China’s Changing Healthcare (Warning: Graphic Images)

Four years ago I got a root canal . . . kind of.  Did you know that your tooth can have more than one canal and consequently more than one root and consequently still hurt like a booger even after a root canal?  Long story short my $36 root canal consisted of yanking a raw nerve from my mouth hole with zero effective novocaine and then strategically placing a filling on top of two other raw nerves in the same tooth.  For four years, I haven’t eaten on the right side of my mouth, nor have I been in the same room as a dentist without curling into a fetal position.  Until now.

So what did my new Chinese dentist have to say about the other Chinese dentist when she saw the x-ray of my botched, four year old dental work?  “It was not done well.”

This Christmas Eve my wife sliced her hand on an open can of mushrooms (I know, gross right?).  In medical terms it was flat out nasty.  We made a quick trip to the ER so the doctor could, in the stitching process, put a needle through her tendon and cinch up a previously undisturbed nerve with zero effective anesthetic.  We wouldn’t know this, however, until a second surgeon would reopen the wound, release the nerve and tendon and sew together another nerve that had been 80% severed by the mushroom can lid in a state of the art, absolutely cutting edge (no pun intended) surgery.  Before that all she knew was it hurt . . . like a booger.

So what did the second Chinese surgeon have to say about the first Chinese surgeon when she saw the stitches?  “Oh my God!” (Her words, not mine).

BEFORE:  LaWanda’s hand following the first set of stitches
that also pulled a nerve and tendon together.  6 stitches
“cha bu duo” (give or take).
AFTER:  Following sugery.  20 some stitches.

Health care, like everything, is changing rapidly in China.  The empty half of the glass hurts (very much like a booger).  It is overcrowded, substandard hospitals with less than hygienic surroundings, oversized smoking areas and potentially under-qualified medical staff, often driven by saving face instead of patient care.  However, I think it is safe to say that ten years ago we would have been hard pressed to find a doctor or a dentist to fix our earlier mishaps and we have ten good (or at least non-eventful) medical stories for every one horror story.  So keep it up China.  You’re moving in the right direction in more ways than one.

Anyone else got an interesting, international medical story?   

4 Comments

  1. Jerry, thanks for commenting on my blog. I don’t think I’ve had a commenter from China before. I hope to hear from you again, and I hope God is blessing you in your life and work.

    Reply
  2. Feels really bad to look at the first picture.

    Last summer I went to Chinese hospital because I got a second scale skin burn from hot water. I spent 10 days in the hospital and would have a lot to say about that experience (wrote the whole story in my blog), but to say it short: because of the wrong treatment my recovery was much longer that it should have been. After 10 days in the Chinese hospital I went to a western clinic and finally got the right medicine and instructions.

    Never going to a Chinese hospital again.

    Reply
  3. Matt – I have really enjoyed your blog. Refreshing perspective. Hope to catch up with you more.

    Reply
  4. Sara – Wow! 10 days? I checked out your blog. Interesting stuff. Love getting different perspectives on life in China.

    Reply

Go ahead and comment. You know you want to.

DON'T MISS ANYTHING

 

Sign up here to get an email when new posts come out on The Culture Blend.  No spam and I promise not to share your address with bad guys.

Success! Check your email to prove that you are not a robot (unless you are a robot) and you're all set.

%d bloggers like this: