Kim gets appendicitis!!

A tough weekend in Shanghai.  Sometimes it just doesn’t pay to get too cocky!  After a bumpy start to our adventure in Shanghai Kim and I have really settled in and started to enjoy our new life in here.  Sure there have been some adjustments.  There is no stick deodorant to be found anywhere here.  It’s either aerosol or the old roll on stuff.  You also can’t get air freshened, proper file folders, a can opener or really good pizza like San Remos in Poco.  But these are very small things when you are living  in the fast lane in Shanghai.  
So Kim and I have our weekend all planned out.  We were going to invite Greg and Chen out for dinner in the French Concession, Saturday take the subway to the Fake Mall at the Science and Technology center, then a little rest and relaxation with a bottle of wine while we watch season two of Damages.  A great TV program incidentally.  We are feeling pretty good as we now negotiate all of Shanghai, speak enough Chinese to eat anywhere or buy anything and we are feeling pretty good about our lives.  We are on the top of the world and feeling cocky!
.  Thursday night Kim went to bed with a bit of an upset stomach.  We had ordered 2 pizzas and some coke for dinner.  She is not used to drinking a lot of pop.  No big deal.  The stomachache was still there Friday morning, but Kim is a trooper and she knew that Brent was going to miss his last block to get his visa completed and Richard was out with the flu.  She was going to fill in and teach one of the classes.  Her stomach was really sore so I sent her home, taught both classes myself and came home early.  She was in bed and in a ton of pain.  Within an hour we decided that a doctor needed to look at it.  Greg had suggested once before the  Parkway Medical Center as a great place to be looked after.  We phoned and both  the Nanjing Road and Luwan  office was booked for the day, but the office in Pudong across the river was able to take us.  We set out about 4:30 in a taxi for a 45 minute ride into Pudong.  They looked at Kim and took some blood and had it analyzed and  her white cell count was thru the roof.  It was running 26000 when it should have been somewhere around 9000.  Kim had some sort of infection.  Kim was in such pain now, to make matters worse, she was feeling so lousy she had not been drinking at all and had become dehydrated.  The doctor would not let her drink in case surgery was required so she was put on an IV drip. They needed a Cat scan, but did not have one at the clinic.  The doctor insisted that Kim saw a surgeon right away and so we were hustled back into a cab and taken to the Luwan clinic that was quite near our place.  They were so concerned that a nurse accompanied us on the ride.  We were met by the surgeon who also recognized that Kim’s problem was serious, but he could not determine what the issue  was, and his Cat scan machine was not available.  We were then put back into a cab and sent to The People’s First Hospital.  We were both very freaked out about this.  Kim was experiencing some serious pain and we had no idea if the people at the next place would speak English or ? We called our friend Joyce while we were enroute and asked her to check the hospital online to let us know if it was a good one.  She asked us for the address.  We gave our phone to the cab driver.  She spoke to the cab driver and then told us she would meet us there in 20 minutes Kim was admitted and given a cat scan, but the results were confusing.  Everything pointed to appendicitis, but Kim had no fever and this was usually how appendicitis presented.  Kim and I both remembered how Adam’s appendix burst and how the surgeon was hesitant to operate because he had no fever.  We explained this to him, but they were nervous about going in. The infection and pain was quite apparent so they put her on an antibiotic drip and that seemed to calm down the major stomach pains Kim had been having.  Kim was exhausted so they decided that they would observe overnight and  if conditions got worse they would call me.  Joyce  and I left and she put me into a cab home and i arrived there just after midnight.  I was exhausted but couldn’t sleep.  I tried contacting Adam  and Kim’s parents by phone but no answer, so I went to bed.  I woke up at 5:00 am (3:00pm in Vancouver) and was able to contact Adam.  He agreed to talk to Danika and let her know what was happening.  I went back to bed but woke up at 7:00.  I had a quick shower and tried Mark and Rae and Danika again but with no luck.  I was back in a cab and off to the hospital again.  Kim had spent a terrible night.  The pain was not as bad as yesterday, but it had kept her awake most of the night.  Just looking at her you could tell she was very ill.  I was so worried.  the doctor decided on one more test called a colour ultra sound.  Kim went for the test about 10:00 and was back in 45 minutes.  Our lovely private hospital is right next door to a big Chinese hospital and Kim was given priority treatment over all of the other patience.  About 25 other people were in the waiting room waiting for their test and Kim was moved right to the front of the line.  Kim was only back for a few minutes when the Dr. walked in to announce the test results.  Kim had to have emergency surgery for appendicitis.  The doctor left the room, the nurse walked in and put her on an IV drip and within 5 minutes Kim was on her way to surgery.  After the longest 2 hours and 15 minutes of waiting and worrying, Kim was wheeled back in and unceremoniously put into the bed.  She woke up to try and be sick but there was nothing in her and she was out again like a light.  She drifted in and out of consciousness for the next 3 hours .  It was 4:00 pm when Kim woke up and was able to chat coherently. She told me to take off because i looked tired, but i still wanted to chat with the surgeon.  The doctor was still in surgery with someone else, so Kim and i talked for about 20 more minutes and she announced she was going to go to sleep she was tired.  We said our good byes and I took off to our apartment.  When I reached our place it was 6:00 pm here but still early in the morning in Vancouver.  Danika was not on line but i left her a message to Skype me no matter what time it was.  I made some dinner and crashed out 15 minutes after starting a DVD.   I slept the sleep of the dead until Danika called me on SKYPE.  She was still waiting to hear from me and she had been at work or I was out of touch at the hospital.  When she heard that her mom was sick she was very worried and didn’t find out for a long time what was going on.  Sorry babe.  I woke up Sunday made a few calls to friends and headed right towards the hospital.  Kim was looking so much better.  The colour was back in her face, she had been up walking around.  I spent the day with her and we watched some TV, walked up and down the hospital corridor and Skyped with our favourite daughter in Disneyworld.  We had a visit from our friends Joyce and Anika who who brought Kim a flat of fresh kiwi fruit.  Very delicious, but Kim couldn’t eat yet.  Kim was looking so much better.  The doctor was away for the afternoon so Kim still was on an IV diet.  She was able to drink water.  She starts her liquid diet tomorrow.
I must say I am very impressed with the Chinese medical care.  She had a beautiful private room with her own balcony, a washroom with a shower and a beautiful cherry wood bed.  While Kim was off in surgery a sterilization crew came in and sterilized her room.  I was asked to leave her room so they could put on an ultraviolet light for half an hour to kill any micro organism in the room.  Pretty thorough.  We were in one of the best hospitals in Shanghai with a top surgeon performing the work.  Our floor was large but had only six patients on it with 3-4 nurses working there.  The security was also great.  No one could enter this floor thru the stairs unless they had the special card.  Everyone had to take the elevator and pass by the nurses station.  Our floor only had Canadians or at least Americans or Europeans and all of our nurses and doctors spoke English very well.  Good job China, thanks for looking after my sweetie.  Both Kim and I are still dumbfounded that this could happen to us here.  We have only been here two months.  Here is hoping that this will be the last of troubles here in China.  Thanks to all of you who posted your prayers and best wishes.  We love you all!

2 comments on “Kim gets appendicitis!!

  1. So sorry you’ve had this big problem ….poor Kim….so much pain…..and fear of the unknown…Thank God, she had the best care….and for you Bruce, you had to be strong. Now the healing will happen. I’m praying for both of you. Love Henriette

  2. Hi Bruce and Kim,
    Wow! What an experience! That’s incredible how they take such great care oftheir patients. Maybe our hospital cleaners should get retrained by the Chinese hosp. workers. We wouldn’t want to use the ultraviolet light in our hospitals, we’d be mortified!
    Get well soon Kim! xo Love Mary-Anne

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