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Sickness

July 16, 2010 3 comments

It’s now Friday. Anya has been feeling sick since last week some time, which nobody thought to be a big deal because a few people have gotten sick recently and just suffered a couple days of sore throats, stuffy noses or malaise. On Wednesday I ran into Anya leaving the hotel to get some more water and I started chatting with her and immediately noticed that she looked funny. She looked funny because her eyes, and less obviously, her skin, were yellow! Somewhat alarmed I asked her if she realized that she was yellow looking and how long she’d been so and how she felt. She said that she’d noticed but was feeling alright and she’d decided with Han that if she started feeling bad she’d go to the hospital. I told her that the only cause of being yellow, jaundiced, was liver failure, and I urged that she should probably go to the hospital right away since your liver is sort of important. I didn’t hear more about it until later that day, but apparently Han and Frank took her to the hospital that Han does her shadowing at, which is supposed to be the best hospital in China and they looked at her and determined that her bilirubin levels were, indeed, high and therefore something was wrong with her liver. They put her on some drugs (one I.V. every 12 hours (I think) one pill every 8 hours, I’m not sure about what the drugs are, though) to help her liver and started trying to figure out what was causing the whole situation. The best guess was some kind of virus. Her symptoms as far as I know them were being incredibly tired all weekend and at least through Thursday, getting easily exhausted (such as after a 10 minute walk just wanting to lay down and sleep), a slight headache and a tenderness to pressute just below her ribcage. She’s in the international section of the hospital so her doctor speaks passable English, but it’s not 100% fluent. Han is staying with her as much as possible (just going home to sleep) to help translate and deal with crap so Anya can rest as much as possible (Frank may have been there Wed. night as well…).  So she spent Wednesday night in the hospital.
Thursday morning they started tests to see if she has a number of likely viruses. One of those tests will be done this afternoon, the last one might take as long as 5 days.  Throughout Thursday she continued with the regimen of lots of sleep, lots of water, IV and pill drugs.  Han was there with her on Thursday and I found out that we were basically waiting for bacteria to grow again so I went over to visit in the afternoon.   After I got off the subway and was walking to the hospital a couple of nice Chinese art students came up to me and started talking and then invited me to their end-of-semester art show.  Since I wasn’t really in a rush I went with them and talked with them about how their studies worked and about some of the paintings.  They then mentioned that the art was for sale since this was the last day it was on display and the sale of the art helped support the school.  I asked how much they were, assuming they would be exorbitantly expensive but was surprised that they were only 10-20 dollars for most of them.  I ended up getting a few nice paintings.

Me with the pair of students who invited me to their art show.

So, after the impromptu art fair I got to the hospital, the old side of which has traditional Chinese architecture.

The west gate of the Peking Union Medical College

I met up with Han who filled me in on most of the above information while we waited outside Anya’s room since Anya was sleeping.  We decided we should make a get-well card (which I just realized I need to take a picture of!) complete with hand-turkeys and virus-punching lymphocytes.

Get well soon!

Eventually Anya woke up and we talked with her and asked how she was feeling and all that jazz. She was still tired but starting to get hungry so she went back to sleep while Han and I got some lunch/dinner and brought Anya back some bao zi and porridge.  Later on Anya was better-rested so the three of us just talked for a while and Anya had some food.  The doctor came in to check on her and it was determined that she’d spend the night in the hospital again since she needed to continue getting IV drugs and the stress of moving back to the hotel and just going to the hospital for IV’s sounded like too much.  Han and I left in the evening.  Anya spent Thursday night at the hospital, but appeared to be in good spirits.

Anya and Han acting goofy, and not very sick

This morning Han went back to see how she was doing.  The doctors were planning to check her bilirubin levels again to see if the drugs appear to be helping, and later in the day the results from one of the virus tests should be in.

That’s all I know at this point, but we’re all hoping she feels better soon.

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