I originally didn’t plan to blog about this, but now that it’s over our trip to the Ta’u hospital has been giving my fellow teachers and I some good laughs. And, to be honest, not much else blog worthy has been happening lately and people keep asking why I’m not blogging. The reason for the lack of posts is that I have settled into the routine of island life and teaching so there hasn’t been a lot going on. But October will be an exciting month – White Sunday, palolo fishing, and spirit week at MHS are all coming up! But back to the hospital trip… It’s kind of long post but the details are the most amusing parts of the whole thing (or at least to us when we look back and laugh about it now). So here is my story of how we ended September with a bang…
Last Friday night the American teachers met up with some of the high school boys from the village for some ultimate frisbee with the light up disc. In the middle of game three Matt jumped to catch the disc that Wes had passed in my direction and on his way down his elbow collided with by eyebrow. We thought we could patch up the damage ourselves, but once we got into the light at Cat and Wes’s house we realized the cut was too deep. We headed to out principal’s house to see if we could get a ride to the clinic so I didn’t have to walk up the mountain with blood streaming down my face. Three of the students we were playing with are the principal’s nephews and live with her and her husband so they explained the problem in Samoan to their aunt and uncle who called the vice principal and had her come drive us to see the doctor. The ‘hospital’ is in Ta’u (the beige tiled building with the red cross in my ‘Island Tour’ post. The doctor has an apartment in half of the building and the other half is the hospital. That makes for an odd combination of smells. He had definitely had rice for dinner that night.
Once at the hospital the nurses took one look at the blood and asked what had happened. I was a little out of it and not thinking clearly, so I of course responded with the easiest answer I could think of, which was “I got hit”. Cat took this as her cue to point to Matt. I was told the nurses looked horrified. I tried to clarify a minute later, but it didn’t seem to help. Cat and Sasha who had been keeping me company and documenting the event were later kicked out of the room while they stitched me up. As soon as they were gone I was asked by the doctor if I was sure it had been a Frisbee accident or if something else had really happened. Matt had a temporary reputation as a woman beater but I think I cleared that up for him.
I spent a good portion of the weekend in bed sleeping and watching movies. The combination of pain from the minor concussion and the stitches didn’t leave me with much energy to do anything else. Luckily it rained all weekend so there wasn’t a lot going on anyway. I also enjoyed some candy to cheer me up which had come in a care package from my awesome neighbors back home. Thanks Snods!
I have since finished all my follow-up appointments and gotten the stitches removed. Never during any of my 3 trips to the hospital did I have to fill out any paperwork. I was asked my name and birthday and that was it. No medical history and my allergies were asked as an afterthought when they went to give me antibiotics. And I never even had to sign anything. An emergency trip to the doctor, stitches, and several follow-up appointments were all free of charge. My students informed me that the ocean would heal my head (my largest male students also offered to beat Matt up because they were mad he hurt me) so I spent this weekend relaxing on the beach. Despite the sunburn that resulted I think they were right. I might need to start spending more time on the beach just to be sure though :)