I seems like Friday is the day for me to post… the day I sit down and breathe after a busy week! I am quite enjoying the change of weekend – I used to crash on a Thursday (Saturday) and then do lots of things on a Friday (Sunday). Now I can crash and relax on a Friday (Sunday) and get things done on a Saturday (Saturday) to prepare for the week! I am still a little confused, but now that I am getting slightly used to it, I think we should petition our next PM for a change in Aussie weekends… what do you think?
Anyway, on to the main topic of this post… Last Saturday (Saturday) our youngest DS had to go get both of his big toes operated on because they were ingrown and infected. It was a strange thing, they didn’t hurt at all, but they were infected. He had already been on two courses of antibiotics and it hadn’t cleared up, so they said they needed to operate and were going to give him a light general and he’d be home in two hours.
DH went with him and was waiting when they wheeled him out of recovery, both feet in bandages…..
By mid morning DH was wondering when they could go home – he’d been asking the nurses, and they had no idea, said he had to wait for the doctor… and when would the doctor be there? Don’t know… Around midday the doctor turned up and said that DS had to stay in overnight because the toes were very infected and he needed to be on the drip for a few days…. ok…. that was not exactly what we expected!
So DH came home, got his laptop and a game console to keep him occupied and we took it in turns to go keep him company.
I went to see my boy in the evening… now I have been to a fair few hospitals in my life, mostly in Oz, so this was a little bit of a different experience for me. Walking in the front door one could be excused if they thought it was a hotel with this being one of the first things you see:
Since ours was not a planned hospital stay we didn’t need to use the luggage trolleys…
DS’ room was like a motel with large cupboard including fridge and safe….. lounge suite and comfy chairs for visitors to sit in, and the ensuite had little bottles of shampoo etc
At around 7.30pm the nurse came to give him his antibiotics and pain killers on the drip, and since he said he was tired and wanted to sleep, we said goodbye and started heading off. The nurse said – Are you going? with a puzzled look on her face… and we said we were and left… wondering why she had such a strange look on her face…
I came on my own the next morning, Sunday (Monday), at around 9am, just in time to meet the very friendly cleaning lady…. and be very politely reprimanded for leaving my 15 year old son there on his own for the night….!
Madam, she said, why you did not stay last night and where is Baba? (Dad) I’m like… um… well… where I come from we don’t stay in hospital rooms… where would I stay anyway? And she pointed to the couch and said – there!
Hmmm.. I’m thinking to myself that I’m glad I went home because while it looks like a very comfy couch, I much prefer my own bed to sleep in!
I told one of my Arabian friends about this conversation and she laughed and said I shouldn’t have slept there anyway because it is a men’s ward – DH should have! Ooops… I wondered if I was even supposed to be there on my own in a men’s ward….
The nurses there were mostly from the Philippines, and they all thought DS was very cute and kept trying to make him smile because he was “so handsome”! And the lovely cleaning lady kept telling him to call her “aunty”
One of the things I love about living in another country is learning about cultural differences. I find I can easier understand visitors to my own country, and empathize with them when they are trying to get used to our “strange” customs…. I am happy that my children can also learn these lessons, though sometimes they may not be easy. I know my son will always remember his short stay in an Arabian hospital, and if he ever ends up in an Aussie one I am sure he will wonder why he hasn’t been supplied with shampoo and bath gel… (Well, actually probably not.. he is after all a teenage boy who avoids the shower at all costs!)
DS was allowed to go home at 10pm after he had his last drip. He was happy to get home and sleep in his own bed again after his little adventure. He’s doing quite well and has to go back every few days to get his bandages changed… he has stitches that need to come out after two weeks, but hopefully this has cleared it all up…. and we can all say we have had another interesting cultural experience!