous, and very nice. From the outside. Inside it was like a zoo and I felt as if I wanted to have an anxiety attack. There were mobs of people. In the very center was, like in most hospitals a little park, but this one had bamboo in it. You could see all of the other levels through the windows ( and believe me there were a lot). It looked just like an aunt farm.

My teacher sent along one of my classmate's Chinese roommates. Poor boy definitely didn't want to be there. We first waited inline to buy my "file." It was a brochure like thing that had my name on it, and I paid ¥5. Then we were given a receipt and told to wait in the waiting room for people with colds. Seriously. So we waited, and waited and waited, and eventually my name was called. Surprisingly we waited for less than an hour. Beat that time American hospitals! As soon as we entered the "doctor's office" I knew why. We walked in and the doctor was still sitting at his desk talking to a patient, but we marched right up and the other patient left. The doctor asked the guy I was with about my symptoms,told me to stick out my tongue and sent me to get my temperature. I didn't say a word, he didn't check my blood pressure, he didn't listen to my breathing, and he certainly could care less about how much i weighed. We went back out to the waiting room and the nurse pulled a glass thermometer out of a dirty looking box, just as I was thinking there was no way in hell that was going to go in my mouth she motioned for me to....well.....you know
.
.
.
.
Put it under my armpit. Hehe gotcha. I looked at Howard (I forgot his Chinese name) to see if I understood correctly. I did. So in a waiting room full of Chinese people, I shoved a thermometer under my armpit for five minutes, awkwardly trying to avoid eye contact with the other patients. And of course they all stared. Huahua has actually given me the nickname monkey because everywhere people stare at me like I'm a monkey in a zoo. I think it's fitting.
After five minutes it was proven that I indeed had no fever. Hooray! That means no bird flu!!!! We returned back to the doctors office, I sat down as Howard told him I didn't have a fever and he did some scribbling in my very official file. We weren't in there for more then 4 minutes, but people kept rolling in. By the time he was done there was probably 6 people trying to squeeze in between us and the doctors desk. Waiting behind us, pushing us out of the way, shoving their papers in the doctors face while he printed our receipt. Absolutely ridiculous.
We left to go to yet another counter. I was told to pay 116¥. I should've asked what for but I assumed it was for "doctors visit." Nope! I bought myself a bunch of DayQuil. The same exact stuff my host family had been giving me.
So after 2 hours, a 20 minute stroll in the rain and ¥120 later it was discovered that
1) I don't have bird flu
2) I have a cold
3) that was the biggest waste of time
But hey, I bought health insurance, so that visit actually didn't cost me anything. In the end I can say I've been "checked" for bird flu in a Chinese hospital and I still have all of my organs.

Posted by Kaceyroo 07:59 Archived in China

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You have had quite a day! I knew that you would find a way to enjoy a bit of Chinese healthcare. Add that to your list of unusual medical experiences. You got me with thermometer. The aunts go marching.... Ants!
Now get busy and focus.

by kellyingalls

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