Mai’s Side of the Hospital Saga

FYI: This is a long post — may break it into 2 or 3 posts tomorrow.  Too tired tonight.

These are Mai’s emails which she sent to various friends during our hospital ordeal.

Nov 6th:
Chris got rid of constipation a few days ago. The pharmacist gave him two doses, but the morning it supposed to work I was in town to get some things done, I stopped at the pharmacy again to get him another dose because to me it didn’t seem working. When I got home I heard Megan said dad had a surprise for you, it turned out that he got over with constipation. What’s a relief.

I’m up almost all night last night, now I am exhausted. I told Chris I let Megan taking care of him today. I need to rest. If I’m sick who would take care both of us.

When an adult is sick they are as fussy as a sick child. I almost ran out of patience last night. He is sleeping right now. Hope he feels better

Nov 10th:
We are already in contact with our long-term US friend here. The director of the Medical University Hospital children are going to the International School which was founded by our American friend. He said he will call the director and ask for the best doctor at the hospital to do the operation. Haven’t heard from him yet. In the meantime it’s raining so hard that it makes me more worried– what happens if there is a flood and we have to go to the hospital again during this time. Try to be calm but when I heard the intense rain pouring on the roof it makes my heart ache. I hope we will pull through this somehow.

Heavy rain due to a tropical depression. Most parts of central of Vietnam are flooded.  My mom’s house is right in front of the Perfume River. The forecast said that heavy rain will continue until tomorrow.

Nov 21st:
Sorry for not updating you all since last Saturday. There was a flood so they cut off the electricity one day and the Internet we were using coming from a foreign couple from France and Germany wasn’t working because they are out of the country. Chris and I were in and out of the hospital and without Internet Megan can’t inform you how we were doing. Chris was released from hospital yesterday and with the help of my friend from Post Office we got Internet connection today.

On Friday night it rained so hard which made me really worried. I tried to stay calm and talked to my sister what if there is a flood, she told me not to worry too much she will call her friend and find out where we can get help if things went wrong. We stayed at home that Friday night. On Saturday morning it continued to rain, the street flooded and the catheter clogged up again (I was wrong). I was panicked and ran to nearby house with the nurse who works at the hospital but she wouldn’t help because she didn’t want to invoked with Foreigner in such condition. I ran home and decided to call taxi and took Chris to the University Hospital. I thought I rather be safe than sorry. Chris was admitted to the hospital. They said that he had to stay at the hospital 5 days in order for them to find out more information and see which way they can fix the problem. It was a nightmare! Chris couldn’t sleep at the hospital because the hard bed without mattress and crowded with patients. The next day we talked to the doctor and they let him go home at night and come back to the hospital the next morning. We’d been doing that for 4 days and yesterday they let him go home. The worst part is over, the most difficult thing yet to come.

The doctor told us that now his body is in shock, they combine between taking medication and every 2 days we have to go back to the hospital to take the catheter out and let him stay at the hospital the whole day see if he can urinate. If he can’t they have to put another one in. The treatment will take a year or more, and the pills will work in about six months. The doctor didn’t advice him to have an operation. He didn’t say clearly but I think they don’t want to do an operation for him because he is a foreigner (I wouldn’t want him to have one here either). He said the solution now is that taking the medication and when he is ready to leave Vietnam they will give another kind of medication which prevent him from getting infected and get treatment in U.S.  Chris also has a lot of pain on his feet and arms. Didn’t know what causes the problem. He has to take pain pill before he goes to bed.

Chris planned to come here so that he can bicycle and lose some weight. Sure he did without bicycling. I told him he found the hard way to lose weight.

Chris was thinking about going to Thailand and has the operation in Thailand but I don’t feel comfortable. To me the best solution is that get a direct fly out of Vietnam and get treatment in U.S.

He slowly regain his strength, he can walk around the house, sit up and feed himself now. I think as soon as he can get on his feet I want to go back to U.S.

Thanks you all for supporting me.

Nov 24th:
We just got the Internet connection but it didn’t work. It ‘s the weekend so nobody come here to get it fix. Luckily we got the free WiFi from the foreigner cross the street.

On Friday they took the catheter out and sent him back home and told me to keep an eye on him. Later in evening we thought the worst was over and I went to town to get him some Ice-cream to celebrate but when I got back I heard him screaming.His face all white with sweat all over. I never seen him in so much pain before. I called the doctor and he said that give Chris some pain relief. After an hour he still suffer from the pain each time he tried to urinate. I called the doctor again he said wait for a little while. I did but finally when I saw Chris suffer so much I took him back to the hospital. I called the doctor again, the doctor sent his assistant who was off duty that night came to the hospital, give him a pain relief shot and put another catheter in and sent him home. The next morning we went back to the hospital and they took the catheter out again. I told the doctor I checked his urine and looked like there is a lot of puss in the urine. He said that Chris got infected and needed antibiotic.

We spent the night at my sister service room at the same hospital ( she had an operation on Wednesday). Chris wanted to go home but my sisters and I convinced him to stay overnight at the hospital make sure everything OK. If we went home things went wrong we had to rush back to the hospital. Last night we stayed up almost all night. Every 15-20 minutes Chris had to go to the bathroom. He can urinate with a small amount last night.The stream was small and short.

Today he is doing much better. I think the worst is over but I still concern He might get bladder infection again. My thinking is that as soon as he get back on his feet I want to go back to U.S. Things are more complicated here if we don’t act quickly. From what I understand it is not a big operation. No other option than go back to U.S.  Chris was concerned about getting back to VA system. He already moved his file to Albuquerque he has to call VA to transfer all his paper work back to Portland and he has to wait to have the operation. I told him they can’t refuse him when in such emergency case.

Have to go back to the hospital to get the antibiotic shots again tomorrow.

Nov 29th:
Chris had the catheter out on Monday. He can urinate now with small stream. He had to go to the bathroom many times a day. He has to wear diapers now because he still can’t control when to urinate. During the day it wasn’t the problem but at night when he is sleeping he just didn’t know. He is out of the hospital now.

Last week when we still had to go back and forth to the hospital, my sister had an operation and then my mom had to go to emergency because of her ulcer.  I was overwhelmed with all things happening in my family. After almost a month taking care of Chris at the hospital and all the things happening with my mom and my sister, I became hysterical. I called my brother who works about 15km away from town and told him that our mom was in the emergency and only one with her was my brother-in-law. I cried uncontrollably while I was talking to him. He had to quit the meeting and go to the hospital to take care of my mom. My mom is doing better now. I feel really tired now. I have to be strong to support everybody. It is very tiring.

We store our trailer in Oregon City at our friend’s house. We will let him know and he sure would help us. Chris is doing a lot better now but I want to get back to U.S as soon as we could because the longer we stay more likely the infection will happen again. I don’t really want to go through all the problems we went through. Chris now has hard time to sleep at night because arthritis. he wants to get out of Hue. It rains a lot here and the humidity is very high.

Thanks for all your concern.

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