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Pneumonia in Nepal

Written by Joshua Fuglsang on .

XRay of Pneumonia

Over the last month I have been quite unwell. It turns out that I contracted Pneumonia.

For November 2017 I had organised to partake in a one month meditation course at Kopan Monastery, however I was sick throughout most of the course.

I spent three nights in hospital, then six nights after that recovering in an AirBnB. And before that I spent almost six days / nights in bed while the course was going on. In total I was in bed for more than two weeks; it is the sickest that I have ever been. During the ordeal I lost about four kilograms of my body mass, which is enormous for me. When I came to Nepal I was about 60kg, now I am less than 55kg.

I can't say where I picked it up, though I have my suspicions. Pneumonia is caused from a bacteria, so I could have caught it from some dirty cutlery while I was trekking.

To recover from the infection I stayed at Ciwec Hospital in Kathmandu. The hospital was very clean and organised with exceptionally well trained staff, however the hospital aught to be top notch as they charge $1000 USD per night. PER NIGHT! That price is totally unaffordable without insurance and their business model appears to be to charge as much as insurance companies can stomach.

I spent a little bit more to get insurance from a well regarded company before I left; Medibank Private. They cost 30-50% more than ordinary travel insurance, but they were absolutely amazing to deal with during my sickness. They called me every day; even after they had paid my bill I would still receive a phone call each morning from one of Medibank's nurses to see how things were going. They also paid for the bill directly, so I didn't have to pay it first then get reimbursed later. I also had $0 excess, so I didn't have to pay a thing during my time there.

In the end the biggest shame of the experience was the fact that I missed most of the course that I had planned to do for so long. In total I think I missed close to two thirds of the Kopan course. In fact one of the reasons that I resigned from SafetyCulture at the time that I did was so that I could attend the Kopan course. I have lost a lot of strength over the last month, so it is going to be a long journey ahead in order to recover it.

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