Incredibly painful. It started on Sunday 27th when I accidentally spilled a bowl of hot water to my skin. I ran to the shower, opened the door of my room and started shouting in all the three languages I know. Three or four paramedics came but none of them wanted to come inside take a look. Why? Because I was naked. My classmate had to grab one of them by the arm and pull him inside.
Then I found out there wasn’t any medicine in the ambulance. At this point I was screaming and crying as never before. So my classmate had to go to the convenience store to buy seven large bottles of cold water. The paramedics didn’t seem to like that my classmates were pouring the water over me all the way to the hospital. Sure in this scale of burns there’s a risk of hypothermia when using too much cold water, but I felt there’s a risk of dying just because of the unbelievable pain I was feeling.
In the hospital they were kind enough to give me one injection and put me on a drop. Then they started asking money. Surely I didn’t have any. One of my classmates had pants but not shoes. The other one was luckily carrying her bank card and she paid the required 500 CNY (58 euros). Only after that the doctors and nurses started really treating me.
Maybe because of my pretty white skin, if you forget the burn, I got my own room and privacy. The first day cost about 2000 (230e) and days after that almost 1000 (116e) every day. I was on a drop all the time except when I was sleeping. They sprayed medicine to my skin every two or three hours. From the third day onwards I could walk few times a day but in a really odd way because my skin was too tight and hurting.
The nurses run the unit and the doctor came every morning to check the patients. Besides nurses there are these older women, we call them a’yi, who are there to help you to wash, use the toilet and that kind of things. If you have money to pay them. If not, and maybe in any case, it is better to have a friend or family member to help you. You get nothing for free. No water, food, toilet paper, nothing. Everyday they give you lots of receipts to show how much money you have used.
In a week they get my skin extra dry and smelly. I have never missed home so much. I havet never been that angry and hopeless. I left the hospital on Tuesday the 6th and I could barely walk outside to the taxi. It took me a long time to climb up the stairs to the fourth floor. And there I was, back to the campus without much advice or medicine from the doctor.
Yesterday I searched the net and got really worried about my skin burn. I decided to go to a western clinic, to speak with a doctor I could actually understand. (In the hospital I met one doctor who could speak little bit English.) At the clinic they were almost terrified because of the condition of my skin. They ordered me to get a proper shower (doctor in the hospital had forbidden this) and gave me three kinds of lotions to use many times a day. They were also amazed that I wasn’t eating any antibiotics yet.
I don’t have much trust to the Guangdong NO. 2 Provincial People’s Hospital and the experience left a doubt to enter any Chinese hospital again. What if someone doesn’t have any money? How close to death you have to be that they treat first and ask the money later?