2 Dec 2008

The Health Check

Its been a few days since my last post so I have a ton of stuff to tell you about, thank you very much for your comments by the way.. before they appear I have to approve them (so that I dont get 100’s of viagra adverts appearing on each post).

On Tuesday I went to the International health centre which is about an hour from Jane’s house (where im living until Sunday night). I arrived there ridiculously early and had to wait for 45 mins in the reception and listen to some American and German men struggle to make small talk with their female translators. I hate hospital waiting rooms with a passion (surely the most ‘ill atmosphere’ there is) and although this place is a checking centre for good health.. there were still a fair few shufflers coming in and out coughing and sneezing all over. After my last illness in China (back in June) I didnt want any repeats so I stood outside until Nora (the assistant manager helping me) arrived.
We checked in and received our number and went to the next waiting room populated by about 40 people (meant for 15) and filled in the form. I had to tick the boxes for previous ailments, the usual array of plagues.. mental disability.. and heart failure. Nora was watching me like a hawk zipping through them ticking all the no boxes without hesitation, and for some reason I paused over ‘Pregnancy’ which of course made her collapse into a fit of giggles.
Once my number came up, I had my photo taken.. didnt have time to take my beanie off so in the picture I am in mid conversation with her asking if I needed to take it off.. great. Next, Nora paid for the check and I had to go into a changing room and take off my top (actually 5 tops as its so cold here) and put on a disgusting creamy yellow coloured robe (think it used to be white). Put on some shoe covers which made the floor like ice, and was weighed.. im no expert but im pretty sure that wearing shoes when being weighed doesnt give an accurate value. The ‘Chinese way’ ?
I was then sent to various rooms at a furious pace to have my blood taken, ears checked, nose checked, eyes tested, ECG, and weirdly enough have an ultrasound done on my stomach which I could quite easily watch on screen. Very bizarre to watch!
The last test consisted of a bed with a concerning array of wires and clips connected to several machines.. I was led down and ‘dampened’ on the wrists and ankles (even more worrying!) and then hooked up with the wires.. when the girl turned on the machine it done nothing and she had to re-dampen and try again. This time it worked and I managed to sneak a peek at the screen she was using which simply read “NORMAL”. I of course asked what the test was about but she could only muster the single sentence required of her position.
Once finished we left the centre and got in a taxi, unfortunately I had forgotten to take the damn shoe covers off which are bright blue and stupid looking.. looking back on it I must have looked like some escaped mental patient, or someone with courageous fashion creativity.

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