Illness and Injury

I’ve been trying to update you on our trip to Singapore last weekend. But I contracted a new little friend in my gut and have been unable to do much in the last few days.

Thankfully I seem to be the only one affected and have been very grateful for the help this community has given. Having a parasite can affect you in many different ways. I was expecting the need to stay near a toilet. Instead, I’ve had stomach cramps, pain, gas, headache, nausea and vomiting. All things I’m sure you wanted to know about me right now. Forgive me for sharing a post on being sick, but for anyone thinking of moving here, I think it’s helpful information. I won’t be offended if you stop reading now.

Looking back I realize it started on Saturday, but didn’t really hit me until Tuesday. (trying to spare you the impolite details here.) I made a trip to the clinic, got some anti nausea drugs and some other pills to help with the ‘wind in my gut’ which needed to be taken on a full stomach, hence the anti nausea pills. My full stomach looked like 2 Saltine crackers. Once they determined what type of parasite I had, I was able to get the appropriate antibiotics.

There are some things that I really love about this country and one of those is GO-JEK. I was able to order a driver to pick up and pay for my medication and deliver it to my door without leaving my bed. That was pretty great! (I even sent my ‘sample’ to the clinic with a driver.) So, now I’m on a seven day course of antibiotics and hope they do the trick quickly.

I believe this is just the first of many experiences I will have with these little gut friends. Some people have told me they get one every couple of months. Others who have been here for years, say they’ve only had a couple. Let’s hope this is our family’s one experience with these guys.

This wasn’t my first experience with health issues here. I’m going to try not to sound like I’m complaining, but just updating you on the health of this family, myself in particular. About two weeks ago I found myself to be very tired. Then I woke up one morning with a sore throat. Then I found that I couldn’t function well and needed to sleep, a lot. I spent a couple of days resting and napping and thought I’d be over it. Usually it only takes me a few days to kick a cold. By Sunday I had some more energy, Monday morning I thought I could exercise a bit and then Monday afternoon I crashed again. I was just. so. tired. This cold was going around and a lot of teachers at the school and their families were affected. I was told that it’s very common to feel this way with colds here. You just need to sleep it off. I’m thankful that I was the only one in our family that got sick. I could afford to spend days in bed, even if I didn’t want to be doing that.

We found out that we’d be going to Singapore on Friday and after waking up Wednesday (a week into this cold) feeling like I had been run over by a truck, coughing, sounding awful and barely able to keep my eyes open, I decided M convinced me to go to the clinic. This was my first experience with our neighbourhood clinic. A friend kindly took me and helped me get settled. The doctor determined I had an upper respiratory infection and prescribed me antibiotics. Thankfully, they worked quickly and I was feeling myself by the time we needed to leave for Singapore.

I was well prepared for the fact that I would have to pay for these services. I am very grateful that in Canada I never had to think much about going to the doctor. I went for every little thing. We also had a great benefits package that covered all of our medications. Here, we have insurance, but it only covers us after a certain amount per issue. So, I payed out of pocket for this visit and medication, also for the visit about the parasite, the test required and the medication. However, these have all been very reasonably priced, much less than I expected. However, if I keep getting something different every week, I may start to get concerned with the cost.

The last two weeks have been the most eventful medically since we’ve moved. There were my two visits to the clinic and while we were away, N chipped her front tooth. Again, we had the help of a colleague to walk us through what needed to happen. We wanted to make sure that her tooth wasn’t broken above the gum line and have the chip fixed. Thankfully, a relative of one of M’s colleagues works with a very good dentist at the Siloam hospital. (This hospital is one of the foundations run by our founder and a very good one.) She was able to get us an appointment for Monday morning (the day after we arrived back home.) She met N and I at the hospital lobby, helped me fill out the necessary forms, took us to get a dental X-ray and then to visit the dentist. We waited only briefly at each step. The dentist was very kind and explained everything very clearly to me. He inspected N’s mouth and was able to fix the chip to look like it never happened. I was so comfortable with the experience and so grateful for the help we received through the process. And thankfully, there doesn’t look like any other damage to N’s teeth, but we’re keeping our eye on it.

So, within two weeks, we’ve had a few Indonesian medical experiences. Each person who you’ll talk to in this community has their own story to share about their medical experience here. It seems, for one reason or another, whether it’s digestive, an accidental injury, or regular medical needs, almost everyone has needed the medical profession here in one way or another. The process isn’t all that different from home, but it’s always easier when you’re a national and have always used the system.

I’m so grateful for the help I’ve received from our community and I’m so ready to feel well and be productive again.

Updates on our trip to Singapore soon!

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