From Jamie's Philippines Pics

We have also had the opportunity to travel to some amazing places in China, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Bali. We have archived all of our travels and living experiences abroad; and if you wish, you can read about our adventures by finding the archives on the right of this page and by checking our Photo Album.

We appreciate all of our family and friends who have stayed in touch and emailed us with encouraging words throughout the year. We hope you will continue to keep us in your thoughts as we continue our adventure of living abroad teaching at an international school. For those who have stumbled upon our site, check out the "About Eric and Jamie" section on the right for more information.

Thanks for checking us out!

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness."
- Mark Twain

"Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends."
- Maya Angelou






Skype: "ericandjamie"



Monday, October 5, 2009

Vietnam - Day 9 (The worst day of my life)

From Vietnam 2009 Jamie

At 7:30 am, I woke up with some pretty extreme back pain. I knew it was a kidney stone trying to pass.

For those who do not know. Kidney stones hurt because they develop in the kidneys and pass through the tube called the ureter before entering the bladder. It is this part of the process that is the most painful. It is difficult to describe, but imagine someone sticking a knife in and out of your back or perhaps imagine one of those little sand spurs you get at the beach or the ones in the ones in the woods and having it pass through a section of your insides. Once the stone reaches the bladder, most of the pain is gone. All it has to do then is pass through the urethra and out of the penis or vagina.

My pain killers that were prescribed to me by a Chinese doctor didn't make a dent in the pain. At 11:30, I told Jamie that we needed to go to the local SOS International Clinic in Hanoi. We found it easily and took a painful cab ride there (the roads in Hanoi are extremely bumpy).

As I walked in to the clinic, I was nauseated due to the cab ride and the pain, so I threw up immediately. We quickly told them (and I think they could tell) that I had kidney stones and need pain medication (preferably morphine) immediately. The complied and took care of me right away.

The rest of this story could take days and pages to write. I'll abbreviate here.

The clinic took a sonogram and noticed 2 stones that were quite large. Since they didn't have the facilities to do any kidney or urinary tract procedure, they suggested they air ambulance me to Bangkok. After some problems with the insurance and plane, we finally took off for Bangkok at 9:00 am on Sunday! I battled the kidney stones, vomiting, morphine, dry mouth, and no food the whole time.

The ride to the airport because of the roads and my sore condition was the worst part. The flight was decent. We were in a private jet of only 2 pilots, a doctor, a nurse, me, and Jamie. After landing and passing through customs in Bangkok, we arrived at the Bumrungrad International Hospital at about 11:30. They settled us into our own private room. The hospital easily rivals the best hospitals at home. It is large, clean, and the staff have been amazing.

Again, I'm going to cut it short, but it is now Monday at 2:45 pm as I type this and I'm still here. I am scheduled to go into surgery to remove one kidney stone that is stuck in the opening of the bladder from the ureter. It isn't a large stone by stone standards (2.2 mm by 4.7mm), but simply won't move. I have bouts of pain that will last a few hours, then a period where I am fine. I thought since I felt fine right now, I'd go ahead and catch up on blogging.

I'll report back soon after the surgery when I feel like it.

Jamie has taken a few pictures I'll upload for you.

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