Never Have Cheap Glass Near The Kids

Going after Rockstar who has ducked out the room with one of my house slippers (again), my other slipper snaps and I stumble. In the relatively cramped space I hit an old cupboard with a glass panel, palms-first. The glass cracks, then shatters amazingly easily, I hadn't even landed my entire weight on it.

Besides multiple tiny lacerations, a deep cut on my left finger needs stitches. Both kids are out of the room, the Miss in addition safely strapped in her feeding chair. Neither is anywhere near the glass, thank God. (A subdued-for-the-moment Rockstar meekly goes to do his homework haha)

When the bleeding doesn't stop, I take the lift down to the lobby. Both kids are settled to their dinner in the living room. The receptionist freaks at my bloodied hands in paper kitchen towels and calls a guy from the main office over with a large first aid bag. Simultaneously, she lays newspapers on the grey shaggy carpet ūüėÄ

Strangely, the cuts don't hurt, the first time they're cleaned. They are deceptively small,  when the blood is cleaned off. My left hand is still bleeding freely and rapidly every time I take the sodden paper towels off, blood dripping on the newspapers very quickly. They want me to get stitches. Maybe a tetanus shot. They think one cut still has glass in it. I actually don't think so, because it doesn't hurt that much more when they press on it, but..... the bleeding just won't stop. 

"Do I have 10 minutes to eat something?" I'd been clambering everywhere after the Miss, who was arguably the tiniest one by a wide margin to be roaming across all the decks - there were at least 3 class parties from 2 schools going on in this area of the AMC, hence the especially large number of Rockstar-aged kids flying about in joyous abandon.

(On one hand I don't want the Miss to lose that spunkiness, on the other, I'm the one losing my nerve when she rapidly ducks up chutes onto numerous other play levels with kids twice her size chasing each other at full speed. So where she goes, I have to go. I figure the kids can see me better than her, when they're tearing about. Oh, and some of the spaces she fits into are seriously tight.) 

Several hours after, I'm in my tower lobby and I figure I have to eat, even if I'm not hungry anymore.

"Yeah, it'll hold for 10 minutes, get to the hospital when you can"

"Uh, can you stay here and have biscuits?"

"I'll come back down in 10 minutes." I have several eggs, oatmeal-and-rice, lotsa greens, already in my dinner bowl.

I go back up, eat my dinner, tell the kids I'm stepping out to fix my hand.

The Miss looks at me and goes, "Whoa. Is that colours?" Umm.. no darling, it's blood because Mummy's had an accident. "Oh I see... Issit ouch-ee?" Yes it's an ouch-ee, and we don't have anything in the home or downstairs to fix it, so I have to go see a doctor. "Oh I see... Issit Nice Lady Doctor?" (Their paediatrician. Rockstar's the one who started calling her that). No, she's probably home now, it'll be someone else.

Rockstar mutters, "Still kinda worried I'm in trouble. <pause> If I finish all my work before you get back can I still get Youtube?" 

At the outpatient clinic, the nurse asks who bandaged everything up so nicely. Then she removes my bandages, and under the strong light we are both surprised to find tiny glass crystals still on my skin. She cleans the wounds again. The bleeding has j-ust stopped. I start shivering. "I have to use cold water or it'll definitely start running freely again," she says apologetically.

The doctor arrives. "Ah. I see glass in there." Oh really? I didn't even feel it. "Not that cut, this one." Oh. Barely noticed that one. "Forceps." Before I can say anything further he's inserted the tips and extracted at least 3 shards of glass.

THANK GOD IT WASN'T THE KIDS. And everyone - DON'T EVER BUY CHEAP STUFF THAT HAS GLASS IN IT. The doctor won't stitch me up 'til my hands have been x-rayed.

The initial wait is 40 minutes, maybe a little more, because the technician is assisting in a surgery. I'm increasingly dismayed when at the end of that they say it's going to be another half hour, maybe even more.

"Please, please tell me there is no glass in (the deepest cut)." Thankfully, thankfully, the x-ray is clean.

Sewing the deep cut closed hurts. When you have a C-section you don't feel a thing. I mean, you feel pushing and tugging, but no pain. The painkillers take a day, maybe a day and a half, to wear off.

This little cut they're not going to knock you out for though - you can feel the thread pass through the wound. And yes, you feel pain. Maybe not at first, but abruptly, the pain hits like  a fist. As my friend keeps me talking, I can't help yelping and she jumps and screams a little too.

Yes, I had a friend with me. Another blessing; I once blogged that I have foul-weather friends, not fair-weather ones. (No one has any time for each other and keep rescheduling for a month, maybe more, when we worked. Worse now, because we have kids ūüėÄ This friend and I don't exactly talk on a daily basis.

The weirdest thing was we abruptly had something to chat each other on, maybe a half hour before the accident, so when she texted me to say she was going out to dinner with an old friend I had conversationally texted back that I was off to the hospital.

Know something else? She lives practically walking distance from the hospital. I tell her she doesn't need to pop in after her dinner. Guess what she insists on doing?

One. (Ok, I feel that. Doesn't hurt though). Two. (That hurt a little, maybe because I'm thinking about the thread and the cut.) Three. (Whoa that kinda did hurt. The doctor said three stitches earlier - so we're done, right?)

"Whoa, no, I'm not done!" When I turn and look at my hand expecting it to be all sewn up, I see stuff sticking out of my cut. Must be thread, maybe the needle. Oh, and it's still open. I look away again, but not before registering the large-and-still-growing pool of bright red on his tray.

It's about 1 am by the time I get home. I insist on cabbing back myself (my friend reluctantly waits for my text that I'm home safe - I mean, she lives freaking 100 meters away from the hospital, she's going to come all the way back with me and then go back to her own home again?!). What I couldn't have done as easily, was sit quietly through the stitches. Here's what I remembered:

1) God doesn't give you more than you can take (even though it feels like it)

2) When you can't, He sends what you need, to help you through. A friend I don't talk to on a daily basis because we are chasing 4 small kids of different ages - who just happens to live right near the hospital. A friend who comes anyway, even when you insist you're ok. Because after a couple more hours He knew you were not going to be.

3) The cupboard was due to be carted away in a few days. Had it gone without this ever happening, we wouldn't have realised our blessing that no one ever got hurt pushing those dodgy doors about (yes, the doors got stuck or came off all the time).

4) Cheap furniture's fine; cheap glass, n-ot so much. I'm reminded of this West Wing episode where military officer Jack Reese breaks a USD 300 ash tray to impress the Donna Moss character and illustrate it costs USD 300 because it breaks into only 3 dull pieces.

Epilogue: For the first few days our lobby receptionists are extra solicitous; the cuts heal fast (touch wood), and when I show the stitches days later to the lady who was on duty that night I came down, she sniffs, "Oh well, they aren't too big after all, are they?"


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About Aileen

I blog about living and raising my son in Hong Kong - where toddlers have entrance interviews, parents keep test score spreadsheets, private school debentures can trade for more than half a million USD. Raising Rockstar's the most important thing I'll ever do. We show our true colors by the choices we make in bringing up our children. My blog is a message to my toddler son, about what the world and his parents are like today - for when he becomes a teenager and knows everything.
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  • mun

    Never have cheap glass near anyone for that matter. Would not want what happened to you to happen to anyone.

    PTL that you are ok.

    • Aileen

      Yes I stand corrected, that should not happen to anyone, child or adult. PTL indeed. The cuts healed amazingly fast with something the hospital gave me called Bactroban – another mum told me later she wasn’t surprised because when she’d scraped her face falling off a bike in Korea they had given her that saying “Oh don’t worry we give you miracle ointment” and she said her cuts were closing up within half a day. I thought it was simply an antibacterial cream ok, but apparently it really aids healing too…

  • Elle Cheong

    OUCH!!! Certainly hope your hand is better now and yeah, thankful it wasn’t any of the kids. I don’t know whether to laugh at Rockstar’s reaction on being worried that he was in trouble and might miss out on YouTube time.

    • Aileen

      YEAH!! Somewhere in there he’s missing a sensitivity gene… But yes it would be much, much worse to discover how dodgy that cabinet is through the kids.