This morning, NZ and his mama left to Lingshan to see the big Buddha. Sal and I opted to stay home, since he is fighting a cold, and we have a big week ahead. As we usually do most mornings, we headed to my bedroom to make the bed. I had all the pillows on the bed, except for one big bolster pillow that Sal was playing with.
A pillow? For a toy? Nice choice son. Totally harmless.
Whack! (Followed by cries)
I walked over to give him some love (he falls a lot more with all this walking business), and that's when I saw it.
I'm no stranger to lacerations, having worked for a plastic surgeon. I'm accustomed to frantic calls, and the advice my boss would give about applying pressure. I went into action, holding my screaming child, talking in a calm voice and strategically cradling his gashed eye with a clean towel to keep the pressure. I held it a few minutes, then slowly peeled it back, and I could see that it was pretty deep.
I said to myself, "Shiiiiiiiiiiit. It does need stitches."
I reluctantly called NZ who promptly had the driver turn around and head back home. NZ called his assistant who translates for us ( she's awesome), and she agreed to meet us at the Hospital. NZ and his mom got back here, we loaded up Sal and headed to the hospital.
He got checked in, then taken to a room where we were told he needed 3-4 sutures. The doctor said he didn't need novacaine because novacaine hurts. What the???! Are you effing kidding me? This is a BABY. Not a man. A little baby that is going to flip the eff out anyways, so why not just inject the novacaine, so the multiple suturing that needs to be done is pain free?
After some insistence, NZ got his way with the surgeon who agreed to proceed with novacaine. We were instructed to put him on the gurney, head pointed toward the surgeon.
Okay, but what about that hair on the gurney? This is supposed to be a sanitary procedure. Pretty sure that someone else's stray hair is not sanitary. I pulled out a brand new disposable changing pad and we laid that under Sal.
We both agreed that NZ was better suited to restrain the boy so he straddled the gurney and was able to keep Sal's arms down and neck stable. Apparently, this wasn't going to work for the surgeon....we got the, "in china....." talk, and were told that NZ must stand at Sal's head, me hold his arms down and the translator hold his legs. I'm sorry, but three adults to restrain one child is overboard.
Sal flipped the eff out (did I call it or what?)
In went the novacaine.
And without hesitation, or ANY amount of waiting for the novacaine to set in, the surgeon went to town suturing. My heart still cringes at the thought of her piercing that skin before he was numb. Once the novacaine set in, the last two sutures were cake. He calmed down a bit, and before we knew it, it was over.
Or so we thought.
..and then came....." in china......".
In china, lacerations are not released from hospital without first having a tetanus shot. No matter whether your child is up to date on their DTAP immunizations. So, we agreed it was probably a good idea. We went, paid for the tetanus, then took the fapiao (receipt) to the pharmacy dept, who gave us the medicine, which we then took to an injection room.
In that communal injection room, we then learn that they won't give Sal his tetanus shot until they do a "test" on his wrist. The test is another injection of a little medicine under his skin, then a thirty minute wait to see if the bubble goes away.
Yeah- a TB test. Wtf?!
At this point we just want out of there. Due to translation difficulties, we didn't know it was a TB test until she was administering it and I realized that she wasn't trying the tetanus on him, but instead doing a TB test! NZ and I were boiling at this point. It's not enough to just say "in china we do this and it is good". I need the who's, what's, why's and when's answered. In this instance, we couldn't leave until he had the tetanus shot, so what's done is done. Thirty minutes later, we took him in, no bubble on the wrist, so the nurse gave him a tetanus shot. Then.....again, "wait for thirty minutes and come back."
It was a long, long morning of waiting.
If there is one thing I can say, he proved his toughness today. Stitches sans novacaine, having two injections on top of that, and then flashing us a big smile when all was said and done.
Sometimes I think its harder on us as parents then it is on the little guys. I think that as Sal's parents, we dealt with our first "emergency" quite calmly, cooley and collectively......especially for dealing with it in a foreign country knowing very little mandarin. We are so far our of our comfort zone it's not even funny...but we're doing it. The world hasn't ended just because things are not "the same" as we expect them to be. Our son got medical care, although marginal quality at best, and we are back home safe and sound.
Now if you'll excuse me, I will be padding every single straight edge in the house.