For those of you who haven't heard, husband was admitted to the hospital Sunday morning (our time) because of what we found out was 'amoebic colonitis'. He was released Monday morning, feeling better than he had all week, according to him. The hospital room actually had two beds, so I was able to sleep at the hospital with him, and in the midst of the earlier seriousness, I couldn't help but notice the humor that was moving all around me.
For example, as I posted on Saturday, our neighbors were joining us at the office Sunday morning. So when husband said to me at 8am on Sunday, "I need you to take me to the hospital," I dressed quickly and went downstairs to tell the guys the bad news. I woke them up, but within 10 minutes, they were walking up our stairs (without knocking!) to rush into the living room to see just how bad husband was doing. They informed us they would be joining us on the way to hospital. This was a form of their hospitality, which can be overwhelming at times (present situation included).
So we arrived at the hospital. Our "deluxe" room, which I picked out for the TV for husband to watch, included two gurneys straight off the set of M*A*S*H, cracked walls, faded carpet, a dirty bathroom, and a TV that didn't work. It was alright, though, because the beds were actually comfortable, and all husband really needed was some medicine and rehydration solution. And the view must have been the best view from any hospital in the whole world. We entertained ourselves with books, rest, and our laptop computer complete with James Bond movies.
Lunchtime came and I found out I was not allowed to eat in the room, so I went up to the cafeteria, which gives a whole new meaning to hospital food. The nurse pointed me to the menu and told me to order anything. I should stop right here and say that I am a lot more adventurous when it comes to food than I used to be, but there are still 4 things I just absolutely can not eat. We're talking gag reflex and the whole bit: cucumbers, any form of melons, cilantro, and cabbage. (I found out about the cilantro effect upon arriving in a country where cilantro is considered as common a seasoning as salt and pepper) I scanned the menu and ordered the potatoes and bread. The cook told me they didn't have it. After looking at the list of over 30 items, I asked him what he did have. Rice, lentils, vegetables, and a sandwich was his response. Rice and veggies sounded pretty good, so I asked what the veggies were. Cabbage. Okay, strike the rice and veggies. What kind of sandwich is it? Tomato and cucumber.
So I skipped lunch.
Dinner came around, and I was starving. The nurses, who so kindly told me I could eat in the room, told me the cook could make me an omelette for dinner. I love breakfast for dinner, so I agreed. They asked what kind, and I said tomato and cheese, simple enough, which they said was fine. Then they came back about 20 minutes later and asked me to go to the cook and order my dinner, which I thought we just had. I shrugged and went upstairs, and the cook agreed to the order; no problem. About 15 minutes later, they brought in husband's veg soup (which he declared as good) and my green omelette. Green? Are those chilis? Oh, no, those are green onions, the nurses reassured me. I like green onions, I really do. They're probably my favorite onion. But not in the amount to where the entire omelette had lost it's original color. I asked for the tomato and cheese again, and the nurses told me that he didn't have any cheese or tomatoes. I briefly wondered why he agreed to cook it in the first place if he had no cheese or tomatoes, before realize, hey, this is South Asia. What did I expect? So I just ordered the scrambled eggs, and received a look from the nurses as I had asked to eat their firstborn sons. I had suddenly received the reputation as the picky and difficult wife. I ended up eating only toast for dinner. When I asked for some tea later, I received some rolled eyes before getting it. What? What did I do?
This morning, husband woke up feeling great. Praise our boss for his mighty works and kindness! They even brought him semi-solid food for breakfast which was nice. They also brought me some cornflakes and hot milk. Yes, hot. Husband had pity on my growling stomach and asked for some cold milk, which they thought was the strangest request, but since the Difficult Wife didn't ask, it was no problem.
After breakfast, we were told the senior doctor would visit husband before releasing him. What they failed to mention was that seven curious staffers would be joining the senior doctor. I'm not kidding, the door just kept opening. Husband and I were dying laughing by the 8th walkin. I was in the hospital once for pneumonia, and a couple of times a nursing student would come in to listen to my "textbook wheezing" as directed by her supervisor, but never have I heard of 8 doctors and nurses coming in to look at someone who had common intestine problems. What's that you say, Doctor? Someone had diarrhea?! Well, this I've gotta see!
I'm sure it had nothing to do with the fact that we were strange Americans in a very asian hospital.
Finally, after having to promise the hospital manager that we'd pay him after we got home (they didn't have a credit card machine or an ATM...and we didn't have that kind of cash on us), we left the hospital and are now free to eat all kinds of normal food. Well I am, anyway.
I say all this with a laugh, and not a complaining voice, I promise. You know I love this culture. I am just so relieved that husband is okay, and that the boss took care of him in only a day after they originally told us we'd have to be there for 3 days. He's in such good spirits, and is especially humbled by all the care and love he received from our family and friends who were concerned. Thanks for the money - the boss was faithful, as always.