Thailand has a thriving medical tourism industry. Patients are attracted to country's hospitals, which are known for their high standards and low prices.
No breakfast today. I'm off to Bangkok Hospital for a medical checkup, and no food or beverage – not even water – can be consumed for eight hours before it starts.
We are met in the lobby of our hotel by a young lady from Bangkok Hospital that will accompany us as we do our battery of medical tests.
I learn later that assigning someone to accompany patients throughout the day is meant to de-stress the experience. And take it from the Accidental Travel Writer . . . it does!!!
We are driven to Bangkok Hospital in a tuk-tuk. We go inside, fill out a form, and are interviewed by a nurse. She also takes our blood pressure.
Water, Water Everywhere . . .
We start with a blood test. This out of the way, we are offered water. I need to drink four glasses before I can successfully complete the urine test.
Several other tests follow, including an Exercise Stress Test, which is similar to walking at a brisk pace on a treadmill at the gym – and I hate the treadmill. Thankfully, we don't have to run.
I last 11 minutes, reaching a maximal heart rate of 137 bpm, which “represents 86% of the maximal, age predicted heart rate,” whatever that means.
The technician is visibly impressed with my results. He shows me the readout and says it's highly unusual for someone my age to perform this well.
“You work out, and this is your reward,” he says, holding up my report.
Coming Up: Getting the Results of My Medical Checkup at Bangkok Hospital