Hospital Days, part 1 - Pre-surgery

note: i was on varying levels of pain medication during the writing of this blog, so just ignore random tense and voice switches!


3:30pm: arrive, sign a multitude of papers, and take an x-ray etc.

By 5 I’m in my room and have had blood taken and the iv needle taped into my hand

I got a window seat! Oh wait I mean bed… roommate arrives around 6:30, an 82 year old lady also getting some kind of leg surgery. Find out that she only speaks Taiwanese and Japanese, but I have a chat with her granddaughter.

I ask if I can go out for a little while (for a walk or something) and they say “sure, just wait until the anesthesiologist comes to see you” well at 10am the next day, I still haven’t seen him grrr…

Had some visitors, and put my hair into little braids, partly for something to do, partly so I wouldn't have to worry about doing anything with it for a couple of days. Partly because I'd never go to class with hair like that, so this is one of the only times I can do it!

I asked around and found out that my surgery is actually at 1pm not 8am……felt a little frustrated… Taiwanese hospitals have extremely poor communication. Felt like I’d really wasted a whole day having to come in so early…..

At least it wasn’t like my friend a few weeks ago who went into a different hospital and was first diagnosed with malaria (which doesn’t exist in Taiwan), then cancer, and finally a virus…. He was discharged last Monday.

As I get ready for bed the Indonesian worker who helps the lady next to me borrows my metal chair to sleep on. The poor girl doesn’t have any blankets or pillows or anything. It seems she’s going to just sleep on two metal chairs all night! It’s hard to believe; I feel really sorry for her, but not sure what I can do either. Fortunately, they do eventually find her a cot.

Thurs morning

Wake up around 7, decide I’m going to go for a little walk no matter what. Manage to trip and fall on the way back… no permanent damage, but bruises and sore knees. Didn’t tell anyone.

Took a shower (my last standing shower for a bit I guess) and had more visitors.

Finally saw the doctor, who said the surgery will take less than an hour. Still haven’t seen the anesthesiologist…. But they brought in my hospital gown at 8am….like I’m going to sit around half naked for 5 hours!

Now I’ve been entertaining myself with 4 episodes of corner gas, and trying not to laugh too loudly…. Oh and did I mention I wasn’t allowed to eat or drink anything after midnight…. Starting to feel a little hungry, but it will probably be until 7 or 8pm that I can eat. Getting put under is more complicated than just getting a local, but I’m still glad I’m doing it.. I really didn’t want to go through the epidural ordeal again.

Christine came around 11:30, and Alice came back again too, she’s been to see me a lot. The anesthesiologist finally came and talked to me, and then I was ready to go down for surgery. They wheeled me down in a wheelchair, and I was a little nervous, but not bad. I’ve had so many people pray for me over the past few days, that nothing dare go wrong.

Chat with the doctor as he’s giving me oxygen, getting ready to put me out. He asks me (though I suspect not for medical purposes) if I’d gotten fat since I came to Taiwan, or if I always was.. fortunately they knocked me out before he could ask about my salary.


  1. wow that's a lot of waiting... you must sure be patient to endure that, but I guess we all have to deal with what we get- even when we don't like it.
    I wouldn't want to sit around for hours either half naked with the hospital robe on! Also, I was surprised to read what the doctor asked you at the end about "getting fat". That's a pretty rude thing to say, but it's nice to see that you made a joke of it! :) God bless you hun as you continue to heal. I hope the process is fast.


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