Sunday, June 26, 2011

Hospital Adventures

Last Friday I had a pretty interesting hospital visit. I was meeting up at the hospital right before 8am with my sister (I wouldn't be able to do pregnancy in China without her!) so we could both see the doctor. She's about five weeks earlier on in her pregnancy than I am. Anyway, we wanted to be early to stand in line before the masses arrived.

Right when I got to the hospital entrance, I noticed a crowd of people standing around and heard a squeaking metal sound and some shouting. There's always a flood of bikes and motorbikes going south on the hospital road to the factories and offices around 7:45 in the morning. In the middle of the street, I saw two motorbikes on their side. To the left of that, I saw a man, completely still, lying on the ground with a puddle of blood around his head. "Don't look...don't look...breathe" I was telling myself so I wouldn't get sick. The metal sound was a gurney two nurses had brought down the hill from the hospital. They began lifting him onto the stretcher as I walked by with my eyes focused on the sidewalk in front of me.

I left the scene behind me and walked up the hill to wait for Hayley. She was running late, so they ended up wheeling the man right in front of where I was waiting into the hallway. Hayley showed up five minutes later, so we went in for our visit.

The hospital is expanding on one side, so I've always wondered where they put the emergency room. I found it on Friday! When we walked into the hospital, I saw the crowd in the hallway. There were about twenty people standing in the hallway looking in the open door at the man on the stretcher in the emergency room. The emergency room was just a small room off to the right. I've walked past that room with the open door every time I went in and out of the hospital, never realizing that was their emergency room! Hayley and I walked past and stood in line to pay our US$1 to see the doctor. As we were waiting, we heard the man screaming in pain. And everyone was there in the hallway still watching.

We went upstairs into the little room to see the doctor. There were about ten other pregnant women in the small room with us. No one waits in line. The doctor sits at the desk, and everyone takes their little medical book with all of their test results, ultrasound pictures, and any other important information (you'd be in serious trouble if you ever lost that book!) and puts in right in front of the doctor's face as she's reading another person's book. She'll either put it on the desk next to her, or, if you're lucky, she'll open yours and start helping you instead. After fifteen minutes, she opened my sister's book and ordered some tests for me and her.

After you have the papers ordering your tests, you have to go down the hallway to wait in another line that you will get cut in on if you're not watching to pay for your tests. We waited there about ten minutes. After you pay, they print out a receipt and glue it on the back of each paper. I hadn't been to the doctor yet for this pregnancy, so I had about 15 different tests. Which means she had to print out and glue 15 different receipts on the back of each test.

Off to more lines! Hayley waited in the blood-drawing line while I took my urine test (consisting of carrying my sample in a tiny, flimsy plastic cup from the squatter down the hallway across the hospital to the lab counter with all the other people carrying cup samples of this or stick samples of that. There's a lot of urine on the floor, on the counter, and on the walls in this area because of those flimsy cups--hope that's not TMI for you!). After that test, I met up with my sister to give my eight vials of blood after she had waited in line for nearly 20 minutes. Let's just say there's always lots of people everywhere!

Back to the little room with the doctor for our doppler test...This is when we were in there with 17 other pregnant women. The doctor kept locking the door to keep more people from coming in, but as soon as one would walk out, two or three more would come in. We gave our books to the doctor and had to wait only five minutes this time. I guess she knew we were almost done. Nothing like getting tests done, though, with everyone there watching the white ladies! There's not a whole lot of privacy.

The doppler finished our tests for that morning. As we walked out of the hospital 2 1/2 hours later, I looked into the emergency room to see if the man from the accident was still in there, but it was empty. As we walked down the hill in front of the hospital to the road, I told my sister about what I had seen of the accident. The crowd had cleared up by the time she had arrived, so she didn't see anything but two scooters by the side of the road.

We got to the road right in front of the hospital, and there was the man's big puddle of blood...still there on the road next to the sidewalk right in front of the hospital...with a bunch of bicycle tread marks through it.


Chinese products can be funny. Whether it is clothes, a food product, or toys, there's usually something on the label, whether the design or the English written on it, that identifies them as being Chinese.

We were shopping for a birthday present for one of our American friend's little boy who was turning three. We didn't want something corny or something with really cheap plastic. Ryan found a set of six metal jets that we figured we wouldn't be able to top unless we went to a really nice toy store. It wasn't until we got home that we noticed the "Chinesey" part of the toy:

So in between an EF-111A Raven and an SR-71 Blackbird, there's a sign for a rental car return. And it cracks me up because it's not just a rental car return, but it comes with a "Caution."

Gotta watch out for those rental cars.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

There's No Place Like Home

After being in the States for the past two months, we are finally back in China. It was great seeing family and friends, showing Rylan off, and sharing about the work going on over here. But after being away for eight weeks, I was ready to get back to MY home.

Rylan did much better on the trip back to China than he did going to America. Out of the 24 hours it took for us to get from one place to the other, he slept for two of them on the trip eight weeks ago. Obviously, that was no fun for anyone, so we asked for a lot of prayer when we came back here. Thankfully, he did much better and slept off and on for probably seven hours.

We got back to our little green apartment at nine on Tuesday night. The first thought for the both of us was, “Wow, this place is tiny!” But it was good to be home. We’ve spent the past week unpacking, getting settled back in, and going to bed by 8:30pm.

We didn’t have the mold in our apartment this time like we did when we came back last year thanks to a friend who came in a few times a week and dumped the water out of our dehumidifier. However, we did have another stinky problem. When I opened one of our suitcases, the one with all of the new clothes for the year for Rylan and for our little girl on the way, it smelled. Bad. I pulled out a few bags of things, but I couldn’t figure it out. Ryan took over the unpacking and later on came to me sheepishly and told me he found out what smelled so badly. Now, Ryan has a habit of hiding things between the clothes in our suitcases without telling me when we’re packing so I won’t protest with “We don’t need that!” I have started to look forward, in a way, to what I will find every trip back. His latest hidden treasure was the smelly culprit…catfish stinkbait. He brought a jar of catfish stinkbait back from America! “Just in case I can fish in the jungle at the orphanage in Dongguan,” he tells me. He wisely double-bagged it in case it leaked, which it did. Thankfully, the liquid itself stayed in the bag, but the stink got all over the clothes. All over my new, cute, pink, little girl clothes. Over the past week, all but one outfit have aired out. The outfit that got it the worst, the one packed right under the stinkbait, is one of Ryan’s mom’s favorite dresses she bought for our little girl. It’s still stinky, but I’m confident it’ll come out in the wash. Ryan says “Sorry, Mom.”

So we’re excited to be back, to get going, to start working for another year. We love our life together here, and we’re thankful to be here!

Had to add another picture :) Is he not the cutest little guy?!