Tuesday, September 23, 2003

So that's where the ER is!

9/23/03 - Katherine, Katherine, Katherine. Need I say more?

Did it really take this long to find out where the ER at Makati Med is located? Amazing. And yet, no one should be surprised that it was Katherine who made the discovery necessary.
After a longish morning out at the AWCP bazaar with Laura, Jonathon finally fell asleep on the drive home, an hour late (noon) for his nap. We arrived home, nuked some food for lunch and just as Nicholas and I were settling down to watch The Phantom Menace, my cell phone rang.
I'd been expecting to hear from the Speech Therapist for Nicholas, so when the woman introduced herself as so-n-so from the ISM Clinic, no red flags popped up. Then the words "We have Katherine here...
Her fingers were slammed in a door"
"Are they broken?"
"We don't know. We are taking her to Makati Med for x-rays, can you meet us there?"
"I'm on my way."
I called Ian, told Nicholas to turn off the TV, scooped up sleeping Jonathon and back in the car we went. Traffic was miserable, and I learned that you cannot get to Makati Med from Ayala. Oh no that would make too much sense for a hospital to actually be accessible from the roads around it. Every break in the island has a No Left Turn sign and/or No U-Turn. Forget that, I turned left at a light after I'd already missed the hospital entrance. Ack! I found myself on a perpedictular road that not only has the No **Turn signs, but traffic cops too. There went the hospital behind me, until I found a break that had the sign but no men in the road and I forced my way into the opposite traffic, crossing over a set of railroad tracks. OK... now I know to always take Pasay if I want to actually go to the hospital instead of just cursing it as I drive steadily past.
Another little prayer said when we enter the parking lot and I was thrilled to find several spots available. Which left the task of actually finding the Emergency Room. I knew where the old ER was and the front entrance from when we were here for Katherine's TB tests, but the actual ER? No clue.
Thankfully, it was even closer to the parking lot than the front entrance. With an outdoor waiting room. I'm not kidding. Rows of chairs, outside, next to the outdoor triage closet, with a desk in front of the doors manned by a guy who would not let me in unless I had a patient with me, but couldn't tell me if my daughter had already arrived. The triage nurse seemed to have a bit more of a clue and said that she wasn't there, so we took some seats to wait. Not 5 minutes later, an ambulance was backing its way to the ER doors and my little blondie popped out, pale, serious, scared, on the verge of tears with her left arm tied to a board and her fingers wrapped in a pound of bandages.
Next to her in the ambulance were two ISM clinic nurses and oddly enough, another little girl a couple years older, who had an entire arm wrapped.
I sat to fill in papers, and Katherine was taken to an ER bay where we quickly followed. The other girl shared our bay and the ISM nurses stayed with her as her parents hadn't arrived. I was so upset for her and with her. I know that Katherine would have been so frightened if I wasn't there when she arrived, and to see this child laying on her hospital bed with no parents there was heart-breaking. It was good that we were in the same bay, but when the x-ray team came for Katherine and the other girl's parents still hadn't arrived, I was torn. Yes, the ISM folks were there, but it still felt like abandoning her. Katherine was x-rayed and by the time we returned, her parents had arrived, thank goodness, though after her x-ray we learned that she had indeed broken her arm and was still in so much pain. She would be there longer than we were.
Down the hall to the x-ray room and back, and we saw that Katherine had fractured her middle finger on her left hand. The bandages were taken off and I finally saw the mess her fingers were in. OK, this was not my shining moment. The room got very hot, I started to sweat and everything got a little darker than it should have. I dumped my backpack, put Jonathon on the floor, whipped out our water bottle and tried to get some air from further into the ER room to avoid passing out.
OK, my own little crisis over, Katherine layed on the bed and had her hand cleaned, followed by the exam by the doc. OK, so the middle finger was fractured and purple, what of the other 2 damaged fingers? At first, it seemed that the entire nails had been broken and flipped up from under the skin and were laying on top, being held on by the skin on the sides. After being numbed (the absolute worst part, if Katherine's reaction was any indication), and some clipping to try to return the nail to its proper place, we discovered that the nails hadn't actually been flipped up... they had been completely bent and destroyed with the impact of the door, and the skin covering the nail bed had been entirely ripped off. *sigh* The nails will die and fall off, and hopefully new nails will come in properly and the skin will repair itself. She'll be on amoxicillan and motrin for a while.
I had been keeping Ian updated by cell, and he went home so that Rebecca wouldn't be left standing on the doorstep or stuck at school. We did make it back just after 3, and spent the rest of the afternoon retelling the tales of the day.
It's going to be a long recovery of many weeks.
Some other notes about the ER. I had situated the boys in a corner on a blanket with a pile of cookies, some lollipops, gum and coloring stuff. Who knew how long we would be. But when I picked up Jonathon from the floor, his legs were red and splotchy. Almost as though he'd been bitten by a dozen little bugs or contracted a funky disease. Who knew what was on that floor *shiver*. Thankfully the spots were gone by the time we went home.
After Katherine's hand had been patched up, an orderly came by to sweep up around the bed. A gauze had fallen from the box used for her fingers, and he picked it up and put it back in the box. This is an ER, right? Remember Jonathon's legs? *shudder*
An ER is not a place for children (who aren't sick). Especially not one where everyone is crammed into too small an area and young eyes are introduced to aged people being pumped, infants being IVed while screaming, people shivering under thin sheets and giant bandages on the old and the young.
And to think that tomorrow I was supposed to go on a CLO tour of the various floors in Makati Med. I cancelled.
Ah, one more thing. Before leaving, I had to pay the cashier. As we were waiting, I was figuring how much cash I had and if it wasn't enough I checked to make sure they took credit cards (they do). Grand total for the ER visit, the suture kit and the x-ray?
P1850. About $36.

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