Stories from China: The medical clinic.

During my first year in China I was relatively lucky and only visited the school medical clinic twice (although I did break 2 toes and just not visit). So far this year however I’ve been here less than a month and already had to take a trip.

Now my visits to the doctors might seem like a bizarre topic for a blog post, but honestly the medical advice I’ve been given by the staff of the clinic is hilarious and I just had to share it with everyone.

The first trip – stomach ache

The first trip to the clinic wasn’t that dramatic or funny so I’ll summarise. I had stomach ache for a while and went to get in checked out in case it was something sinister.After being told that I wasn’t wearing enough clothes or drinking enough hot water, I get given a standard exam but obviously  all the questions had to be asked through Sarah translating which I think she found much more embarrassing than I did! I ended up leaving with some antibiotics, some mysterious pills in a brown envelope and no clue of what they thought was wrong with me. It did however, only cost me 60p.

The second trip – knee injury.

The second trip was more frustrating, and really shows the difference between Western and Chinese medicine. I slipped in the bathroom and cracked my knee quite badly. Realising that I needed help since I was meant to teach that afternoon and couldn’t stand up without being in tears I message Sarah and we head off to the clinic, me limping the entire way. Once we’re there the clinic person literally laughs at me and says that because I’m not bleeding, I’m not in pain and don’t need help….

Sarah did her best to get the woman to help me, saying to me that she’d asked for things such as acupuncture but the woman just refused and handed me a bottle of spray to make my knee cold. As I left in tears, Sarah assured me that I didn’t have to teach in the afternoon and sent me on my way. Unfortunately I live up 2 flights of stairs and after hopping up a couple and almost screaming, the Chinese woman who lives with us, Ayi, came to my aid and practically carried me to my bed and gestured that I was not to move. So although the clinic was rubbish, I felt looked after anyway.

The third trip – eye stye.

The latest trip took place a couple of hours ago. After having an itchy eye in class yesterday, I went home and realised I was getting a stye. I’ve never had one before and yesterday was a long day (6 classes over 11 hours) and was just exhausted and in pain so asked Sarah to take me to the clinic this morning. Naturally this morning I wake up and my eye is better – not fully better but not as bad. I still wanted to get it checked out in case the pollution sprung up and made it worse.

Heading into the clinic Sarah warns me that they probably won’t do anything, but once we get in there the woman immediately takes to looking at my eye and pulling the skin around it, after asking a few questions she pulls out some drops and a cream and tells Sarah to tell me when to use it. Both the cream and the drops together were 25p – I heard Sarah questioning this multiple times and when she told me the prince she said she didn’t know why it was so cheap! Whatever the reason I wasn’t complaining, I paid the money and left after the clinic woman cheerily waved me away after warning me that the reason my eye had a stye was because I’d not drunk enough water and I’d eaten too much spicy food…

Yes you read that right, apparently I’d eaten too much spicy food! I’m not sure I’ve ever eaten enough spicy food in my life! Either way hopefully my eye will be back to normal soon and I’ll be sure to drink more water!!