Bangkok with a Sick Toddler

It’s always a little scary when your child runs a high fever, but it’s worse when it happens far from home. We’ve been really lucky with Little Nomad, he has only been ill once before with a gastro bug he picked up in Spain and he fought that off quickly and without seeming very sick at all or needing to see a doctor. We weren’t quite as lucky this time.

It has taken us two years to make our way back to Thailand. The weeks before we left Prague were hectic, with Micheal and I both trying to finish big projects for work and taking care of the dozens of little details that need to be taken care of before a long trip. I spent a lot of mornings at a cafe in Prague 7 that has a play corner so that L.N. could play while I worked online. And that’s where it must have happened. Someone must have brought their sick child to cough and sneeze all over the play corner.

L.N. was in great form when we got on the plane to Bangkok. He slept through most of the night and only fussed a small bit during the last two hours of the flight. Not bad for a 17 month old. When we arrived in Bangkok, he was really tired and wouldn’t eat very much. We were all jet lagged so I didn’t think much about it and we all went to bed early. The next day, he still didn’t want to eat anything but yogurt. By evening, he had a small fever so I gave him some baby Ibuprofen and we went to bed early again. In the middle of the night, I woke up because I could feel the heat radiating off of L.N’s body next to me. His fever had gone up to 39.7 degrees Celsius! (103 degrees Fahrenheit) I gave him more Ibuprofen and wiped him down with a cool washcloth. The fever went down a few degrees and he settled back down to sleep. At 6:30 that morning I awoke to a very sick baby vomiting all over me. His fever was back up to 39.7 and we decided to take him to to the hospital.

I’d had mostly good experiences with Samitivej Sukhumvit Hospital when I was pregnant with L.N. back in 2012, so I decided to bring him to Samitivej Children’s Hospital. We didn’t have to wait more than 10 minutes before a nurse took his temperature and gave him a sponge bath, which he protested quite loudly. Then we were taken in for the doctor to examine him. After a look at his throat, the verdict was quick: tonsillitis, likely strep throat. The doctor prescribed antibiotics, Tyleneol and Motillium (in case of more vomiting). The total cost was 1901 baht (about 58 US dollars). The pharmacy is located next to the cashier and they package your medications right there instead of giving you a written prescription. That might be my only small complaint about Samitivej hospitals. They charge a bit more for prescriptions than you would pay in another pharmacy. This also happened when they sold me my prenatal vitamins and calcium. Still, that’s a small complaint and the overall cost was a fraction of what you would pay for an emergency visit in the United States. The quality of care was excellent. Everyone was very kind to L.N. and we did not feel rushed while talking to the doctor.

We spent the next few days just hanging around the hotel and trying to get L.N. to eat. He even turned down ice cream which is a treat we do not usually give him. After a couple of stressful days, he was back to his usual playful self and started eating again. We took him back for a follow up visit and the doctor gave us the all clear to continue on our trip. So we are now on Koh Chang, quite possibly one of my favorite spots on Earth. We are going to wait another few days before letting L.N. go swimming but he is pretty happy right now just playing in the sand and taking it easy.

4 thoughts on “Bangkok with a Sick Toddler”

    • The Gib Monkey made a full recovery from his tonsillitis but now he has an allergic rash from something, maybe sunscreen. Travel insurance is mandatory when travelling with a little one. Why don’t you escape the Berlin Winter and join us out here?

  1. Oh, so sorry about Little Nomad’s fever, but he sounds like quite the fighter! I JUST got back from my Thailand trip, and yes, Koh Chang is beautiful beyond words. Also, the fact that it still boasts some unexploited coastline makes it the perfect island for exploration. Hope you enjoy your time there!


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