Sunday, 8 March 2009

In A Pool of My Own Blood!


"Bangkok's bastion of wholesome and culturally acceptable tourism."

Established in the early fifties, it's a quirky place.

And boasts the oldest unchanged hotel lobby in Bangkok.

Koh Samui? No The Atlantas's pool on Soi 2.

"No sex tourists, louts or other degenerates." A principled stand that makes for a pleasant hotel where I always stay and meet interesting people.

But this time I ended up in a pool of blood and on the operating table at the Bumrungrad for three hours.


Now for a whole month I’m unable to see my tongue or even to open my mouth.

That’s how it goes when you end up lying in a Bangkok street in a pool of your own blood.

It all happened like this.

I’d come down on the bus to arrange reprints for my books, THAI GIRL and MY THAI GIRL AND I and to see my American friend Bill who’d just arrived from China. It had all gone pretty well and that fateful day I’d met up for lunch with another old friend, Anthony. We’d both enjoyed the ‘eat all you can’ salad bar at Sizzlers in Thonglor, including a world class chocolate mousse or three and I thought that was going to do me for the rest of the day.

Later at The Atlanta in Sukhumvit soi 2 (www.theatlantahotel.com), an eccentric boutique hotel that’s my home from home in Bangkok, I’d spent the evening chatting to a pleasant English university professor and his family and belatedly had an urge for a slice of pizza. It was nine already and not wanting a full Thai meal, I headed off up the soi and turned right past the Rajah Hotel and into Soi 4. The thought of a quick beer was appealing too but to avoid the hassle of sitting in a bar, I bought a can of Archar from Seven Eleven for 19 baht and sat down on the granite step of a closed shop to drink it and watch the world go by.

Finishing the beer, I got up intent on my pizza but I didn’t get very far. Suddenly the soi was swimming in circles. I remember grabbing at some grey plastic guttering which gave no support and then there was darkness and a terrible crash.

When a suicide gets hit by an inter-city train he must for a nano-second register the impact and I now think I know how it feels. I was puzzled by the crash but soon came round to find myself lying in the street in a pool of my own blood.

First I was conscious of a mouthful of broken teeth, of Thai voices around me, of someone giving me back my glasses, of kind people helping me up and sitting me down on a chair just outside a pool bar. Anxious faces appeared out of the door. Bar workers gave me tissues and one of them sat and attended to me for ten or fifteen minutes.

‘You shouldn’t drink too much,’ she said disapprovingly.

‘I wasn’t drunk at all,’ I replied. ‘Just had a dizzy fit… tired, hungry, low blood pressure maybe.’

My shirt was covered in blood and clutching a handful of bloody tissues, I tried to assess the damage. From the neck upwards it hurt! My jaw ached but I could still talk. I had a big open cut on the bottom of my jaw, my lower lip had been lacerated by what remained of my lower incisors and I’d badly bitten the side of my tongue. And worryingly I was bleeding profusely from my right ear.

Otherwise I had not a mark on me… not on my hands or knees or anywhere. I must have gone down like a rag doll and taken it all on the chin.

The nice bar lady offered to get me a taxi, but no, I said I could walk. With the one-way system a taxi would have to go three sides of a square and it wasn’t far back to The Atlanta. So stupidly I walked and very kindly she came too, talking to me all the way, and delivered me slowly to the door of my hotel.

I got some funny looks at reception but I took my key and climbed the three floors to my room. There I spent one of the worst nights of my life in a lot of pain, bleeding into a towel and getting increasingly anxious.

I am strong, I am invincible… and surely I’d quickly bounce back. Wounds heal very fast. I’d be sore in the morning but in a few days it’d be okay.

Then I began to get increasingly worried.

My tongue was double its usual size and filled my mouth but trying to close my jaw I got a bit of a shock. When the molars to the right side of my mouth touched, the rest of my teeth didn’t touch at all and on feeling below my ears there were some worrying lumps. I must at least have dislocated my jaw, if not broken it.

Come six in the morning I crept gingerly down the stairs to the hotel lobby and there to my joy was a ministering angel in the svelte form of my old friend Le Phoque who’d clearly been up late that night. Roger looked aghast at this bloody apparition but swung into action and promptly called a taxi and bundled me inside. Within five minutes we were in the Emergency Room of the Bumrungrad, one of the world’s top private hospitals. (See www.bumrungrad.com).

People were rushing everywhere and they all seemed to be in a hurry to help me. I was laid on a bed and curtained off and an orderly injected a pain killer while a surgeon, no less, asked me what I’d been up to and cleaned the wounds on my chin. He told me I’d have to be admitted to the hospital if my little problem were to be fixed.

There then began a long perambulation to almost all departments of the hospital except gynecology and geriatrics, with Roger in attendance. I can’t remember what order it all took but I was soon admitted to a four bed ward and within a relatively short time had had an X-ray and CT scan of my head, a chest X-ray, an ECG and consultations with a cardiologist, with a dentist, with an ENT man who told me my eardrum was not perforated and just about every blood test possible. It was all very thorough, proving that the Bumrungrad is an impressive outfit indeed.

The next big event was meeting with the plastic surgeon. He sat me down at a computer screen where I confronted my own death’s head in ghoulish detail. The way the salami slices of the CT scan are made into a 3D image of the skull is quite remarkable but mine told a sorry story. Yes, the doctor told me, the jaw is badly broken, vertically down the front and at the back on both sides in the usual place where it hinges. The lines on the image were hard for me to interpret but smashed would seem a better term than fractured.

The best procedure in this case, he told me, was to do an arch bar intramedullary fixation which involves fitting a metal arch inside the mouth above and below the teeth and then binding these together with rubber ties threaded between each of the teeth. Done under general anesthetic the jaw is manipulated into place so that the lower jaw is biting correctly, the mouth is then sewn closed and the patient is told to put up and shut up and to come back in about a month’s time.

Cat had been told of the accident and dropping everything had got on the bus to Bangkok for the nine hour journey to be with me. It has never been so good to see her and she’s since been by my side feeding me, tolerating my less worthy moments and generally being a tower of strength.

The op was scheduled for 3.30pm on my third day in hospital but with only a few hours to go, it was postponed until 9.30pm because of pressure on the theatres. Hell’s bells, it’s the waiting that’s the worst but I just had to wait.

Then they came for me a little after eight and I was parked in the waiting area with a silly cap on my head contemplating my fate until well after ten. I’ve never had a general anesthetic before. It’s like a brush with death, to be so switched off, so vulnerable, while people you don’t know do unspeakable things to you. I tried not to think too much about it but it wasn’t easy.

The nurses were chatty and fun but with my hair net and a cartoon thick lip like Wallace and Grommit, I wasn’t at my best. One of them said I must be fit because my pulse rate and blood pressure were low, but then maybe that was why I’d crumpled up in the street.

Then at last they wheeled my tumbril into the theatre and bounced me bodily across onto the slab. There was more hanging around and then the anesthetist appeared. As she administered the potion, I felt an unpleasant hot sensation in my left arm and I slipped into nothingness.

The surgeon had a lot of sutures to do in my mouth, sewing my tongue back on and stuff and so the operation must have taken more than three hours. The next thing I knew was the Devil sticking needles into my tongue and I was back in the recovery room. I felt okay except that my body seemed agitated. I just couldn’t settle but kept squirming around. After two hours recovery I was wheeled up to the ward and back to bed for a few hours before the morning light came up.

So that’s my story and it explains why my tongue is now sealed tight in my mouth for a month, and why I can only eat and speak through my teeth. At least I’ve now escaped the hospital and for the next month I’ll just have to get through it and grit my teeth… all too literally.

I have to admit that I just detest hospitals. When they ask if there’s anything I’m allergic to the answer’s always ‘doctors’, and even though the nurses were all Miss Thailand International runners up, I hate being pestered to have my blood pressure taken every half hour while they ask me the same questions again and again.

“How much water you intake and how many times you pee pee/poo poo since mid-day please?”… and so it goes on.

I was also experiencing a terrible pain in my wallet, caused by the hospital’s request for a deposit toward payment of the bill. Their estimate was hugely overestimated and in true Thai style a ‘deposit’ meant pre-payment of the full amount, otherwise the operation would not go ahead. The only way for me to get hold of so much money was to get up from my bed, go to the bank and personally withdraw it.

Actually we took a taxi to the bank and the taxi driver was a wonderful old soul of eighty one. He talked non-stop about his back ache, forgot to put the meter on and when he said, “Mai pen rai, give me whatever you feel like” he earned himself a double fare. To deal with my aches and pains I was just about to spend several times more than he’d earn in a year.

So now I’m back at The Atlanta with Cat taking amoxicillin and trying to work out how not to die of starvation. For someone like me, being almost unable to talk is pretty serious, though at least it’s not life threatening. Cat’s been winning all the arguments by default but she’s also fantastic at finding liquid foods for me so I may not starve after all.

I’m taking a milk formula which claims to be a complete diet and otherwise it’s yoghurts and soups. Cat has been out and bought packets of a rice gruel called ‘joke’ and the hotel kitchen prepares this for me. So my breakfast’s a joke, lunch is a joke and so is dinner. Such is life!

We’ve tried ordering some of the soups in The Atlanta’s excellent restaurant but the smallest particles cause big, big problems. With my teeth sewn tight shut, all my nutrition has to come up a straw and be filtered through the gaps between my lower teeth. To finish a bowl of soup can take an hour if there are bits in it as the straw blocks and the solids block clog my teeth.

After a week, the external injuries on my chin are completely healed but the soft tissue injuries to my mouth are still very sore. All food has to be sucked in over my lower lip which is still twice its normal size and has precious little skin. Probing around with a tooth pick to clear my blocked teeth isn’t fun either. And the stitches on the side of my tongue are truly painful and any speech or movement is excruciating. The stitches themselves and the metal work in my mouth are like a mouthful of barbed wire which chafes the cheeks, so I’m a complete mess.

The rubber fixings are very tight and any movement or swallowing feels as if the teeth are being pulled out of their sockets and causes pain to the fractured hinges of the jaw. Some of the broken teeth are very sensitive and I’m terrified that during the next crucial month something will flare up… a severe tooth ache or an abcess or whatever. The dentist assured me that none of the damaged teeth had pulp exposed so I may be in luck, but it’ll be a big problem if this happens.

It’s torture really, especially when I look at what is one of the best menus in Bangkok and watch all around me in the restaurant tucking in. It’s quite scary that the food’s there in front of me but I can’t eat it.

Yes, it’s a gruel and unusual punishment!

At least when Tantalus couldn’t reach the water and grapes, he could open his mouth and grumble about it. For me, even hissing through my teeth is painful!

Cat and I managed to walk up the soi to Boots this morning where we met an English friend from The Atlanta who’s a dental hygienist and we carefully chose mouth washes, liquid vitamins and a stock of amoxycyllin to keep at home as a back up in case anything flares up.

So all in all, it hasn’t been fun, but given that I was alone when fell, I’ve met nothing but kindness from strangers and from the many friends around me… not to mention having a top hospital only a mile or two away. The Atlanta’s been a haven too. Even if I can’t actually talk to any of my friends, sitting by the pool has helped us take the strain and the hotel staff have been great.

It’ll be a difficult month though and while I still feel quite wobbly, when I’m stronger we’ll get the bus back to the village. The temperature in Isaan has fallen to 39 degrees which isn’t so hot and being home and cooking and sieving food in our own kitchen should be much easier than in a hotel room.

Which only leaves a few superficial musings about ‘life’.

I think I’ve done okay so far as this is only my second accident… one when I was aged six and now this one at sixty two. The first was when Nick Drake, my childhood friend fell heavily across my leg and fractured my tibia. I’ve told that story elsewhere in my tribute to Nick, now post-mortem a singer song writer, well known throughout the world. (See www.brytermusic.com Articles.) I guess I was the lucky one.

In this life I’ve not risk been risk averse though, climbing and sailing, driving across the Sahara and travelling to remote places, and I still belt my mountain bike through the rice fields much to Cat’s alarm. Yet the most horrific accident happens to me walking down an urban street!

Okay, the fainting fit could be a cause for worry but the quacks could find nothing of concern and just counseled caution. I shall certainly not stand up too quickly in future.

And thinking of risk, this was the moment I wished I’d had medical insurance. Over the last forty years, insurance companies have made massive profits from me and it would have been better never to have been insured. That’s been my recent attitude and for my uninsured years in Thailand I’m still ahead as the sum total of all the medical premiums I didn’t pay would have far exceeded my recent hospital bill.

Even so this has been a salutary warning and I think it’s time to think again. Trouble is, if I insure myself and Cat, we’ll be fine but then awful things can happen to other family members. I’m sure we can propitiate the spirits for less than the cost of medical insurance though!

So can anyone now advise me on medical insurance in Thailand? A healthy fool of sixty two who indulges in dangerous sports needs to find some reasonable cover.

I sail and cycle and very occasionally walk down Soi 4. And not so long ago I jumped out of an aeroplane high above Australia.

Oh, and I’m married to a Thai wife.

That too should surely be on the list of dangerous sports!


PS This was written a few days ago and we took the bus back to the village last night. It was a twelve hour overnight trip as the wretched bus chose this particular occasion when I was hardly back on my feet to have a hydraulic leak and we were hours late leaving. But it’s good being back home, I’m feeling considerably better and it’s much easier preparing food here than in the hotel.


Andrew Hicks The “Thai Girl” Blog March 2009

29 comments:

Darrell said...

I posted this a little early after your last post, so for the benefit of all here it is again (there is more to come):

OK Andrew . . I think you should just come clean and tell us what really happened . .

. . . you had a couple of whiskys and thought to yourself . . hey, I could just quietly slip up that tree and sneak a few ants eggs . . then everything . . . well you . . came tumbling down right . . .

Get well soon, and happy blending . . . from someone who knows . . but no rat or crow stroganoff for now i'm afraid!!!

(Banana chocolate milkshakes with ice cream were a favourite, often with an egg thrown in for extra nutrition, and many fruit smoothies with some yoghurt or ice cream. My Mom came over to Canada and cooked me some great soups that were nutritious and tasty, even through a straw . . . and some of them could be icy cold.)

Well . . plenty of time to write . . or edit . . lol.

Hang in there and see you soon, just stay out of the trees!! Whisky is OK though :-)

Darrell and Apple

glenmh said...

When I first started reading I thought that you had put a foot down one of the many holes in Bangkok pavements.... A blackout is a bit more serious!

Best wishes from Tokyo and get well soon!

Glen and Steph

Lloyd said...

Sorry to read about your latest adventure, all the best and get well soon!

I am not sure if you still own property in the UK but if you do and can make a claim to be living in both Thailand and the UK then there are far more options for high quality health insurance open to retirees and their families.

Mike said...

Andrew I started the post with a smile, regarding the signs (very colonial) and finished hoping that you are well soon and back to your fighting weight.

I to spurned the idea of medical insurance here, but I must admit it makes you think.

I was interested in Lloyds comment since he has his finger on the pulse regarding living here, unfortunately I don't have his mail.

I did investigate some premiums last year so I do know we over sixties might have trouble finding the right insurer at the right price.

Malcolm and CieJay Burgess said...

Andrew, get well soon ole boy slow down some and take care , glad you have My Thai Girl there to take care of you or as they say you would be "Up S--t Creek Without A Paddle".without her. keep us informed of your recovery and how tyou are progressing, after your tongue heals I hope your taste buds are in tack. Malcolm

The Thamuang Farang. said...

Get well soon! Accidents happen and they make you think. Keep up the posts as you recover. Good job you have Cat to help. Best wishes from Thamuang and Hong Kong.

Ian said...

Hi Andrew, I've been following along on your blog for some time and really enjoy your writing. Really sorry to read to read of your unfortunate accident but it does sound like you're through the worst of it now.

It was heartening to read about your positive experiences with the locals in Bangkok. I wonder if one would have been treated so well in other capital cities around the world. I suspect not.

Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

Cheers,

Ian

Brunty said...

Andrew, I read and laughed at times (sorry) as you are such a great writer and and story teller and make something so serious also humorous at times.

I do hope that your recovery is quick and that all mends well and like new.

I have to say that the people around you were fantastic and you were crazy heading back to your hotel in that condition.

The human body is an amazing thing in how it deals with a crisis. The brain is something to marvel at how it can shut things down to protect the body, for some time.

I have seen some wounds on people where they should have been in so much pain but when assessing them and asking if they can feel pain, when you are assessing around a wound where they should be screaming blue murder.

I have marveled at how the body does this. You should have been in terrible pain but it sounds like this didn't happen until a little later, is this so?

For example.
A guy had been in a terrible motorbike accident. He he had snapped his leg, a nasty compound fracture of the tibia and fibula, bones were protruding through the skin. He couldn’t see how bad his leg actually was which was good. He had been there for about 7 minutes before we arrived.

The initial assessment on his neck and back were fine and asked what pain range he was in with 10 being the worst, he said a 2. I had to check to see there was a pulse getting to his lower leg and it wasn’t easy, luckily he wasn’t losing a lot of blood.

We had to wait for fire and rescue to arrive as we needed the car lifted off his leg, this took time and as the time wore on his pain got worse and worse. We initiated a drip and administered pain killers but we had to also be aware that he was going to be assessed at the hospital by doctors and you have to try and transport patients there in an aware state so they can respond to the doctor’s questions.

Anyway the story could go on and on. But for the initial 20 minutes this guy was just oblivious to how bad his leg was as the brain was doing its amazing thing, protecting the body.

Of course this cannot always be the case, I remember treating a young teenager stung by a blue bottle jellyfish, they can be serious and do cause a bit of pain and some people worse than others. This boy was hysterical and he screamed and screamed, was incoherent at times; we had to sedate him before transporting him to hospital.

This has always mystified me, a cut finger hurts like crazy, a person with a major head trauma, and you can see their brain through the wound. They sit there without any pain registering at all.

Sorry, I got carried away.

Get well Andrew and good to see you have such a wonderful lady looking after you. I am sure Cat must be enjoying winning all the arguments.

Brunty.

Martyn said...

They say fast food such as pizza is no good for you and boy that Beer Archar must be strong, think I'll continue with the Chang. Only joking Andrew and I wish you a very speedy recovery. Perhaps it's that time of life when it may be best to take a couple of gears off the bike. Best wishes and enjoy your soup.

Will said...

Andrew,

Glad you have made it back home ok. The more I read about your injuries the worse they sound.

A lot of thanks must go to Roger, Cat and those around you when it happened for their support in your moment of need. It is good that you had such hospital facilities close by - don't try this again at home!

Keep recovering,

Will

Marc said...

Sounds like a damnably bad reward for your virtuous living Andrew. Keep sucking the occasional beer up that straw and I'll chuff down the odd pizza on your behalf here in Italy, until the jawbone is back to form.

Best wishes to you and to Caring Cat, from Marc and Karen in Umbria.

MJ Klein said...

Andrew, i began reading this article with a smile on my face, which quickly disappeared. this one scared the crap out of me. the almost detached way in which you presented the story made it seem that the outcome was going to be ok, but in the meantime, reading to the end was a harrowing experience. i hope you fully recover as quickly as possible. i am also grateful that you got to experience the kind side of the gentle Thai people who assisted you on the street.

Jon said...

This was definitely a post of two halves, did not see your injury coming with the intro.

I wish you a speedy and healthy recovery.

Camille Lemmens said...

Hi Andrew,

Good luck with your health improvement! It seems that you were lucky and the right people were there at site and afterwards to help you out.

For insurance, I covered my whole family through a BKK broker and am very happy with her services, she came up with various packages and I coose the one that suited me best within my budget. Very accomodating and helpful;

Khun Chaiyada Thurdthai
Infinity Insurance Broker (Thailand) Co., Ltd.
Tel. (66) 2261-1571
c.thurdthai@infinbroker.com

Maybe the advice given eralier is good as well and it's worthwhile looking into that option as well.

Jen said...

Oh my ...goodness gracious. What a story and unfortunately like most of your stories it is true!Andrew, know I am thinking of you and this unimaginable consequence of "minding your own business". One just never knows what is around the next corner.
Jen xxx

Thai Girl said...

Thanks for all your kind thoughts. I appreciate it more than I can say.

Also for the advice on mediacal insurance which I'll be following up.

Back in the vilage, I'm making progress. Last night, thanks to the new blender, I had rice with prawns and home grown long beans. And for lunch, rice with chickem liver and banana. And Cat's determined to get back the kilo or two that'd I'd lost in hospital.

I'd try liquidizing pizza but there isn't any round here.

My mouth is still very uncomfortable and it feels like I've grown fur on my tongue and the stitches on the sde of the tongue haven't dissolved yet and are like barbed wire. It's so frustrating that I can't look to see.

I can't cough or sneeze or yawn and if I vomit I drown. Nor can I damnpen my finger to turn the page.

Oh well, back to Bangkok in two weeks to take the metalwork out of my mouth.

Keep eating pizza for me!

Andrew

Catherine said...

Andrew,

I was so very sorry to read your post today!

I never thought I'd say that...

I do have a suggestionf for you but not on insurance. It'll help Cat too as this recipe is easy to put together, making your after care a breeze.

Green smoothies (google).

The problem with a limited diet is the lack of fresh green veg. Without green veg, you don't heal as quickly.

I either read that somewhere, or I'm making it up but no matter, it's sound.

Anyway, take a big handful of Thai spinach and the water of a young Thai coconut, add the meat from the coconut too. Blend the concoction until the pieces are tiny.

Then add your favourite fruits until the blender can't take anymore: mango, bananas, papaya, etc.

Perhaps avoid pineapple and limes for now?

Green smoothies are perfect for children who won't eat their greens as it tastes like fruit and NOT like spinach at all.

One more thing... for the little ones, I add the dark winter fruits so it goes purple, s if you are not into green either...

Anyway, good luck and I hope you heal quickly.

(And good luck to Cat too, especially if you are like me and don't do sick well!)

Darrell said...

Well, I know what you're going through. I have so much titanium . . screws, brackets, plates . . . around my jaws that my x-rays would make you think that I am the six million dollar man!!!

I had photographic images made of the xray, and as I was a corporate consultant, I would send it to the CEO of a prospective new client. On the outside of the bright yellow envelope was written in red . . "Anyone that wants to work for you or your company needs his head examined!!" . . . And inside attached to the photo were the words . . "And I'm your man" . . . I got so much work from that!!

I had a full repositioning of both my lower and upper jaws in Canada in 1997. The lower jaw was cut in 4 places and the top jaw was cut from my skull and mover forward 1cm and filled with bone that was taken from my hip (which was the most painful part.)

Amazingly it was all done from inside the mouth and was very successful. My family saw me wheeled past them after I came out of recovery, but had no idea it was me. My mother commented to someone else that that poor sole must have been in a bad accident!!! She soon knew who it was.

The great challenge was afterwards of course. I did not want to eat anything for 2 weeks. However, there came a time and I was just happy to have milkshakes and smoothies with everything that was bad for me normally . . but was largely good for me then. The blender was essential, but to me so was the electric juicer, as I juice almost every day. Carrot juice has always been my absolute favourite and still is.I love making combinations that usually involve beetroot and a very little bit of apple as the apple has a large effect for your health when combined with other vegetables. I believe a good juicer should be a part of any well equiped Thai Krua!

Andrew, when on such a diet, you need to be aware of acidity in things that maybe don't seem too acidic, as this can have a detrimental effect on the stomach. I always had my juices earlier in the day.

If your life was an around the world yachting trip, this episode is merely a short, but terrifying, storm which will not have as a major or detrimental effect as you look back on life. I remember as I lay in hospital for months with a broken neck in 1988 (snow skiing) and thinking . . hey this is fine . . in the big picture this is just a glitch.

And I was right.

And as I prepare for my 37th general anaesthetic, I am particularly grateful as I look around me in Cambodia, Laos, Burma and Thailand and . . . . well actually that is a whole new post, which is my most passionate cause . . so more later!! :-)

On Insurance . . .

In Australia, you can get "travel insurance" under a 12 month policy. It is designed for business people and it has extraordinary cover for about US$900 per year. The prime condition is that holidays are restricted to 6 weeks at a time and I think for a maximum holiday total of 3 months or something like that.

I have had it before, and it has much better cover than anything you can get here.

The interesting thing is that it is available through Flight Centre, and they have outlets in the UK and Bangkok. They could perhaps advise you on insurance of some type. They are always good with insurance I find. I'll fill you in on more if I can when I see you.

Do some Googling on recipes, and I am pleased you finally got the book . . . . maybe the meat up the tree was unnecessary . . . any eggs in that there package????

Enjoy the music!!

Hang in there . .

Darrell

Jen said...

That food you describe, Andrew sounds like what they do for some at the elderly home where my daughter works! Only much better ingredients in yours I am sure.
Maybe you could ingest something for that furry tongue??
Do you have a small wet sponge on hand for dampening your page turning finger?
Darrell are your from Australia also? Do you have a blog?
The world is full of advise, support and love. Lap it up.
Jen

roger said...

Andrew, permit me to add my own good wishes for a speedy recovery to the chorus of blogged messages that you have received. Here at The Atlanta we are used to dealing with the odd scrape or three, but your busted jaw was a first! Quite clearly this trauma injury has affected your eye-sight as there is no-way that anyone with 20/20 vision could describe me as "svelte". You certainly have a way with words, my dear fellow, but I think "portly" would be nearer the mark, don't you? (As it happens, my own doctor at the Bum-run-graduate Hospital has marked me down as "morbidly obese". How quaint!). I am pleased to learn that you are recovering in Hickster's Towers up-country and that the good lady Cat is ministering to your needs. Just one last thing: a "boutique hotel" [sic] are we? In any event, I have no doubt that you will, being the true-Brit that you are, keep an enforced, for the time being, stiff upper and lower lip! Get well soon and keep us posted on your condition. My best wishes to the splendid Cat! Roger Le Phoque here at The Atlanta in Bangkok

Muz said...

How awful. I could barely believe what I was reading. Wishing you a speedy recovery.

Noon said...

Don't know what to say really but felt that I had to anyways. You are lucky to have good friends like Roger and a good wife to care for you. Not to mention the people who helped you at the scene.

Sometimes the Thais don't rely know what they are doing but I love that they are nevertheless eager to help in any way they can and know how. Can't say I think you would have received the same attention if this had happened in Europe or the US where most people have at least fundamental knowledge of first aid and CPR but on the other hand can't be bothered. I'd say Thailand wins in this regard.

Most of my friends here in Thailand have insurance through BUPA Blue Cross. I don't know much about it but you might want to check it out.

Good luck with the recovery!

/ Robert

Smorg said...

O man! We've all gotta appreciate good health when nothing is hurting indeed. Having the mouth sewn shut like that sounds terrible...

And I'm appreciating just how sick the Greeks were in thinking up punishments of the sort that Tantalus and Sisyphus and Prometheus have to go through. So there's an up side... Yours won't be for an eternity! ;o)

Get well soon!

Talen said...

Wow! Hope everything works out well and you're better soon. These are the kinds of adventures that you could do without.

Yohan said...

I hope for your quick recovery.

I am astonished to read, that you do not have any health/accident insurance while living as a foreigner in Thailand.

You should sign up for insurance cover. You never know - medical fees might ruin you financially.

To suffer because of an accident is bad enough, but to consider in such a situation, if you can afford medical treatment or not is an unnecessary risk.

Better to pay a certain amount each year than to face suddenly, totally unexpected, very high invoices because of an accident or illness.

House of Commons' said...

I look forward to meeting you at the book club in Bangkok next Wednesday. Hope you feel better by then and that your journey to the big smoke is less 'eventful' than your last journey out of it :)

Time Traveller said...

Yeah Archar beer will do that to you every time!
But seriously why is a lawyer sitting in the gutter drinking a can of the cheapest most nastiest beer that's sold in a can? Never a good look!

Darwin said...

Andrew,
My curiosity was piqued by your comments on my blog so, the adventurer I am I had to investigate.

I feel your pain man. That's one of those memories you would sooner forget. Hope it heals quickly and well.

Speaking of memories. In 1994, I made my premier trip to Thailand as a soldier to participate in Cobra Gold. I arrived at Don Muang near midnight and we were bused to Lop Buri.
I was advance party and we were setting things up for the main body so things were informal. We busted butt and finished by Friday morning.
One of the Thailand veterans was foaming at the mouth to take all us Thai cherries to Bangkok and show us the ropes.
The hotel he took us to was none other than your Atlanta on Sukhumvit Soi 2. I still remember it.
After a night of being introduced to Soi Cowbow, Patpong and finally Nana Plaza I ended up back in the hotel. I remember that the shower was big but the drain didn't work so I formed a pool while showering. The aircon also only have worked so I slept fitfully feeling I was in a sauna.
The next morning downstairs I do recall the lobby was different than most modern hotels.
I also discovered my mates had deserted me early that morning and moved to Nana Hotel.
I didn't mind the accommodations so much. I was still in shock from the Bangkok nightlife experience. Plus I knew in a few days I would be sleeping in a cot, covered by a mosquito net, in a Royal Thai Army barracks.
A couple of years later I went looking for The Atlanta but couldn't locate it. I thought maybe it was torn down for the tollway or something to do with the new hotels that had been built.

Now I will have to go look again next time I am in Bangkok. But for sure I will be on the lookout for kamikaze buses.

Get well soon.

Darwin

Anonymous said...

You commit an error. I can prove it.