Ahh. What an experience. I wish I had bought my camera along this afternoon when I went to the Cambodian clinic, first because the clinic was way sketchy and did not look convincing to me at all. And second because Phnom Penh was flooded pretty badly today. It rained all day and the water was up to shin high on some streets.
I was sitting at devotions this morning and suddenly noticed red spots on my arms. I looked at my stomach and it was there too. I was very confused and did not know what was happening. I talked to a few colleagues afterwards and decided I will wait a few hours, if it’s still there or getting worse, I will go to a doctor.
So a few hours later, just after lunch, I decided to go to the clinic. A colleague suggested this Khmer inexpensive clinic which was relatively closer than the others. By this time, it was pouring already. A friend from work came with me and we headed to this place in the school van. We got there, got out of the van, and walked in. It was dark, no one was there and there were a few Cambodians standing outside. They were staring at us the whole time and said something to us in Khmer but of course, we didn’t understand. Finally, the driver helped us out and told us that they don’t open up until 2, which was in an hour.
I didn’t want to sit there at this sketchy place for an hour so I decided to go to SOS, one of the most reliable and best clinics in town with foreign doctors. We got there, the skin doctor only worked in the morning so he wasn’t there, and the general doc wasn’t available until 3, and it was quite pricey. So we got back in the van and went to the first clinic again.
Waited a little bit in the van once we got there, but finally it was 2 and we went in. We stood there looking like idiots not knowing what to do, esp when they didn’t speak English. We saw people lining up at the cashier, but we had no idea what they were paying for. We lined up anyways. It got to my turn and the guy spoke a little bit of english, enough to write my name down (though he wrote Joanne Lanm) and enough to tell me which room to go.
A minute later, I went into the room and showed the doctor my spots. Asked me a few questions with his lack of English, walked out the door, 30 seconds later, came back in with another lady. They both looked at me, spoke Khmer to each other, then he started writing something down. Meanwhile, Megan and I are looking at each other thinking “uhhh…” So I asked, “what exactly is this? What do I have?”
Unconvincingly, he gave me two diagnosis. He wrote these two french words down and told me He’d prescribe 10 tablets of Cetrine and I have to take one a day for ten days. I still had no idea what was wrong with me, but he didn’t seem like he could explain it. So I walked out of that clinic unconvinced and sketched out.
At this point, I assume it’s allergy and will go away eventually. It doesn’t affect anything, except I look like a alien. Even my kids don’t want to touch me!
Oh did I forget to mention that I had to pay $3.50 US for everything, compared to the $80 US at the other clinic just to see the doctor? BUT, it’s times like these I think… that $80 dollars will be worth it just because I would be able to understand him, ask questions, annd perhaps find out what’s wrong with me!
This month has started off very eventful.