Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Baiyoke Sky Hotel, Level 76's deadly buffet & Phyathai Hospital

I was at Bangkok for a business trip for 5 days during the 2nd week of January, where we had team bondings/meetings/seminars to attend on the 3rd and 4th day. 2 full days. To cut the very long story short, we suffered food poisoning on the 3rd day 4am after the supposedly sumptuous buffet at Baiyoke Sky Hotel, Level 76 on Day 2.

It was hell. It first started as normal diarrhea with pain. But the pain in the stomach escalated to become super intense, It felt like your intestines were being twisted and released continuously. As tears flowed involuntarily, I had no choice but to wake my roommate up and asked her to call dearie. Dearie came, with a twisted face as he also had stomach pain and had diarrhea a couple of times for the last 2 hours. While his condition wasnt very serious, I knew I had to go to the hospital. Might as well go together to seek treatment. Just changing into decent clothes was a chore. Within 5 minutes from Indra Regent hotel, we reached Phyathai hospital. It was totally empty except for a few male nurses. Upon reaching, a male nurse came forward with a wheelchair and seated me. I was pushed to another section. The wheelchair which I was in was quickly transformed into a bed after the male nurse maneuvered it. Finally the doctor came and he looked as if he just woke up from sleep. Anyway, most of the nurses dont understand English, only the doctor does. He instructed another female nurse to give me a painkiller jab and proceeded to see dearie. Then he left.

Unfortunately, the painkiller jab had little help. And dearie's medicine still did not come after a long wait. We requested to see the doctor again and again, with me demanding for a stronger jab, and dearie for his medicine. Either they dont understand, or they were very inefficient. On the other hand, another man, well-dressed in suit came over to us with a bill and a portable credit card machine and requested for payment. They wanted 20,000baht as deposit per head. It's not as if we're not understanding for that protocol since we're foreigners. But hey, shouldnt you wait till your patients werent in pain before you hurried them to sign a credit card bill? Surely we cant run when we're so in pain.

After billing, the male nurse "transformed" my bed into a chair again and began to wheel me to the center of the hospital. To wait for presumably the preparation of our ward, I guess. It felt like forever. The next moment I began to throw up really stinky stuff. Thankfully I held on to my precious plastic bag all this time but even then, my vomit filled up the bag. It was uncontrollable as another bout came and I twisted my head to vomit onto the floor. Another puddle. Sigh............ beside me, I could hear dearie yelling irritably to the male nurse to bring tissue and another plastic bag while he commented to me with disgust, "He saw you vomiting and he just ran away!! Wah lau what kind of nurse is that??" Dearie then asked another nurse, "Are there any private hospitals nearby?" Of which the nurse replied embarrassingly, "This is private hospital............." (=.=)''''''''''''

Anyway, we were finally ushered into the ward and we were very thankful they placed us in a 2 bedded room without any qualms for opposite sex. Of course, we probably also couldnt do anything considering how horribly sick we were. *Roll eyes* After a long while, I was then put on drip etc, with antiobiotics and also 2 more jabs,  1 for pain and 1 to stop vomit. And dearie's medicine finally arrived. Most of my pain subsided but not all. The diarrhea continued. I had about 4-5times a day but dearie was worse, 8 to 9 times. Dearie's condition worsen as his stomach pain became more serious. We both felt pretty miserable. But were still pretty thankful that whenever we rang the bell, the nurses arrived in less than 3minutes to aid us to the toilet(because need to unplug the drip). The room's equipment and everything were still pretty backward and inadequate as compared to Singapore. You have to request for everything. From toilet paper to toiletries to towels to new PJs. The toilets were like totally unequipped. Service wise, it's comparable to Singapore's private hospitals in the sense that attention were given promptly. Although, these people worked in a pretty slack way. They moved ever so slowly. Sometimes the things you requested from them, it went in from the left ear and out from the other. Like I requested lozenges for my throat, but they never came. It might be because they dont understand English well or they simply bo chup. And the doc just MIA on the 2nd day too. He came to see us on the 3rd day instead and told us we can be discharged in the afternoon.

On the 2nd day, another 4 of my colleagues were hospitalized in the same hospital. Another 10 odd came to the hospital to see doctor as well as to visit us. I believed more than 40 of us diarrhea.

The 2 days hospitalization bill and etcetera came up to around S$800+ for me and S$700+ for dearie. Compared to Singapore, the cost is comparable to our government hospitals C ward. But service wise, I will say it's better than our government hospitals but not as good as our private hospitals. Maybe because we're lucky that the hospital was pretty empty so we dont have to wait as long as compared to a government hospital in Singapore. Again, I guess most Thai dont go private hospitals as the cost might be expensive for them.

Received alot of blessings from our colleagues and we were all discussing about exactly which food caused us so much misery? Because there were also colleagues who ate a ton but suffered nothing. It was hard to draw a conclusion but the salmon sashimi and the seafood, especially prawns were the biggest suspects. After discharged, dearie and me were grounded in the hotel room because we were still having diarrhea despite the tons of medicine we were taking. We then concluded Bangkok's medicines are really too mild. For our meals, we had room service at our Indra Regent hotel. Thankfully they tasted not bad. But not cheap. 1 meal for both of us costs around S$40-50. We easily spent S$90 for dinner and supper. On the final 5th day, we finally went out to the pharmacy outside to buy diarrhea pills because I was convinced that the hospital medicine dont work! Surprisingly, the lady at the pharmacy was very good with English and the various medications and true enough, with the pills she recommended, our diarrhea stopped! Thank god!! I cant imagine having diarrhea on the plane!! Yucks!

In short, unless you're real tough, else please stay away from Baiyoke Sky Hotel, Level 76's buffet.

Also, no matter how much you hate or disbelieve insurance, please do buy travel insurance. They are so cheap but can be so life-saving. We claimed everything under it plus consultations within 7days after discharge are claimable too. As I said, we didnt totally recover after back to Sg so we went to see our family doctor for stomach discomfort and nausea etc. There is also S$200 allowance for each day of hospitalization stay so that means we have S$800. Considered a meager consolation since the whole BKK trip is so wasted!! Arrghhh!!

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