After Chris, Magi and I each got a good 20 minute workout on the wake board yesterday (March 16th, 2008), the rotation started a new. Magi asked how I approach jumping from my weak side into the wake before her second run. I thought about it, acted it out, and then told her that I tend to hold the tow-rope with just my right hand, and use my left hand to balance and land. So on Magi’s next run, she decided to give it a shot.
As you can see, it’s not as easy as it looks from my video. Our driver, Michael, turned and just gave me this dirty look. “Nice one – that fall is sooooo your fault,” his face said, holding back a smile for the accusing glance.
“What!?! Don’t give me that crap! I just told her how I go about making that jump!” We both laughed, and as the boat got closer, and we shouted to Magi to see how she was doing after that wicked face plant.
It was about that time that we noticed the blood … lots, and lots of blood.
Magi had pulled her board off as the boat got next to her and got hold of the running board. I pulled her up by the life jacket and gave her my towel (care of Dave Nawrocki) and got her to hold it up against her forehead. Michael used some bottled water to rinse out the wound, which is when we got a view of the canyon that the wake board cut in her forehead. We got her up into the boat, and sped off towards Sai Kung.
Two keys to managing a head wound injury properly: first, keep pressure on the wound; and second, manage the injured person’s shock. Fortunately Magi was conscious the whole time and had no problem keeping pressure against her wound on her own. With a head wound, it’s nice because the injured person cannot see the gash – so the idea of panic is pretty easy to keep at bay. The trick, is keeping the situation outwardly light, while monitoring and managing the affair with Swiss precision. Who better to have in your boat, then, but an Eagle Scout lifeguard who does stand-up comedy!?!
Michael dropped us off at the police dock in Sai Kung, and we walked in to find some assistance. No cops on the docks. Nobody on their boats. Nobody near the building. We went into the side door, and there still wasn’t anyone. There were two hallways in the building: one was open and the other was closed off by doors that read “Staff Only.” Wanted to get someone’s attention, so we pushed through and started scoping out the Staff Only area of the police station, still dripping wet from the ocean. Finally we came upon the dispatch area, surprising the lot of Hong Kong police officers hanging out on the sunny day. They called for an ambulance, sat Magi down, and started the all important process of global police work: filling out paperwork.
I think every officer on duty asked me to write down all of Magi’s information: address, HKID card number, phone number, etc. They all asked what time the accident occurred, all the information of anyone who was involved, where we came from, etc. They all asked at different times, over the span of 20 minutes we were hanging out inside the station. Fortunately, since my Cantonese is not quite sharp enough to convey the finer details of a wake boarding injury, I just replayed the video we had taken half-hour earlier.
One of the police officers decided it might be a good idea to use her First Aid training. She opened up the tackle box of supplies, and grabbed an ice pack for Magi. This didn’t really endear Magi to the well-meaning police woman, and she made a second guess, and pulled out some gauze – just what we needed! But she couldn’t get it open, so I intervened. She did get some cotton swabs ready with alcohol, but by this point in time Magi wasn’t going to let her near the wound. I was pulled away for another round of questioning, and Magi got the woman to bring her to a mirror so Magi could clean it out herself. Then the shock factor came back.
“Oh my god, it’s huge!” Magi yelled as she came back to the office. “It’s gigantic! We have to get to the hospital!”
“Alright, sit down. The Ambulance is on its way. It should be here in a few minutes. Do you want a cookie?”
“How about a beer?”
“What!?! I can’t have a beer!”
“I know that, but it doesn’t mean I can’t be polite, Magi.”
Then I offered a cookie to the poor woman who had thought using her first aid skills would help the situation. She didn’t really understand my primitive Cantonese. She said “I’m sorry, police station have no cookie.” We laughed, and I repeated my question, telling her I had cookies: does she want one?
“No, no. Thank you.” She said. Magi wasn’t worried about the size of the gash anymore.
Fortunately, to pass the time, a new police officer thought that he might ask us all the same set of questions that all the others had asked. By the time he was done, the Ambulance arrived, we waved good-bye to the police.
The ambulance was yet another world of fun!
First off we were informed that the ambulance ride would be HK$100. The trouble is, we couldn’t seem to find where to hit the Octopus card to pay for it! It works everywhere else in Hong Kong!?!?! If 7/11 had medical services we could pay by Octopus card!?!?! The ambulance staff got a kick out of it, though they didn’t want to partake in any of the beer or cookies we were prepared to share.
Our video came in handy yet again, enabling the paramedics to see exactly how this head wound developed and brought us a new friend: the younger of our ambulance team was himself a wakeboarding fan, and quite jealous of the rate we’ve secured with Michael the boat driver.
After about 30 minutes in the ambulance, something curious struck us: why hadn’t we started driving towards the hospital yet? I asked around.
“No,” replied our wakeboarding paramedic buddy. I turned to our stouter helper.
“You drive the ambulance?”
“No,” he said, rather casually, as we were struck with a new curiosity: if he wasn’t driving us, and the other guy wasn’t driving us … who the hell is bringing us to the hospital!?!
“He is,” the paramedic indicated, pointing towards the guy snoozing in the drivers seat. The three of us look at one another: “Can we go, then?”
“Sure!” he said, and we got on our way. Welcome to Asia!
Hospital time was nothing more than a whole lot of waiting around, giving us ample time to finish our beers and cookies, play around with hospital equipment, and watch some football (which is really called soccer) on the hospital’s big screen television.
Chris and I were not welcome to come take pictures (or video) during the stitching process; however, we were able to run out and to the grocery store and grab some snacks and pick-me-up goodies for Magi. It ended up being quite the walk, as we didn’t notice the Tsuen Kwan O hospital’s 7/11 until our return trip. Magi came out excited to be all fixed up, but more so at our tidings of good cheer and Lay’s Sour Cream and Onion. Six hours later, only two of which were spent wakeboarding, we headed back to campus.
For more wakeboarding adventures, check out: