My father and I hadn’t felt well all day. Suddenly, I developed a high fever and was taken to a hospital.
All I remember was that I fought the nurses, who were trying to either take blood or get an IV in my little arm.
I was about 5 years old and we were on a business trip to the Orient and ended up in Bangkok.
It had been incredibly hot, with sweltering humidity. From the photos my Dad took, I was always half naked, whether at
a temple or museum or at the hotel. I don’t do well in heat, and neither did he.
I obviously was OK but the early memory stayed with my family and I. It was scary. Years later, I ended up becoming seriously ill when we were living in Singapore and the doctor believed I had cholera. I remember the pain and the fear. Then two years later I got severe food poisoning in Istanbul, after drinking a fruit shake at the airport that must have been made with bad water. I seem to have a knack for getting sick from smoothies….
So I can say from experience I understand the fear some people have about getting sick when in South East Asia and Thailand in particular. It’s happened to me and it isn’t pleasant. However, there are a number of great hospitals here!
Driving up to Ranong on several occasions, I noticed a few large hospitals. They were nothing like what I would have imagined rural Thailand to have. They were about the same size as Bangkok Hospital here in Phuket. I was impressed. That’s not to say medical care is fantastic here, as it can be expensive for both foreigners and Thais.
After being bit by the monkey ( go ahead and laugh away!!!) I went to a local doctor, Dr. Thiti, and he took a look at my arm. I had been warned that Bangkok Hospital and the others were expensive and he was the best, so we went to him. I didn’t have to wait long. He spoke excellent English ( although his staff didn’t…one made a rude remark about Kaya that was odd…) and he asked if I wanted a shot. I said no, but that I needed something for the pain. Kaya, after seeing me sit in the chair and speak with him, replaced me and showed him her rash. He laughed and gave her some cream to clear it up. Then a nurse took me to get the bite cleaned and gave me some pain meds ( which I took once; they were so strong I couldn’t take them again). Everything cost around 250 baht!
Billy and I can’t wait to have baby number two. We have friends who have given birth here, one in Bangkok and the other here in Phuket and they have mixed stories. One had an unpleasant birth here on the island, where the doctor and nurses didn’t really understand her wanting to have a natural birth. The other had a good experience in Bangkok where the staff listened to her needs. But Billy worked with a woman ( from Jordan) who got pregnant and gave birth here. Her Thai doctor insulted her nonstop and wasn’t very pleasant. He told her she was overweight ( which she wasn’t, she just wasn’t Thai small lol) and the whole experience sounded pretty unenjoyable. Thailand also has a high C section rate and she was urged to have one, despite her having no good reason for needing it. She pushed to have a vaginal birth but we haven’t spoken to her since, so we aren’t sure how it worked out.
So based on what we have heard from friends, we decided to wait to get pregnant until we get to Scotland. If we did stay here, I would go to Bangkok and have researched some great doctors who do VBACS and waterbirths.
So what I have deduced is giving birth here is like most other places: you can have a good experience or negative. But there are not a ton of options here on the island, not compared to Bangkok.
If you do move to Thailand or visit, know that you have some great options for hospitals and small private clinics. Some are costly and ask for your credit card upon entering. Others are cheaper. My precaution is that I never drink from juice stands or smoothie places, unless I know they use filtered water. Dirty water is the number one thing besides Dengue fever to beware of. You can prevent dengue by loading up on natural mosquito spray that some hotels carry, and keep your immune system as healthy as possible by taking Vitamin C and/or other immune enhancers ( such as colloidal silver and reishi). Phuket Town has traditional Chinese medical clinics that carry herbs ( such as reish) that can help you if you do become ill, and most drug stores have charcoal if needed. There are lots of options here, which I like!