|Burjeel Hospital in Abu Dhabi|
Due to some really bad luck and a weak immune system, I spent last week in Burjeel Hospital in Abu Dhabi fighting a really bad case of Salmonella Typhimurium. This girl isn't a fan of hospitals, so waiting until I lost several pounds and needed what the doctors termed "IV resuscitation and rehydration" bought me a week long stay.
Before you start feeling bad for me having to endure a week in the hospital, this post is not about sympathy or pity. It's about my experience at Burjeel Hospital.
You see, since moving here one of my biggest fears has been having to be hospitalized. My family and I have had some less than desirable experiences with medical professionals here over the past few years, and the thought of having to stay in a medical facility for more than a day quite frankly scared me. I can honestly say Burjeel has laid my fears to rest.
First of all, let me say just stepping into Burjeel the germaphobe in me relaxes a bit. Yes, you can laugh at the fact that a self confessed germaphobe got Salmonella (I assure you it didn't come from my house though). Burjeel's facilities are immaculate, and their housekeeping staff is on hand cleaning throughout the day. When you're being admitted due to a bacterial infection this really means a lot.
Next, and the part that shocked me and my visitors is it's really hard to call Burjeel a hospital. As I was wheeled into my room, it was like entering a hotel suite not a hospital room. Yes, there was a hospital bed, but there was also a sitting area complete with sofa, coffee table, chair, and fridge. There was also a separate regular bed for guest and a changing area and wardrobe along with a large private bathroom. Oh, and I can't leave out the balcony! Although it had a safety lock, I had a balcony that ran the entire length of my room with an amazing view of Abu Dhabi and Reem Island. Friends joked that they were going to book their next staycation at Burjeel.
It wasn't just the amenities in the room that gave Burjeel a hotel like feel. My guest were able to order room service and have it delivered to my room on linen covered rolling tables complete with origami folded napkins. I didn't get to eat any of it, but my visitors all said the food was quite delicious and not what you would expect from a hospital restaurant. I was able to eat a bit of the the food prescribed for me my last 2 days there and it was not your typical hospital food. Even my bland diet wasn't bad. I should also mention, there's a lady that comes around with afternoon tea or coffee like clockwork everyday. Sadly, the state of my insides did not permit this coffee/tea lover to have any though.
Burjeel was plush and comfortable as hospitals go, but none of that would mean anything if the staff wasn't competent. Though extremely leery at first, the doctors and nursing staff put my mind to rest and I was able to relax and let them take care of me knowing they were all looking out for my best interest. The awesome nursing team on the 4th floor all went out of their way to try to make sure I was comfortable. Their round the clock care was the best nursing I have seen in Abu Dhabi.
My doctor, Dr. Hassan, was also top notch. My husband was in the US on business while I was in the hospital, and I joked that he must have been paying Dr. Hassan or telling him how hardheaded I can be. I'm not a fan of hospitals, so if I could have had it my way I would have been released way earlier than I probably should have been. I asked Dr. Hassan daily when could I leave, and he held fast to goals he had set for me with fluid and food intake before even considering my release. Looking back now and reviewing my lab reports I know I was very sick, and I'm so thankful Dr. Hassan stood his ground and kept me in the hospital where I needed to be.
I'm currently out of the hospital and still recovering on medication at home. I have conquered my fear of being hospitalized here, and might even not wait so long before seeking medical attention next time. Although, I pray there isn't a next time. Salmonella is serious stuff folks, especially if you have a weak immune system. This germaphobe will be even more cautious in the future.