Sunday, December 18, 2011
Health Check in China Pt.9
Yup, that's me up there on the gurney. 2 gun shots to the sternum. But you should see the other guy! I also have a belly button.
Actually, that's me getting a quick ECG scan at the health check office here in Xining. It's probably the 8th or 9th health check I've had in this city. It continues to be one of the weirdest things about living here in China.
Before getting started, we need to go to the cashier to pay for the tests. The total price per person is 227 yuan, or about 37 Canadian dollars.
The whole process flows pretty smoothly. If it's not busy, you can be in and out within an hour. The first place they take you is to get your blood drawn. Instead of a private room, it is a room where anyone can gather and wait to get their blood drawn. They all stand around the table with their sleeves pulled up past their elbows and they watch your hairy Canadian arm get jabbed at by a poor health worker who probably stands there drawing blood nonstop for 3 or 4 hours before her lunch break.
I hate getting my blood drawn, so this is always the worst part for me. I am glad to get it out of the way at the beginning. I am also careful to make sure that the poor overworked lady, with a dozen people by the table distracting her, doesn't make a mistake and stick me with a dirty needle. That would be a tough way to go.
After this, a quick chest X-ray. Not too bad. Then we move upstairs to measure blood pressure. You stick your arm (the one with the blood still drying) into the automatic machine and let it do it's thing. Height, weight, no big deal. Other people were there getting ultrasounds and lung capacity tests, but for us we just had to move on to the ECG before leaving.
I'm not really sure what an ECG is, but the test for it sure is weird. Basically, the health worker rubs iodine on your extremities and just below your nipples. Then, she puts a bunch of suction cups on your body. They quickly unstick because of my chest hair so, for an awkward moment, the worker must hold them on my chest with her hands. Anytime a stranger is holding suction cups on your iodine lubed nipples, you know that it's going to be a little awkward.
After that, we head down to the office with the forms and we can pick up the results the next day.
It's one of those experiences here that I actually look forward to with fondness. With so many little, annoying culture things to deal with every single day, for some reason, the health check is still very funny to me. Just as funny as this random poster of 'American Beauty' they have hanging on the wall. She has a belly button, too!