My middle son again - who else?!
I went to pick him up at school today, and he came bouncing towards me showing me his hand. "Look mom!"
Two teeth marks plainly visible on the hand.
"So, what is it? Did one of your snakes you were catching bite you?"
"No, not a snake! I was trying to catch a snake, but something small, grey, and furry bit me, probably a mouse or a rat."
Great. Questions run through my head... what can he catch from that? After half an hour on endless phone calls to this nation's wonderful health system, I find out that rabies is not going to be a worry, but that they suspect he might need a tetnus shot. About fifteen minutes more or fruitless calls to offices that tell me they'd love to help me, but it is not 4:29 and their office closes at 4:30, and perhaps I ought to phone someone else, I gave up.
I picked up the phone and phoned the one person I know will help me any time of day or night - a urgent care doctor from our home church. Quickly, because he was heading out somewhere, I explained the situation, and in two minutes got an answer back. Because the cut is so minor, we can wait on the tetnus and just keep an eye on him. Really, it is more of a scratch than a cut.
Whew! It was a simple question in the first place. "If my son last had a shot in '03, and has a minor scratch by a mouse who bit him, does he need a tetnus shot now?" Simple, you'd think. No, not in socialized medical systems. I talked to no less than four people without getting an answer. Why did I not go down to the clinic? It is free - yes, it doesn't cost money. But... if I went now, I might be seen before midnight. Average wait is about six to twelve hours.
Thank God for a doctor who has given me his cell phone number and answers questions for me! Even when we were "over there" and other missionaries would come to our city for medical questions, he was only an e-mail away with good advice. He's seen us through irregular heartbeats on a two year old, a three year old who swallowed kerosene, immunization schedules for my kids and others, a visitor with menopause questions, post surgical care of a hysterectomy, a case of TB, balancing dosage of an IV med with the lab's bloodwork results, a severe case of poison ivy, and an eight year old who put an arrow right through his lip, among other things. God bless this man! We love him.
And - no more rats! No more baths, either... except perhaps after hunting rats!
Why didn't I just have cute little girls who play with dolls...? (well, except Karis' girl who stuck a bean up her nose!)