Thursday, March 26, 2020

Day After Nyepi Bloodbath

Last night in the total dark of Nyepi (see yesterday's post) getting up to pee, slipped on the Muslim prayer rug at the side of the bed (which I've stepped on for six years no problem), fell and hit my head and ear hard on the corner of the night table by the bed. I crawled to the bathroom as I thought it unwise to stand up but walked back to bed. I thought I might have punctured the right eardrum (after having punctured the left one last fall which took months of not swimming to hear) because I felt liquid - half asleep. Woke up at 5:30am - still dark, and realized the pillow and sheet and my tee shirt were all wet. Still thought it was ear fluid like had happened before.  Walked to the bathroom, turned on the light, and - gosh - I was bleeding - I'd been bleeding for hours.

My tee shirt was wet with blood. Obviously hadn't lost too much cause I wasn't dizzy - and I have lost too much blood and it was very unpleasant. Took off my tee shirt rinsed it and there was so much blood in it and gobs of coagulated blood. Same on the bed. So I knew I needed to put pressure on the wound. I got a washcloth and did that but I couldn't tell exactly where it was bleeding because it was my ear or behind my ear. Just sat there and held it and waited for 6am when Nyepi is officially over and we can have activity again  and then called dear Kadek, our housekeeper. Her husband, a driver, offered to come over and take me to the hospital but I said that won't be necessary.

She arrived at 7:15 and by then I'd stopped the bleeding with continual pressure and had had my morning hot water, jamu (traditional medicinal drink), four prunes, an oatmeal cookie and was drinking tea and reading the news. She immediately asked if I was dizzy and I said no, there's no hurry. She asked if I lost consciousness. I said I don't think so. I told her I'd fasted for Nyepi and she said she thought maybe I'd fainted. Oh yeah - maybe so. I never have slipped on that rug. I replayed the memory. It happened so fast it could have been I slipped but it could be that I fainted and that smashing my head into the corner of the table woke me up a second later. I remember crying out and taking in that heavy hit, surely one of the heaviest in my life.

She was cleaning up and I was waiting for 8:00am and the hospital to open for regular business, not just  emergency. I didn't want to go to the emergency room cause I thought it might cost more. She told me that actually this year Nyepi is two days, the second one allowing lighting and wifi but not going out except to by food and necessary stuff. She lives thirty minutes from here. She said she was stopped three times on the way here by pecalang, neighborhood security officers, not the police but more important often. She said she'd explain the purpose of her trip and each time they waved her on. This second day of Nyepi is obviously in response to the virus. Good idea.

I had the last of the leftover oatmeal cooked with banana, dried apricots, and sunflower seeds. We didn't know if I could get a taxi. If not, she could take me in her motorscooter though I wouldn't wear a helmet with my head like that. I was too weak to walk there unless I had to - takes 20 minutes - last time clocked it at 18. Kadek asked if I didn't want her to clean some of the blood off me and pointed out it was still bleeding some onto the shirt I'd put on, a very dark shirt so it wasn't obvious. She asked if she could bring me another shirt. I told her I wanted them to see all the blood.

Used my Bluebird Taxi  (Taksi) app and got a positive response. Half a kilometer away so I grabbed the essentials including a face mask which neighbor Yvonne had given me. Kadek showed me how to wear it - and the driver arrived before I could get out on the street.

Only the emergency room was open at the hospital. They immediately brought out a gurney and wheeled me inside, just inside. I just told them I'd fallen and that I didn't know exactly what sort of wound I had. I had dried and wet blood caked in my hair and on my shirt. They did not ask anything about payment at first. I gave them my card for their hospital  - Bali Mandaara so that's all they needed anyway. I was there two hours and spent no time to speak of waiting for anything. There was someone with me the whole time, a young woman and young guy. She asked questions - we used English and Indonesian. He did the work - right there inside the door on the gurney - and we talked some - all Indonesian. I had to look a few words up with my iPhone lying there. It was all ear - Kadek had thought it was head too because of all the caked blood. The ear had cushioned the blow to the corner of the table. I got eight stitches - I think five in front and three in back.  Now I've got an ear wrapped in bandages. He and she both told me to not get it wet and to go to a local clinic for "kontrol" which is how they say check-up. There's a great one another twenty minute walk from here, very small. I know both Dr. Krisnas that work there - one at a time.

The nice guy cleaned my head off so I'd be responsible for the neck down. I paid and took the antibiotics and some ibuprofin, taxied home, arriving a little poorer than when I left. Taxi - about four bucks for both rides. Hospital and medicine - about 45. Super nice modern, efficient, friendly, public hospital too.

Kadek was almost finished with the cleanup. It's the first day of the traditional year. I told her go home and of course thanked her profuely. She insisted on watering the front and back garden and was off. I slept then took a hot bath. Feeling a little week and clean. Signing off from the bed desk.

No comments:

Post a Comment