March 11, 2012

China Day 3: Shanghai to Nanjing (a rough day)

We woke at 2am with only 4 hours till breakfast.  The boys watched a DVD and we laid around.  We went to breakfast and they had the same 342 choices as the day before. Nothing new? That was sarcasm.

After breakfast, I began to get more concerned about Josiah's rash/fever and googled his symptoms and thought they looked like scarlet fever.  So began a new level of stress.  

We gradually got ready to leave for our train trip from Shanghai to Nanjing. We were scheduled to take the bullet train at noon that would get us there in 1.5 hours.  My worries about Josiah's illness grew throughout the day.  

A cab took us to the train station and dropped us off where some guys offered to carry our bags to the train for $25.  I said to Steve, "that seems like an awful lot of money." what I was thinking was, "are they crazy?! They want $25 to carry our bags up those steps?!". It turned out to be the best $25 we've ever spent.  They carried our bags up the stairs, across the street, through security, to the platform (we never would have found, and onto the train, right to our seats.  As we were running behind them (and all our bags) I accidentally bumped Josiah and slammed his forehead into a turnstile base and began crying.  I felt so bad and knelt down to comfort him, as hundreds of people were rushing past and our luggage was getting further away.  I picked him and consoled him as we moved closer to our train, and the guys with our luggage.  We got to the train and lost sght of the guys and our luggage.  We were looking up and down the platform, and on the train and couldn't see them. Finally, after only a little panicking, we saw them on the train waving for us to get on. Relieved, we climbed on and they showed us to our seats.  

The train ride was uneventful, except it was about 85F on the train and Josiah's rash seemed to look worse - but his energy level was good - high as usual.

We arrived in Nanjing and found a cab, the size of a Smartcar, to take us to our hotel.  The driver put ONE suitcase in the trunk and one in the front seat and the other two were in the backseat with the four of us.  The boys sat on our laps.

We got to the Holiday Inn -Aqua City.  Josiah ran through the giant revolving doors, like the one at Ikea, first and waited inside for us.  Steve, sheehan, and I got trapped  inside the door and it wouldn't move.  Josiah started getting scared because he was by himself and was trying to come back inside the door.  A worker from the hotel grabbed him, so he wouldn't get crushed in the door.  He was pulling away from the man because of his lessons in stranger danger - I could see the fear on his face - and we yelled through the glass for him to go because he was blocking the door from moving.  We got through and Josiah began to cry and lecture me on how we have rules about strangers.  I told him he did the right thing, but we needed him to go through the door, so we had to yell at him to go.  Then I started tearing up, thinking about the fear in Josiah's eyes.  Then we went to the front desk, where they had no reservation for us, and I really started to cry. 

 Turns out our agency made all the arrangements for our group under someone else's name, that we didn't know.  After a few calls they figured it all out and we made it to our room.

While on the train, I had devised my plan to get medical care for Josiah.  I called the front desk to see if the agency's doctor was at the hotel, but she wouldnt get  in until Tuesday afternoon.  I told the front desk we needed some medical help and he said we should contact our guide.  Yeah, well I'd love to know who he is.  The man at the front desk contacted our guide, Michael, for me, and he called us.  He said he could take us to a doctor when he got back from the airport.  We napped, except for Josiah who was wide awake, while we waited.

Around 5pm, Michael called and said to meet him downstairs in 20 minutes. We hadn't eaten anything other than snacks since 6am, so he took us to McD's in the mall, attached to our hotel.  Sheehan was so tired, he refused to eat anything.  

After eating, we walked to the hospital.  It was about a 15 minute walk.  Steve carried Sheehan and Michael carried Josiah.  

It can be scary to enter a third world country hospital to get medical care for your sick child when you're used to the brand new, posh and modern hospitals in the U.S.  We entered the open door through slats of hanging plastic like you'd see entering an old walk-in cooler.  

They allow smoking in certain areas (reminiscent of restaurants before they changed the laws - there was a smoking section, but the smoke always wafted into your nostrils no matter how high that glass barrier rose above your booth)  of the waiting room, which really should have been called a rushing room because everyone was rushing from one window to another, all while talking loudly.

Michael registered us in the ER and took us to a nurse where she asked us to stick a thermometer in his armpit for 5 minutes.  I wasn't used to this DIY ER and had never even stuck a thermometer in the boys armpits.  He had no fever.  Then they sent us down the hall to where two doctors sat in an office at two desks facing each other, surrounded by 4-6 loudly talking and or crying patients/parents at any given time.  Josiah's name was called and Michael led us in.  Zero privacy - everybody's in your bid-ness in China.

Michael translated some, but couldn't say much because it was all medical terms and he would have to get his dictionary at home to translate.  The 2nd doctor mentioned Scarlet Fever.  They sent us to a different floor to have his blood tested through a window.  He didn't cry - just a pin prick in the finger.  According to google, they test for SF by throat culture, but then I'm not a dr.  

We waited for the blood results in a dingy, dark, hallway, like you see in movies.  Michael told me that this hospital is pretty run down and the new one on the outskirts of the city is modern and fancy.  The trash cans were little one-foot tall plastic waste baskets lined with little trash bags.  I guess we were supposed to throw Josiah's bloody cotton ball in it.  He wanted to keep it.  He talked about eating it, like Buddy did in the movie, Elf.  I hope he didn't.  

So, it turns out he doesn't have scarlet fever (I will have the agency dr, look at him tomorrow).  They gave us 4 different boxes of drugs, including Chinese medicines.  We carried the boys back to the hotel and Michael explained what all the drugs were.  They gave us nothing for his itchy rash.  The boys went right to bed.

So, we woke up today at 3/4am.  I have a sore throat and my ears hurt.  We meet Autumn in about 4.5 hours.  Welcome to the family!

Btw, I have no idea why all the times are highlighted in these posts. Still learning. Excited that we finally have wifi in our room.
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  1. Anonymous7:56 PM

    Hi Kate,

    We've been thinking about you constantly. Praying, praying, praying.

    The Carollo Family - Jim, Kristine, Mia, Anna & Christian

    eek! So excited for you guys!

  2. I was reading this outloud to Scott and we both couldn't believe it! I felt like i was reading a screenplay for a movie! I hope things get better and you & J man feel better asap! Its like 11pm there right now, and i cant wait to read your next blog! Hope all went well with Autumn! Still prayin for you!

  3. Anonymous1:54 PM

    I'm thinking you should write a mom

  4. I hope Josiah is feeling better and the rest of you stay healthy! I can't wait to see the next post!


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