Discovering Singapore – the local way

Last Monday night, yes one week ago, while Carrie wasn’t at home, I decided I didn’t have enough exercise after my 4 mile run and wanted to explore the local side of Singapore, you know something that other tourists wouldn’t see…

Like the emergency room at the hospital.
OK, so what really happened was that I was cooking dinner in a rush so that I could get it done before Carrie got home and before my stomach ate itself. I was cooking vegetable fried rice which included broccoli, green beans, bean sprouts, onion, and carrots. I wanted everything to cook somewhat evenly so I was using the mandoline to slice the carrots when I managed to actually slice the tip of my finger. 

The story continues (as told by Carrie) with italicized comments by me:
“Basically my side of the story is: (I’m sure Charles has a very different side to tell)
I wasn’t home, he cut his finger on the mandoline, realized it was bad and a Band-Aid wouldn’t fix this and thus took himself to the hospital. He’s such a weenie when it comes to blood, I’m not sure how he did this. (Mostly due to adrenaline and lack of other good choices) I, not knowing what was going on, met him there after he mumbled something about going to the hospital on the phone. At this point I knew it was bad because he avoids doctors and the hospital like the plague, thus if he’s volunteering to go AND taking himself there, I knew it had to be bad.  So he walked himself the 2 blocks to the E-room and he fainted while checking in, was anemic, had a heart rate of 38 beats a minute. Due to the fainting they threw him on a gurney and rushed him into the ER. No waiting room for him! Which he is very proud of. (Does anyone think I shouldn’t be proud of skipping the line?)  Due to the anemia they thought he had internal bleeding,but ruled that out after some tests. Due to the low heart rate they thought he was having heart issues so they took an x-ray. (My normal heart rate is about 45 beats per minute, so no need to panic). 

I of course know nothing of any of this and when I get there they asked me if I had the finger tip….NO?!?!? (are you kidding, of course I don’t have the tip!!!!!) because I didn’t know what was going on as I wasn’t home when it happened–I didn’t even know he cut his finger.  I ran home armed with saline, gauze and a hazmat bag to transport it back in, got the tip (still attached to the mandoline, so gross),and rushed back. This is when I found him in the X-ray room (what the hell do you need an x-ray if you cut your finger!?!?!)  Found out they didn’t need the tip as they couldn’t put it back on.  Then they wheeled him into yet another room I couldn’t go into with a big sign saying “Operating Room 1″….(what the hell do you need an OR for if you just told me you cant put the tip back on?!?!?!?!)  45 minutes later he strolls out–No stitches, said the skin would grow back as it was the pad part of the finder that was cut completely off and not the nail, but it might not be as round as it used to be. A wound the size of a dime  Middle finger of right hand so he’s been cracking jokes and flipping me off with his huge gauzed finger which he finds hysterical—I’m not nearly as amused.  Typing and writing I’m sure will suck for him for the next few weeks, but overall we’re ok.    We’ll see how he fares with Chopsticks.

Carrie missed out the conversation between me and the doctor, that confirmed my well being. The doctor took one look at me and said, “He looks very pale”, to which I responded “Yeah, I’m white”. The entire ER room thought that was hilarious and laughed like crazy. The doctor responded “Yes, I know but even your lips are white”. That basically quieted me down and I behaved the rest of the night.
When we got home, I was amazed to not see any blood, nothing, nada, zilch—not a single drop anywhere including the white PBR shirt he was wearing during the whole ordeal.  I asked him if he had cleaned up or what and he said “No,  When I cut myself, I stuck my finger in my mouth and bit down to stop the bleeding like you do with a paper cut” “YOU DID WHAT?!?!?!”  “it worked didn’t it??”  “yes, but that was dumb!  Use a towel next time so you don’t swallow all that blood”  “yeah that part was sort of gross, but I got to the ER ok didn’t I?” “yes but that is besides the point” …..honestly, what was he thinking! (I was thinking no reason to get blood everywhere and I will get a band aid on this thing really quick and it will be fine. So much for that plan, as a band aid couldn’t handle the job obviously.)  Sticking a gushing blood finger into your mouth is not what I would have first thought of.  I blame the male gender for this. (You can also blame the male gender for testosterone, adventure, and awesome)  And the finger in the mouth is the reason why I only got a garbled phone call where all I understood was ‘going to hospital’…because he had a finger in his mouth!  Boys! Honestly! (I would like to reiterate that there was not a drop of blood to clean up, I survived the trip to the hospital, and damn straight I am a proud male…I can pee standing up.)
I’d give him a grade of B-, as he did successfully bypass the never ending waiting room, but he lost points for fainting (based on principle) and the whole finger in the mouth ordeal.  Overall, I’m pretty sure he’s not going to have the stomach for child birth when that time comes…at least we know this ahead of time so we can make sure someone can catch him when he faints and request a room with two beds.”

I would give myself a solid A due to the following factors: I did not create a mess at home, I did not bleed all over the hospital due to my quick entry into the ER after fainting, I managed to crack a joke about being a white person in Asia that got all the Asians laughing, and the hospital bill came in under S$100 including the 6 nurses, 1 doctor, an X-ray, a visit to OR 1 and pain pills that I did not take.

Below is a picture of my bandage (don’t worry no gory pictures for you). It is healing alright and has not caused any major pain over the past week, so I am hoping we are in the clear. However, there is still some intermittent scabbing issues but I hope that gets worked through this week.
But this experience has taught us that we really are unprepared for an emergency. For example what is the Singapore version of 9-1-1???  Yeah I had no idea either.  Now that you are wondering, it’s 9-9-9 for a police emergency or 9-9-5 for all others including ambulance and fire.

I really appreciate the medical care here in Singapore, it is very good and I rate that a solid A+. I can also say that I checked that off the list and hope not to explore that part of Singapore again. 
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