Sunday, August 22, 2010

The rains came down and the floods went up.

It's been raining in North East China..and by raining I mean Noah and the Ark worthy rain.  Near the China/North Korea border, the river has risen and people have been evacuated.  Some have died.  In our city (not too far from there), streets are flooded and rivers are high.  It's hard to have so much rain when you mostly use your bike for transportation.
Fortunately we have our attractive and flattering vinyl snugglies.  They do cover everything!
Yesterday it was pouring with rain.  We needed to go to the bank and then shopping.  We gave up on the bank idea and just went shopping.  We made it home and then spent most of the day there.
Around 8 PM, Elisabeth was chatting (by computer) with a friend in the same city.  Her friend texted that her dad had fallen into a manhole and sprained his elbow.  That was the understatement of the day!
Our friend (not Chinese) has worked and lived in China for a very long time.  He bikes everywhere.  Yesterday he stayed at work late, hoping the rain would stop.  It didn't.  As he was riding home, he saw a small mini-van that was stuck.  He stopped to help push it out.  Success.  Then he kept riding...until he rode right into a manhole.  Where was the cover?  Who knows.  Probably stolen.  As he put it, the sidewalk rose up to him and he knew he was in trouble.  The van driver (whom he had just helped) came back and got him home.  He took him home, through major detours through the flooded streets...and then left him at the bottom of his stairwell with his broken bike.  The fact that he stopped at all is amazing.  There are no Good Samaritan laws here.  People rarely stop to help injured people because of the possibility of being blamed for the accident.
 To make a long story short, his ulna pushed up and broke.  When he got home, his wife knew that he needed to go to the hospital. Remember the rain? No taxi's!  So they took the bus to the hospital way across the city. He had major surgery last night and is recovering in a room with two other men and their many family members.
Fortunately, we have another friend who is a  doctor who came to stay the night with him in the hospital.  Fortunately, the doctor who does this kind of surgery was at the hospital.  If he hadn't been, our friend would have waited until tonight for the surgery. No other doctor could do the surgery.
Chinese hospitals require cash on hand for treatment-no insurance.  So for each IV, each medication-you pay cash.  No money, no pain medication.  There is no food provided so friends provide food.  You have to have people stay with you around the clock because there is no nursing care.  If you don't have a friend, you don't have someone to help you to the bathroom or make sure you have your pain medication.  It's a completely different system.
When we saw him, he was in a room with two other men.  It wasn't bad but not ideal.  He was being a good sport about it as was his wife.
So pray for our friend tonight if you think of him.  He has a long road of recovery ahead of him.  Physical therapy is a rarity here so he'll need to look for some resources.
One more thing- here is an article about the state of hospitals in China.  It may give you an idea of why we never want to get sick here.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/12/world/asia/12hospital.html?_r=1

5 comments:

Ms Barbara said...

What an eye opener! I can't imagine ever having to be in that situation there. Are all the hospitals that way, even in the big cities?

Amelia said...

All American medical insurance whiners should read your post and thank the Lord for the medical system we have. It is certainly not perfect, but it is so much better than that! How is the baby?

Walking to China said...

The baby is sweet and good.

Katie said...

I don't know if you remember me, but we met at the Christmas cookie exchange. Our baby was born at the number 1 hospital (the one in the picture in your news article link) a few months ago! That hospital has some new vip rooms on the baby/birth floor that are pretty nice, but I've been to other parts of the hospital that were pretty bad. When we were there, my husband saw a very angry rant by some unhappy hospital patrons!

Walking to China said...

I remember you, Katie!