Adventures living as expats.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Jakarta Medical Care

Over the last year we've heard a few medical stories that have been either horrific or hilarious.  Thinking this wouldn't be the case for us, we laughed them off and cringed when appropriate not thinking much about it.  The last few weeks we've both tested the level of care at the SOS Clinic where most expats go.  I went suspecting a parasite and Jeff went after a heroic Ultimate Frisbee dive  that tweaked his shoulder, the same one that fell victim to an ice skating crash on a homemade rink after a few shots of tequila.

I was the prizewinner and only had to visit the clinic twice to get the correct prescription and diagnosis.  As a bonus, I asked for Xanax to calm my recently developed flight anxiety (thanks Lion Air).  I was rewarded with a prescription after answering just 1 question - "how many do you want?"  Care-free flying here I come!

About a week later we returned after a highly competitive Frisbee play where Jeff opted to tuck and roll instead of belly-flopping onto the turf.  He heard a loud pop and knew that meant trouble.  We managed to make it home that night and headed to the doc first thing the next morning.  After a mulligan or two by the X-ray tech, he had 2 usable shots of his shoulder.  The local doctor took a 15 second look at the X-ray, concluded everything was fine, and handed us a prescription for muscle relaxants and local brand Bengay cream.  He gave no advice on icing and my probing questions about  physical therapy yielded an indifferent shrug and response of "if you want."  The doc also recommended not to move the shoulder which we later learned is a good way to extend the recovery by locking the muscles up.  

Jeff managed to survive for a few weeks and I picked up the X-rays on my next trip out to the Kemang area.  After a quick peak  it was obvious that there was a BIG difference between his two shoulders.  Why is the collar bone on the left side just floating in space while the right side look attached to another bone?  Why is there 3 times the space on between the shoulder bones on the left side?  
Jeff's X-ray.  Sorry for the building in the background, had to tape this to a window to get a picture.
That night we consulted good ol' Wiki and cringed when the first image for a separated shoulder looked the same as his x-ray.
Here's the Wiki picture of a separated shoulder
Jeff's separated shoulder
It's not all bad news though, we miraculously met a fantastic physical therapist specializing in shoulder injuries at a friends birthday party.  Jeff's just under the cusp for needing surgery.  He's working on his range of motion every night (with a little nagging from the wife) and plans to be better than new in under 8 weeks.

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