Diagnosis and Waterfalls

Went to the hospital today to get a diagnosis. The hospital looked like a building out of Miami Vice, and unlike any medical facility in America (except maybe in Miami). Peach, white and turquoise furniture with different colors of marble and gold fixtures and mirrors all over the place. They provided free coffee in the waiting area. The hospital was also staffed to the walls with youthful, white uniformed Thai nurses. Going between the floors and getting my vitals taken twice was like some kind of alluring fever dream.

The English-speaking doctor was a little unclear what exactly was causing my illness, but he said that it was an organism in the lake that I was having an allergic reaction to. If this is toxic algae or not, I don’t know. But he prescribed me antihistamines, a steroid, and a cream to clear the rash. He had that the allergic reaction could explain my eye and joint soreness too. Damn that water.

The visit and prescriptions only cost $20.

The great irony is that the medicine may make me just as sleepy as the reaction was, so when all is said and done, I will have been out of commission for about a week.

Yesterday, S. and I went to a waterfall with some friends. We all rode together in an open taxi called a Sang Tow and hiked up a trail to find a nice place to settle and swim. There were 10 waterfalls, all within walking distance up the mountain. I wanted to see all of them, but was feeling too tired to go to more than the fifth falls. There, S. and the others played in the water while I rested. I felt like an injured vet that has to sit on the edge of the pool as only a witness to fun. But I wasn’t going to expose myself to another batch of mystery water so soon.


View of a bridge crossing the stream.

P. in front of the falls.

S. and K. playing in the falls.

July 11th, 2005. Categories / Chiang Mai, Thailand

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