AsiaChinaGuilin

Guilin: My third near-death experience in China

Guilin Travel Blog

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(1991)

I arrive in Guilin and head south directly to Yangshou.  Iâ��ve already been to Guilin.  I traveled here in the fall of 1991 and met a Cantonese speaking student who took me around town and let me stay with his roommates in his dorm at the university.   I was a big hit at the university, not least because at the time I spoke Cantonese but not (at the time) Mandarin. 

I intended to see yangshou this time.  The very day I arrived, my fever reached the level where I felt the need to see a doctor.  I was coughing up vast amounts of liquid as well.  The hostel sent a house doctor to my room.

From my hostel. Taken the day of my allergic reaction.
  He quickly determined that I had pneumonia of the left lung and put me on an IV drip with a combination of three medications that he brought with him.  Just a few seconds into it, I began to get dizzy and almost passed out.  Before losing consciousness, I yanked out the IV.  He told me I was experiencing an allergic reaction to the medicine and I should sleep it off, but that evening I kept feeling worse and worse.  My feet and hands began to get numb and I believed I was going into anaphylactic shock of some sort.  I had the hostel clerk hail me a truck driver who (for a fee) whisked me up to Guilin in the back of his truck.
(1991)
  By the time I got there, I was beginning to have palipitations and shock symptoms.  I tried my best to explain what happened to the doctor at the hospital in Guilin and he recommended a shot of what he called â��adrenalin.â��  It worked for only 30 minutes or so, but I kept feeling worse and worse.  I was then put on an adrenalin IV for approximately 6 hours.  It worked at first, but toward the end, I kept feeling dizzy and began having panic attacks.  I didnâ��t know what was happening to me and neither did the hospital staff.  I insisted on calling my parents in the states to tell them I loved them and to see if there was anything they could do, although I truly believed I was going to die.  In my panicked state, one of the nurses injected me with some paralysis drug.  Immediately, I collapsed, unable to move but still conscious.  They carried me to a chair and tried to keep me focused until I began to move again.
A farmer family. The girl has a pet cricket in the bottle (1991)
  Whatever it was, it seemed to do the trick, because a wave of sleepiness came over me and they carried me to a bed where I finally passed out.

I woke up the next morning (having never expecting to), and felt almost normal apart from the raging infection in my lung.   

The doctor let me rest for most of the day and decided I should remain in hospital for a few days of observation.  Each evening my symptoms of numbness and panic seemed to return.  Then the excitement began.  On the third day, I received a bill for some few thousand US dollars.  At the end of my long voyage, it was way beyond what I had.  The bill was obviously grossly inflated.  I was to be held hostage at the hospital until payment was made.  After a few phone calls between the hospital and my parents (I was not allowed to talk to them), they (also not having the money) decided to involve the State Department who eventually negotiated the bill to a more reasonable (but still inflated) amount.  After a wire transfer amost two weeks later, I was free to go.   (I found out later after being reunited with my family that I had been falsely accused by the hospital staff of hitting nurses, probably as a way to squeeze more money out of me and my family). 

sylviandavid says:
wow....what an adventure
Posted on: Jan 31, 2010
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(1991)
(1991)
From my hostel.  Taken the day of …
From my hostel. Taken the day of…
(1991)
(1991)
A farmer family.  The girl has a p…
A farmer family. The girl has a …
With Guilin university students (1…
With Guilin university students (…
Camel hill (1991)
Camel hill (1991)
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(1991)
(1991)
(1991)
Doing the tourist thing (1991)
Doing the tourist thing (1991)
(1991)
(1991)
(1991)
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(1991)
(1991)
(1991)
(1991)
Guilin
photo by: davidfeng