Trust me, I’m not laughing as I write this post. It’s been a fair few weeks since putting pen to paper, so you would think there will be a lot to say, but it’s just the opposite. For the last few months I haven’t been feeling the best and really haven’t ventured too far outside the unit, except for the week in Sihanoukville and Kep. Even the beer wasn’t going down as well, so you know something must have been up.
But I think I’ve slowly started to turn the corner on that, which pleases me greatly. I did manage to build another couple of houses but it’s been a bit of a struggle in the heat without much energy. But a great piece of news for me is, Det, a young Khmer guy who works as a builder for Volunteer Building Cambodia, has just become a father for the first time. He has a beautiful girl. We met her yesterday and I am sure I will be her favourite.
Now, some other good news — if you get ill or injured in Siem Reap, the Angkor Sante Polyclinic on Lok Taneuy Street seems to be a very good place to get treated. This is a fairly new clinic with X-Ray machines, which came in particularly handy after I took a tumble three weeks ago while crossing a road and dodging traffic. I got immediate pain in the right shoulder and thought it was broken. So the Journo and I grabbed a tuk tuk and went off to the clinic where an x-ray confirmed a broken clavicle. Of course, it was Sunday night, which is always the best time to have potentially serious injuries. I was definitely not laughing after this little incident.
I saw a doctor, who then called a surgeon. The surgeon came in specially to see me. We had to go back on Monday morning to see another doctor and another surgeon — who was also called in especially for my consultation. The fee for seeing the doctors and specialists came to the grand total of 30 odd dollars. The medicine was $68 and the x-rays were $60. The only thing I found a little off-putting is the arm sling, which I’m required to wear for about five weeks, was $40. I’ve since found out our local chemist — a very honest Khmer pharmacist who doesn’t charge Barung rates — could have sold it to me for about $5. But by 9pm on a Sunday night, in extreme pain, I wasn’t interested in saving a few dollars — or wandering around town looking for cheaper options — I just wanted to get some really good drugs into me.
I thought that was enough bad luck to last me until we leave Cambodia. So, I joined the Journo and some friends for a trip to Wat Atvea, so they could have a water blessing. One of our friends — Jacqui — was leaving the next day for a new adventure in Africa. Everything was going well. They all got blessed. I watched and took a few photos then we piled into our tuk tuk for the return trip to town.
While we were travelling I got something in my eye and naturally, I gave it a little rub because that always helps doesn’t it? The next thing I know it’s really sore and it’s gone red and I seem to have burst a blood vessel. Still not laughing.
So it’s another trip to the doctor, only this time it’s an eye specialist. He was recommended by an English doctor we know here and he seems to know his stuff, which is a relief. Doctor Kong Sunly speaks English very well and his time only cost $10 and antibiotic drops cost $4. He has a clinic on Samdach Tep Vong Street and it was very busy when I visited. It’s only open certain hours because he works at the eye hospital as well. I was told to go to the clinic because the hospital may be expensive and I would probably have seen him there anyway.
So in the last few months I seem to have seen more of doctor’s waiting rooms than I have of Cambodia and things have not gone quite to plan. But I’m feeling better and my left arm is becoming my drinking arm.
Signing out now as my arm is getting sore and I don’t want to risk tearing a bisep muscle. And that would be no laughing matter either.