The Swine Flu is a major concern for China right now. As we speak, 40 schools in Dujiangyan are closed for preventative measure. China has just announced that it will be the first country to deliver mass inoculations. It is not uncommon to see people in the streets wearing face masks.
While I was delivering a presentation to 14 professors and a handful of department heads at Neusoft College this week, I started to feel those somewhat familiar hot, cold sweat and dizzy sensations. I was hoping that the broken air-conditioning was the only reason. By the time I woke up yesterday morning, I was pretty sure I had "the flu". Imagine my slight bit of nervousness. I was more concerned about speaking the words than having the illness.
Our NGO partner directed Bright, my trusty interpreter, to take me to the best local hospital in Dujiangyan. When Bright and I arrived at the best local hospital, we found the most horrifying vision of a hospital I have ever seen in my life. Dirt and broken tile covered every square foot of celing, wall and floor. The first floor area with labs and doctors offices was all open-air and outdoor. People were smoking, puking and moaning as they stood in line. I stepped over fresh bloody footprints to enter the doctor's office. While I sat at the doctor's desk answering the routine questions, other patients came and went at the same time. The old moaning man joined for a bit until a gurney took him away. A young moaning girl waited in the office with me. My lab showed I did have the flu, but I do not have the swine flu. Phew!! The total visit, prescriptions and labs cost about $10 USD and took only one hour.
We took the taxi back to the hotel where Bright helped me identify medications and dosages, make tea, find a thermometer and obtain dumplings for dinner. What would I do without this kid. Now, 24 hours later I am happy to report that my fever has broken and I am feeling much, much better now.