skip to Main Content

Bangkok Pattaya Hospital Anatomy Lesson

Recent arrival Jerry, he of the driving licence acquisition, has now settled in and, as befitting a man on a pension, has started playing football; with inevitable consequences.

So off down to Bangkok Pattaya Hospital with a torn calf muscle and a pain in his lower back. The doctor calls for an X-Ray of the right side of his back and off he trots (or rather, hobbles) to the radiology department where the right side of his torso is X-rayed.

At this point, an error occurs when a sticker is placed upon the X-Ray, indicating that this is the left hand side of the body. However, to anyone with any medical training, it would be clear that this is a right side image, with the offset of organs such as the heart and liver making it obvious.

The highly trained and massively expensive staff at Bangkok Pattaya Hospital study the X-Ray and indeed notice that this is not a normal X-Ray of the left side of the body. There can only be two reasons for this disparity:

1. Some dickhead has incorrectly labelled the X-Ray as being “Left” rather than “Right”
2. This devious foreigner has re-arranged his organs to deliberately confuse hospital staff. The fiend.

So which option do they choose?

A nurse hurries up to Jerry and asks “have you had an operation to move your heart to to the other side of your body?”

Read that again. She actually said that. A nurse. At the most expensive (and useless) hospital in Pattaya. They do operations, your life may be in their hands. Don’t get sick.

P.S. Not just a nurse. The radiologist also expressed concern that Jerry’s liver was very swollen (because there is more liver on the right hand side, and if you thought you were looking at the left….). Idiot.

This Post Has 13 Comments
  1. At the risk of being overly sensitive about nurse-directed criticism, is it possible that she was asking not about an operation but if you had situs inversus or transposition of organs? This is commonly picked up for the first time in young men involved in minor trauma – the most obvious feature being the presence of the majority of the heart in the right side of the chest.

  2. If she wasn’t asking about an operation, why did she ask about an operation? The quote is exact. And the radiologist…?

    I am not nurse-bashing, it’s just a reflection of the poor quality of Bangkok Pattaya Hospital. I will not bore you with my own experiences, suffice it to say I would rather crawl to Bangkok than let BPH operate on me.

  3. Clearly with nearly two decades of living in Thailand between the pair of you and barely able to say anything more in Thai that two more beers please, she was in the unenviable position of having to dialogue in English, notoriusly difficult for most Thais. I have been checking with Google Translate and and one of those medical self help sites and find, somewhat startlingly, that if I ask it “ได้ที่คุณมีการดำเนินการย้ายหัวใจของคุณไปด้านอื่นๆของร่างกายของคุณหรือไม่” then it indeed comes back with have you ever had situs inversus, or transposition of organs?

    Case closed in my book … hope helps, Billy

  4. You are wrong. I am unable to order more than one beer in Thai (unless it is your round). Jerry, however, is close to fluent. So would not be surprised if the conversations in hospital were in Thai.

    And your next theory is…?

  5. I heard that the hospital this week is having their Joint Commission inspection – which would mean several US doctors, nurses etc. spending several days on site interviewing staff and inspecting the standard of care. So maybe she was just overly paranoid? Maybe her bosses had given the message that nothing must be assumed and everything must be by the book during the inspection?

    My experience is that Thai nurses are usually a bright bunch. Maybe you guys stumbled across the village idiot. Funny story though.

  6. You were in fact never to order more than one beer in Aberdeen and, though there were also severe linguistic barriers to be overcome there, alas, I never saw the root cause as being the language issue 🙂

    ps you can also expect a bit of a going over by Sister Brightmore when next she visits … she speaks rather very highly of Asian nurses, most especially the Philipino ones, in her own organisation …

  7. You wouldn’t remember what anyone said in a bar in Aberdeen. Shall I tell the “Jesus in a flowerbed story”, or the “who put Lawrence Sutherland’s steaks in the urinals for 30 minutes and then made him eat it” story?

  8. I would most certainly have remembered your buying a round … otherwise, ah, the joys of youth, so nice to be able to look back now on something worth remembering … or at least having stuff for people to remind me about …

    ps I am pretty sure the “Sutherland steak” thing was actually Mike Ironside, or someone else anyway …

  9. Indeed it was not you; but still a great story. I will have to weave it into a post one day; perhaps the one I plan to write about how great nurses are.

  10. I havn’t ordered a Sutherland steak in 24 years … since I left Shell … drunk plenty piss though !! Talking of which I haven’t seen Jerry in as many years .. and there are direct flights from RUH to BKK .. tempting !! Have you introduced him to the Longtail Bar?

Comments are closed.

Back To Top
%d bloggers like this: