from my bedside
Can 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.