Bumrungrad International Hospital: Knee Surgery
January 6, 2012
Years ago, one of my first Travel Letters from Thailand began with something like this: “I am stretched out on a chaise lounge, watching the sun set in the mountains beyond the River Kwai.”
Another letter began, “I am relaxing at a restaurant in Koh Chang, watching the fishing boats slide along the waters of the Gulf of Siam.”
The most recent letter described my sunset stroll around the Pyramids.
So, my friends, are you curious as to where I am lounging this very day? The answer is, “I am lying flat on my ass in Room 935 in Bumrungrad International Hospital!”
Dr. Channarong Kasemkijwattana (orthopedic surgeon) and Dr. Vorakran Jiranantarat (anesthesiologist) reprised their 2006 arthroscopic surgery on my right knee. This time, the left. The bill has come due for all my jogging and marathons in the 1970’s - 80’s. I have been living with pain for the last several weeks so after an MRI revealed the wear and tear, I decided to “just do it!”
Yesterday, the “procedure” went off with efficiency and dispatch
10:00 Pre-op checkup, blood test, X-Ray
12:00 Home for lunch
16:00 In-patient registration and room assignment
19:00 Surgery prep
19:30 Confer with Docs.
20:00 Surgical theatre….get hooked up….the next thing I remember is the Doc says, Perfect!”
21:30 Recovery room
23:00 Room 935, tuna sandwich, tea, sleep
Today there are tubes everywhere. Some kind of gizmo in my nose supplying oxygen? Tube from my left knee draining what the nurse called “old blood.” Tube in my right wrist drips IV solution and anti-biotic. But I thank Heaven for small mercies. The guy in the bed next to me is recovering from surgery for an enlarged prostate gland and he has a tube inserted you know where.
Breakfast this morning was gross. Couple of overcooked poached eggs (or were they fried?) and some underdone cold toast. I guess they think I am a “foreigner” and prefer a Western breakfast. I used my best Thai to explain to the nurse that I would love Thai food for lunch and dinner, even “little bit spicy.”
So for lunch today I got some cooked vegetables and a spicy mushroom soup. Delicious! They called me from the kitchen and offered three choices for dinner. I ordered some Thai-style chicken and vegetables.
Sodexo is the food service company at Bumrungrad. Each day a representative came to my bedside with a menu. There are five main categories: Oriental, Western, Vegetarian, Halal, and Japanese. There are two alternatives for each category.
The wide-screen flat screen television perched up on the ceiling has about sixty channels including HBO, Star Movies, Cinemax, ESPN, BBC, CNN, and Al Jazeera International. If I want to brush up on my Arabic, they have a slew of stations from all over the Middle East and North Africa. There’s even a broadcast from Sudan. They have TV in Sudan? Who knew!
I am attended by a cadre of the most cheerful, courteous, competent (and did I say slim and attractive?) nurses and staff. I expect to be here about three days, but with all this five star service, who wants to leave? Anyway, it’s up to Dr. Channarong.
When I am discharged, probably on Saturday or Sunday, I can simply walk down the street to my apartment.
Since I am flat on my ass here with nothing much to do except watch old movies or answer email on my notebook computer, feel free to drop me a line or give me a call.
Have a great weekend. Mine won’t be so great but at least it will be restful.
PS For the letter about my previous stay in Bumrungrad:
For the letter about my lens replacement surgery at Rutinin Eye Hospital