Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Accident

Went to the gym, yesterday and had a little accident. I got a glass for some water, which as is usual, was still wet from being washed. Since I am cautious about not ingesting tap water here, I tried to shake out the glass to get most of the drops out. Seeing that the window was open, I figured I'd just chuck the water outside. Only the window was not open, just clean.

Smashed the glass on the window; blood and broken glass all over the floor and down my hand. It didn't hurt. I went to the locker room to wash my hand in the sink before going to the counter for first aid. For some reason I was willing to let tap water into my blood but not my stomach? Anyway, as soon as the water hit my hand, I felt the pain.

Went up to the counter and was told to come around to the other side. I saw some stools, went over, sat down, The next thing I remember is being woken from a blissful dream by the scent of tiger balm. "Mmm," I said. I opened my eyes and a beautiful smiling Lao woman was holding the tiger balm under my nose. I said "Khop Jai Lai Lai" (thank you very much.) and started to nod off again. Valerie said my name and I opened my eyes. I was being held up by a man and attended to by two women who bandaged my wounds, apparently without washing their hands or wearing gloves. They didn't seem to mind the blood which sent me into shock and made Valerie nauseous.

Looking down at myself, there was blood all over my shorts. I asked is that all blood? The man said "Bo pen yang." which in this case means "It doesn't matter" or "Don't worry about it." Later I realized after the blood had dried and left only a small stain, I may have peed my pants. How embarrassing.

Or it could have been sweat since I was dripping even as I laid down in one of the massage chairs in an air conditioned room while watching Rambo rescue some lady from a Burmese prison. I wondered how most South East Asians felt about Rambo. I told Valerie to finish exercising and I would just sleep here. She would have none of it, for fear I would slip into a shock induced coma. We decided to ask our friends Reg and Laura who both happen to be nurses if that was even possible. I was able to send a more or less coherent text message which Valerie thought was inscrutable. I thought I was doing pretty well.

Reg and Laura noted how poorly my wound had been bandaged and suggested I go to a clinic. The French clinic, which is supposed to be quite good was closed and the Australian one apparently only services members of the commonwealth. That left the International clinic at Mahasoot Friendship Hospiutal- the one you hear horror stories about.

It wasn't too bad- they cleaned me up but only after Valerie paid up front. The only dodgy thing was that the doctor wouldn't open up the small cut on my finger to look for any bits of glass that might still be in there. He said that if there were glass I would feel it while being bandaged and in any case, I'd know within a week because my hand would get infected if there were any glass left inside. Great.

Today, as I changed my dressing, I realized I only had a few minor cuts that I couldn't believe would send anyone into shock. But as I examined the black spot on my finger, wondering if that meant it was infected. I started to sweat again and get a stomach ache and had to sit down.

What a wuss!

1 comment:

Doctor Popular said...

Total wuss! Chuck Norris doesn't need bandages.

Sorry to hear about your accident.