I don't think I acknowledged how incredibly fortunate we've been in the last few weeks... and last night was no exception..
Hang on, lemme tell you how she got that.
Hamster Ninja flew completely beyond a bouncing castle's padded walls and landed outside the enclosure on bare concrete (yes like in the photo). It was easily a 5-foot fall from over the wall, the proprietor would shakily explain to the nurses. They had not expected any kid to fly over the wall, and so they hadn't laid the soft mats at the back, just 10, 20 feet deep in the front and along the sides. Watching from the ropes, I suddenly see HN appear over the top of the wall, landing a moment later on the floor below and screaming her lungs out. By the time I run round to the front, push through, yell at the attendant to let me in, and run back to where she fell, she's gone. It takes us several minutes to find her, tearily sliding out from another castle. Her friend's mum has called the police and mall management, but I don't wait for anyone to arrive, I just leave my number and we go straight to the nearest A&E.
I'm not squeamish about broken limbs and what-not, but I'm very concerned about head traumas. A secondary school friend long ago abruptly lost his dad during a squash match when the older man slipped on the court. Just like that. My uncle who works in the medical field came home one day to my cousin blading (slowly) round the house without a helmet and really lost it. Earlier that day he had seen a boy who had not worn a helmet, and then fallen off his bicycle. The inside of his head, my uncle said, had looked like when you drop a watermelon on the pavement.
People use "Hashtag Blessed" for the most beautiful things, for awesome vacations, for prizes, for all manner of "good stuff" that happens to them. Yesterday evening, that packed, bare bones (but very "chaotically efficient," if there's such a way of putting it), extremely busy A&E room, with the smells and the noise and the... walls.... that is our Hashtag Blessed.
At reception, I'm frantically telling the staff who appear non-plussed but turn out to move quite fast (in retrospect I think they always appear non-plussed because of the constant traffic of injured going through the crowded hospital - there's a sign that reads something like Waiting Time Will Be Increased If Resuscitation Is In Progress) how HN fell out of the bouncing castle.
Nurses: Any dizziness?
Nurses: Any vomiting?
Nurses: Is that your mother standing over there?
Me: Ay - hit your head already cannot remember me issit?
All around us, seriously injured people perpetually coming in on stretchers. The ambulances empty, then go back out. There's also been a car accident, traffic police start moving between the seated people, with clipboards. And so I ask if, since HN is stable, I should bring her to a less crowded clinic for the more extensive check.When I asked at reception, they then wouldn't take payment of the HKD 180 entrance charge, and tell me to check with the nurse re paying or moving HN.
Nurses: <pause> Are you a tourist? (I shake my head No, but this is our first urgent A&E visit; I think if you haven't got the HKID yet then the cost is HKD 1230 thereabouts) Well we can't stop you if you want to leave, but I can tell you you won't wait long because (HN)s going to be put in the urgent queue. Fall and head trauma from that height..
They're right. Not too long later, we're called to a cubicle, where a masked doctor briskly looks her over.
"...She fell... completely out of a bouncing castle from a height of 5 feet, and hit her head on the hard concrete floor."
"That must really be important information, you've said that three times."
Rockstar blinks, and we exchange a look of appreciation. Sarcastic Doctor! At the perfect moment, it diffuses some of our anxiety. Where's his cape?
Doctor (to HN): See that purple line? (HN nods) I want you to take your mum down that line to the X-ray station, can you do that? (She does, and so they know she can both see the purple line and walk on it.)
This leads us eventually to the room where HN is given a CT scan.
The wait after the check and scan (after they've seen HN and verified she's not in immediate danger) is much longer. Truth be told not a few friends who have come to this hospital with less urgent needs have all mentioned the wait is long. There are many, many people who need medical attention. You can spot some of the "regulars", including several blonde-and-blue-eyeds - they've brought earphones, laptops... A couple of... Indonesians? Philippinos? Have brought full meals in tupperware.
Kings arrives after his work event, in time for us to be called back to Sarcastic Doctor's station, where he delivers the best line in the world: She's alright. Ok, Bye bye.
After thanking him profusely (honestly, he barely blinks behind the mask, he must be so swamped and preoccupied, goodness knows how many patients he urgently has to see in a night) we try to figure out where and what to pay. I get a couple blank looks over masks, before returning to the reception counter.
"We also had a CT scan"
"(slight raised eyebrows) That's.... included in the HKD 180"
The bouncing castle proprietor apologises, explains again about not laying mats at the back because they never thought kids would be falling out of there, tries to pay for our consultation. Of course Kings declines, but more than that, what stayed with me was that when we went to the counter and I was describing HN's fall "from a height of 4ft thereabouts," the proprietor, worried as he must have been about whether we were going to make a serious complaint - certainly mall management had begun to swarm and take pictures as we were leaving, including politely stopping HN on the way out to the A&E for a picture - had put the height she had fallen from without a soft mat as higher, 5 feet (not say, lower). He had not tried to downplay HN's injury risk, and we respect him for that.
So all's well that ends well. And HN's face in this quick snap I took while we were waiting briefly to enter the X-Ray room says it all: