Thursday, August 6, 2015

"Do you know what is syphilis?"

"Do you know what is syphilis?"

This was not a good start to my blood-work analysis by the Mahidol Clinic doctor.

I guess I better take a step back in this story. In order to get a work permit in Thailand, you must pass a medical exam. This of course involves some blood testing for the usual suspects - HIV and syphilis being two of the contenders. 

I had gone earlier in the morning to get my blood taken so that I could meet up with the doctor when he came in that afternoon.
It all started with "do you speak Thai?"

Of course, I answered "no" as I now know about as many words as I have fingers on one hand.

The next question presented to me by the doctor when we was looking over the blood-work results was "do you know what is syphilis?"

I responded with a quick yes, as those horrifying pictures from health class do long ago started to flood my mind.

He then proceeds to write syphilis out on a piece of paper. Spelling it out letter by letter.

All I can think of is "why the hell is he saying I have syphilis?" 

I then point to it and say "no?"

To which he looks at me very funny, and does not say anything.

I point to it again and do a few hand gestures for no, including but not limited to frantic waving followed with some hard slashes through the air. This was of course coupled with a horrified and possibly syphilitic look on my face.

He then points at syphilis written on the paper, and gestures a "no" and says "you normal."

I say back to him, "I normal, no syphilis?"

He then responds again, "you normal, good"

This doctor, who could have been no older than his early twenties almost gave me a damn heart attack.




So, yes, no syphilis today, thank God. For a minute there though, it was touch-and-go though...