6 Surprising Experiences My Husband and I Had in a Chinese Hospital | Speaking of China

44 Responses

  1. Autumn
    Autumn June 27, 2016 at 8:38 am | | Reply

    OMG, you poor thing, having your husband taken outside for a talk. It’s funny now, but I’d’ve thought I was a goner, too.

    Dumplings? Wow, that’s like gourmet compared to American hospital cuisine. I swear they try and make the food bad as incentive for you to get better faster.

    Well, unless they have pants that fit sumo wrestlers, I would be spending my time in a Chinese hospital bottom-less, for sure.

    I can’t decide if the hospital staff are that awesome to all patients or they pampered you as a cyber celebrity. 😉 But I am glad your stay was as painless as possible.

    Are you going to sell your appendix on eBay?

  2. becky
    becky June 27, 2016 at 9:04 am | | Reply

    I spent a week in Sir Run Run Shaw in hangzhou and I was incredibly pleased. Not only was everyone really good, it was meticulously cleaned to a dizzying degree. Sadly, Xiamen hospitals just kinda suck. :/

    Glad you are okay now!

  3. Yang
    Yang June 27, 2016 at 9:09 am | | Reply

    Stay Healthy!

  4. Susan Blumberg-Kason
    Susan Blumberg-Kason June 27, 2016 at 10:43 am | | Reply

    My ex had a cyst removed from his chest when we were still married. This was in Hubei and the surgeon was smoking during the operation. Then when we went to Wuhan to get his bandages changed, the techs just threw the soiled bandages in a corner. I’m so glad there are good hospitals in China now! I’ve heard that from other people there, too. Wishing you a full and speedy recovery!

  5. Nicki Chen
    Nicki Chen June 27, 2016 at 11:29 am | | Reply

    I’m glad to see you looking so good in all the photos. It’s great that you found a good hospital with such an attentive staff.

    My sister had an emergency appendectomy when she was in Spain for her Junior year abroad. She didn’t have any family there to watch over her, and in those days, 1968, Spanish hospitals were not very modern. Fortunately everything turned out all right.

    My first time in a hospital was also for an appendectomy. I was four years old. While I was in the hospital, I caught pneumonia. They didn’t have antibiotics yet, but they did have penicillin shots–very painful penicillin shots. By now I can’t remember the pain, but I do remember a toy my parents bought for me: a little metal merry-go-round.

  6. Marta
    Marta June 27, 2016 at 4:37 pm | | Reply

    It’s great to hear that everything went well! I have never had surgery or been interned in a hospital so not sure what is common and what isn’t, but I know one thing… hospital food is definitely not famous for being good so you were super lucky!! 😀

  7. Cat
    Cat June 27, 2016 at 5:42 pm | | Reply

    Haha showing you the appendix in a bag when you wake up from surgery!

    I ate at a hospital in Taiwan (I wasn’t in hospital, I was just walking past and my map told me there was a restaurant there so I decided to try it. It was AMAZING! Total opposite of hospital food in the west).

    Really interesting to read about your experience of hospital in China – thanks for sharing, wishing you a speedy recovery.

  8. Melody
    Melody June 27, 2016 at 8:57 pm | | Reply

    I lived and worked in China for two years (and boy, do I miss it!). I never had to go to the hospital for anything serious, but had to go a couple of times for routine tests for my paperwork and twice for the dentist. They were so different from American hospitals that it caught me quite off guard the first time I went. I remember standing in line for each of my entry visa health tests and going to all of the different stations set aside for each specific test. New line at each station! And people were smoking inside the hospital in some instances. What really caught me off guard, though, was when it was time for my ultrasound. Guys and girls all together, same line, same doctor, same bed and only a curtain for privacy, even if you were wearing a dress you had to pull up so they could get to your stomach! They did close the curtains for that one, though still with some of us total strangers inside it, even if we were all women. Eventually I got used to the different perception of privacy and modesty, but it sure was a shock fresh from America.

  9. Eileen黃愛玲
    Eileen黃愛玲 June 28, 2016 at 8:51 am | | Reply

    Wish you a speedy recovery. Same with the hospital food in Taiwan – very tasty! I was amazed.

  10. Ruth - China Elevator Stories
    Ruth - China Elevator Stories June 28, 2016 at 11:41 am | | Reply

    The hospital sounds great indeed! I think this is the first time I’ve heard of doctors and nurses all being so nice. Considering the circumstances and the fact that usually no-one likes to be in hospital, the staff really seemed to make this experience as pleasant as possible for you.

    I didn’t know that doctors in China will tell your family members first about treatment for non-serious issues as well. Always thought they only do that if it’s something really serious. Good to know it wasn’t as serious as you thought in that instance!

  11. Amanda Alexander
    Amanda Alexander June 28, 2016 at 5:34 pm | | Reply

    I’m always interested to hear about these details! I did sort of skim the section about them giving you your body part, oh my goodness. Eek.

    I’ve always been shocked at how unhealthy hospital food is in the West, especially when all the snacks for patients and staff are just chocolates and crisps.

    I don’t mean to stick my nose into your business, but speaking of ‘surprises,’ if you’ve gone back to China and if your husband has a green card, please be careful about US taxes, reporting both of your Chinese bank accounts (FBAR), investments, etc. and maybe be a bit careful about any donations. Perhaps you already know all that, but since it seems like you have a lot on your plate recently I just thought I’d bring it up so I didn’t kick myself for mentioning it years from now.

  12. Timo
    Timo June 28, 2016 at 11:58 pm | | Reply

    The appendix in a plastic bag hanging there? That would have been too much for me!

    You are lucky that the staff was so nice and were trying their best for you. A friend of mine had the exact opposite experience few years ago as they tried to get rid of him asap when he had a broken leg, they even forced him to walk on his own to the different room …

  13. Cassandra
    Cassandra June 29, 2016 at 2:12 am | | Reply

    Now I know where to go if i have a problem in China hahaha, specially for the vegetarian food! that’s so good to hear.

    加油 Jocelyn, I hope you are getting better and better!!

  14. Jingyi Lu
    Jingyi Lu June 29, 2016 at 1:20 pm | | Reply

    Thank you so much for sharing!
    I’m so excited to hear from different perspectives on Chinese public hospitals, because I’m a Chinese student and I’m interested in hospital-related stuff.

    Public hospitals in China are all crowded and sometimes we wait for hours to see a doctor.

    I didn’t realize that there were so many differences between Chinese and western hospitals! Some features I just took them for granted.

    For example, I got a ultrasound test on my kidneys 3 months ago. There were male and female doctors, male and female patients, all in one room!! I was so nervous that I might get assigned to male doctors!! (Luckily I didn’t) I didn’t realize things were different in the west!

  15. Laurie Cleveland
    Laurie Cleveland June 30, 2016 at 2:25 am | | Reply

    I’m so glad you had a good experience – there are good and bad hospitals EVERYWHERE 🙂

    I didn’t have to stay in the hospital, but I did have to go to the hospital in Changsha. I was a new mother of a 14 month old bouncing baby girl and I got a UTI. The doctor and staff were super nice/caring and my interpreter helped immensely (interpreter was a guy… he was soooo embarrassed to relay to the dr what was wrong with my girl bits but he braved his way through) BUT… the building was saggy and sad around the edges and I had to pee… while in terrible pain… into a cup… while squatting over a trough of raw flowing sewage. No western potties there and that was my first squatty potty ever! Saw a lot more after that but you never forget the shock of your first 🙂

    Each part of the journey, you paid cash on the spot. See the doctor – pay. Lab – pay. Antibotics at the pharmacy – pay. Not a bad way to go but you have to remember to carry a lot of cash with you.

  16. maria
    maria June 30, 2016 at 11:20 am | | Reply

    Hi Jocelyn, Get well soon. I am an avid reader of your blogs. I am from Philippines and my boyfriend is from Guangxi Hometown but working in Shanghai. After four years of coming to my country, this year February he suddenly told me ge is tired already and have broken up with me. He said he loves me so much but his friends and parents do not like me for him because of my country. Before he does not see this as a problem as he has his own decision but suddenly he changed. What i did, i fought for what i believe is right for both of us as he always say i am a very good woman with a very good heart but he want to build his life in china. So,what i did,i went instead to China and will stay nine days to fight for our relationship. It is my sixth day here,he said i am still his family but cannot give me commitment as he feels tired to travel back philippines. Back to my country,i built two businesses there which so far growing and i have bought and develop a house for him and me,us and my kids. Before he was proud of me but suddenly he change…Anyhow,even i am hurt i still wish you get well soon and i always admire You and John,hoping to meet you in person. Now i am in suzhou,china…

  17. maria
    maria June 30, 2016 at 11:29 am | | Reply

    Are you feeling better now?

  18. Mary
    Mary July 8, 2016 at 1:58 pm | | Reply

    Wow Jocelyn, this Zhejiang International Hospital sounds amazing!

    Like you I’ve had a mixed bag of hospital experiences in China. Most of mine have been… unpleasant, but from looking at your photos and reading this post, I can tell you got top-notch care at this facility! I’m so happy you made it through without any complications, were comfortable, and even got good food….!!!

    Actually I was kind of shocked coming back to U.S. hospitals. When I first signed up for Obamacare I went to the first clinic that came up on the list and it was in a run-down shopping mall with all of the signs in Spanish. I stepped in the private clinic to find black walls and old equipment and a receptionist that didn’t speak English…!!! American hospitals are definitely not always the best… and even at the good ones they tend to overmedicate people.

    Glad you’re recovering nicely, and I think now you have a go-to hospital!

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