Our month in Malaysia was not bad, but actually a bit funny how many “incidents” we had, and how those incidents seems to be nicely contained into the timeframe of the Malaysia trip.
It started on the plane from Chiang Mai to Kuala Lumpar when I noticed I was coming down with the sniffles. When we landed, my ears plugged up, and I guess due to the cold, they did not unplug… for nearly the entire time spent in Malaysia!
Since we had to be at the airport for an early morning flight, we opted to spend a night in the Kuala Lumpar airport to save a night’s hotel before heading to Kota Kinabalu.
When we finally got to KK, totally exhausted form a night “sleeping” on benches in the airport, we then set out walking from the bus stop to our first hotel. Rae was riding on my suitcase when it slipped out of my sweaty hands and she did a faceplant on the cement. Her mouth was full of blood, but fortunately no teeth were knocked out. My phone screen, however, didn’t survive the failed scramble to try to catch her.
Then when we finally got to the first hotel, with Rae’s bloody face and totally sweaty from a walk which was about 3 times as long as we thought it would be, we discovered the hotel was NOT there. Someone told us that it had moved, and showed us to a nearby taxi. The taxi driver took us there, which was just a 2 minute backtrack away and cost us the entire taxi fare that we had tried to avoid by all that walking.
Then when we got to the new location of the hotel, we found it was like something out of an episode of breaking bad. Dirty mattresses in the hall, stains all over the walls, and bugs literally crawling on the bed. We immediately walked out and booked a place next door. There went our cost savings from the night in the airport!
finally we settled in a nice AirBNB apartment, which we loved… but a few nights in had a midnight scare where I had to rush to the hospital. It turned out to be just a kidney stone, but I was given some pills and some liquid medicine to take over the next week.
A few days later Nicole discovered a large white patch with red spots growing on Rae’s elbow and decided to go find a clinic to make sure it wasn’t something serious. They gave her some cream and some pills.
Then, after my ear hadn’t unplugged since the airplane landing for 2 weeks, I decided to go down to the same clinic to see if they could help get it cleared up. They gave me some medicine and said to come back in 3 days if there was no improvement.
In 3 days my ear was worse and I could barely hear anything, so I went back. They gave me some different pills medicine and ear drops. They said I needed to continue taking the others too.
They also happened to notice one my pupils was larger than the other, which I explained was due to an injury when I was 10 years old. Still, the doctor insisted that this symptom could likely be due to a blood clot in my brain which had gone undetected for all these years because back then they didn’t have the technology. He insisted I get a brain scan at my earliest possibility.
At this point I felt like real old man taking 3 different pills, drinking some liquid, and putting ear drops in my ears at various intervals throughout the day… and now starting to think about when I might be able to go get checked for blood clots in my brain!
Finally, the day we were leaving KK I woke up for the first time thinking “Hurray my ear is finally unplugged!”
It wasn’t long though before Rae woke up and said “Hey Dad, what are all these red dots on your back?” My back had been super itch all night, and throughout the morning I watched these itchy red spots spread all over my arms, legs, back, chest… well everywhere!
With about 30 minutes to spare before our AirBNB host was to pick us up to go to the airport, I ran back down to the clinic again in the hopes the doctor could give me something to avoid some sort of crazy outbreak which would put a damper on my next several days of theme park going and bus, plane, and train travel to Vietnam.
The doctor first dropped the “M” word (Malaria) but after a series of questions and checks decided it was just an allergic reaction to something unknown, and gave me some more pills and cream.
I was finally medication free by our LAST day in Malaysia. As of the plane ride to Vietnam, other than being extremely hungry due to running out of cash a tiny bit earlier than expected and surviving on instant noodles for the last 24 hours, we were all finally feeling great!
I wouldn’t say our trip was bad, or that any of this was related to being in Malaysia, but it did seem like the universe was telling us that this country didn’t really appreciate our presence.
One good thing though was that the doctor is super cheap! All those trips to the doctor, all the medication, and even the hospital trip cost us a total of about 200RM (about $65). Yes, we have insurance, but not even worth it to write the claim!