Wednesday, April 22, 2009

How can you trust a doctor called Ho Ho Henry?

Both Tony and I have decided that traveling business class is the way to go. We had a great flight into Hong Kong, put in the Honk Kong simcard and turned on the phone, switched on the laptop and checked for any messages where we were supposed to go. The Medivac people hadn't sent an email and didn't call. The school email appeared not to be working, so we were unable to find out which hotel we were supposed to be staying at. But did we panic? No, not us, we just settled ourselves down in the arrivals hall and waited for an hour and a half for someone to contact us and give us the next set of instructions. It made me feel James Bondish, waiting for my orders from M somewhere in the control office.
Anyway, we contacted about 3 students and a teacher who were all chatting on Facebook or MSN when they were supposed to be focusing during lesson time back in Nanjing, and had them run down to the operations manager to find out what hotel we were supposed to be going to. While waiting for the hotel info, Medivac called and told us which hospital we had to go to.
But, the fun and games didn't end there. The hotel said it wasn't their booking number and couldn't check us in. Looking at the time, I saw that it was getting closer to the doctor's appointment time, so we left our bags at the hotel reception, promised to get it sorted when we got back, and caught a taxi to the hospital. The Matilda Hospital was on the top of the Peak and cost almost HK$100 to get there. Winding roads, some spectacular views, definitely the hang-out for the rich. I guessed correctly, that this was not going to be a chea hospital.
Anyway, Doctor introduced himself and gave his card. Dr Ho Ho Henry. I bit my lips to stifle a giggle. Ho Ho Henry, sounds like something out of a Santa Claus movie. I kid you not, I have this man's business card. Ho Ho Henry.
Ho Ho Henry was not too bad but a little indecisive. He took one look at the x-rays and said AC Joint separation, which of course we knew already. Then Tony had to go for more x-rays with him holding a weight in each hand. Old Ho Ho measured the gaps and proclaimed that this is a fifty fifty call - can be treated conservatively with a special sling for 6 weeks and then physio, or have a plate put in. He then put the onus on me to make the call. Ho Ho, you gotta be kidding, right? I'm just a mother, why must I make the call? When we tried to pin him down and tell us what he would do in a similar situation if it was his kid, he managed to slip out like a wisely old eel without committng himself to going either way.
In the end, it was the time involved and money that made me make my decision. for the plate, we'd have to wait 2 days for it to be flown in from the States, a day for the op and 3 days recovery before he'd be allowed to fly back. He finished school on Friday, has a week of study leave and then starts his majrly important final high school exams. Time was not good. Also, Hong Kong is not cheap and an extra 6 days would have killed me financially as I hadn't budgeted for any of this. Boys and their contact sports.
We couldn't get a flight back yesterday, and if I was better prepared, would have taken a ferry across to Macau for the day. Sadly, Tony vomited all night and all day, obviously battling a bit with the morphine tablets old Ho Ho Henry gave him. So, I have taken another executive decision and banned the painkillers. You play contact sport, now you tough it out.
But regardless, Hong Kong is still a great city. I love it's vibrancy and business and smells and shopfronts and great restaurants. We did manage a few sorties out to explore the streets at night and visited Times Square Mall yesterday. Some of the names of restaurants are quite random, like Wing Kee Noodle. Love that one.
Now, we sit having cappucino and sandwiches in the Dragonair Business Lounge. Did I mention I like business class travel?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

When being in China is a problem...

Sometimes, things happen when it's a bit of a problem that you're in China. Like when someone sends you a link to a youtube video and it's the week China has banned all access to youtube. But, sometimes things happen which makes you realise how difficult living here can be.

Take for example, yesterday's rugby match. Tony has been nagging me for weeks now to go and watch a rugby practice. the last time I saw him play, he tore the achilles tendon and lateral ligaments in his left ankle. He screamed with pain and swore like a trooper and very bizarrely started to quote from Jane Eyre and accused poor Rochester of all kinds of awful deeds, including his ankle. While I was sympathetic and concerned, I was also very embarrassed. Yesterday I decided was the day for me to watch him practice. I was impressed with his ferocious tackling, his commitment to the game, and I saw for myself that he had very real talent. Unfortunately, he has no regard for his body and seems to have a death wish and throws his body at the opposition.

He launched shoulder first into a Chinese national player who has legs the size of my waist and easily weighs about 120kg. They connected, shoulder to shoulder, then fell to the ground with the huge monster of a man, the Great Wall himself, landing on Tony's shoulder. Tony heard two clicks and then felt intense pain and couldn't move his arm. To his credit, he smiled and nodded when the Chinese national player, 30kg heavier than him muttered, "Er, my mistake." No tears or screams this time. No cursing of Rochester, all he said was, "Think somethings gone. Won't be able to finish the game." I managed to help him get the shirt off and saw this funny bump on his collar bone. Chinese players came to look and pushed down on the bump and all said, "Hospital," but when I asked them how to say hospital in Chinese they looked at me blankly. That's when I really felt helpless and cursed the fact I'd dropped out of Chinese classes.

I managed to get hold of our doctor at the SOS Clinic and he agreed to meet us even though it was after hours. While we were waiting for him to arrive, the Chinese women walking past were very excited to see Tony's bare upper body and hairy chest and they were all taking photos of him sitting there. So, the up shot of it all, and after 4 hours of waiting at hospital etc, is that Tony has a Acromioclavicular Joint Separation and probably has to have surgery, so we're being medivacced to Hong Kong in the morning. Apparently, in China although they have all the equipment and technology, surgeons don't do that kind of stuff. It really reminds you what a chance yu take when you live in countries like this and have the added language barrier. As I write this we are still waiting for Medivac in the US to get back to us with confirmations of our flights. Of course, a trip to Hong Kong, while great for shopping, wasn't in my budget at all and I'm trying not to spend money at all to save for Tony's hotel school fees in June. It's one of those things I guess. Luckily, I was there to sort it out at the time as I don't know what would have happened. No first aid kit or ice packs at the rugby field. Tony of course, is quite excited as he looked up the injury on the internet and it's a common injury for professional rugby players, so now he thinks he's the real deal.

He had his art exhibition on Friday night and that went off well. Not sure what we'll do with the enormous art pieces he created, but we might hang on to the pewter sculpture he did of his fingers giving 'the finger.' Luckily quite a few people have offered to take Siobhan for a few days. So now I sit, not sure if I must pack for a day or three or what. I'm supposed to be going to see the Shaolin monks this coming weekend. Hopefully, this will all be sorted and over by then.

And, I really need to get focused on packing up this house....seem to be leaving it until the last minute......

Sunday, April 12, 2009

My sausage machine has packed up!

And, am I devastated, no, just a little annoyed. Actually, more than annoyed. Made in China should come with hazard warnings for the mental anguish it causes. My one month old dvd player packed up last week. This is now the third dvd player in as many years. In a way, I'm relieved my sausage machine has broken down because I am a little sick of spending weekends making sausages. But I am still annoyed. Ah, conflicting emotions.

Well, my one week's holiday has come and gone. I didn't achieve a quarter of what I wanted to achieve, But, have packed 6 boxes, read 2 books and written about 4 articles, oh, and climbed down Purple Mountain, and made 10kg of sausages, the last 5kg with the old hand machine that takes forever and kills my back.

Happy Easter. My first Easter holiday in 4 years. First time school holidays coincided with Easter. But of course, no Easter eggs here. Just very expensive imported German ones at the Metro. I made my own hot cross buns which were delicious and toasted some in the oven this morning.

Ah, Happy Days, Siobhan is stomping around because the ayi has emptied out her school bag and she can't find anything. Shouting at me won't get her anywhere as I have no clue where her school stuff is. And, if I tell her that she shouldn't have left it lying around and also shouldn't have waited until 10.32pm to get ready for school the next day, it'll go down like a lead balloon.

Here's the rss feed from my hubpages account. Read some of my articles if you have a spare minute!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Nearly holdays!

Just two more days and then we have a week long holiday! Can't wait! Mind you, no money to travel away and I have to start packing up my stuff as the movers pick up my boxes the beginning of May.
Life has been hectic as usual with me having to make 300 sausages for a World Cup Football day at school, and then sell them as hotdogs. From that I got more sausage orders so had to spend Sunday making more sausages and I've basically run out again. So, guess what I'm going to be doing this weekend.
Had my first barbecue of the year on Sunday evening. I think this will have to become a Sunday tradition until we leave.
Friday night, I flew to Xi'An with some friends, spent all Saturday exploring and flew back Saturday night. That's definitely the way to see China, with quick sorties to see the sights and then return. The end of April I head away on a weekend trip to see the Shaolin monks and where Kung Fu originated.
I really need to finish my children's book and start on my next, but I have been so occupied with writing articles for Hubpages, that I just don't seem to get the time. I really need to get myself disciplined again!
Here are a few articles I've written recently. Just click on the links!
Have a good one!
Cindy (titled Weeding manual strictly for women - this one isn't about what you think it is!)