Saturday, December 02, 2006

Tiles and Tribulations

I just stepped out of the shower and proceeded to hang my towel up on the railing, I put all of my weight on one foot as I lean in to pin the top of the towel with a clothes pin, when my foot crashes through the tile, thanks to a hollow pit beneath it. A jagged piece of tile decides to almost sever my baby toe with a gaping, five inch circular gash that goes right to the bone. "Ouch" right? yeah, and then some. Karen hears the small explosion and comes to see what all the commotion is. It is at this moment that the blood starts to gush. Karen demands to take a look at the wound. I am actually unable to see it due to it's location at the bottom of my foot, but from the alarming amount of blood, I am assuming the worst. Karen takes one look at the wound and states immediately that I must go to the hospital. It was just after midnight and I was getting ready for bed, when the accident happened. I am sitting on the stairs holding my foot together with a maxi pad soaking up the blood, while Karen attempts to reach our landlord. She explained there was an accident and we must go to the hospital right away. They walk over and arrange for a taxi. I tape up my foot with some surgical tape and the maxi pad as a bandage and hobble out to meet the taxi, leaving behind enough blood and gore to double for a slaughter house floor.
We arrive at the hospital and my landlord then runs in to wake up the staff. I am led in to a small room with saloon like swinging doors. The doctor and nurse motion for me to lie down on a metal gurney. The gurney is about five and a half feet long and my feet hang off the end. They unwrap my ingenious bandage and proceed to gasp in horror at what they find beneath. I was doing a fairly heroic job of keeping it together up until the collective gasp from the medical staff.
"Oh, werry deepy" I get from my doctor, as the nurse just nods solemnly.
For the next half-hour they meticulously poke, prod and clean the wound, while I am torn between ticklish and terrorizing pain. They bathe the wound in various liquids that burn like fire and then wipe it with gauze.
After that, it was time for the stitches. Now, I have gotten stitches on many occasions. My ankle, head, face, and hand, just to name a few, but never before on the bottom of my foot. The pain was almost a religious experience. I feel born again after going through it. They attempted to freeze the area around the cut, but they said the skin was far too thick and hard for the needle. I retorted the fact that the floor tile had no problem breaking the skin. Once again, my humour is lost in translation. The next twenty minutes or so are kind of blurry. I remember having a hard time holding my foot still while they were operating, and just watching the gekko's scurry about on the walls and trying to think of anything else but the intense pain. Once they were done torturing me they decided I needed a tetanus shot. They gave me one of those and then I was free to go. The taxi driver waited around through all of this and drove us home.
All and all, I would have to say my Vietnamese hospital experience was decidedly more intimate than any hospital experience I have ever had elsewhere.
I had to take the weekend off of work, but I shall return on Monday, a little slower, but not too bad off. The stitches come out in a week.

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