Hospitalized at the Full Moon Party

“You’re lucky you’re not unconscious right now” the doctor said to me. Although I was shocked, I knew something was wrong when I had finally decided to get medical attention. I had the feeling of ‘pins-and-needles’ coming up through my body as walking became more difficult. Stephanie was there to hold onto me and to get me to the clinic. Luckily, this beach has dozens of clinics spread out all within walking distance making it quite easy to find one.

What other place on the planet sells buckets of alcohol, nonstop partying, and has over forty clinics in one beach area? This is unique to Haadrin Beach, Koh Phangan, Thailand.

This is how it all started: It was the night of the Full Moon Party; known globally as being one of the biggest parties in the world. I had dinner and followed it quickly with a bucket with a friend of mine. The partying began and the night went on with body painting, more drinking, and dancing. Seems like a normal night, right? That is until I woke up the next day not remembering much of the night.

I slightly remember the night – just random flash’s, the rest of the details I’ve heard through stories. This had never happened to me and it was frightening. I thought perhaps I may have drank too much but it seemed so unlikely since I really don’t recall drinking all that much. Naturally, I had a hangover. Symptoms included pain in my stomach, the feeling of wanting to vomit but couldn’t, headache, weakness, tiredness, couldn’t eat, confusion, and best of all – aggravation. Everything seemed to be pissing me off. Looking back at it, I’m not sure how Stephanie was able to kept her cool long enough to have dealt with me till I felt better. I have a pretty amazing girlfriend. I kept repeating to myself throughout the day, “What the hell happened to me? Why does nothing add up? I’m so confused!”

Hospital in Koh Phangan, Thailand - Full Moon Party

Hours had passed and I still felt horrible. It didn’t seem right that so many hours were passing by and I was feeling worse each hour. I had to puke again so I ran outside since the restroom was occupied. Since I hadn’t and couldn’t eat, there was nothing to puke. My head started to feel lighter and things started to get more confusing. I immediately yelled for Stephanie to help me get to the clinic as fast as possible.

It was a small clinic with just one room that seemed to have all the necessities for basic care. Considering the location, I kept imagining this doctor must have some crazy stories. He draws some blood and puts it into a small handheld machine. As he reads the numbers on his device, his eyes widen and he puts on a serious look, that’s when he said I was lucky. He tells me my blood sugar levels were at 33 while normally should be between 70 and 150.

I was injected with a ton of glucose and I had to wait till the IV bag was empty. Since I had to stay for the next 5 hours, I had to be transferred to another location that had a private room for me to rest in. I was in a wheel chair on the streets the day after one of the most popular parties in the world. People looked and I bet they were thinking I must’ve partied pretty hard. I wish I had a camera to capture that.

Hospital in Koh Phangan, Thailand - Full Moon Party

I concluded I must’ve been really dehydrated before I started drinking. Drinking simply water wasn’t enough because my body wasn’t retaining the water as it should have been. The solution at the time should have been to drink more things like Gatorade and juices before I went out partying. All the symptoms that occurred were all reactions to fatally low blood sugar levels. The medical term for what I had was Hypoglycemia.

Today’s lesson? Stay hydrated.

I went to Southland Clinic. The bill came out to 10,700baht($350usd), an unexpectedly large bill even for Thailand. It would have been MUCH cheaper in other areas like Bangkok but because of the location of the small island, it is what it is. They take advantage of the situation of being on a large party area and I totally understand. I’m just glad to be feeling better. They took great care of me and recovered me quickly. I even had Mexican food delivered to my room. The doctor and staff were informative and helpful.

I do feel lucky. While this was a stupid move on my part, I mustn’t let it get me down. I will keep my head up high and continue on traveling. Whether we are abroad or at home, we must remember to keep ourselves healthy. In the rush and excitement of travel, it can be easy to forget the importance of our health.

I’m currently in Koh Samui relaxing for a few days before heading to Vietnam.

49 Comments

  1. Steph on January 23, 2011 at 10:02 am

    Aren’t you glad you have a girlfriend whose first instinct was to live tweet from the emergency room?

  2. Steph on January 23, 2011 at 11:02 am

    Aren’t you glad you have a girlfriend whose first instinct was to live tweet from the emergency room?

  3. Jack and Jill Travel The World on January 23, 2011 at 11:18 am

    I’m so glad you got to the hospital on time. Dehydration is not to be taken lightly. Glad you’re feeling better…

    • Michael on January 23, 2011 at 11:31 pm

      So I’ve learned. *sigh*
      Thanks!

  4. Jack and Jill Travel The World on January 23, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    I’m so glad you got to the hospital on time. Dehydration is not to be taken lightly. Glad you’re feeling better…

    • Michael on January 24, 2011 at 12:31 am

      So I’ve learned. *sigh*
      Thanks!

  5. Annie @ Wayward Traveller on January 23, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    Wow, very scary! Good thing you had Stephanie there to take you to the clinic!

    Glad you are feeling better, and it’s very nice to know that even for a high price you can get the kind of care you need!

    • Michael on January 23, 2011 at 11:33 pm

      The clinic was fantastic. They did everything professionally and wonderfully. I’m glad too.

  6. Annie @ Wayward Traveller on January 23, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    Wow, very scary! Good thing you had Stephanie there to take you to the clinic!

    Glad you are feeling better, and it’s very nice to know that even for a high price you can get the kind of care you need!

    • Michael on January 24, 2011 at 12:33 am

      The clinic was fantastic. They did everything professionally and wonderfully. I’m glad too.

  7. Joseph on January 23, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    wow…hypoglycemia is serious stuff (I should know since I’m a doctor) and am more than glad to hear you’re feeling better….take it easy and take care 🙂

    • Michael on January 23, 2011 at 11:29 pm

      Thanks! I wish I could say that was the first time that has ever happened to me but it actually happened in Laos two years ago. I hope I learned my lesson the second time.

  8. Joseph on January 23, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    wow…hypoglycemia is serious stuff (I should know since I’m a doctor) and am more than glad to hear you’re feeling better….take it easy and take care 🙂

    • Michael on January 24, 2011 at 12:29 am

      Thanks! I wish I could say that was the first time that has ever happened to me but it actually happened in Laos two years ago. I hope I learned my lesson the second time.

  9. Adventurous Kate on January 23, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    Oh my God, Mike!! Scary stuff! Glad you’re okay.

    • Michael on January 23, 2011 at 11:33 pm

      Thanks! Hope you’re taking care of yourself on your end as well!

  10. Adventurous Kate on January 23, 2011 at 11:13 pm

    Oh my God, Mike!! Scary stuff! Glad you’re okay.

    • Michael on January 24, 2011 at 12:33 am

      Thanks! Hope you’re taking care of yourself on your end as well!

  11. Brooke vs. the World on January 24, 2011 at 5:59 am

    Wow, I thought you were going to say that your drinks got spiked or something. Or that you had diabetes. Stay safe! It’s always wise to have a gatorade in hand before nights out 😉

    • Steph on January 26, 2011 at 5:18 am

      I was convinced his drink was spiked as well- it was so weird!

      • EvilSteve100 on March 11, 2011 at 6:30 pm

        Not really sure why you actually went to the hospital? All the symptoms you describe are typical hangover material for me, especially if I’ve been drinking buckets. I drink plenty of water, get some sugar and food into me, sleep, by the next day I’m completely fine.

  12. Brooke vs. the World on January 24, 2011 at 6:59 am

    Wow, I thought you were going to say that your drinks got spiked or something. Or that you had diabetes. Stay safe! It’s always wise to have a gatorade in hand before nights out 😉

    • Steph on January 26, 2011 at 6:18 am

      I was convinced his drink was spiked as well- it was so weird!

      • EvilSteve100 on March 11, 2011 at 7:30 pm

        Not really sure why you actually went to the hospital? All the symptoms you describe are typical hangover material for me, especially if I’ve been drinking buckets. I drink plenty of water, get some sugar and food into me, sleep, by the next day I’m completely fine.

  13. Andrea and John on January 24, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    It can be really difficult to look after yourself properly when travelling. Don’t beat yourself up about it too much. Especially in the heat and with the tendency to drink more when travelling. At least you got good care and are hopefully feeling better now!

  14. Andrea and John on January 24, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    It can be really difficult to look after yourself properly when travelling. Don’t beat yourself up about it too much. Especially in the heat and with the tendency to drink more when travelling. At least you got good care and are hopefully feeling better now!

  15. Andrea Alegrett on January 24, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    So glad you are okay!! And Stephie can somehow always keep a cool head under pressure.

  16. Andrea Alegrett on January 24, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    So glad you are okay!! And Stephie can somehow always keep a cool head under pressure.

  17. Andi Perullo on January 24, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    Oh my goodness, glad to hear you’re okay now.

  18. Andi Perullo on January 24, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    Oh my goodness, glad to hear you’re okay now.

  19. WanderingTrader on January 24, 2011 at 10:29 pm

    wow man thats quite a story!! Glad your ok.. that pic of you on the bed is classic fyi

  20. WanderingTrader on January 24, 2011 at 11:29 pm

    wow man thats quite a story!! Glad your ok.. that pic of you on the bed is classic fyi

  21. Breakaway Backpacker on January 25, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    Wow, that is crazy. I am glad you are okay. I think I would have been freaking out, but hey its a lessoned learned. Thanks for sharing, now I know to stay healthy on the road especially if I am going to be partying hardcore like you…lol!

  22. Breakaway Backpacker on January 25, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    Wow, that is crazy. I am glad you are okay. I think I would have been freaking out, but hey its a lessoned learned. Thanks for sharing, now I know to stay healthy on the road especially if I am going to be partying hardcore like you…lol!

  23. It's Good For Us on January 26, 2011 at 2:04 am

    We recently experienced what it’s like to party with a bucket, and while a visit to a clinic the next day was not necessary, I did feel that it was a good thing they were nearby. Crazy place…

  24. It's Good For Us on January 26, 2011 at 3:04 am

    We recently experienced what it’s like to party with a bucket, and while a visit to a clinic the next day was not necessary, I did feel that it was a good thing they were nearby. Crazy place…

  25. Bobbi Hitchon on January 26, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    Wow that’s traumatic. I would’ve thought your drinks were spiked. I’ll take the advice and stay hydrated. Hope you’re feeling better!

  26. Bobbi Hitchon on January 26, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    Wow that’s traumatic. I would’ve thought your drinks were spiked. I’ll take the advice and stay hydrated. Hope you’re feeling better!

  27. Aaron's Worldwide Adventures on January 26, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    Yikes Mike that is some scary stuff! Lesson well learned I suppose. Hope you’re recuperating well…

  28. Aaron's Worldwide Adventures on January 26, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    Yikes Mike that is some scary stuff! Lesson well learned I suppose. Hope you’re recuperating well…

  29. enrolled agent course on January 31, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    Good to know that you are feeling better. The money spent on the hospital bill is really nothing since health is very important. I have to agree, no one should neglect or abuse their body while on vacation. Things will be harder if you get sick on a foreign country.

    • Michael on February 3, 2011 at 11:26 am

      Thanks! I feel much better now. It was quite an experience and lesson learned.

  30. enrolled agent course on January 31, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    Good to know that you are feeling better. The money spent on the hospital bill is really nothing since health is very important. I have to agree, no one should neglect or abuse their body while on vacation. Things will be harder if you get sick on a foreign country.

    • Michael on February 3, 2011 at 12:26 pm

      Thanks! I feel much better now. It was quite an experience and lesson learned.

  31. Nostrabellafamilia on February 28, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    There are things that are unavoidable, pat yourself on the back for your quick thinking. You might of not made it if it weren’t for that and Steph helping you. Experience, knowledge and using common sense goes a long way. Keeping everyone aware of simple (dehydration) but dangerous events may save someones life. Thank you for sharing this experience with everyone.

  32. Nostrabellafamilia on February 28, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    There are things that are unavoidable, pat yourself on the back for your quick thinking. You might of not made it if it weren’t for that and Steph helping you. Experience, knowledge and using common sense goes a long way. Keeping everyone aware of simple (dehydration) but dangerous events may save someones life. Thank you for sharing this experience with everyone.

  33. delysiduous on April 6, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    Lol, I remember that shirt, you nutjob!

  34. delysiduous on April 6, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    Lol, I remember that shirt, you nutjob!

  35. Nick on December 17, 2013 at 7:05 am

    Soft

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: