I know all about spots. The Chinese call it "pifu bing" which means "skin sick." I get "pifu bing" from time to time from playing with other little dogs who haven't had their innoculations. That's why Lady doesn't like me to play with them. Sometimes I come home home from my vacations at friends' homes and I've picked up spots. Lady is NOT happy when I come home with pifu bing, because it takes months and vets trips to clear up. Well, it wasn't me this time who ended up with spots! It was LADY! She came home last Tuesday night after eating a big dinner at a friend's home and started scratching like crazy! She took a shower, changed clothes and took itch medicine and still woke me up all night long. Good grief! She was up at 3:00 AM taking more itch medicine, and putting on cream. She always put cream on my spots as well. The next morning, Lady had two classes but came home right after that. Poor Lady was miserable, and started shedding her clothes. She wouldn't let me lick her. By Thursday morning, Lady woke up with fat lips, puffy eyes, and red blotches all over her face. When she looked in the mirror, she cried. I sure didn't want to be the one to tell her what she looked like! But, I stuck by her anyway. Lady stayed home from school and took more medicine. Friday, our friend, Betty's mom, took Lady to the Number One hospital in our city to see the skin doctor. In China, the people go to the hospital to see the doctors. First, you go to a window and pay about 35 cents to see the doctor, and get a little blue notebook. Then, you go to the floor where the doctor you want see has an office. When they found the room, several different humans and children were already in there telling the doctor their problems. Lady waited. Finally the doctor looked at her spots. All the other people in the room looked at her spots too, and listened in on the conversation. The doctor told her the same thing a nurse friend, and another American doctor had suspected, that she had an allergic reaction to either something she ate or touched. The doctor wrote a prescription, and wrote in Lady's little blue book. She told Lady to come back on Monday after having three days of medicine. Lady and Judy went downstairs to pay for the medicine. It cost $27 for all the medicine. Then, they went to the Pharmacy in the hospital to fill the prescriptions. They gave Lady a bag of drugs. All the boxes had English and Chinese on them, so Lady could read what she was taking. Two boxes had vials fo vitamins in them. Judy took Lady into a room crowded with chairs and beds. Long metal poles had hooks on them and were all holding IV bottles. Humans of all ages and ailments were hooked up on IV drips in the one large room. Most of the patients had a family member or friend with them. Some humans just came in and got an injection and left. Lady found a white wooden chair with stained, faded pink cushions, and sat down. The doctors mixed up her drugs according to the prescription, and brought it to Lady. They hung two bottles high on the metal pole. Many people stared at Lady as they don't often see white humans. A nurse came and inserted a clean needle into the back of Lady's hand. There she sat for over three hours as the medicine slowly dripped into her veins. In China, this is the most common way to receive medicine. And this is why Lady never likes to tell her friends when she is sick. The first thing they say is, "you need to go to the hospital and get an injection!" But what they mean is, she needs an IV drip. It is the Chinese way. Little children often have the IV into their head. Some patients lay on the beds, but no one changes the sheets when they leave. China does the best she can with so many people to take care of. As soon as one gets up, another takes his place. And so it goes all day long.
The doctor gave Lady some zinc oxide to paint on her spots. She smelled and looked funny, but I didn't tell her. I didn't want to lick her anymore, either. Lady continued to have a really hard time getting any sleep. Poor Lady. I am sorry she is so miserable, but I really like having her home all day to scratch me. I tried my best to take care of her. I kept bringing her toys, and blankets.
On the third morning at the hospital, many friends came. They had heard the news because Lady had missed both English Corners. Chinese like to visit people when their sick, but Lady doesn't like people to see her sick, or blotchy. Our friend Belle got Lady out of that noisy, crowded room and into a room of her own with a bed and clean sheets! Finally Lady could stretch out. Her knees and back side didn't hurt as much when she came home after four hours on the IVs. Joe came and brought nectarines. Her students Doris and Gloria came and brought beautiful flowers. A students' mom and dad heard about it and brought four dozen eggs! Jenny also came to stay with Lady. But while Lady was on the drip, she broke out again all over her face and neck. Her eyes got all puffy again. Jenny said she would talk to the doctor the next day. After Lady got home, three more students came by with gifts! Frannie and Skye brought Lady's favorite Dove dark chocolate! Jade brought more flowers, and cleaned the floors for Lady. Little Girl's mom brought dinner. Lady let me have a sausage for being such a good companion.
Monday morning, Jenny took Lady back to the doctor. Lady had a good night last night, but broke out again while waiting her turn for the doctor. People crowded around to hear the conversation. They strained to get a look at Lady's rash. The doctor wanted Lady on IV drips for two more days, but Lady asked if she could please just have one injection. The doctor said the injection would take two days to work. Lady said, "please?" The doctor agreed. Lady asked for the drug the American doctor had recommended to help her stop itching. The doctor wrote the prescription. The people leaned in again to get a look at what the doctor was writing. So much for privacy. It doesn't exist here.
Jenny took Lady down to pay for the new medicine. Today, it only cost $7. After getting the pills and the injection, they went back to the large, crowded room with the poles. Lady insisted on seeing if the needle were new. The nurse was annoyed and fussy. Jenny apologized, but Lady knew it was most important that she have a new needle. She won't even let the vet use an old needle on me. Lady wanted the shot in her arm but the nurse refused and pointed to Lady's backside. All eyes in the room seemed to be on Lady. Lady asked Jenny to ask if she could go in a smaller room. The nurse refused and wanted Lady to sit on a white block of wood with steps on it, and pull down her pants. She held the shot and waited. The block was in clear view of everyone in the room. My Lady saw all the people looking at her and didn't want to show her white backside to them. She began to cry, and Jenny (the police officer) said somehting to the fussy nurse. Very quickly she herded Lady across the hall into a small room with another nurse. That nurse closed the door and Lady got her shot. She was very appreciative. Now the fussy nurse was nice!
Although the doctor said it would take two days for the shot to work, Lady stopped itching within a couple of hours, and has been pretty much scratching free! Katrina came over and we went on a very long walk! Lady still has a lot of blotches and red dots, but they are clearing up. She is so much more comfortable. She thinks it was a red fruit she ate that she had never had before. She had many dishes at Linda's, so she is not certain, but all week she has eaten her own food. She gave away the fruit that Joe brought, as she is not taking any chances! Now Lady knows how I feel when I have my spots and I am all itchy. I think she will be much more sympathetic next time. After all, I am just a little dog!