[GeoStL] China musings

  • From: Yvonne Von Der Ahe <yvda@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: geocaching@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 23 Jun 2006 12:37:43 -0700 (PDT)

At lunch today several suggested that I write up what recently happened to me 
in China.  So here's the story...arrived Beijing from LA on May 18th at 5:30 am 
after a 15 hour flight, went to breakfast, then on a tour of the Hutong (the 
old area of Beijing) via rickshaw.  At the end of the tour my friend, Mary, and 
I alit from the rickshaw and were standing by the driver when this car came out 
of nowhere and struck me (I was not standing in the traffic lane).  I was 
knocked to the ground and the left front tire of the car ran over my right foot 
causing my shoe to come off (tread marks on the shoe to prove it).  I could not 
stand or bear weight on the foot and my right arm was battered and bleeding.  
The car?s driver picked me up and placed me in his backseat and took me to the 
Beijing Friendship Hospital which treats foreigners.  We were accompanied by 
the driver's co-worker and the local tour guide who acted as the translator.  
It took over an hour to get there as he didn't
 know where it was AND he had another accident on the way there...a fender 
bender, but that?s another story).  This man was NOT a good driver, but after 2 
weeks in China I'm convinced that there are few.  
  On arrival at the hospital, all three went in and obtained a gurney which I 
got on then they rolled me into the emergency room.  It was a LARGE room with 
lots of Chinese people on gurneys surrounded by family members?no nurses in 
sight.  Off to the side of the room were several curtained cubicles where 
patients were slowly being seen.  In China all care has to be prepaid, so the 
man who had caused my injuries registered me and paid the fee.  I was then 
taken to a small room where the doctor (who spoke no English) cleaned my 
bleeding arm and applied some bright blue-green liquid and a dressing, and 
ordered x-rays of my foot.  By this time a friend of the driver had come to the 
hospital and joined our group.  The group (driver, co-worker, friend, and tour 
guide) then took me to the radiology department for x-rays (again the service 
had to be prepaid). The group even accompanied me into the x-ray room for the 
pics and discussed with the technician the positioning of my foot.
  We then returned to the doctor with the x-rays and the group had this 
animated conversation with the doctor in Chinese and all ignored me.  The 
doctor with the assistance of the group put a splint on my foot/lower leg and 
told me to come back in the morning to see the specialist.  He also prescribed 
a muscle relaxant for the discomfort and a herbal medicine for the swelling 
(again had to be prepaid).
  The next morning the driver came to the hotel accompanied by his sister and 
the friend from the previous day, the local tour guide joined us and we went 
back to the hospital where we had to wait in line to be seen (was only about 45 
minutes and again had to be prepaid).  The doctor looked at the x-ray, 
discussed it with my accompanying group, then went next door and discussed it 
with the other doctor, then discussed it with the casting technician?all in 
Chinese and not a word to me.  Finally I got some information out of the tour 
guide?multiple fractures (which I knew since I had looked at the x-ray), no 
walking cast, no weight bearing for a month.  After the cast was applied I was 
taken back to the hotel, a wheelchair with a pusher was arranged for the rest 
of the tour and a pair of crutches obtained for areas where the wheelchair 
would not fit (hotel/restaurant bathrooms, etc).  I then joined the rest of our 
tour group.  
  For the next 12 days we toured Beijing, Xian, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Wuxi, Suzhou 
and Shanghai.  China has more than eighty caches and I had planned on 
geocaching while there.  Obviously the accident resulted in my not being able 
to do many?in fact only three.  A beautiful country with MANY people (all 
friendly and helpful), good food (as long as you don't ask what it is), bad 
water and air pollution, wonderful gardens/parks, and so many pagodas and 
temples and historic sites!  I took lots and lots of pictures...from my 
  On my return I went to the orthopedist, have a Lis Franc?s crush injury with 
fractures of the 2nd-5th metatarsals...if I had been in the US with this type 
of injury they would have taken me to surgery to stabilize the joint.  But, 
alas, I was in China.  Now no weight bearing on the affected foot?so am 
hobbling around on my crutches till mid-July when I have another appointment 
with the orthopod.
  Additional information?In China when someone harms you they are responsible 
for you and so it was that the driver paid for all the medical care I received 
while in Beijing.  But, the costs for medical care are much lower there than 
here.  After he returned me to the hotel he went to the police with his friend 
to file the report (or that is what I was told).  Later in the trip we saw 
another accident where the woman hit by the vehicle appeared to be dead.  Our 
tour guide explained that if the woman was alive, the driver was responsible 
for all her hospital costs; if she was dead then he was responsible for her 
funeral expenses, and if she had young children he was responsible for them.
  Ladybug STL


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