Saturday, 1 December 2012

At The Emergency Room: Blood, Sweater and Gear!

(Warning:  Not so wholesome photographs ahead. For the squeamish, please cover one eye when you scroll down).

It happened one lazy autumn Saturday morning just like this one.

It was around 10 AM, I just woke up, but my common sense was still asleep. I was doing some chores cleaning and trying to warm up when I ventured into the sink and tried to clean my drinking glass. I sometimes see people cleaning the dishes with rubber gloves, but not me. I think I have a pair somewhere, but putting it on when I only have a few items to wash was not part of my regular cleaning ceremony. So, I held the glass with my left hand while my right, which was too big for the mouth of the glass, was inside trying to wipe away any smudge inside under running water when...CRACK!  The glass broke and multiplied!

It broke while my hand was inside! I think it was then fair to conclude that, just like promises, glasses are made to be broken. Ha-ha-ha!

My left hand immediately dropped the broken glass (or whatever was left of it) on the sink. I then held my wet right hand up with my left and did the next inevitable thing:  UTTER PROFANITIES!! Ha-ha-ha!

It was then that common sense woke up!

I felt something on the side of the pinky and at first, I could not see it. So, I momentarily wished that it would be like a scratch and a strip would just do the trick. But when I turned my hand around, I could see a slice and blood was just dropping down the sink, mixing with water and suds from my Pure dishwashing liquid which I bought from E-Mart.

"Jeeez. What the f-ck was I thinking?"

The Korean Red Cross would chastise me for wasting this precious Type-O blood. I haven't even visited them to donate again. And now this? Wasting blood on a lazy Saturday morning?

I stood there for a minute, not moving, just thinking in front of my sink, still in my pajamas with both hands not being to do anything else but console each other. And "Jeeeez" again.

I realized I had no choice but to run to the Soonchungyang Hospital, which is just about 200 to 250 meters from my apartment. All I needed to do was to get rid of the pajamas and just wear the easiest thing: my jogging gear. I already had a sweater on. Luckily, I was able to wash my face and brush my teeth upon awakening. I was ready for the outside world with a clean face and a fresh breath. Ha-ha-ha!

 So, after getting rid of the pajamas, I slowly put on on my jogging pants. I then grabbed my wallet, my cellphone and my house key, while pressing the wound with a paper towel!  And the emergency journey of a thousand steps began with an elevator ride down. As I walked out of the building, I decided to take a cab. There would be a few pedestrian lanes to cross and I didn't want to be dripping along the way.

Luckily, it was a Saturday morning with taxis were available everywhere. As soon as I got into the cab and told the driver where I wanted to go, he must have immediately thought something was wrong with this passenger in a track suit. His freakin' destination is just on the opposite side of the Hannam-dong intersection! If he drove through a green light, his orange cab would be at the hospital in 30 seconds. And we were there, right at the driveway of the Soonchunyang Hospital in less than a minute.

And as I was swiping my credit card through his T-Money swipe box with both hands to pay for the short ride, he turned around and asked me if I was okay. I told him I was bleeding. I wasn't sure if he understood, but I had a feeling he must have said, "You'll live"

I immediately got off his cab and casually walked into the emergency room.  Upon entering, I showed a female doctor what was underneath the paper towel wet with Type-O blood:  the result of carelessness and stupidity in one slice. She showed me in and had me seated on a bed, right next to a Korean woman who was lying down eyes closed, also in her track suit, and being attended to by a couple of doctors. Gosh, I realized her case was worse. Her right eye brow was being stitched!

And being a nosy patient, I asked the doctor what happened to my neighbor. She said the woman's wound was from her keys. I guess I wasn't the only one careless that morning. And as soon as my left hand got freed, it was time to take pictures! This rare case of being in an emergency room and those drops of blood weren't going to waste! I had to blog about this! Of course, with gory photos to boot! Ha-ha-ha!

                       (Eeeww! I squirm every time I see 
                         this picture, too. Ha-ha-ha!)
  (Another 'eeewww'! She's looking underneath the sliced skin)

I felt better and relaxed when the medical team (yes, at least two medical practitioners attended to this 1.5- centimeter wound) started to do their job. They examined it, cleaned it and x-rayed it! They said they had to be sure no broken glass was left inside. That means 100% of it was still left on my kitchen sink waiting for my Saturday housekeeping to continue.
                   (A doctor showing off his sewing skills on 
                            my dainty right hand skin)
After the x-ray, a male doctor injected my hand with anesthesia saying I needed it to block out the pain. He would be closing back my skin in six nylon stitches. Hmmm. I never learned how to sew in my life. This was the time to watch and learn. Ha-ha-ha!
                              (Ta-daaah! All stiched up!)
After the sitching, I was made to wait as they still needed to inject me with antibiotics to make sure no infection would set in as a precaution. Disaster was now over.

I was glad I lived near a hospital. I could just imagine what would have happened if I didn't: more blood spilt along the way!

I am thankful to the medical team who attended to me at the emergency room of the Soonchungyang Hospital in Hannam-dong. I wasn't able to get their names.

I was required to visit the hospital every three days to re-dress the wound, and guess what. It had to be a plastic surgeon who should do this petty dressing! Wow. And I only thought they only do noses and breasts. Ha-ha-ha!
           (My sliced right hand visited a plastic surgeon! 
                          First time in my life!)
(My bandaged right hand couldn't be stopped from partying. Tonight, it was in Itaewon!)

In the 1992, Dewi Sukarno slashed Minnie Osmena's face with a wine glass in Aspen, Colorado. I heard she needed 37 stitches. But when I met Minnie Osmena a few years after that at her home in an exclusive village in Makati City, Philippines, I didn't see a trace of that slash. "Gosh", I said to myself, "her plastic surgeon must have been very good!" (Minnie was flying to Cebu City and I went to her home to ask her to bring some goodies for her sister who lived there.)

But in 2012, no face was slashed in Hannan-dong in Seoul. And no wine glass was involved either. Only a smudgy drinking glass. Ha-ha-ha!

And just like Minnie's, this wound was attended to by a plastic surgeon (as if!) and will definitely heal, too. But it's the lesson I learned that day that would remind me every time I clean my drinking glass: use a better dishwashing liquid! Ha-ha-ha!

Be careful, everyone!
                         (On an early autumn morning, 
                       the final bandage was on the way work!)

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