Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Mt Alvernia Hospitalization experience

Previous entry as to why was I hospitalized.

Entry continued.....

It was a Wed afternoon so it wasnt very crowded at Mt Alvernia. Waited around 45minutes(considered short) for my turn to see the doctor. Explained everything and finally got arranged to be admitted. It was a super hassling process. Dearie and I walked back and forth between the A&E department as well as the office for some financial counseling. I had a shabby one done by a nurse at the A&E department with a piece of paper, ticking my options. It showed the different ward charges. For standard rooms, single-bedded is S$400 per night. My alternative is doubled-bedded at S$230 per night. Please note they are only ward charges.

Got directed to the office where I waited another 30minutes for my turn, for another round of financial counseling. This time round, I was showed the estimated bill size for 1/2/3 days of hospitalization on the average basis for my ward. I dont quite remember the figures but I browsed through 1 and 2 days hospitalization and the figure was around $3k-$5K. And I suddenly found the initial financial counseling was pretty misleading huh~

Anyway, no single-bedded rooms were available so I had to settle for doubled-bedded. Along the way to the ward, there was this stale smell all along, as though you're visiting somewhere old and havent been cleaned in ages. Seriously, I much preferred the dettol/chlorine smell. I was directed to this rather dim room with heavy stale smell, occupied with 1 patient. It was 6pm already, 3 hours since the consultation with the doctor. Faint. Dearie and we were shocked that getting warded can also take so long with a private hospital. Of course it's still faster than a government hospital which takes 8hours or longer.

Before I started to settle down, I saw this.

(=.=)''' While I do not scream at the sight of cockroaches, I was disgusted how unhygienic the ward is. A cleaner was nearby and I called to her to help me clear it. Guess what? She seemed nonchalant and made no move of catching it. I spoke more firmly again and she actually called in the nurse, pointing at the cockroach. And the kind nurse brought me to another room where there's no stale smell which definitely look tons cleaner. She said they're going to disinfect the room and dont wish me to be there as it's unhealthy for me. And I wonder how the patient in that room is going to take it???

Anyway, the new room definitely looked cleaner, brighter and more inviting. Best part was, I had the whole room(and toilet) to myself because no other patient was admitted. Own tv, with the giant headphones attached to bed. Most of the time, I merely turned the volume to max and listened from faraway as the giant headphones was a chore to wear. Simply too big for my head, heavy too. Despite adjusting my bed in all angles, the tv was still so far above. Imagine my eyeballs(iris) were hanged high up like a ghost most of the time. ZzzZzz. Not many channels but they have HBO.

Anyway I was so tired and famished that I requested for my dinner. Initially the nurse dont dare to give me because I was also admitted for gastrology problems. They told me to wait for the doctor as I might need to fast for tests. When I asked when the doctor will come, they took time to revert and finally said the doc will come at 8+pm. I've experienced once at NUH when I fast for nothing and got to fast 16hours in a row, because the stupid doctor came later than promised plus the fact that they couldnt booked the theatre in time bla bla.

So I insisted on my dinner and said I can fast through the night and have any tests in the morning. It was already 6+pm. If I were to fast for another 6-8hours, it would be 12midnight or 2am. Hmm....not that it's not possible...but I dont think a doctor can perform a scope/coloscopy for me at that late hour. Afterall, it's not an emergency like appendix. So I had my dinner!

So moral of the story, be firm!! And think twice!! Dont follow exactly what the junior nurses(not head nurse) say because most of the time, they dont know much.

Pretty happy to have a menu to choose from! There's more than 8 choices available from western/chinese/malay/indian food. So ecstatic to see "Pan-fried prawns in saffron sauce with butter rice". Muahahahaha! Saffron sia!

Kawaii neh~!~ The cucumbers/carrots were cut so intricately.

Prawns were succulent, but hor, sigh...the whole dish was close to tasteless. *wails* There was minestrone soup too. I was super hungry so I finished everything. And I whined slightly to the nurse, =P, "Eh the food was tasteless! Next time can use more seasoning? I'm not that sick lah." It's actually more of a grumble, I dont really think they will listen but they did! The dishes which followed after these were pretty good, considering I dont have much appetite after all the tests.

Requested for toiletries for my bath after my dinner.

Shampoo, shower foam and body lotion, tooth-brush and toothpaste. No conditioner.
They were pretty moisturizing, considering my dry hair and skin. The lotion, however, smelled horrible, like toilet cleaner but I had to use it. Surprisingly, they were very moisturizing for the skin and leaves no sticky feeling. FYI, Mt Alvernia are super stingy with such toiletries. They only gave me a pack for that 2 days stay and said another pack will have extra charges added to the standard room charges. Appalled, I said I dont have enough shampoo and shower foam to use, and the nurse gave me 1 more of each. Thank god I'm short hair loh. Better to bring your own toiletries.

Dr Roland Chong came to see me at around 9pm and advised scope, coloscopy and ultra-sound scan to be done. And because he's based in Mt E, his time in Mt A was limited. Also, he need to co-ordinate with the availability of the operating theater for the tests, I was required to do the tests at 7am the next morning. That wasnt so bad until the nurse came forward with a 1litre water pitcher, telling me I need to finish the laxative in 1 and half hours, where after that, a second pitcher will follow.

"2 litres of laxative?? Oh my god! So does that mean I will diarrhea throughout the night??" I asked in shock.

"Erm...ya..probably.." The nurse replied.

I very much prefer to have a good night sleep and only do the test the next day afternoon or evening but dearie said it will also mean that I will need to fast another 8hours tomorrow in the day which will be torturous for me as compared to fasting throughout the night. Also, Dr Chong said he will charge additional if he needs to come back the next evening because it's considered OT for him as he's based in Mt E.

Doing a surgical procedure at 5+pm also considered OT? Duhz! When I said whether I can bring it earlier, so as not to incur his OT charges, he said the theater is only available at either 7am in the morning or 5.30pm the next day.

I'm quite irritated because before I'm warded, I've already said I want a Mt Alvernia based doctor so that I can follow-up easily for my own condition. And now, a Mt E doc was being assigned to me because somehow, ALL doctors from the Gastroenterology department were either on leave or on course. Dr Chong even mumbled, "Yeah, because she's lazy, so here I am." I was shocked, it clearly meant the Doctors at Mt Alvernia were simply having too good a life so that they can take leave as and when they want? I dont know about that but hmm....I wont like it if my doctor is always on leave, it will pose inconvenience if I really need to see him/her for follow-ups.

In view of all the above reasons...I've decided to simply LS through the night...so as to get everything done all at 1 go. =( The laxative sucks! I tried my best to drink but seriously, I cant get past my 2nd glass! I waved white flag to the nurse and she consulted Dr Chong(by phone) again. After awhile, the head nurse strolled in with 2 medicated bottles with pointed tips. =.=''' I can almost guess....yes....she inserted the liquid up my @ss. She's very professional so there's no uncomfy feeling and the diarrhea started. It's a breeze! They should have used this method sooner lah! Merely discomfort like common stomachache. Preferred this 10times more than drowning myself in the stupid laxatives. 2 litres? Who can finish in 4 hours? Not to mention it's disgusting taste.

So yes, if you ever need to do a scope(touch wood), you can request for this method if you find the laxative a disgusting chore to finish like me.

The diarrhea wasnt that bad, as in I didnt diarrhea throughout the night. But I had little sleep. I was being "served" another 2 bottles of laxative in the morning before the test and finally got pushed into the operating theater with apprehension. Thank god, they were done very very nicely. I woke up hours later with absolutely no bad feelings for my throat and *ahem* anus.

I still remembered how terrifying was the one I did at NUH. They stuffed the scope into my throat BEFORE I was unconscious and naturally, I was defensive as it was very painful and torturous. To my shock, they didnt stop and wait till I was unconscious and continued to stuff it down my throat violently. I felt as if I'm murdered in that bed! Tmd! I also woke up with a swollen throat which is super duper painful with every swallow of saliva.

Never go NUH. They suck big time!

Dearie came to see me again, bringing me my laptop. Iv also dropped by as he's working nearby. He described Mt Alvernia as "vintage". (=.=)''' A very nice word for "old". Frankly speaking, indeed, Mt Alvernia wasnt as new and nicely renovated as I thought. And it suddenly dawned on me that the ward charges(solely ward charges only) were expensive. Well, we always know, everybody knows medical expenses in Singapore is expensive, more so for private hospitals. But for a ward charge of more than $230, wow, that's even more expensive than a 4 star hotel which clearly have better and newer furnishings as well as a bigger area. Please do note there are other nurse/doc/surgery/misc charges.

Dr Chong came again in the evening and told me my scope test showed positive for bacteria infection. He added that it's acid influx up my esophagus which caused my chest pains. I never thought chest pains can be caused by problems from the stomach. I had many questions but Dr Chong had little time for me, no more than 5minutes. I had to half-chase him all the way to wherever he's going, for my answers. Thinking back, it got me kinda irritated. Isnt the doctor's responsibility to explain to the patient what is her condition, how it happened and what to avoid in the future? I'm not expecting him to sit down for half an hour with me, just 10-15minutes.

Since it was already the evening, I decided to stay for the night since the hospital charges wards just like any hotel charge their rooms; i.e, full day is charged so long so it's after 12pm(check-out time). Might as well I have my dinner and morning breakfast before I leave.

Here's my dinner. Black pepper chicken with butter rice. Very yummy!

I got hungry around 11pm again and sadly, they dont provide supper, not even paid ones. =( The cafe located at level 1 had closed way before, but thank god for this!

Warm, toasted sandwich! The poster said chicken but it turned out to be tuna instead. Although the vege in the sandwich wasnt very fresh, it was very yummy. Perhaps warm food simply tastes great to any starving people. Ice milo from drinks dispenser.

Next morning
I had pork porridge. Very delicious. =) It was another hassle to discharge. We had to queue for payment, yes, I understand that it's necessary. But imagine almost everyone have questions for their bills..."What is this extra charge about? What is this miscellaneous thing?" etc etc. It really drags the time. I dont have much to ask as seriously, there's nothing much you can debate about a medical bill, is there? Anyway, my insurance can cover everything. I did, however, requested for a more detailed bill which will only be printed at request, at no charges.

After which, dearie went to the pharmacy to queue for my medicine, which was actually pretty quick. Was prescribed antio-biotics which always turn me into jelly...but despite having finished all, I'm still having the chest pains occasionally. Hmmm........the date for follow-up has been set by Dr Chong, mid July.

I'm still contemplating whether to consult him further.

Firstly, I dont have good impression of Mt E doctors because a dear friend of mine kanna chopped dearly by 1 of them before, i.e, a normal scan of market rate S$200 was being mark-up to S$800.

Secondly, since all my records were at Mt Alvernia, I prefer a Mt Alvernia doctor.

Thirdly, although the scope/coloscopy tests were done excellently with no negative aftermath, I dont particularly admire Dr Chong's offhanded attitude and disclosure to me for my conditions.

The total bill came up to S$5K+. Both dearie and me were slightly shocked for a mere 2 days stay, 2 invasive surgeries and 1 scan. Not to mention the service, environment were merely fine.

Reviews of Mt Alvernia/Things to note
1) Nurses' call are attended very promptly, in less than 5minutes, even after past midnight. In comparison to government hospitals like NUH who only come around 45minutes. Sometimes, they dont even come even when you're dying in pain.

2) Doctors are more easily contactable as the nurses can call them and allow you to speak to them. Unlike government hospitals, you can only wait and guess. Sometimes, you dont even get to see your doctor after you discharged and you dont know wtf happen to you at all.

3) Food is good and has a wide array to choose from. This is important to me. Haha! Food were being served lukewarm too. No suppers though!

4) Cleanliness of rooms differ from room to room!

5) I cant comment on Mt Alvernia doctors as Dr Chong is from Mt E. To give him credit, the scope and coloscopy were nicely done. Though again, I also dont know whether are all Mt Alvernia doctors like him, who dont care to spare a 5-10minutes to answer his patients' questions properly.

Lastly, thanks to dearie for accompanying me most of the time, throttling back and forth from home. =) Thanks to all my friends who had expressed concerns in their many many ways. Actually, I'm rather surprised. For some friends whom I thought will care more, actually cared less. For some friends whom I thought dont really care, actually care more. Haha~ Of course there are also friends who really care for me, just as much as I thought, and just as much as I care for them. =D You do have to understand some friends are simply more caring by nature than others. Dearie, for one, have little words of concern to offer but he shows all his care by actions; i.e, accompanying me for hours, bringing me everything I want, do every little thing for me when I'm sick. I guess most guys are like that bah. =P

Thank you all! =)

No comments:

Post a Comment