Being sick is all part of the process of travelling, but being sick in high altitudes seem to complicate things. The biggest difference is that recovery rates are slloooowww! Jiajia’s been sick ever since riding that bus from Yushu into Xining, and hasn’t recovered since and seems to have gotten worst.
We were planning for a 17-day trip around the rural parts of Tibet (Ali region) with an average elevation of well over 4200m! The trail is bare bones, without roads and very limited modern day facilities such as hospitals. To be on the safe side, we probably need to get better before heading out.
So we went to the hospital, got everything checked out and got some prescription. The one difference in visiting the doctor in China is that, they like to do IV drips. Thinking it being the fastest way to recovery, we gladly followed suit! And coming up with a minor cough, we thought we might as well both get the treatment just to be ‘safe’.
We got our meds and went to visit Sera monastery (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sera_Monastery#Debates), the name is actually Tibetan for wild-roses…. so romantic. We came here for one of the more interesting ways of learning, Tibetan debating! Seeing this on TV before, it was definitely different to see it in real life. Monks would come in from all different directions, and grab a seat in a stochastic manner. Younger monks would walk up in front of one random master, and start posing questions in the coolest manner possible….by doing this kung-fu like pose before ending with a thunderous clap to signal the end of the question. It would’ve been so much better if we understood the language, but we stayed there watching for over an hour. Sorta strange though if you think about it, like if a group of foreigners sat in on your lectures, and started taking pictures of you asking the professor questions!?!? Tourists can be strange…
Going to the hospital is never a fun thing, especially when you’re being treated by a nurse-in-training (but whom was quite pretty haha)! I can honestly claim to have pretty massive veins, but somehow she still missed her IV and my hand started swelling!! Then, this older and less pretty nurse comes up and does her magic…no pain and all done! So we sat in the “Drip Hall”, where 15+ other people came for IV treatment, most of which were tourists having a bit of a cold or needing oxygen treatment to combat altitude sickness… We sat there watching Lie To Me and Family Guy.
The problem was…after my IV treatment, Jiajia felt better but I felt worst! So we got home and my fever started while hers waned off….