Once again apologies for not updating things. Time always seems to be at a premium here in Nantong – despite the Old Codger’s relentless claims that he is semi-retired. Retirement is for sissies in the long run the Old Codger has finally determined. Nantong, despite being a small city, does have opportunities for one to spend his or her time constructively or destructively. The Old Codger is adept at both.
A lot has happened in the last year or so since the Old Codger last posted. Practically blind in one eye, the Old Codger was forced to gamble on the ability of Nantong’s Chinese doctors and undergo cataract surgery. An interesting experience for not only the Old Codger, but also the medical staff at the local hospital, which the Old Codger insisted on “escaping from” as often as possible. Anesthetics are used very sparingly in China, and other than eye drops, none are used in cataract surgery. One just lays there with no one communicating with them as the ophthalmologist goes about his business. Of course, the doctors are talking with each other but without understanding Chinese an over active and stressed out mind can only imagine what is being said.
Ultimately though, the surgery was successful. Immediately after the surgery, the Old Codger simply got off the operating table and started walking out of the surgery much to the displeasure of the attendants. Chinese, it seems, consider any type of surgery, or for that matter, illness, to be nothing less than devastating and they act like they are about to draw their last breath on earth. The Old Codger refused to be pushed around by anyone in a wheel chair and walked out; went back to the hospital room and changed back into his regular clothes and perfected his escape to a local bar where a few pints of Tiger beer alleviated the discomfort. With four hours, the eye patch was gone and things were pretty much back to normal. The next day, upon returning to the hospital for a follow up, the Old Codger noted that the Chinese patients who had undergone the same procedure were still acting like “dead man walking” – and still with their eye patches on. Continue reading