5 years ago I was hit by a car and had both bones in my right arm snapped just above the wrist. WOW, I got great service at the Taipei Hospital in HsinChuang. I was bumped right up to the front of the line. The head surgeon came down to check me out and whisked me to X-ray. I was in the operating theatre in less than an hour. My Taiwanese friend said it was because I was a foreigner so they were taking care of me. Good for me, but I felt a bit bad for those who were already waiting. In Australia you could wait in the emergency room for hours just for a broken arm.
Anyways, I can’t really remember about any pain killers prescribed during my 2 day stay in hospital or once I left hospital, but I had a scary experience under the general anesthesia.
First they wanted to just give me a nerve block for the arm. The doc said I would feel a pain like an electric shock in the arm when they hit the nerve. Well they kept sticking the needle in the side of my neck, poking around with them asking, “Can you feel it yet?” to which I replied, “well, I don’t know if it is an electric shock, but you a bloody well hurting me”. Then they pulled the needle out and I felt a big spray go down the side of my neck. I thought oh shit! and asked them if that was my blood spraying out, to which they said “no”. Anyway, after a few more tries, I finally felt the electric shock, my god that hurt. Then they gave me the general and I fell asleep.
BUT I woke up to the sensation of my arm being pulled. I thought tho myself, Finished, they must be wrapping my arm. But then, I hear a drill and then my arm beig pulled again and I thought “Oh F@#$, am I supposed to be awake and am I supposed to feel this”. But I couldn’t move and I couldn’t speak. Actually I could move my toes and I was trying to wiggle them so much that they would notice, but nothing… Actually I couldn’t feel the drilling or the moving of the broken bones or anything, just the feeling of my arm being pulled at the shoulder joint.
Next thing, the nurse says, “Finished” and I woke up. But the next strange thing was that my Taiwanese friend who waited for me the whole time said that I had actually been in the recovery room for an hour and they couldn’t wake me from the general anesthetic. They were yelling at me and slapping my face.
So 2 days in hospital with 2 pins in my arm. One of the holes got infected two weeks later due to the summer heat. But when it was finally time to get the pins pulled out, I thought I would have been given a local. But no, the doc just grabbed my arm and got some plyers and pulled and twisted the pins out. Surprisingly, that didn’t hurt. Maybe that part never hurts, luckily.
Well, that was an experience, my experience in Taiwan.