The decision is made. We didn’t make it bu it was made for us.
Paul was getting worse and worse today and as his fever didn’t sink after taking paracetamol, but still rose further above 40*C, we decided that he had to see a doctor. I tried to explain the situation to the people. Well, much explaining wasn’t necessary. They saw Paul :
-told me to get water to cool him down,
- poured some vodka over his chest which has a cooling effect as well
-told me to bring the bikes to their yard
-organized a car and
- got us to the next hospital in Tash-komur.
The ride there was a adventure by it self which Paul luckily missed out for he was so deep in fever that he didn’t notice any more.
The women who drove us was aware of the situation and new that braking and slowing down could make Paul throw up, so she ignored the brakes:0).The car was an old Mercedes, which ( I knew from my grandfather) was nearly unbreakable. Through wholes in the street and steep curves the car brought us safely to the hospital. While Paul’s temperature was still rising a truck decided to ignore the attempt of the women to overtake. She blew the horn and the trucker, pissed by being pissed of by a woman, braked down immediately and cut us of. She looked at me and put her finger to her chin. Obviously the trucker was drunk for this sign she made is used around here for expressing just that.
Then the trucker let her pass just to cut us of again. We were to fast though and as we had passed she breaker down to show the trucker how stupid his behavior was. Another reason for the trucker to get crazy. He came after us like mad and in a curve over took us again. These two behaved just like kids and it was our luck( so I believe) that the road at this point got very bad. Both had to break down to walking speed and we could escape the even slower truck.
“Give me the bag”, Paul whispered from the backseat.
Finally the driving-skills of the kyrgysz people in combination with the heat had brought him down in the fight against puking. He managed somehow to keep the car clean until we reached the hospital.
I helped him to the bench inside and the doctor entered the room , sat down and watched Paul. No searching, no questions. He obviously knew by seeing which case he had lying on his bench. Actually I was more of interest to him for I was able to speak. Ad kuda, ad kuda je, Kak savut, skolko lije, the same old questions we have on the street everyday, but this time with another background story. He definetly needed to know before helping Paul for paying the doctor is not done by insurance here. The patient needs to proof he is able to pay before medication takes place. I showed him dollars and he said something like:” six ampules of baktomed and a half liter infusion of pain-and fever killers. The nurse jumped and Paul was brought to his room.
Money makes the world go round.
I watched the nurse working and saw that she was luckily using new needles. What I didn’t see or notice and what Paul told me later, she used an old tesa-tape-strip, which was sticked to the metal crank holding the infusion, to fix the needle at his arm.
Why. The cheapest part of all the equipment. A five centimeter long strip to be used again and aigain on fresh injection-wounds. As the infusion was done she even put it back there while the doctor was watching, Paul told me, the proof that she would use it again on the next patient.
After the fever sank, Paul needed a toilet.
Of course, I thought, in a hospital the toilet can’t be far.
But it was. The nurse showed us. A walk through half the hospital garden with Paul half naked and we arrived at the ugliest toilet ever. For a hospital toilet this was unbelievable.
Worse than the worse dixi-toilet i’ve ever seen on a festival.
The floor was covered in shit and piss, a stone made it possible to reach the toilet itself without drowning. Seriously, I am not exaggerating when saying that it could not be worse. Of course, no toilet paper, no toilet seat, no water no nothing. I helped Paul as good as possible and nearly puked myself.
Even washing hands didn’t seem to be logical to the nurse after Paul returned. She didn’t get the signs we made until we drew it on paper. We were shown a huge bathtub full with water in a little room. An old plastic bottle cut in half was used for poring water over Paul’s and my hands to wash them.
A nightmare of a hospital. But at least the medication did its work. Paul felt much better and was even thinking about returning to the bikes. But the doctor denied.
He told me to go back to the cafe with the women and come back tomorrow to eventually get Paul if he is still better. For a night in this hospital could mean high expenses and a risk of any kind of infection for us both I decided together with Paul that the best would be if I return to the bikes and he stays in hospital. I went to the local shop to by tea and water for paul and said good by for the night. And there I am now, lying on the porch of a cafe in my sleeping bag, trucks and cars rushing by that
make sleeping impossible.
Paul wrote me an SMS that he is fine and I replied that I will get him out of this hell of a hospital as soon as he feels good enough. Tommorow at 6 o’clock I’ll get up to visit Paul. I hope so much that he is all fine again by then.
The decision is made, we will hitchhike part of the way through Kyrgyzstan, no more hurrying for us.
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