Tuesday, February 20, 2007

A Broken Arm

John broke his arm! Or, more specifically, he fractured a little bone somewhere at or near his elbow. He got taken down while going for a header. At least he got the ball... his soccer team went on to win 4-2.

We got yet another taste of Singapore's famous efficiency at Tan Tock Seng hospital's emergency room... to save time, the ER asks you to line up and pay while waiting to see the doctor. :)

I had to present my identity card (or a work permit) to register as a visitor. I guess they're afraid patients will get undocumented guests? The screener stuck a blue paper bracelet around my wrist, marking me as a visitor so I wouldn't get accidentally treated. Or, more likely, so I wouldn't get accidentally charged ER fees.

Kidding aside, Tan Tock Seng really is efficient. John arrived alone while I was at capoeira class, so by the time I got there he was already somewhere in the maze of treatment rooms and patient waiting areas. In Manila I would have had to wander around describing John to nurses and peeking under partition curtains to see if I could identify his running shoes anywhere. Here, I gave his name to the friendly Filipina nurse at the registration counter, and she looked him up in the system to check his current status.

"Oh, he's in consultation," she told me. "Room 8."

I sat and waited while he went through x-ray and got a cast, and then we walked over to Novena Square for a nice hot meal.

Things we've learned you can't do with a broken arm:

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