Thursday, January 13, 2011

Our first visit to the ER...

The morning started off great in the Imran household. Will started sleeping through the night a few days ago. And last night was the first time both kids slept through the night. Will went to bed about 6:30 p.m. and I didn't hear a peep from him until 6:45 this morning. Leah went to bed about 6:45 p.m. and slept until after 7 a.m. Everyone got dressed easily and ate breakfast well.

At about 8:15 I took the kids out so that Leah could ride her scooter for a bit in the carpark before her school bus arrived around 8:30. After a few minutes of riding, she fell forward and landed on her chin. The gash looked pretty big and it was bleeding a fair amount. Luckily one of the neighbor's helpers was nearby and I was able to leave Will with her while I brought Leah up to the apartment. I got her a bit cleaned up and changed her clothes. I called her pediatrician's cell phone and she answered right away - she agreed that I should take Leah to the ER at Adventist Hospital.

So Leah and I headed down to get in a taxi. There was one fueling up at the petrol station across the street from us, so we got him to take us to Adventist. Leah was pretty upset on the ride there, but I calmed her down by singing a stream of ABCs, Twinkle Twinkle, and Row Your Boat for the 20 minute ride there...with a break to tell Shafi what was going on.

Shafi met us at the ER; it was very comforting for Leah to have us both there. The bleeding had mostly stopped by then, but they still took us right away. I gave them her insurance card and they took us right into the urgent care room. A nurse cleaned the outside of the wound just a bit and then the doctor came in after only a couple of minutes. Dr. Lam was very nice and sweet with Leah. He asked her if her head or neck hurt - asked me a few questions - "did she black out?", etc. He told me we had 3 options - leave it alone and it would heal on its own, use glue to close it, or use sutures to close it. I can't imagine just leaving it alone - it's a pretty big cut and fairly deep. He said the sutures would probably mean the scarring would be the least - and I said I'd like to do that but have a plastic surgeon do it. Dr. Lam told Leah she was going to get magic strings to help her chin heal.

They called a plastic surgeon, also named Dr. Lam, and he said he was able to be there in about 30-45 minutes. We 0pted to wait for him. It ended up being about an hour wait (apparently traffic) was bad. We were able to wait in a nice waiting area in a corridor with a television with some English language options. Leah was pretty calm sitting on Shafi's lap while we waited.

When Dr. Lam arrived they brought us back into the urgent care room. They put Leah on a table and wrapped a sheet around her - in effect immobilizing her arms. I stood by her legs to hold them if necessary and Shafi stood by her chest to hold her down if necessary. There were 2 nurses there assisting Dr. Lam. He was very thorough - irrigating the wound, using tweezers to get out some dirt that was lodged, and then giving her some numbing injections in and around the wound. Leah was pretty upset during most of it - crying some but also being fairly good about staying still. She got 9 stitches. Dr. Lam then put some tape and gauze on it and a clear bandage over it to keep it clean and dry.

We are supposed to just leave it alone - not allow the bandage to get too wet - and we go back in a week to have the stitches out. If the bandage does seem to be coming off or anything gets under it then we need to go back to Adventist to have it changed.

Leah was pretty exhausted after the whole thing and napped for a little over an hour when we got home. She is doing okay now. We'll have to see how long it is before she's ready to get back on the scooter.

The whole experience at the hospital was pretty good. And it sounds like the insurance will cover it - HK$735 for the attending Dr. Lam and HK $9866 for the plastic surgeon Dr. Lam. Hopefully the bills won't get rejected!

That's about all the excitement for now. Hopefully it won't bother Leah too much later today and the rest of the week. She says her chin doesn't hurt at the moment. She isn't in the happiest of moods but she's getting ice cream for hopefully she'll be feeling better soon.

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