Friday, March 15, 2019

Koh Phi Phi. Life's full of ups and downs, or is it downs and ups?

No question but life is full of ups and downs. After arriving it took me only a day to start relaxing, do some snorkeling, and find a very cool and funky bar in a tree house on the beach that played good jazz. A perfect place to get high and watch the sunset. 

It is also the kind of place where people are friendly. Everything was looking good.

But it seems like I ate something bad. I woke up in the middle of the night and barely made it to the bathroom in time. Fortunately I brought some Imodium with me so after taking one but still finding myself racing to the can several more times I went on the web to find the correct dosage. Once online I discovered that having black tarry looking poop means you have intestinal bleeding unless you have been eating something that would color your stool blacklike squid ink. No squid ink lately for me. Then I read that if you do have black stools you definitely should go to the doctor. And go right away! I went to the World Med Clinic here on this remote Island. Something new since the last time I was here. Very new, neat, clean and professional. 


The doctor confirmed that it was intestional bleeding and explained that it can be serious and even life threatening if the bleeding is bad enough. In any case I needed to get a blood test right away and then a colonoscopy as soon as possible, but certainly within a month. There are many possible causes including colon cancer. But, if they don't see the cause of the bleeding going up from the bottom they have to send another scope down from the top.

The blood test showed no signs of the bleeding causing anemia, which is good. My blood pressure was quite low. Usually it is around 135/90 or so.


Feeling pretty bad from the diarrhea I tried to figure out some of the different options. The work on the stainless Dance and the Jitterbug Dancers is proceeding well, but there is still a couple of weeks more work before we finish up. When you throw in the time it takes to ship it back to NYC we are on a pretty tight schedule. It also seems that it is best to get the colonoscopy as soon as possible.
Of course there are excellent hospitals in Bangkok, and the prices are a lot less than back un the USA. But I don't have any insurance over here and if there were more problems I wouldn't want to be stuck over here or go through some super expensive medi-vac thing. It is a depressing thought be be really sick in a far off foreign country. Also feeling tired and exhausted from the diarrhea I figured the safest, most sensible thing was to deal with the intestinal bleeding right away by flying home. I went to a cafe with my computer and I booked a flight home leaving after midnight the next day. But by the next morning I was feeling a lot better. Because I bought the ticket with miles on United I was able to cancel with no penalty. I'm feeling normal now, actually quite good, and feel confident I will be able to finish up my work at the foundry in a couple of weeks after I spend another week being a beach bum here on Ko phi Phi. And then I'll get the colonoscopy when I get home. One good thing is that Marianne and I just took the Cologuard Test for colon cancer and rectal bleeding just a few months ago and the tests came back negative. So I am not worried about having colon cancer. It is probably diverticulitus. My mother had a bad attack of it and had to be helicoptered off a cruise ship near the Fauklin Islands back in 1987. After being flown on a RAF jet to London she almost died on the opperating table a couple of times. As she used to say, "getting old is not for sissies."

I have been staying in a Bungalow just outside of Ton Soi, the main and only town.

       The location was fine.  It was neat and clean and quiet except for the Mosque next door broadcasting the call to prayer 5 times a day. No discos near by, but it was hardly inspiring.

Through my new friends from Austria I found out about the Viking Nature Resort where they have been staying for their 4 week vacation since 2011. To get to it with your luggage you have to take a long tail because the trail is rough and often steep. I moved there this morning and it is really nice!

       And check out the bathroom sink.

The view from my private deck is pretty sweet too.


Just walking into the room I felt a glow of happiness come over me. The only thing missing is the love of my life.

I think of Marianne a lot. I am so grateful to have her love and our wonderful family. It helps me keep going through the good times and the hard times, through the ups and the downs.

Jay Lagemann

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