It's funny that right on the heels of my last post lauding the efficiencies of the Chilean private health system, I should find myself back at Clinica Alemana, in the ER. Though I didn't find it particularly funny at the time.
On Sunday afternoon, az left for Paraguay and Maya and I busied ourselves with our various activities. For her, it was watching Playschool until, apparently, she got bored, for suddenly I heard a terrific crash followed by piercing screams that sent my heart racing. I thought perhaps she'd pulled the tv or the bookshelf down. But tearing into the room, I saw she was pinned under a wooden sideboard, which she must have somehow pulled down on top of herself and it had hit her right in the face.
Everything that was on top of the sideboard had gone flying, including an old and heavy ibony Buddha statue and a stained glass lamp, it was very lucky that none of those things had hit her as well.
The offending furniture item, soon to be relegated to the cellar
Blood was pouring out of her nose and mouth and she was absolutely hysterical. It must have been such a shock for her, poor pet, one moment harmlessly reaching for something, the next attacked by a very heavy and unwielding table.
I was terrified that she had a broken nose or a fracture of some sort, or perhaps that she'd damaged her mouth. My heart, previously racing, now seemed to stutter and stop still. I admit I panicked a bit and had no clue what to do. Carrying Maya, I ran for the phone and called az, who was literally walking onto his plane. He calmly told me to call the doctor and then an ambulance. Good advice.
I just knew something like this would happen at some point when az was out of town and I would just not know what to do. Any and all Spanish abandons me in times of crisis. I managed to stop the bleeding, grabbed some clothes etc and left the house to get a taxi to the hospital. There was no way I could drive with Maya clinging to me like a koala in a tree, both of us bloody and both of us teary.
Downstairs, my concierge literally ran out the door and down the street to get us a cab. Maya had calmed down by the time we bundled ourselves in and took off for Clinica Alemana, Urgencia (ER).
So, this is my plug for Alemana - they were brilliant. And when I'm holding my child who is crying and bleeding, I don't care about anything except getting the best treatment for her. There's a large kids ward right in Urgencia and we were taken straight in. One nurse spoke English and she kept checking on us through the evening and letting me know what was happening. All the doctors spoke English and we moved through the system quite quickly.
Maya had x-rays and saw at least three specialists and they all said she was fine, thank god. No fractures or even bruising. It's amazing how strong kids' bones are. We were really lucky. An hour after we arrived she had recovered her good spirits and was roaming around the ward trying to get into everything. All the other children seemed to lie in their beds quietly and watch tv.
I'm just so glad she's ok. Incidently, the rest of our furniture (bookcases etc) are being bracketed to the wall this week, as an earthquake-proofing measure. Maya-proofing too, it seems.
Ps. The one thing I couldn't mention in this post at the time was that I was pregnant, in my first trimester. When I saw Maya pinned under the table, bleeding and screaming, pulled her out and held her in my arms, my immediate reaction was to sit down and bawl my eyes out too. Which wouldn't have been very helpful. So, it was a good thing I put the hormones aside and didn't do that... until later, at least.