I haven’t added to this blog for quite a while. I have been ill. This is what happened. Will try to add another chapter daily.
My experience with Chinese hospital began in March of 2011. I was living in Shenzhen when I felt a strange twinge in my left calf while on my afternoon walk. I would have thought nothing of it, and it would have been forgotten had I not felt another a few days later. Then so slowly and to be almost imperceptible, I realized my legs were getting weaker and weaker.
Then one day when I was entering my apartment I slipped on the freshly moped, still wet, hall floor as I was getting off the elevator. I couldn’t get enough traction on the wet floor to get up and had to walk on my knees to my door where I unlocked it and crawled inside. Once in I was able to use the dry floor and a chair to help get up. I blamed the incident on the fake Crocs I was wearing and their crummy traction. I didn’t know it at the time, but the landlord was watching me wallow around in the hall with the security camera.
A week or so later I was walking down in street in front of my building with a few friends. Suddenly, and for no apparent reason, I fell down and carried a couple of my friends down with me. The fall caused me to sprain both of my ankles. I hobbled into my building and up to my apartment on the seventh floor. I didn’t realize it, but the landlord saw me fall in front of his building.
I decided not to go out any more until my ankles healed. It was then that I noticed it was harder and harder to actually stand up. My leg muscles were very weak. I got around in my apartment by leaning on the back of a chair to stand up, then pushing it ahead of me and stepping behind it. Oddly enough, at least in hindsight, I didn’t think a thing about the weaknesses and the odd feelings in my legs. I guess I assumed whatever was causing it would go away.
Finally after a few days I ventured out of the apartment for a Shenzhen Daily, the local English language rag. Walking was difficult from what remained of the sprains and the weakness. The news stand was about two blocks away from my flat. After walking less than a block I realized something was badly wrong and I would be unable to make it to the news stand. I leaned against a wall and called by girlfriend to help me home. She didn’t answer so I left a message.
After sitting on the wall for a few minutes I felt a little stronger and decided to continue on to the news stand. I made it, but was very shaky. There was a small café across the street, so after resting again I made it to the café and sat down at an outdoor table. I ordered an airplane size bottle of a clear liquor whose name I don’t know. It is called “black beer’ by the expats, and was very popular with both them and the local Chinese. It was very strong, and very warming, so even though it was a hot day, it sounded good to me. I thought it might steady me.
Before I could take more than a couple of sips of “black beer” my girl friend got my message came walking up to the café. She seemed angry, but I don’t know why. Maybe my message came at an inconvenient time. We started back home.
I had to stop and rest every half block or so. The tiny sip of “black beer” hadn’t steadied me in the least. My girl friend helped me up the steps to my apartment. My landlord was sitting at the front desk, observing everything.
To be continued… Tomorrow I hope.