Friday, August 12, 2011

Roller Coaster Ride

My life took an unexpected turn a few months back.  Highs and lows in a span of one month.  What could be better than finding out you are expecting a baby and what could be worse than losing it?  The physical pain and the frustration were nothing compared to the emotional roller coaster.  But let me rant about my horrible experience with Hong Kong's medical care for a bit.  

When I started seeing some spotting, I was alarmed.  Who wouldn't be?  My pregnancy with Rafa was very clean, pain-free and uneventful except for the four-month morning sickness.  I consulted an OB-Gyne who charges HKD800 per consultation plus another HKD 800 for the scan.  Not to mention that it's 1 hour away by train. I consulted with her three or four times.  When the bleeding got heavier, I had to go to the AED (ER) and would be charged HKD100 per visit. I went to the AED three times.  I got admitted to the ward of the public hospital and got charged another HKD150.  The stay wasn't a pleasant experience as well.  The hospital isn't really that bad, it's the bedside manners of the doctors and nurses that's poor. I understand that there's language barrier for one and patient-staff ratio is not really that well balanced.  But still, one would expect some compassion for patients especially terrified foreigners.  I shudder to think about how one doctor performed the scan and was quickly out of the door before I could open my mouth to ask something.  But you just have to get past it and think that he's just another soul trying to survive and finish his work.  I forgave him when I saw him still running back and forth the ultrasound room two hours later.  I was still bleeding heavily and in a lot of pain.  We wouldn't have minded the cost if they just diagnosed me properly.  I shuttled between the public system and the private doctor.  All telling me that what I was experiencing was normal. I was insisting it was't normal and all I get are patronizing smiles as if telling me that I read too much and they know better than I do.  

A concerned call from my mom prompted me to fly back home and consult with my OB-Gyne. So the decision was made to fly out as soon as I have prepared everything.  I was anticipating on a long holiday and I will feel guilty leaving Naddy just like that.  We prepared weeks worth of food and made sure all his clothes have been washed and pressed.  Two days before we left, I was doubled in pain.  I couldn't move, couldn't talk and had to sleep in another room.  I didn't want to go back to the AED because I'm sure they wouldn't let me go home.  And I didn't want to be stuck there when I'm two days away from seeing my own doctor back home.  I did make it.  I was able to endure two 2-hour flights and waiting time at the airport with my son and helper.  I saw my doctor the following day, and I checked in the hospital that night for surgery the following morning but didn't make it on schedule and was rushed to the theater for emergency surgery. I had ectopic pregnancy and it ruptured.  It ruptured just in time. I was home and a doctor I trusted who levels with me performed it.  I was safe.  The doctors here in Hong Kong misdiagnosed me.  Simultaneous abortion/miscarriage?  The scans showed a mass outside the uterus.  The pathology results showed nothing but blood and endometrial lining.  Either I wasn't convincing enough when I told them of the pain or they were just too busy to see the signs.  I had all the symptoms yet they missed it.  I could have avoided surgery but instead almost had complications.  

I'm not sure if I could trust the system here again.  But would I still try to get pregnant? Definitely!  I have experienced being a mum and I want the joy doubled.  I am alive and well, I have fully recovered everything seems to be in the distant past.  I have recovered both physically and emotionally. 

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