Thursday, February 24, 2011

Axe Update

The phone calls and messages keep pouring in for my family in New Zealand. They seem to be coping well and although they still have very limited water supply and no sewerage they are a lot better off than many. I am listening to the local radio via Internet but we still feel so far away! Thank you for all your kind thoughts.
I apologise for leaving some of you hanging yesterday regarding my son's axe incident... I'll go back a few days to Sunday and start at the start. My husband has recently invested in a couple of very good axes and Sunday we got another big load of wood which needed to be chopped and so we were going to spend the whole day chopping away and hopefully filling up the wood shed ready for next year. My 8 year old son really enjoys chopping the smaller pieces of wood with the smaller axe and had cut quite a lot and was singing to himself and then..... "I've cut my foot, the axe is in my foot, help!" And indeed he had cut his foot, with the nice new sharp axe.
When I was in university I studied anatomy and once a week we went to the "laboratory" and were given different body parts to poke and prod and analyze how they moved etc. It was a little off putting initially, but when you got used to it it was actually quite fascinating. On Sunday I found myself back in the lab looking inside my son's foot and seeing that although he had split the skin clean open on the top of the foot he had JUST managed to miss the tendons, bones etc. They were very clearly visible, but in one piece. Fortunately there is not a lot of blood flow on the top of your foot so I managed to bandage it up and then we set about trying to find a hospital that would deal with the injury on a Sunday morning... not an easy task! All the hospitals in the 3 cities that adjourn us refused on the grounds that they didn't feel confident dealing with injuries (yes, they are hospitals....) and finally we called the fire brigade (which also doubles as the ambulance service) and after about half an hour they managed to find a hospital a couple of towns over that would at least take a look at it.
I must say that my son was incredible brave and although it only needed 4 stitches in the end he didn't cry after the initial act...... and even watched as they did the stitching up. He seems to be mending quickly and hopefully will have the stitches out in a week or so. The best thing about having children in a foreign country is that you get to learn a lot of vocabulary that you would otherwise never need! Gotta find a bright side of everything......


  1. OMG - poor son. How brave - but how completely and embarrassingly ridiculous that it took so much effort to find a hospital. Did you end up going to Nakatsu hospital? I'm sure he'll be up and running run in no time - might have to delegate axe duties to dad for a while.

    see you soon.

  2. This is a good reason to call the ambulance first, even if you think you can get yourself to a hospital quicker, simply because they know WHERE to take you! I've been told there are 3 true emergency departments in Oita, one in the city and 2 in Beppu, I believe. Shameful. Nakatsu's is often staffed by students, so while they will often at least see you, you're not necessarily going to get the best care. Sigh. The only solution is to make sure you chop your foot off with an axe sometime between 10am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.

  3. oh my!! glad to hear it wasn't too serious, and that he was very brave about it!

  4. Oh my goodness! I'm very happy it wasn't worse then it was. But still that must have been quite a scare. Your son sounds like he handled himself really well. What a good kiddo you have there. : ) Hope he's on the mend and running and jumping soon. : )

  5. Anonymous7:40 PM

    Your son must be a bit brave to not be screaming about the injury with an axe. And not being able to get into a hospital must have been a trying experience for you.

    I hope you can find the time to visit my blog about my experiences in Japan way back when men wore ropes for belts and the women wore baggy pants instead of kimonos. It was a time when you were lucky to have a hibachi in the house and public bath house in walking distance. My Travels in Japan