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Finally: Thai Trip Report: Including Near Death Experience

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Dec 21st, 2006, 12:57 PM
  #1
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Finally: Thai Trip Report: Including Near Death Experience

Dear Fodors: Well let me start by saying that Thailand was an amazing place, we fell in love with the people and the country! I will try to recap this all, and apologies for taking so long to post, but you will understand why when you get to the 11 weeks in the hospital part.
Flew Cathay Pacific decent experience, I usually take ativan for long hauls.
BKK stayed in Marriott resort and spa. Loved this hotel, when they found out if was our 10 yr wedding anniversary they upgraded our room to a riverview suite with amazing amenities. Service top rate, I would definately stay there again.
Guide: TONG TONG TONG, she was just delightful, we spent two whole days with her, she took us to a fishing village that was very un-touristy, we had lunch with a family of freshly caught sea food over the water.. it was one of my favorite memories from any trip I have ever taken.
BKK to CM: Asia Air, nice airline though IMHO any plane ride that is safe is ok by me!
CM We stayed in the Baan Orapin guest house, a real winner, lovely rooms delightful people, free internet, Highly recommend.
Elephant Nature Park: We did a whole day there and it was delightful, after visiting we were glad we didn't do the typical trekking experience and gave our money to such a great cause in stead. Also bathed elephants with no bad side effects.
OK now that bad part.....
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Dec 21st, 2006, 01:12 PM
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Without going into too much detail, my husband and I had a very serious (but freak) accident while crossing the river Pai. So serious that we both nearly drowned and I crashed into a rock which cut so deeply that it exposed my shin bone for about four inches along the shin. Needless to say, river water not so great in your system or shin bone! To make a long story short, after 4 days in hospital in CM they were going to send me to BKK for amputation of my (by now) really infected right leg. I was rushed to BKK hospital, for a few days (not allowed to fly) and they were going to do surgery there.. But at the 11th hour I freaked out about the anethesia and even got so worried that I requested to do the amputation without general anethesia! At the end of the day, against Dr. orders I refused medical treatment and flew home to Los Angeles, where I was in critical care at Cedars for 11 days while a team of 5 Drs tried to and managed to save MY LEG!!! Whoopie.!!
What did this experience teach me?
1) Thai people are wonderful and generous and giving! We were treated amazingly by everyone. From guides to hospital staff (total stay about 1.5 weeks in Thai hospitals)
2) Travel to exotic destinations is fabulous, extreme sports are fabulous, I don't know if I would combine the two however, ever again!
3) Travel insurance was OK though the total hospital bill in Thailand came to a whoppin' $75.00 above my $500.00 deductable. But your best friend is your stateside regular medical insurance, if you can pay extra and get the PPO!
Never travel without your best friend (my husband was my hero, despite being injured himself and nearly drowing, he kept everything together and even held my hand during a 3 hour surgery in Pai hospital while they did a debreedment of dead tissue with no pain medication! He is a hero!!!)

Lastly, I will definately go to Thailand again.. I would definately think twice about getting involved in water sports overseas! Unfortunately my Dr has forbidden me to travel for 12 months incase my infection comes back (gangrene had set in for some of the tissue) but as soon as I can,,,, India or China HERE I COME!
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Dec 21st, 2006, 01:22 PM
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OMG----I am so sorry to hear about your accident but glad to hear that you (and your leg) are now OK.

What hospital were you in Bangkok? Bumregard is said to be world class.

Thank you for sharing your story and best of luck with your recovery
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Dec 21st, 2006, 02:34 PM
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How scary! Thanks for sharing. So glad you got to keep your leg - seems your intuition kicked in at the right time. Also glad it hasn't put you off travel. And isn't it amazing how cheap medical care can be overseas.
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Dec 21st, 2006, 03:05 PM
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So glad your leg has gotten better. You must have been terrified. Infections are horrible things.

Tong is super. Isn't the secret place a treasure. Reed and his wife are so welcoming, funny aqnd nice.
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Dec 21st, 2006, 03:44 PM
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Wow!! Amazing story. I'm so glad you are healing and got to keep your leg. I'm also glad that you still have such wonderful feelings about Thailand!
Carol
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Dec 21st, 2006, 04:07 PM
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Thanks for the emails gang, I was in
Vibhavadi General Hospital in Bangkok.. which though much better then the hospital in Pai, was maybe not quite so cutting edge as my LA hospital.. we chose it because it was closest to the airport and I was flying in from CM.. and had to be rushed by ambulance.
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Dec 21st, 2006, 05:53 PM
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What a frightening story! I'm so glad you are better. Did you have medical evacuation insurance? Were there any issues about flying you home to LA?
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Dec 21st, 2006, 06:57 PM
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Thyra,

Sorry to hear about your unfortunate experience. Vibhavadi hospital is not really highly regarded and in any emergency I would still make the extra effort to go to Bumrungrad hospital which in this case is only perhaps 15 minutes further in an ambulance.

In an emergency in Thailand, the police usually take the injured to the nearest state run hospital. Always do some research on the best hospital for the cities that you are going to before hand as this could mean the different between life or death!
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Dec 21st, 2006, 07:08 PM
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so glad you are on the mend and will keep my fingers crossed for you for the next few months...thanks for sharing this...simple things can turn on you and your situation is a prime example...

would also be interested in how your airline handled this and which airline it was...
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Dec 21st, 2006, 08:24 PM
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Good luck with your recovery! And thanks for sharing.
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Dec 21st, 2006, 09:32 PM
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OMG..that was quite the experience...Hope you recover fully!! Take care....
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Dec 21st, 2006, 09:52 PM
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Wow...how traumatic! I'm glad all is well in the end though.
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Dec 21st, 2006, 09:55 PM
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So glad you are OK after your frightening experience. Best wishes from Down Under for a complete recovery (and a Happy Christmas). Am going to ChiangMai soon - may have been tempted to go on a white water rafting trip with my brother, who lives there - I won't now!
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Dec 21st, 2006, 10:00 PM
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One amazing story.Wish you a speedy recovery.Accidents do happen even though one takes all precautions.Your are one brave soul.The best part of it is you managed to save your leg.I put it to your sheer will power.God Bless!!
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Dec 21st, 2006, 10:27 PM
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I hope you are much better. Thumbs up for Cedars! One of my best friends nearly died during childbirth about a Year and a half ago...late 40s...first child. The pregnancy was totally normal, but the delivery was the problem. She has all Cedar's doctors and was rushed in and they saved her and the baby. I've had several friends at Cedars. Happy Travels!
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Dec 22nd, 2006, 02:33 AM
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What a dreadful thing to happen and especially on a holiday! You must be a positive thinking person to be thinking of going again! Glad everything else went well and thank heavens you decided not to go ahead with the operation with or without anaesthetic!
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Dec 22nd, 2006, 06:19 AM
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This is just another reason to maybe go ahead and pre-register at Bumrungrad, so that if something happens, you can go directly there, in in Bangkok. All my family and friends are registered (I'm the only one who hasn't done this yet... gotta get it done next trip).
Carol
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Dec 22nd, 2006, 07:14 AM
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Glad to hear that you are OK.
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Dec 22nd, 2006, 09:07 AM
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Wow.....All the best to you in your recovery. You have an amazing attitude which has helped you through. Wishing you and yours the Happiest of the Holidays!

Aloha!
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