Day 43: Results? (Saturday 10 December)


What on earth was I thinking? *slapping myself on the wrist* When I was told yesterday that I’d get my results this morning, I should’ve moderated receipt of this information with the fact that any reference to time is calculated in Chinese time (it’s sort of like Island time or Broome time but is nowhere near as relaxing or balmy).

I arrived at the hospital on time at 10am and was still waiting at 1030am for someone to come and do my blood test. In that respect, this place can be a lot like Perth hospitals… To be fair though, the nurses are generally very prompt and efficient so I guess that was just a cheap shot.

The nurses finally showed up but they were definitely not interested in using my PICC line to take blood. They faffed around a bit and pretended to try and take blood from the line but came up with some incomprehensible excuses about why it was too hard so they really just wanted to stick a needle in my hand. I didn’t have the energy to argue so a jab in the hand it was to be. To the nurse’s credit, she got the vein first time with minimal pain. The needle appeared to come from a sterile packet too…

Yesterday the interpreter said that the doctor would discuss my PET scan results with me today at 10am. This morning she said that it might be around 11am. At 11am I was told the doctor would be in a meeting and couldn’t see me until later on, but in any event, he wanted to do more comparison studies before he presented the report to me so he would see me on Monday.

I tend to prefer the direction approach (have you picked up on that)? The Chinese do not. I know this is a fact, but it doesn’t make it any easier. I feel like I’m being at least misled, if not lied to. But I’m supposed to let that go in favour of accepting and understanding other people’s customs and cultures. There’s one catch to this – I’m paying. A lot. What about my culture and custom?

I was clearly exasperated and explained to the interpreter that even if the doctor couldn’t give me the full set of results I would still like to see him and get any preliminary results that he could offer based on his cursory perusal of the images. After that request just after 11am I never saw anyone but non-English speaking nurses for the rest of the day. I was definitely put in the ‘too hard’ basket that day.

I wonder what the Mandarin translation is for “Not happy, Jan?”