Unexpected Health Crisis In Thailand

health scare in Thailand
I had an experience in April, but it’s a completely different subject that I haven’t heard a lot about, yet it’s an important one, I feel.
Please bear with me.
A lot of people, including me, think something like this will never happen to them, and when it does, you have no idea what to do, just like me.
I hope we can all learn from this, and that it might even help someone out in a similar situation.

Painful Urination in Bangkok

About three to five days after I landed in Bangkok, I was at my condo on Soi 2 Sukhumvit.
I noticed it started to hurt when I urinated.
At first, I thought it was just a urinary tract infection.
Over the next few days, it got worse, and it felt really bad, like I was urinating red hot blunt rusty razor blades.
I’ve never felt that amount of pain and never fitted that amount of swear words into such a short amount of time, I mean, everyone, including the c-word.

A Visit to the Pharmacy on Sukhumvit

I went to the pharmacy on Soi 4 and asked for some medication.
The pharmacist asked if I had done any bedroom fun unprotected since I arrived.
I always use protection, if you know what I mean.
He gave me some medication and suggested I go to the hospital.
He wrote down Bumrungrad.
I said I will go if it gets worse.
Side note: I also seem to be urinating more times than usual.
I took the medication as prescribed, and it only got worse; more pain, and my urine had red and black spots in it.

Google Searches and Hospital Trips

After two days, I ended up Googling hospitals near me, as I had thrown out the paper that the pharmacy had written the name of the hospital on.
I was in so much pain; it hurt when I peed, and it was even hurting when I walked.
The closest hospital to me was Bumrungrad International Hospital.
I was in so much pain.
My hotel had an entrance on Soi 4, so one of the amazing staff at the condo helped me walk out of Soi 4 and get a taxi to Bumrungrad Hospital.
I hopped into the taxi.
I said meter, he said 200 baht.
I was in too much pain to argue, so I agreed.

Diagnosis and Treatment Plan

I got to the hospital, I hobbled to the main reception area of Bumrungrad and was told what building, what floor to go to.
I got to where I was supposed to go, the staff took my details and asked me to sit.
I waited about three to five minutes, then I got called to see the doctor.
I explained to the doctor that it really hurt to urinate and I have never felt so much pain in my life.
The doctor said he needed a urine sample.
I was scared myself at the thought of having to pee, as it hurt like 20 out of 10.
I went to the toilet, took a deep breath, and started to urinate with tears running down my face due to the pain.
I was screaming every swear word in the English language at the top of my lungs.
I heard two nurses shout out to me, “Are you okay, sir? Do you need any help?”
I said, “No, thank you. I’m so sorry for my swearing. I’m in so much pain.
They said, “It’s okay, sir. If there’s anything, you can just ask us.
I finished the sample and gave it to reception.
I was asked to sit down and wait.

MRI Procedure – Navigating Through Discomfort

After about 20 minutes, I saw the doctor. He said, “You have a lot of blood in your urine. I was hoping to find an infection in your urine. You need an MRI, which we can do now. I will also give you some medication to ease the pain.
He also said, “One of the pills will help the pain but turn your urine fluorescent orange.
He said the result for the MRI won’t be ready until tomorrow, so we organize the appointment for the next day.
The doctor prescribed some medication and said, “This one will turn your urine bright orange, but it will take the pain away.
He also prescribed me some antibiotics.

Cultural Attire and Medical Procedures

A nurse took me to where I was to go for the MRI.
I had to wait until another nurse came to help me.
The nurse came and took me to a change room to change into some special clothes.
I changed, but as they were traditional Thai-style clothing, I had no idea how to fasten them, so the nurse did it for me.
After I changed, I was taken to a hallway with seats.
I was getting so cold due to the air conditioning.
I told a passing nurse I was so cold, “Is there somewhere else to sit?
She took me into what I think was a doctor’s office.
Either way, I was warm again.
I think I waited for about 15 to 20 minutes. Then the lady that was doing the MRI walked in and said hello and told me what was going to happen.
She explained that she will put a needle in my arm. This needle was big.
She said it has to be this big so we can inject you with a solution that will make you feel hot, but it’s picked up on the MRI.

The Shocking Cost of Medical Care

I went into the MRI room; they injected me with the solution.
I felt warm, and they did the MRI.
After the MRI, I had to pee again.
A nurse took me to the change room, and it had a toilet.
I peed again, tears running down my face.
I finished peeing, got changed back into my normal clothes, and went to where all the nurses were.
I said, “I’m so sorry; it really hurts when I pee.
After this, I then got taken to where you have to pay.
What a shock, 37,000 Thai baht. Wow, so much, but I had to pay.
I was thinking no problem; my travel insurance will reimburse me.
I paid, got my medications, I caught a taxi back to my condo.
This time he put the meter on only 80 baht to my condo.
I gave him a hundred baht.

Managing Pain and Insurance in Bangkok

Back in my condo, I called my travel insurance and said, “I’m in Bangkok, and we’ll run out of phone credit.
They called me back and said, “Okay, we’ll email you the forms and what we need.
I said, “Okay, thanks.
I then took my medication and lay on the bed with a pillow between my knees, as this was relatively pain-free as I could get.
I was still in a lot of pain.
As I was watching Netflix, I was also drinking as little water as possible, all the while hoping that I didn’t have to pee again.

Inflammation in Bangkok

The next day, I went back to the hospital for the results of the MRI.
When I saw the doctor, he said, “I was hoping for a tract infection, but your bladder is inflamed for some reason.
I want to put a camera up your gentleman’s part.” I said, “I would have to talk to my insurance company first.
I will get back to you in two to five days.” I got back to my condo, emailed my insurance company of the update, and waited for a response.
I then spent the next two days just in my condo, taking my medication and lying on the bed, hoping not having to pee.

Health Challenges During Songkran Festival

After about three days of taking my medicine and resting, I was back to normal.
People have no idea how good it is to pee with no pain; it felt amazing, so good, not fearing going to the toilet.
I then received an email from my insurance company telling me what information I needed from the hospital.
I thought it can wait until tomorrow or the day after, as today is the last day of Songkran.

Communication Challenges

A day or two later, my insurance called asking for certain details of me, which I gave them.
A few days later, I got information from the hospital.
I then forgot to email them onto my travel insurance company, as I was having too much fun in Koh Samui.
I was thinking I could sort it out when I get back to Australia.

Travel Insurance and Medical Emergencies Abroad

I guess what I’m saying is if you have to claim travel insurance, do it as soon as possible if you don’t feel like it or if you are like me, get a family member to help you back home who the insurance company can contact.
Would I do things differently if a similar situation happened? Yes, I would.
I would do my insurance as quickly as possible.
I would also stay in better contact with the hospital insurance company.
I would also get a family member to help and ask them if it’s okay if the insurance company and Hospital email the information to them as well as me just in case I miss anything.
I would also advise not to undergo any surgery or procedure unless it is absolutely necessary without your travel insurance approval because if they don’t approve it, you’ll be the one paying for it.

A Tale of Healing and the Perils of Medical Speculation

Just to wrap up, I never did go back to have the camera put on my gentleman’s part, and I have had no more problems urinating.
Looking back, maybe it was water getting inside from the bum gun they have next to the toilet, or it was just bad luck, who knows? I hope this has been helpful.
I know none of us want to get sick and go to the hospital when we’re on holiday in a different country, but it does sometimes happen.
What a horrible thought having a camera stuck up there.


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