Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Accidental Death and Dismemberment

Now that I have your attention, why don’t I tell you about my week?

I think I mentioned that I’m working on an actual article that I’m being paid actual money to write. The subject is kids’ health crises in Beijing, so I’ve spent the last two days touring hospitals and evacuation facilities and talking to doctors about all of the things that can and do go wrong. I’ve been amazed at how willing these docs are to go on the record about the issues facing expats who need medical attention. I’ve been impressed by how many services are available to expats and diplomats here in Beijing. But it’s also a little scary to hear firsthand what isn’t available and what this means for people like me and my family.

For starters, I’m going to try really hard not to get stabbed in the heart while in Beijing. Apparently that’s a tricky one. I’ll also want to avoid brain surgery of any kind. And then there are the day-to-day worries like rabid puppies, ayis who think baby will enjoy a swim in the washing machine, fireworks-wielding kiddies and lack of sleep amongst long-haul bus drivers.

And if I do happen to have an emergency, I’ll have to hope and pray that a bystander knows CPR, or I’m a goner by the time the ambulance arrives.

Seriously. It’s a scary world out there. But I have to say, there are some amazing doctors working here, and they can do an awful lot to save your life - if you can get to them in time.

Unfortunately, they can’t write the article for me. I have about 40 pages of notes to transcribe as I start outlining this article of mine. Let’s hope there’s a doc here in Beijing who specializes in carpal tunnel…


Please. Write your own stuff.