Tuesday Adventure at the Hospital


No, this didn’t happen horseback riding. It occurred playing around on a tree outside of a restaurant. (Zoe wasn’t very high up, but her foot got caught and she fell back, breaking her wrist with a creepy looking fracture.)

After the accident, the restaurant called an ambulance, the police came (not sure why), and Zoe was her usual calm self.

It was a bit of a zoo getting to the hospital because policy allowed only one person to ride along with Zoe, but after we kept asking for information on where the hospital was and where Zoe and I would be, our could-have-been-born-in-New-Jersey driver finally heaved a sigh and said to Tom “just get in the God damned ambulance.” (I think the final straw was Tom pulling out the Guia T and asking them to point it out on the map — pure genius.)

Lest you worry about Zelda, she went on a playdate with Liam’s family, whom we were visiting with at the restaurant. (Thank you Lori for all of your help.)

Upon arrival at the Hospital de Niños, we were taken through the back door of the emergency room that was packed to the gills. They sent us for an x-ray pronto, called a specialist who took a 1/2 hour to materialize, we discussed options for setting the fracture, proceeded with local anesthesia, and received another x-ray in nearly the same amount of time it took me to write this post.

Okay, it wasn’t quite that quick, but it was monumentally faster than it would have been in the States. Having said that, I do believe that we received the benefit of special treatment for clueless foreigners because the public hospital’s waiting room was filled to bursting with a more ethnic concentration of people than you usually see in Buenos Aires, which happens to be a very white city.

Zoe also managed to dazzle the hospital staff, who marveled at her bravery (what we call “Offermann stoicism”) and her interest in what was happening throughout the procedure. She did say that the setting hurt like hell, even with the local anesthesia, which they didn’t favor because they didn’t believe she could keep it together through the pain.

At the end of the day, I can sincerely say that we are incredibly thankful for the prompt, kind, and efficient treatment that we received from everyone during such a stressful event in our family.

General impressions: There was a vendor selling panchos (hot dogs) in the waiting area…Zoe’s cast is old school plaster (good for signing)…dealing with a complex fracture and debating about anesthesia for fracture setting is pressing the limits of my Spanish…the bathrooms were not clean and had no toilet paper, soap, or paper towels…no one ever mentioned payment at any time…we never once filled out a single piece of paperwork outside of telling staff Zoe’s name and her age.

6 Responses to “Tuesday Adventure at the Hospital”

  1. Chris

    wow, that is some serious cast zoe’s got! hope she’s feeling better.

  2. Michele

    Well Chris, it is 12:24 am, and Zoe is sitting here right next to me on the couch because cannot sleep. Her arm aches, and the cast makes it uncomfortable to rest. That, coupled with the fact that she has to keep her wrist elevated, is turning her into an insomniac and driving Tom and I crazy (okay, not really, I just typed that because she’s watching me).

    Zoe says, “Hi, I can’t wait for you to come visit.”

  3. Kate

    Poor Zoe!! I hope she gets better soon!! She can show it off to her friends at school!
    (Michele – have to say I love your blog! Its given me really good insight in what to expect when I move there next June!)

  4. Michele

    Kate! I read Zoe your wishes to get better and she was very touched! She is excited about showing off her cast, so you nailed that one. I am happy to hear that you enjoy the blog and that it has been useful. One of the main reasons we started it was the dearth of information about moving to Argentina from the family/non-Tango/non-backpacker perspective! Let me know if I can help in any way.

  5. meg

    so sorry to hear about Zoe. Sounds like she is a real trooper! We also spent Monday night in the ER (american style). Swiss Army knife meets Liam’s thumb..not pretty.
    We did say we were thankful it happened here and not in BA….now, after your experience…maybe I should not be so quick to say that.
    well, house is sold…we are officially “renting back”.
    which feels good!
    counting the days until we arrive…
    tell Zoe to stay brave…at least it is not scorching HOT there right now. one thing to be thankful for.

  6. Michele

    Meg! I have passed your kind thoughts on to Zoe!! She’s doing much better now that her cast has been loosened. I laughed about your comment regarding the heat — I said the exact same thing to Zoe. Sporting a full arm, heavy plaster cast is not much fun, “but,” I told her, “at least it’s not summer!” I’m sorry to hear you spent your night in the ER — I’m sure that was the literal definition of “night” too. This week, the last two times we walked in at the hospital, I couldn’t help but make constant comparisons to the US…and we didn’t come out looking very good. Anyway, I hope Liam is doing okay and sad to hear he had a run in with the iconic knife. *kids*

    Fabulous to hear the house has closed and that you are officially renting — it’s actually a relief, really. I remember when we moved into the rental condo after we sold the house, anytime anything broke down I would cheerfully call the landlord and be delighted I didn’t have to worry about it! When do you get to BA?

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