Today I spent several hours at a Chinese hospital. My ayi’s husband (who used to do construction) was over this morning trying to repair the rods for my draperies. The nail had come out of the wall (concrete, not drywall) and so he was up on the ladder, drilling a hole and pounding a wooden peg into the space. While on the top rung, he turned around and the flimsy alumninum ladder just crumbled. On his way down, his arm hit against the tile ledge of the bay window. It all happened in a matter of seconds and though there was no blood, the situation did not look good. Within 20 minutes, we were at No. 6 hospital–thankfully, they are well-known for their orthopaedic department. I’m glad Wu ayi was there too. She’s gone to numerous hospitals in the area (taking the elder folks in their family), so she had the process down pat. Registering at one place, filling out paperwork at another, submitting payment at a third, getting xrays at the fourth, etc. It was quite an experience for me, and I was really worried Mr. Yang had broken his arm. Luckily, in three hours, we got everything taken care of: two sets of x-rays, an IV drip, anesthetics, a resetting of the socket, and complete bandaging. Four weeks he’ll be in the bandage. Looks like the shoulder bone was fractured, but the bone should grow back ok.
As for hospital cleanliness, it wasn’t as bad as I expected but still, far below western standards. I definitely took note of blood stains on the floors, blood on the transport beds, inconsistent glove use, people spitting on the floors, etc. Not pretty. And the chaos at the hospital was similar to that at the post office or bank or supermarket: a billion people waiting to see the doc, and no real queue. Oh well, I’m just glad it’s over, and Mr. Yang is ok.