Living in Phnom Penh: ..a Medical Rollercoaster..
Yep. That’s what we had this past few days..We’ve been here and living in Phnom Penh a month now and just when I thought our first month would really be uneventful, something happened. Perhaps, I am being tested if I could really handle emergency situations in this place that is still so foreign for me.
For sometime my husband has been complaining about his stomach having frequent burning sensation. I’ve been urging him to have it checked with a doctor and he decided to wait for the Water Festival holidays since he is really busy teaching and with some office work. Water festival holiday started November 10 and a day before that we visited his bestfriend and when we got home he suddenly felt not well and had to spend sometime in the comfort room.
Good thing we were at my mother-in-law’s house so I had help at hand. We rushed him to the nearest clinic and the doctor prescribed staying for a few hours and to have IVF to rehydrate him.
After that we all went home and the rest of the night he felt fine and slept well. Monday morning, a friend visited our house and we all went for a short walk to visit his mother. Then we decided to have lunch at a nearby mall and when we got inside the mall he felt dizzy all of the sudden and had to rush to the men’s room. This time he vomited a lot and it really scared me and instead of bringing him to the same clinic, we brought him to his family doctor and he advised bringing him to a specialist.
The clinic the doctor recommended was closed so we ended up bringing him to Hospital Calmette, a goverment hospital. It was a lucky decision since they have the digestive endoscopie equipment. He was diagnosed with gastric ulcer and was confined in the hospital for a few days.
For me it was really a rollercoaster ride and a scary one at that. I feel really lucky to have a very supportive in-laws and friends who were always there to help knowing that I can’t communicate in Khmer. I was feeling really helpless but they were there to bring me to and fro the hospital, cook food for us, baby sit our daughter while we were out..
My husband has the habit of just eating exactly three meals a day, no snacks in between.I would usually urge him to bring crackers or have some snacks but I guess it’s really a habit that is hard to break for him. That’s why when I first stayed in my in-laws house here, I was having trouble adjusting my eating habits coz they don’t even have “meriendas” here like we do in the Philippines. They eat porridge for breakfast, then have lunch at 12 noon, then dinner at around 6 or 7 pm.
After this experience, we both learned our lesson – To make health a top priority. Another lesson I’ve learned here, go to a doctor you know or trust, otherwise you might get a doctor who’d prescribe a dextrose without even checking what is really wrong with you..