8 Days of Captivity...

Trip Start Aug 24, 2010
Trip End Sep 01, 2011

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Where I stayed
St. Luke's Medical Center Global City

Flag of Philippines  , Luzon,
Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I made it to Bohol without being sick on the boat...we contacted the hotel, the Dao Diamond to come and pick us up. Geez...how long does sea sickness last?? I still feel pretty rough...sinuses, throat, stomach....ugh. The hotel shuttle arrives, about an hour later..haha...and I'm still feeling sick...dizzy, faintish, stomach cramps....I was confused, didn't even know what was happening when we checked in...couldn't focus on anything. We made it to the hotel room and I lied down to rest while Jay went downstairs for a coffee and to use the internet. That's when it began....I couldn't be more than 10 feet from the washroom...I tried to go downstairs to eat some toast, since I had't eaten all day, but I couldn't wait. I returned to the room and Jay waited for the food, ate, and brought mine upstairs to me. Then I started with the vomiting and all hell broke loose! We carry a thermometer with us for this purpose...a fever...of course I have a fever....cold...so cold. This went on for about 6 hours, progressively getting worse...stomach cramps now. Finally, we decided to ask the hotel if there was a doctor on site. Of course there wasn't..haha. The hotel staff is excellent at this hotel and offered to drive me to the hospital at 11pm, no charge. The lady even followed us in her car, came into the hospital and helped us to get admitted before going home for the evening. It didn't take long for the doctor to decide to admit me and get the IV started. So, now I'm attached to an IV, hanging off of a rusty, home-made, duct taped pole, puking my guts out, hardly conscious, and checking into the "presidential suite"...since it was the only available room! I was so excited to be at the hospital...thinking relief was coming soon! Little did I know...they had no plans on relieving any of my issues until the doctor arrived in the morning!! Finally, in the morning, the doctor showed up around 10am..Dr. Omo...no questions were asked, no history taken, but he advised that the test results showed that I had ameobiasis and severe dehydration. He started me on some meds....finally....and then more meds, and then more meds...I was taking pills that I didn't even know what they were...and pointless to take pills since I couldn't even sip water. As soon as I took the meds, they came right back up. The nights and days were all the same...three nights later and I still wasn't getting better, the nurses and doctor didn't have a clue why...as I should've been recovering already...so he just kept giving me more meds. On the third day, I refused the anit-nausea and anitacid because it seemed like I was getting worse each time I took them. The doctor said I had to take them because the meds he was giving me would make me feel worse if I didn't take them. So I decided to try them separately...just the antacid. Well...surprise surprise...as soon as the nurse injected it into my IV, my whole arm turned into a rash and shortly after, I was severly ill. Yup...allergic to it. But, since this was the middle of the night, the doctor refused to come in to see me, and the nurses wouldn't give me any other meds to counteract the allergy...so there I was...dying. I really, truly, believe I was dying at one point. I couldn't move, talk, or think. I would randomly pass out and I was still running a fever of 39C. Jay had to stay with me all the time because he was my "acting nurse". We had to buy our own toilet paper from the store, Jay even had to go out to a Pharmacy to pick up the meds because the hospital ran out of them, my food...which would consist of whole fish (skin, heads, and eyes)...was terrible...nevermind that the hospital was infested with spiders and ants and the food was crawling with ants. The ants would be crawling all over me...cobwebs everywhere. We couldn't contact the embassy or home because we could not call out from the hospital and there was no internet. Jay couldn't leave my side since he needed to help me to the washroom every 10 minutes...and the steel IV pole was too heavy for me to lift and manuever into the bathroom which was raised about 6 inches off the floor for some reason. We had to watch the nurses carefully each time they were injecting the meds...the one nurse accidentally scraped the needle against the rusty IV pole as she was going to inject it into my arm...and she continued to proceed. Luckily Jay was there and told her she best get a new needle. The IV would consistenly stop working, or run out of fluid, and blood would be sucked into the tube. They would just hook up a new one, air bubbles and all, and push the blood back into my arm. One time, the nurse injected the liquid meds into the IV tube and my arm instantly swelled up and turned black!! I couldn't move my fingers and it hurt SOOO much to touch the skin...it was so intense. I started screaming for them to turn off the IV. Eventually she did, after playing with my arm and asking if it hurts...of course it hurts...arms don't just swell and turn black for no reason!! So she stops the drip...hums and haws...then suddenly turns it on again, on fast speed, and says...hmm...lets try again and see if it still hurts!! Of course it does...I'm screaming in pain, ready to rip the line right out of my arm...and finally she turns it off...and says, "okay, that's enough m'am, no need to cry, I've turned it off"...No need to cry??!!! You are killing me with meds that I'm allergic too, I haven't eaten in four days, severly dehydrated, and now you've blown up my arm...I'm scared for my life and you're telling me not to cry....I just cried more..haha.

So on the fourth day, we'd had enough...no improvement, I'm getting worse. The nurse on duty was kind enought to lend us her cell phone to call Canada (for a fee of course...lol). We couldn't get through to the embassy, so we called our friend Stephen in Manila at 5am. Thank God for Stephen and his family. Long story short, we ended up arranging for an emergency ambulance flight transfer out of Bohol to Manila since the Bohol hospital wasn't able to provide the necessary medical services to meet my needs and situation. Stephen's mom lent us the money...an obscene amount...because we couldn't get money out of the banks and we couldn't get ahold of anyone at home to transfer the funds asap. Payment had to be confirmed before the flight could be arranged. Stephen's family saved my life!! At 2:30pm, December 14, we took an ambulance (aka a van with a stretcher in the back that rolls around, no air conditioning, smelled like exhaust, and a driver who has issues driving a standard)...Jay had to hold on to me to prevent me from flying out of the van while we drove to the airport. My IV stopped working again and the blood hardened into the IV tube...so the "head nurse" decided it would be a good idea to try to break up the blood and push it back into my arm...all the time twisting the part that is connected to my hand...until Jay snapped. He called them idiots and told them to drain the line instead...which they did. I think they were scared of him...lol. I had four new IVs inserted in four days!! They just couldn't get it right. My hands and arms were complete bruises. Finally, the air ambulance arrived....and...(singing angelic songs at the moment)...in walks the paramedics...in Uniform!! I started crying because I was so relieved to see real paramedics, professional, smart, clean paramedics!! I had been worried and wasn't sure what I was going to next...but when I saw those men...I was so happy!! They immediately looked at my messed up IV line and shook their heads. We boarded the plane, just Jay and me and the doctor and paramedics...I was lying in the stretcher for the flight. It was interesting....especially when the time came that I needed to use the washroom...and there wasn't one...lol. They didn't think that one through very well...a two hour flight with no washroom.

The paramedics were amazing! They ended up giving us their personal e-mail addresses and offered to tour us around Manila if we stayed longer once I was feeling better! We took a "real" ambulance from the airport to St.Luke's Hospital and I was soon admitted into a hospital that had better equipment and friendlier staff than any hospital in Canada! It is a brand new facility and I was ecstatic to be there! The next four days were better. A real doctor....friendly staff...scheduled medicines...american food...clean...automated equipment...it was great! I went from taking 9 different pills at one time, to taking one liquid medicine and two pills. The doctor quickly figured me out and we were on our way to recovery! She wanted us to stay one more day, but I wanted the IV out for a day before heading out of the country, so we moved downstairs to the Hotel part of the hospital for the last night. Stephen and Clare came to visit almost everyday. It was a disaster trying to get access to our money to pay Stephen's mom back, but eventually it all worked out. We had to get our visas extended because we overstayed due to the hospital confinement. Our trip to Bali got cancelled...but luckily my uncle is in Singapore. We decided to head to Singapore for a couple weeks to recoup and rest. The doctor advised that I should be fully recovered in a couple more weeks! Let the adventures continue!
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Sebastian/Roman on

***Hi my friends i have some fhoto from bohol to send y if y want Chocolate Hills and Butterfly farm....
I realy hope that y wife/girlfriend is Healthy now...inform me what going on..
Happy New Year....and i hope we see again soon maybe if y have tripp to Europe y are allways welcome to my place in sweden
Best Regards Roman/ Sebastian

jayandbri on

Hey Roman! Thanks, Bri is doing great now so the travels will continue! It was great to get out of that Tagbilaran Hospital! That would be great if you send us some pictures! We can check out what we have to try and go back to see.

Careful with the offer of a place to stay.....we might just show up on your doorstep in Sweden! If we make it into Europe at all we will definately give you an email and see if you are around. We can visit some more since we didn't really get a chance to in Bohol.

Take care and we will talk to you soon,


Jay and Bri

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