Life on the Mekong and Other Rivers

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog, including strong statements in support of weinerdog-riding monkeys, are our own, and not those of the U.S. Department of State or the U.S. government.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Speaking of Lesley...

She arrived in Vientiane with her left ring finger bound to her pinky. Turns out she had hurt her pinky in a nasty fall at the lovely and tasty 3 elephants restaurant in Luang Prabang. But that wasn't the problem. As her pinky healed, Marla and Lesley decided to head out for a night on the town.

A late night on the town in Luang Prabang inevitably leads to the Vietnam Bar, the place all visitors with a yen for a late-night nightcap end up when the rest of town rolls up the sidewalks and blows out the street lamps.

Well, there was some dancing at Vietnam Bar, and as some guy who had had too much fun spun Lesley, he forgot to let go of her finger. Not her pinky, but the finger next door. Her finger was very sore, and she was suffering from edema, which is fancy doctor talk that means swelling or something. I learned that from our serious doctor friends Jon and Rose.

So this afternoon, the ladies and Jack headed to Setthathirath hospital for an x-ray to see if it was broken. $3 later, they had confirmation of a broken finger. But wait, better to go to Mitthaphap hospital to get it set. When a doctor at one hospital recommends you seek medical care at another, you don't really ask why. You just accept that the doctor recommending that his own hospital not provide care probably knows what he's talking about.

ed. note: The Embassy recommends that American citizens in need of medical care seek it in Thailand, as the level of medical care in Laos is not generally of an international standard.

Anyway, the ladies and Jack picked me up after work and we headed to Mitthaphap. Mitthaphap means friendship. As in the Lao-Russia Friendship Hospital, the Lao-Mongolia Friendship Hospital in Xieng Khuang, etc. Basically, whoever pays for the construction of the hospital is a friend.

So the emergency room at Friendship hospital. We were ushered in to see the duty doctor, who happened to be a friendly, French-trained neurosurgeon. Lesley was a bit apprehensive at first.

But the doctor's calming bedside manner soon had her feeling pretty good about the whole thing. Well, as good as you can feel about a broken finger. She now has a plaster base on the palm-side of her hand, wrapped with an ace bandage.

Total cost: $5.15. Total including x-ray and diagnosis: $8.15.

Tomorrow we're going to pile in the car and head up to KM 52 to take in some of the continuing Hmong New Year festivities. We'll have a local guide, as consular assistant and all around great guy Xeng is going to be there hanging out with relatives. Then, snap decision, we will continue on to Vang Vieng for an afternoon of watching the Nam Song river flow by.

Jack's first road trip...


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