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Medical Dramas on Ko Phangan and Surgery on Ko Samui

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This morning, 4 months into our trip, my husband is having emergency hernia repair surgery on Ko Samui. I’ve always said medical care is great in Thailand, but I wasn’t expecting to test it out! My fit, healthy, Iron Man husband was absolutely fine on Saturday afternoon. He was playing around with the kids. We got a taxi to Thong Sala, the big town on Ko Phangan, for the Saturday night market. When he got out of the taxi he was in pain.


“I feel like I’ve been kicked in the guts.”

He was grey and clammy. My first thought was appendicitis, that hits in the lower right side that he was clutching. He sort of stumbled around the market a while, things didn’t improve.

For the record, the market was very average, it wasn’t worth the special trip.

For some reason hernias popped into my head, I don’t know why. We had a quick look. There is was, half a grapefruit sized bulge. An inguinal hernia.

There is an emergency medical facility on Ko Phangan, it was just around the corner.

The people there were great, the doctor spoke little English but a paramedic could translate for us. They gave Chef muscle relaxants, pain killers and a hot water bottle and arranged for an ambulance to take him by ferry to the hospital on Ko Samui in the morning.

The insurance are paying, thankfully, but it was a long, anxious wait for them to agree. The cost of the hernia repair was estimated at almost $7000 AU.

We didn’t expect anything like this, goes to show, always expect the unexpected, always be prepared. Always have travel insurance.

I’m not well either, I’ve been suffering breathlessness along with the odd palpitation and hot flashes. Classic perimenopausal symptoms and anxiety, or something more sinister? With Chef stealing the limelight I haven’t had a chance to get checked out. I’m just trying to exercise more, hiking up the hills here helps regulate my breathing. ( I worked out what it was, I think, MSG, read here!)

Appreciate What You’ve Got Right Now, Don’t Take Things for Granted!

A couple of days ago I was bored with sitting on this beach on Ko Phangan . Lovely as it is, I don’t dig beaches and that day the kids were driving me nuts and I was pretty fed up with James for being less than perfect.

I wish I could go back and have that level of boredom again. The coming weeks are going to be tough. The recovery from an open hernia repair and a general anaesthetic isn’t going to be easy. He won’t be able to do much and certainly won’t be able to carry much. We may have to ditch his backpack and some gear, starting with all the kids’ books I’m carrying, they’re heavy.

Maybe I needed a wake up call, a lesson in appreciation. I’d rather like to have my fit, healthy husband and his comedy mustache back right now. I’d rather like to feel well myself.

But onward and upward, if we don’t have the hard times we don’t appreciate the good.

As I keep saying, this isn’t a holiday, this is real life in a different location, warts and all.

We stayed at Haad Salad Villas on Ko Phangan for 6 weeks. Other than our medical issues, it was a wonderful time and he highly recommend them.

If you'd like to hire a car during your stay, use this car rental comparison tool to find the best deal!

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Thursday 10th of March 2016

Stop crying about how hars everything is. You Are TRAVELLING With kids. Shit happens, people have hard life's living in a stable home.


Thursday 10th of March 2016

Who's crying? My life is awesome. Travelling with kids is no different to travelling without kids. No idea what you're talking about, but thanks for the comment.


Thursday 3rd of October 2013

Oh sorry, didn't mean to make my post sound like a lecture. And didn't mean to add to the anxiety. It's hard when people read things instead of hearing a tone in the voice or facial expressions or not being able to just give a hug. I occasionally have bouts of anxiety that I manage pretty well, I'm just a worry wort that's all. That's why I function with as much under control as possible and all the safety boxes checked and then I can kick back and have a good time. I just try and put myself in the same position with my child in another country. I was mostly just writing some tips of the things I would love to read in a more detailed blog for future reference. My biggest fear is something happening to me and my child just being stranded. Not that I'd want to fill her with every possible bad scenario just to see how she'd manage it. I guess in a real emergency (that hopefully never happens) I'd just like to have some comfort that my child won't fall apart at the seams and will try and methodically and calmly put some strategies into place to get help quickly and safely. And as for the peri-menopausal, I totally get that too. It's not easy being a Mumma sometimes. We need care too. xox

Melanie Murrish

Thursday 3rd of October 2013

Ah-no offence intended either Kym; it's nice that people are concerned!


Thursday 3rd of October 2013

Only joking Kym!! My anxiety is about my breathing, you over breath, your CO2 levels get too low, your body over breathes even more. It's a vicious circle leading to panic attacks if you don't know what it is and control it, which I do. I don't worry about the sort of stuff you mention at all, we're absolutely fine where we are. Thanks for caring and thanks for all the comments!


Wednesday 2nd of October 2013

You don't know us from Adam, but we are a family who loves reading about your adventures! On behalf of all the nameless people who are reading your blog, we just wanted to let you know that we're thinking of you all :-)


Thursday 3rd of October 2013

Thanks Anita, thanks for saying hi, it's great to hear from the faceless readers. Keep commenting, it's good to know who's out there! I think we're all recovering nicely today, stress levels and anxiety are going down.

Melanie Murrish

Wednesday 2nd of October 2013

You need to see a doctor missus-I know I joked about our age and everything, but it may not be that, and you need to get sorted! I thought Kym came on a bit strong (I was getting the shivers when I read her reply), but I get exactly what she's saying; it wouldn't hurt for the boys to have a couple of emergency numbers on them.

Anyhoo, not that anything is going to happen, but a sarcastic reply or two would make me feel better! ;)


Wednesday 2nd of October 2013

I'm fine! I've had anxiety once before, it's a pain in the butt but I can sort it, I hope. And I really am peri menopausal, have been for a long time, this is all kinda normal! I feel much better today anyway and I'll do my hill think again in the morning, by the end of the week I'll be running up there!

Sarah Robinson

Wednesday 2nd of October 2013

Blimey Alyson, you guys are having it tough at the moment - don't forget your own health though.

How much longer can you stay put? How longs left on your visa? Do you have to move before chef is all healed? Is there anything you could get to help you move your stuff - like a cheap pushchair to load up, maybe the kids could take it in turns pushing it??

I hope the operation goes smoothly


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