I personally thought the time me and some friends got robbed in Ibiza was a pretty bad low point in my holiday career, thinking I had died in France while skiing was also another low point, today felt worse still. But i’m getting ahead of myself, lets rewind a bit.
I had a surprisingly good nights sleep, feeling pretty fresh at 8am. Cordelia was still feeling rough, and asked me to go get some water from the nearby shop, which I did, I grabbed some food for her as well, as it was looking like it would be another morning of bed rest for her – whatever she had, one hell of a flu or heat stroke.
We lay in a little more until around 11am, at which point I figured I should do something with my day, I made sure the gf had everything she needed and within arms reach, told her i’d come straight back if she called, and then went off into Bangkok again,
I figured i’d just do a quick day today, I had already actually seen most of the major Bangkok attractions from my last visit after all, so this morning I went to the Jim Thompson house, Jim was apparently a very influential man in getting the Thai silk industry to where it was today, an ex soldier who had fallen in love with thailand and spent his days collecting artifacts and wanting to show the world how great the country was. He mysteriously vanished in Malaysia one day, never to be seen again.
The ‘museum’ was a guided tour around his multiple houses, which had all been lifted and transplanted into a compound in central Bangkok – No pictures inside unfortunately but I had a very indepth tour of the buildings and the art and statues inside, the tour was informative, as you can probably tell given that there is some explanation this time around.
Wanting to avoid the heat stroke myself, I walked a little further along down the road to the MBK center, yet another one of Bangkok’s gigantic 7 floor malls, this one targeting a wider range of budgets – with a floor filled with Jewelery, to the upper floors which are practically filled to the brim by small stores selling pretty good looking knock-off designer clothing. I wanted to grab a small snack and drink to start, and ended up accidentally ordering the largest plate of Mango sticky rice i’ve ever seen.
I had a bit of a walk around, and found a huge arcade on the top floor, a perfect place to burn a bit of time before I head home to see if the gf is well enough to go out for dinner. There was a huge spread of games, and a bunch of titles ive yet to play – I spent around £5 which equalled 22 coins or around 7 credits, but it seems Konami have an interesting new thing where you can play one free credit if you haven’t tried the game before, So I had a bunch of those as well. I played a few credits of the latest Sound Voltex, some credits on Museca and then spammed Drummania for the rest of the day, it was the huge one with like 7 pads and 2 drum pedals – I actually started getting pretty decent at it (going from 1.2 to 3.8 difficulty), shame I won’t get to play again for ages.
Afterwards I did some shopping at the aforementioned knock off stalls, buying some shirts and shorts to refresh my aging collection. Felt kind of mean asking for discounts on what were already very cheap prices, especially as us tourists are probably earning significantly more than them, but such is Bangkok – 3 shirts for £10 etc.
Starting to get late, I was planning to be home for 4pm but it seems my drumming session got a little too wild. Thankfully the trains back to the hotel aren’t too long.
I arrived home to running water, oh good, she must be well enough to shower, ready to go out for dinner.
The shower went on for a while, I eventually thought i’d check in – she looked shocked, like she had just seen a ghost, whoops, should have knocked.
Fast forward 5 or 10 minutes and the door opens, in time for her to practically collapse on me. Got her up and on the sofa, and spent the next 2 hours trying all manner of things to get her back to life, she was conscious but not particularly receptive – only able to nod or shake her head, and unable to speak or do much else. I imagined this is what I look like after 2 pints, and still didn’t think too much initially, but I shortly came to realise that she hadn’t eaten anything all day, she had eaten a quarter of a sandwich since 2 nights ago, and i’m not sure why it took me this long to realise this.
Feeding her only seemed to cause her to vomit bright yellow liquid, presumably just stomach acid and turmeric from Friday’s dinner, I rushed out to buy some sports drinks, thinking maybe it’s something to do with Electrolytes, we tried dextrose tablets, thinking maybe it’s low blood sugar caused by not eating. Eventually enough was enough, I had to call an ambulance.
But how? Our airbnb host was unresponsive, my phone wouldn’t call their emergency services number or the tourist emergency number, I didn’t have much credit on my phone to sustain any long conversation as the calls would be £2 a minute. I rushed to the lobby to try and use their phone but they brushed me off in Thai, I went down the street to find any sort of payphone but was unable to. Returning to the room, our Airbnb host finally got back to me, and sent an uber. Meanwhile Cordelia’s sister had been busy trying her best in the UK, managing to call an international hospital and getting them to dispatch an ambulance.
Good thing she did, the uber arrived but Cordelia was in no state to move anywhere, and I didn’t think i’d be able to carry her all the way.
A phone call from the hospital dispatcher, thank god. Getting the address to them over the phone was a challenge, I wondered if they knew where to go and so waited for them on the roadside.
There were flashing lights down the road, could it be? It barreled towards me before making a turn into an alleyway 3 buildings down.
I chased after it.
I think the ambulance driver saw my desperation and knew, I waved my arm as I started to run back towards the hotel, turning my phone hoping it would act as some sort of light source to guide him – the ambulance had finally arrived at the building, and the driver, 4 medics, doctor and all manner of equipment were carried into the building – the Defib unit scared me, but at least they have all bases covered, I suppose I have no idea what her sister told them over the phone.
The medics blasted into the room and set up shop like I had never seen – they must have had blood sample, pressure and an IV stabbed into her within the first 2 minutes it was very reassuring to watch. She had to go to the hospital, the gurney and us barely fit into the lift.
I’ve never ridden in an ambulance before, It’s not something I ever really wanted to do mind you, and i’d have happily not done so.
Cars don’t really give way to the ambulance in the same way they do in England, one of the medics had to play siren DJ to get them to move anywhere, spamming through all of the different siren beats and remixing them with a handset when people wouldn’t get out of the way (i’m dead serious, and it really fucking worked too).
We were back at the hospital within 10 minutes, the ambulance team promptly whisked her away to god knows where whilst I had to fill in the paperwork. They did an MRI scan on her and then sent her into an intensive care unit. Meanwhile I was stuck filling in forms and papers for what felt like hours, the papers required me to fill in all sorts of knowledge which I just genuinely didn’t have – home number? insurance details?
They made me sign a deposit of 300,000 Thai baht for the treatment – even the goddamn hospitals here you can haggle the price, the number originally listed on the form was $400,000 but “you just need sign only $300,000 now ok?”. Not ok? thankfully I managed to grab some credit card details from her family, as I didn’t bring mine on holiday with me, and I certainly didn’t have £7.2k GBP worth of Thai baht on me to pay it cash.
We got through it in the end, and they let me up to see her in the ICU, where she was still not doing great, but at least able to open her eyes and whimper at me a little bit. I stuck around an extra hour or so as the nurses danced around her ensuring her vitals stayed stable. I eventually I had to leave as it was getting too late, I started walking home but 10 minutes into my 40 minutes walk through what seemed like the ghetto streets of Bangkok, it felt like if I didn’t get a taxi home, they were going to mug me themselves.
and so here I am, sat at 1am typing this, while my girlfriend recovers in an intensive care unit – the doctors said that her MRI came back clean, and that the cause was high blood sugar primarily, perhaps even my fault as I fed her the dextrose – though in my defense, the previous cases of her (or myself) collapsing have been low blood sugar.
The thought of high blood sugar didn’t even occur to me, considering she hadn’t managed to keep down any solid food for almost 2 whole days.