Expat Life in Dubai

the ordeal

July 23, 2008

The past few days have been such a pain for me. What started as a simple tonsillitis ended as something more serious and almost cost me my tonsils from being removed. And when you’re a few thousand miles away from home/family, it couldn’t get any worst. It wasn’t the first time that I’ve gotten sick here in Dubai but the case that I had just now was so serious that it required some serious medical attention inside the hospital. Chief complaint was vomiting even if I hadn’t eaten anything yet, I didn’t know that it could stir a lot of hysteria inside the emergency room. As soon as the doctor in charge saw my throat he got alarmed and told me that I badly need to be confined to sort it all through. There were (excuse me for those who are eating but you are not supposed to eat in front of your PC/laptop) lots of pus all over my throat already that no tablets nor capsules could cure it. I need some stronger antibiotics for this very severe infection. Doctor gave me the option: I can be admitted at their private hospital right there and then or can opt to be transferred to a government one which can save me a lot of pennies. I was already feeling weak at that time from having the flu and sore throat but I needed to discuss this with my mom first. Good that she even suggested that since my records are already here in the private hospital and they already know what they should do to me, might as well just have myself admitted there.And then the dreaded question was popped up once more: “can I have your insurance?”. My reply was: “I don’t have an insurance”. Then as expected, the doctor and the male nurse stared at me for God knows how long like I suddenly grew an Adam’s apple. “uhmmmm… I can pay cash or credit card” I added to somehow pacify their widening eyes. I lost the adam’s apple and so did my two front teeth. I knew they wanted to ask me – Lady, what do you think you’re doing prancing around Dubai without an insurance? I knew I should have gotten myself one, so just to end this mime conversation I just told them the truth – “my mom will pay for the bills, she’s in the US by the way.” And with that, I got 2 huge sighs or relief. And I mean H-U-G-E. Then they went ahead and swiped my debit card the deposit that they require – drum roll please……. 3,000 DIRHAMS. Very very expensive to be sick in Dubai. Note to self – GET A FREAKIN’ INSURANCE!!!!!

So I was, for the first time admitted into a hospital for confinement in Dubai. And I almost lost my mind. I was used to having someone take care of me when I was in the Philippines whenever I get confined, I was used to knowing the doctors personally in the Philippines – but here in Dubai, totally and outrageously a different experience. I was alone, not that I wanted someone to be there ‘coz I wouldn’t want to cause much trouble for a 2nd person and let him/her sleep for the night just to keep an eye on me. When the vomiting started, that’s when I felt my weakest. I am nursing a very sore throat for crying out loud then here comes the vomit. Uh oh! The pain was excruciating. I swore to all the gods of medicine that I will never ever take advantage of my throat again. I was crying while throwing out what little I ate. Needles and injections, those things which I hated the most became my best friends. The pain reliever. I have already lost count but I think my butt cheeks (excuse my French) were pricked more than ten times with those needles which somehow gave me peace and tranquility for 8hrs or so. I was addicted to the pain reliever, I badly needed it.

I did, at one point felt all alone and could not refrain my self from feeling the inevitable – “self-pity”. At that time, I was sure nobody in Dubai loves me. I was crying and wanted to go home to the Philippines, I don’t really remember now who I called or sent a message to but the reply suddenly pacified me. Seriously, I don’t remember the person I talked to or received a message from. Then I have thought of all the people who have been there for me since day 1. On this note, I would like to take this opportunity to thank those people who didn’t know how they made my life less miserable during that ordeal:

1. My Family, specifically my mom. Straight out from the US she will call me twice everyday and check on me. Hearing her voice left me feel at home/relaxed. And let’s not all forget the fact that she paid for all my hospital bills. I love you mommy!!!!!J

2. Alex, upon hearing that I was hospitalized, cut his vacation short and flew in to Dubai from Brisbane and spent the days with me in the hospital. Odd enough, I have only seen him twice coz he always comes during the day when am always dozing off. Little notes from him telling me to stop pretending to be sick just so I can take the day off will be left on my bedside table and will surely make me smile. Somehow, knowing someone was there who cared enough to spend some hours with you even if you’re dozing off somewhere is – well, a good feeling.

3. The Pilot, I would have written the pilot’s real name down but I get a kick out of using his alias. Well this man here, upon receiving my message about me being bored inside the e.r. and requested him to humor me, sent me 4 messages about his life, work, asked what happened and about his relationship which is becoming more and more serious that I could almost hear the wedding bells. And so, he never did stopped checking on me for the next few days. He might even be secretly wishing that I stay inside the hospital until he comes back here in Dubai to piss me off. Not happening.

4. Beth, my client. She called me up and asked how I was. She has not been receiving any spam mails from me for the past few days and figured that something was wrong and called me up. Haha! What a very nice way of remembering me by.

5. Chubby, for checking on me even if he’s having his vacation in Thailand.

6. My roomates, Ate Oday and Ate Garud – for peeling the orange for me and cooking some delectable dishes while my taste buds were not working. J

7. My flat mates, Kuya roel and Ate Ayeth, for visiting me every chance they get and bringing everything that I need.

And a very special thanks to these people:

JAY – a blog reader/my photo editor/a good friend of mine. Who drove for me going to the hospital without even knowing where the hospital was. :p

COOKIE – for giving me her moral support, 😀

MARISSA – who never fails to make me laugh even if am on a pain reliever.

HONEY – who went all the way to help a friend in need. Her reply on my message about them accompanying me to the hospital was – be there in 5minutes! And this is coming from a girl who you can’t disturb while she’s having her day off or sleeping. And for the following days while I was inside the hospital, she never fails to check on me and has been always insisting that they come and visit me. Always brings along with them food, toilettries and the whatnots.

Am sorry if I have missed some people out but I had a memory span of a goldfish for the past few days probably because of the antibiotics/pain relievers injected on me. I may still be nursing a slightly sore throat, I may have lost 6kgs from not being able to eat enough for the past couple of days, I may have owed my mom (once again) a couple of thousand dirhams – but I survived. I survived another Arabian ordeal with the help of my family and true friends. J

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