Posted by: monsonmadness | October 26, 2011


This morning around 6.30am, we were all taking showers getting ready for school. Mary had a towel wrapped around her so didn’t have her arms free, slipped on the hard floor, and split her chin open.

As soon as I saw it, I knew it was bad. It was only about an inch wide, but it was deep. When I stopped the bleeding we had to make the decision of whether to take her to the hospital or not. I tried closing it up with butterfly bandages while we made the decision.

We have heard so many horror stories about the hospital, that we decided not to go. When I took the kids to school, the other teacher’s talked me into going, so I came back home to get her passport, social security card, birth certificate and Michael’s work contract which are all needed to be seen at the hospital. I also picked up some other necessities. I knew we’d be there for a while!

Getting her a hospital ID card took about an hour. Not too bad. Waiting in the gross ER room was another couple of hours. Check out the disgusting bathroom in the slideshow below…(and yes, there really are chickens walking around outside the hospital)

Came to find out that on Wednesday mornings, the doctors all go to a training meeting, so don’t see patients. Yes, even the ER doctors! I would guess that there were about 40 people waiting to be seen at the ER while we were there. Now, you have to remember that this is the only place on the island, so you don’t only go to the ER for emergencies. You also go there if you want to be seen for anything, and don’t have an appointment with a doctor, so there were lots of people with sore feet and other non-emergency conditions.

The laptop worked really well at keeping Mary distracted with a movie for the first hour or so. I couldn’t believe that we still hadn’t been seen in triage yet. The receptionist came out and gave some information in Samoan which of course I didn’t understand, so I asked someone and she said that anyone who wasn’t in pain should go home, because they were only going to have 2 doctors in that day. Only one person got up and left!

I was getting a little frustrated after two hours. I had initially been told that we had to be seen at the ER and not by a pediatrician because she needed stitches, and they would need to be done sooner rather than later. I decided to make a little stink about things. I knew that she needed to be seen by the surgical tech, the problem was they wanted her to be seen by the ER doctor first, and then the surgical tech. I complained that the accident had now happened almost 4 hours ago, and was probably closing up and “demanded” that the surgical tech just take a look since he wasn’t even doing anything.

They decided to listen to me, and Mary was taken back to be looked at. The tech decided that she needed two stitches. The most heartbreaking part was when Mary asked me with a quivering lip, “Mom, what’s he going to do to me?” So sad.

He put her in a straight jacket so that she wouldn’t wriggle too much which didn’t really work because she still screamed and flailed her whole body. He stuck a needle into her wound three different times to numb it. She was hysterical. She had a nurse trying to hold her head still, and I was trying to hold her body down. I am not sure that the anaethestic really worked, because although she stopped screaming when the needle was done, she screamed just as loudly when he started stitching. Poor kid.

A few m&m’s after the stitches worked to calm her back down again, and then it was off to the pharmacy (only one on the island) to wait another hour for her antibiotics. Keeping a wound from getting infected is a big problem with all the dirt here. The humidity hinders the healing process as well. Anyway, this time Mary spent her waiting time watching the torrential rain out of the window, and listening to songs on the Ipod. It was now almost 1pm. We had been gone all morning long, Emma and Daniel would have finished school and would be hanging out in daycare waiting for me.

Mary and I decided that we were hungry, and that we deserved to stop in at Carl’s Jr on the way back to the school. She was so proud to be on a date with Mom and to share a soda together. The rest of the day she went around telling people that “the man sewed my chin”. Poor Mary.


  1. I feel so bad for the little girl. And all that nonsense and waiting would had driven me nuts. I’ll cross my fingers the antibiotics work and her wound will heal without any problems. That whole thing must have broken your heart 😦 It is hard for me when my kids get hurt.

  2. Poor Mary. Stitches are no fun. I remember getting stitches on my face when I was younger. I think the needle coming toward my face scared me more than anything.

  3. Awww….poor little thing! That was quite an ordeal. I get mad when I have to wait 30 minutes at the doctor, but now I’ll just be glad I don’t have to wait hours like you!! I hope Mary heals well.

  4. I feel like we have to wait every time I go to the doctor even with an appointment. But, I won’t ever complain again. I’ve never waited that long.

  5. That sounds like the NHS. Poor Mary. x

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