Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Yangon: International SOS Clinic

We figured it would be extremely difficult for R if we were to head next to Shwedagon Paya. It's a big temple with a lot of walking to do and the car's not going to be able to take us there. With pain written all over R's face each time she took a step, we couldn't hold the visit to the clinic till night fell. We expected a visit to a private, foreign clinic would be expensive and we were broke. So, we had to make a trip back to the hotel. Back at the hotel, Iv insisted that a nearby clinic would have done the trick upon hearing of our plans with the intention of helping R save money. R was to have none of that. She's heard rumours of medical services in the country and was convinced by her Japanese guidebook's recommendation for International SOS Clinic. In addition, her insurance coverage provides medical reimbursements for such a situation.

We were kinda going back and forth as Lake Kandawgyi, where our earlier visit was, is near the clinic. The clinic shares the same building with the Dusit Inya Lake Resort along Kaba Aye Pagoda Road.

Besides the airport, the clinic has got to be the most modern building I have visited in my entire stay in Yangon. It just felt like we were brought back to the 21st century from the 1980s. The clinic didn't feel like Yangon at all! After R's consultation, we left with a lingering strange feeling of the unfamiliarity of the clinic. Everyone spoke English in the clinic, even the local nurses. CNN was playing on a flatscreen TV. The couches were cushioned under leather unlikes the wooden furniture pieces in many Myanmarese homes. The place smelled of medicine and air-conditioning. The walls were of cement, and looked almost freshly painted. The cemented floor was tiled with modern tile pieces which I had not encountered throughout the trip so far. This newness was so un-Yangon to us. I supposed the do-up of the place might have assured R of its medical excellence.

The doctor that attended to her is local. He couldn't make any clear diagnosis of her pain. It's definitely not a fracture and could be the case of torn issue at the sole of her foot. The area where the pain was coming from had started to swell slightly. He had recommended a second visit in two days time, which we would have left Yangon by then. Instead, we requested for painkillers so that R could at least enjoy the rest of the trip. He issued some strong ibuprofen, some stomach medicine (the high dosage of ibuprofen may cause the stomach to act up) and some other pills which I cannot now recall, maybe antibiotics. Luckily, we met an American doctor at our hotel who had offered to examine R's. According to him, R was having gout and a higher intake of Vitamin C would quickly clear its effects. Indeed, R's foot got better with Vitamin C in the following days and the painkillers did help her to walk comfortably. I find it strange that a lady would get gout, especially one as young as R but yes, the tendency is higher for those with a family history of gout.

How it came about that this doctor would examine R was rather funny. I had gone out of the hotel to do something and soon found myself in a conversation with two hotel guests at the terrace, one a doctor volunteer and another a political science student volunteer, which I didn't know at that time. R had joined us after a while. We were both sending emails back home with the hotel's only computer earlier since our SIM cards do not work there. Seeing R limping around, the doctor asked what was wrong with her foot. After she explained her situation, he asked to examine her. Surprised, R asked if he was a doctor and he confirmed so. "Puurrfect", was a happy R's reply.

Entrance of International SOS Clinic in Yangon

R's medicine by the counter

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