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Thread: Beijing - Tim C's OEG surgery report

  1. #1
    Senior Member Tim C.'s Avatar
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    OK, HERE WE GO WITH THE DOCUMENTARY, HOWEVER I'M ONLY USING A CALLING CARD AND MAY RUN OUT OF TIME.
    i was welcomed at the airport by dr huang's staff. unfort, they were only equipped with a vw microbus and subcompact which i traveled. my power chair was lifted into the vw by everyone in the vicinity. clearly, they were not anticipating it. the drive was approx 30 mins to the hospital. at the risk of having an unwelcome bm at 36,000ft during my extended travel day, i managed to get myself quite constipated, and in pain by the time i got to the hospital. i was told that this was a public hospital, vs a private. in the type of government that exists in china, i'm not understanding what the difference would be. then i was told that only in the public hospital would dr huang be able to treat foriegn patients. this has not been confirmed however.
    the hospital is huge, i entered thru a very unattractive entrance, i assume because it was closer to my room destination.
    the room, and hospital IMO, would not win any awards for cleanliness by our standards. i did see porters about, just didn't know what they might be doing.
    there are two beds in my room. the beds are of the hand-crank style for up and down operation. although i was told this was the best room in the hospital, it was sparsely equipped. during the lecture at rutgers which i attended, dr huang himself admitted that respiratory equipment is hard to come by in beijing.
    speaking of speaking, herein lied the second problem, just about no one speaks english. when it comes to medical care between the staff and patient, this is not cool. we sent out for an interpreter immediately, which leads me to my next significant observation.
    in this hospital [maybe all], there are no nurse's aid positions, it is expected that the second bed in the room be occupied by a family member who must administer the work normally provided by the nurse's aid.
    also, another major difference is that most things are alacart. meals, towels, paper goods, water cooler, even teeth brushing are considered exta costs to the patient. most of all, our interpreter is costing us $85 per day. don't forget, up till tommorow, we are only working with dr huang's associates. there is a bathroom in my room, but shower chairs are not available, but not just unavailable, but unheard of. the doctors searched all over beijing, with no luck, despite the fact that the cost would be ours. needless to say my power chair drew attention to people in the street as if the martians had landed. clearly, we're not dealing with the most advanced technology, yet just think how much more advanced would the OEG therapies be if it was allowed to exist in places such as the U.S.? how unfortunate is it that many people in foriegn, less technologically developed countries, come to the U.S. to take advantage of our medical technology, when because of the few 'rightous' decision makers in our government, i must travel around the world for what could be so much more in terms of advancing treatment for sci.
    sorry for the run on sentence, i'm just pissed right now. more later

  2. #2
    Senior Member Tim C.'s Avatar
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    a bit more...
    my first day here consisted of rounding up the hospital staff and attempting to increase the level of certain conditions in order to make things more bearable for me and for those who will be following me. a brief display to the other doctors of how much my success will mean to those waiting to hear from me in the U.S. and their attention was ours. before long i had a small army of hospital staff seeking to dote on us. at this this time i was now assigned a nurses aid based on a hospital rule which we did not understand, yet i understood that it was at additional cost to me. he is nice but speaks zero english. since the hospital does not provide aids, he came from an outside agency.
    later that day and yesterday, i received pre-op prepation via intravenous and examination in anticipation of dr huang's return on monday. until his return i suppose that i can only fill this thread with my observations of life here thus far. i did however stumble upon a nurse working under dr huang who also had some english vocab. i inquired about the former sci patients, she told me that it was her observation that the recovery time can be, many times, 1 to 3 months, not the 10 days we were led to believe. this was not too unexpected for me, given the surgery.
    i see that many cc members are beginning to ask questions of us. we will try to answer them as best we can.
    seeing nurses wearing the traditional white cap was refreshing.

  3. #3
    Senior Member dogger's Avatar
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    Beijing - Tim C's OEG surgery report

    i have opened this new topic for Tim C to provide updates from Beijing where he is currently undergoing the procedure conducted by Dr Huang .

    Pictures sent in by Tim's wife Stephanie.

    Dr. Huang's staff and Left: Tim and Bob; Right: Patient of Dr. Huang, T12, one month post-op; Taken in recovery area of hospital.

    [This message was edited by Jeff on 09-18-03 at 10:28 AM.]
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  4. #4
    Good luck Tim.

    I beleive this thread will be very informative for all of us. Thank you in advance.

    Is it possible you tell us about your current SCI status (level of injury, ASIA scale, your mobility capabilies, etc..)in this tread so that everybody can monitor the progress better.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Schmeky's Avatar
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    yet just think how much more advanced would the OEG therapies be if it was allowed to exist in places such as the U.S.?
    Currently, NOTHING is actively taking place for SCI victims in the US (other than research). How incredibly heartbreaking.

    Tim C., you're making history.

  6. #6
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    Tim
    It would be helpful if you could post your injury level and current ability as far as use of arms etc. also sensation level. Best of luck in a trying situation but you are a pioneer for all of us here

  7. #7
    Good luck, Tim! You are truly the pioneers here!

    What sort of food are you being served?

    _____________
    Tough times don't last - tough people do.

  8. #8
    Senior Member chastev8's Avatar
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    Tim if you are using a calling card, why dont you type you message in a word processor, then log on and cut past your message? That will save you some money and allow you more time to get it all down.

  9. #9
    Tim,
    Best to you - thank you for wandering into this "Indiana Jones" like world looking for the Grail we all seek. You are our eyes and ears on this journey and our prayers, thoughts and futures accompany you every step of the way.

    God speed in your recovery,
    Rusty

  10. #10
    Suspended Andy's Avatar
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    Tim, all I can say is-Wow. Best of luck to you and many thanks for bringing the story to us. I hope everything goes well for you!

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