Monday, October 1, 2007
China Day 10: National Days in China
Wow! Can you believe we have been in China 10 days? We are one-eighth of the way through our experience here! Time does fly -- Dan and I spent the day doing therapy on our own as there were no therapists here today due to the holiday. Dan also spent 6 hours on the IV drip. We did some OT exercises and some speech exercises.
Later in the day we went for an excursion to the local Wal-mart. I had been there before to get some needed supplies, but this time Dan went with me. It was an 'interesting' experience. Dan pushes the cart with his legs and one hand and I push him in the wheelchair. Combine that with about a gazillion Chinese people to navigate around and you get 'interesting'... :-) We did find on lady that spoke English and she showed me where to find the cheese... I was almost in front of it, but couldn't see it. It is packaged differently and I didn't recognize it immediately. They mostly just have processed cheese slices, but that is just fine – we had toasted cheese sandwiches for dinner tonight (how nice to know what I am eating..!) We bought some fruit and cookies (for Dan and his sweet tooth), some ice cream (more for Dan... see what I get when I take him with me!) and some juice, a variety of nuts and some socks. We even bought a couple of movies to watch on our Chinese DVD player in the room – American movies won't work on it. The total bill was 442 Yuan or about $63 USD. I don't ever remember getting out of Wal-mart (or Costco) for under $100 in the US-- it is nice to have the exchange rate in our favor! It is about 1:7 ratio, so we come out pretty good. (for example, the DVD's cost between $2-3 USD.) We noticed some nice overnight luggage there for about $28, so shopping can be fun from the cost savings perspective. I included a couple of pictures of our outing – one of Dan in the cookie row and one of him getting some treats from the Oreo ladies... enjoy!
Getting a taxi back to the hospital was a fun experience. Sometimes the taxi drivers won't take Dan because they don't think the wheelchair collapses or they don't want to bother with it. So here we are out on the street trying to hail a cab with umpteen bags and a wheelchair. Two taxis turned us down, but the third was nice enough to give us a go. We decided he deserved a tip – he was pretty happy I think.
When we came back to the hospital, they were having a birthday party for Isabelle and Marlene. Isabelle is originally from the Shanghai area of China, but has lived in France for several years as well. She is here with her daughter, and her daughter was making so much progress that she decided to get a job and stay in Beijing to continue the treatments. She works for the hospital now, but her husband is working in Shanghai – he was coming tonight to join her for her birthday. Marlene is from Florida – she is originally from Michigan, but retired to sunny Florida, after her husband, Norman, retired from working at GM. Norman has Parkinson's disease and they are here for their first treatment. One family is here on the second go around – they are from Australia and felt that the first treatment made such a great difference in their son that they are back for a second round after six months. Their son, Adrian was injured when rock climbing (not using any ropes) and he fell. They have a great family here to support him as well. As you can see there are many others that come from all over the world to get treatment here for many different types of cases- injuries, strokes, cerebral palsy and parkinson's – the list goes on. Stem cell treatment is bringing hope in many areas of medical treatment, and it is exciting to be here in the pioneering stages of this wonderful new era of medical science and advancement.
Hope all is well with you – thanks for hanging in there with us!