A small piece of metal protrudes from the frame in one of the windows where we conduct visa interviews. There is a sharp edge on this piece of metal. This morning, as I was reaching for an applicant’s passport, I scraped a finger against the sharp edge of the metal, and got a tiny, little boo-boo.
I didn’t think anything about this little boo-boo, and continued my morning interviews as usual. This afternoon, I realized that I still hadn’t treated this little boo-boo, and I looked around for a first aid kit in the office. I really only wanted a bandage to keep it clean.
Alice, the LES (locally-engaged staff) of king-fu melon fame, helped me find the office’s first aid kit, which was conveniently locked. I really hope that in the event I have a heart attack, this first aid kit contains a defibrillator which can bring me back to life. That’s probably wishful thinking, though, because it did not contain a Band-Aid.
Alice took another look at my boo-boo, pronounced it a Very Serious Wound, and sent me to the Consulate’s nurse, Nurse Nancy.
One of the reasons that we get a hardship differential for serving in Shenyang is that the quality of medical care in the city is not up to American standards. We have a full-time nurse in the consulate, nurse Nancy. She’s great.
I think that nurse Nancy tries to single-handedly make up for the overall poor quality of medical care in the city by providing overly great medical care, as best she can.
I ventured into nurse Nancy’s basement clinic. I showed her my boo-boo. I asked for a Band-Aid.
She looked at my gaping wound, gasped in horror, and sprang into action. “It’s infected!” she shrieked, and grabbed my wrist with one hand, reaching for medicine with the other hand.
First came a thorough bath of hydrogen peroxide, followed by a douse of iodine, a generous slather of antibiotic cream, and then a tightly wrapped Band-Aid.
I doubt that even the Ebola virus could have survived the treatment that nurse Nancy gave to my Very Serious Wound.
She didn’t venture to provide a prognosis, but I am fairly optimistic that I will survive this Very Serious Wound.