Friday, August 24, 2007

Allergies on a Friday afternoon...first experience with Taiwan medical facilities

Everything started off as normal today. My mood was pretty good. Its a Friday after all. I'm normally a happy person on Fridays.

For lunch, we tried a new restaurant called Caterpilla today. It serves Mexican and Western food but though the food was all right, we were the ONLY customers during lunch time. Horrors! That is really really bad in Taiwan. Competition is so tough for the food industry, I'm sure Caterpillar can't last very much longer.

The weather was really good today. (Perhaps too good?!?) The sun was shining and it was HOT HOT HOT, which I must say is a nice change from the drizzy sort of weather I've gotten accustomed too in Taipei. (I've experienced 3 typhoons in my 28 days here. So that's alot of wet weather for you :B).

Anyway, I started experiencing a slight headache in the afternoon and figuring that I need to have a clear mind when I'm reading those "old-so-boring" contracts, I asked my colleague for a pain killer. She gave me HALF a capsule of Ibuprofin. Within 45 minutes, I started getting an allergic reaction. (which i didn't know at that time!)

First, my left eye started to swell. We weren't sure what it was so they asked the driver to send me to the eye doctor. But on the way there, my right eye started to swell and my voice became scratchy and I started to feel a pressure on my chest. Oh-oh, that's not an EYE problem!!!

Okay, emergency time. Driver makes an illegal U-turn and starts heading for another hospital. At this point in time, my face is all PUFFED up, eyes start getting teary and vision starts blurring. So, we ended up at 博仁综合医院. Okay, my experience as follows:
1) Went to register
2) Went upstairs to see a doctor (realized they jumped my queue and sent me to a doctor immediately- (who is in charge of the 神经内科) (hence, no waiting :))
3) Doctor confirms its an allergy and writes me a slip for medication
4) Go downstairs to pay at the counter
5) Go to another counter to collect medicine
6) Go to the emergency ward for the jab and then....

Nurse takes a look at my medication and loudly says...."No, this medicine can't be right" and proceeds to make a couple of phone calls to clarify. OH NOOOOOO, what is going on here? (Note: By this time, I'm a little disorientated which happens to be a common allergic symptom)
For more information on common allergic symption, please refer to:

They changed my medicine and gave me a refund before giving me the jab. OUCH! IT REALLY REALLY HURT and I'm NOT being a baby about it!! It was like one of the MOST PAINFUL jabs I've had in my life

Went back to the office, took my stuff and LEFT. The anti-histemine drug was making me really tired and giddy. Anyway, my eyes were also soooo puffed up that my vision was blurry. Driver sent me home and I went to bed straight away.

Woke up feeling better and had dinner. Made arrangements to join a field trip to Yi-lan county tomorrow morning. Meeting time is 7.25am!! OH-OH. Yeah, but I'm still going. Can't miss a day with mother nature and some whale watching. :) Pretty excited.
So anyway, I'm still feeling a little oooooozzzyyyyy but I guess I will be fine tomorrow. Carpe diem yah....SEIZE THE DAY. Every minute and second counts.......

An anti-histemine cartoon. (No point not laughing about it....:) )


r3born said...

Hope you get better soon.

Jamie Tan said...

Thanks r3born. Take care too!

TAlive said...

Glad to find yr blog, Jamie. :-)

Yes, I linked here via yr dad Mr Tan's blog.

Say, my wife has similar allergy to painkiller (Ibuprofin is one) too. Her reaction are much like yrs: puffy eyes, congested chest etc.

Good to hear of yr experience living & working in Taipei. I've bookmarked yr blog n look forward to hearing more.

Thks for sharing! :-)