Dengue Fever and Staying at a Hospital in Bangkok

Posted by on Dec 13, 2012 in Blog, Thailand | 1 comment

Dates of travel: 11/14 – 11/22/2012

Leaving India was one of the most bitter-sweet moments of our trip. With so many expectations of incredible sights and wondrous foods, we were leaving India disappointed. We were bitter because our two and a half week adventure was quite a bit shorter than the 6 weeks we originally planned for. It was also sweet because we would be leaving India for what would be the most luxurious portion of our trip, Thailand and Cambodia. At this point we were looking forward to everything Thailand and Cambodia had to offer.

Bangkok did not disappoint. We were delighted in the politeness of the people, the cars actually drove in their correct lanes and not once did we see a man spit foul red paan onto the street. We didn’t know where to start. Massive super modern malls with ultra-fast wifi connectivity and sprawling food courts greeted us with open arms. The best tasting Thai food was on EVERY corner for just a couple of bucks. And everything was very clean, not ultra-clean… we did see a rat here or there, but the majority of the city was admirably clean.

Then I got struck down with dengue fever, after only 2 days in our new found paradise. It started with a massive headache and dizziness that manifested into a full blown fever that crippled me for the next 10 days. The first 5 days were spent in a fetal position on the hotel bed, trying to get over it. Anja would ferry food and water into the room on a regular basis in hopes that I would break my fever and gradually get better.

Eric sick at the hotel

Feeling miserable in the hotel room

After upgrading to a room with AC and loosing day after precious day to this disease Anja and the hotel owner conferred to make the decision that I should go to the hospital. We packed our bags and checked into the nicest hospital I have ever seen. It was Bangkok Nursing Home Hospital. At first I said I didn’t want to go to an “old people’s” home, but apparently a few things get lost in translation. Nursing home refers to the fact it is a hospital that specializes in birthing services, and their other departments (ie: internal medicine) are top notch as well.

Eric getting his blood tested at BNH Hospital

Waiting for results of blood test at hospital

I was admitted to the hospital when the blood tests confirmed I did in fact have type 2 dengue fever. The insurance company was consulted to ensure this was a covered procedure. With the green light from the insurance company Anja and I were given the entry level room which reminded us of a room at the Venetian in Las Vegas. I was spoiled with a flatscreen TV, a food menu that was restaurant quality, Anja had her own bed with linens, and a team of Thai nurses in designer outfits brought me everything I needed.

Eric at BNH Hospital

Thai food at the hospital. I had many food options to pick from including western food.

We were officially in the nicest accommodations of our entire trip. Anja spent the following days shopping at the nearby malls and getting dental work done for prices that where one third of what could be found in the US. After 5 more days of fever and dizziness my blood chemistry indicated that I was finally through the natural course of the disease. I was discharged with a bill that equaled about $3000. This was shocking good news, because a similar stay in a US hospital for 5 nights would be well over $10,000.

Hospital Room at BNH

The “basic” hospital room at BNH.

Hospital Room at BNH

Hospital Room at BNH

I paid the bill (which will be reimbursed by my insurance company) and walked out of the hospital thankful for my health and thankful this situation happened here in Bangkok and NOT in India. This gave a whole new meaning to Thanksgiving which was on that day. I couldn’t imagine the horrors I would have been subjected to in an Indian facility. Now we had to, slowly, get my energy ramped up. We intend to make the best of our remaining time in Thailand and Cambodia, but my fragile body had lost so much stamina and weight. We both had our concerns about my overall health in general. One thing became apparent at that point, we had to sell the bikes. We would do the rest of the trip via backpacks and motorized transportation. This decision did not make either of us really excited, but it was what we figured as the right thing to do. After the decision to sell the bikes we had may emotions and realizations to come to terms with. Gone would be victorious days of pushing pedals for over 100 km. We would miss the freedom our bikes gave us and how they molded our adventures. There were so many situations that were only accessible by our bikes. I found myself daydreaming, recalling all the moments that defined our adventure thus-far. They were all made possible by our choice to be going by bikes.

Eric and his nurses at BNH Hospital

Thanks for taking good care of me. 🙂

One Comment

  1. Dude! I’m so sorry to hear you got sick! That sucks, man. But think of it this way, would you ever have had such a crazy adventure if you hadn’t? You always hear about overseas hospitals but this one rocks! I wouldn’t mind staying there and that’s saying something. Glad you are better.