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from my bedside

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presidential palaceCan you believe it, the National Taiwan University Hospital has free wifi for patients in every room!  I can live-blog from my bed side.  In fact, I could do a live web cam of the operation itself.  Or at least of Diane biting her nails while it’s happening.

I got a single room in the end.  On the sixth floor in the throat ward.  There is a bed for me, a sofa for Diane, two armchairs, my own bathroom and toilet.  And best of all: there is a stunning view of Taipei from my window.  I can see the palm-lined boulevards outside the presidential palace, the foreign ministry, and in the far distance the glorious Taiwanese mountains.

I started at 11 this morning by registering and giving blood and urine samples, EKG and chest x-ray.  After that I could eat for the first time in 12 hours.  Nice.  Not least because they have an entire food street down in the hospital’s basement.  In fact, it’s more like a shopping mall with book shops, clothes and shoe shops, a grocery store and a 7-Eleven.  And it’s full of normal people, not just sad-looking patients.

The friendly nurse in charge understands my broken Chinese and she told us all about the after-care.  I’ll have a tube stuck into my neck which they’ll tap for blood and fluids on a regular basis.  She also gave me a pain chart with faces ranging from really happy to really unhappy.  If I’m too much out of it to talk, I can just point to one of the faces and they’ll crank up the volume on the pain killer.

The anaesthesia doctor stopped by.  He assured me a happy sleep and a pleasant recovery.  Two of professor Ko’s assistants also checked me out.  They talk with a lot of reverence about their professor.  I’ll have an MRI — magnetic resounance imaging — later this evening.  That’s when we’re all hoping to find the original cancer.

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