Being Ill in Thailand

Being Ill in Thailand

Being Ill in Thailand

I cannot speak for what it is like being ill in other countries except the UK, so you will have to draw your own conclusions. In the UK, I lived in Barry, a town of then 65,000, situated ten miles from Wales’ capital. In Thailand, I live in a small village eight miles from the nearest town (small) and fifty miles from a city.

If they are ill, people with the money go to the city for their health care and this situation might be true of rural Wales as well for all I know. It would not surprise me.

When I was going blind with cataracts seven years ago, I was diagnosed in the city, but my wife took me to Pattaya (a much bigger city) for the treatment. The service was excellent and so I returned the following year to have the other eye done. (They replaced my human lenses with plastic ones).

So far, all well and good.

About four years ago, I awoke after a party with a swollen, and very painful foot. We went to the nearest city, and I suggested that I had been stung by a scorpion or bitten by a snake. The doctor inspected my foot and said: ‘No lesion, no bite. Infection’.

I wanted to ask how the infection had gotten in there, if there was no hole, but his English was not up to the task. Neither were the tablets he sold me. I have had recurrences of the illness three or four times a year since then and they last a few days.

Some say it’s gout, but no-one really knows. In the village, most people self-diagnose and self-medicate. Some know more than others, but it is not a guarantee that their knowledge is correct. One man set my wife’s broken arm so tight that she almost lost it two days later in hospital.

I am not saying all this to poke fun, but to alert those who may reasonably expect to need medical care of the risks of living in a village in a remote area. Not only in Thailand, but perhaps anywhere in the world.

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All the best,

Owen

Podcast: Being Ill in Thailand