Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Such a day you will not believe!

Yesterday was the King’s Birthday; a holiday in a country that officially has more holidays than any other. We send wishes for a good life and happiness to His Highness Mohammad VI. May you continue to rule in peace and for the prosperity, happiness, and freedom of your people.

Yesterday at my “office” in the new city (the Majestic) sitting under the blessedly cool a/c which only extended as far as the actual air flow, in temperatures over 41C, I ask Q, “Isn’t’ the café au lait good?”

To wit the young woman with the finely tuned palate replied, “It’s not offensive.”

The temperature today is 43C. I had planned to go the gym and salon at Moving and then straight on to the Mega Mall and work in the a/c; but M.C. is not better, is still not eating – so we are off to the Vet’s at 0900hrs. But not without difficulty as the road that runs along our river (the one that is advancing from two lanes to four) was blocked off in the two lanes heading east, and slowed traffic to a crawl for five or six klicks.

M.C. apparently has some infection that is giving him a high fever and is the cause of his lack of appetite. After one injection of a new antibiotic at the vet’s he appears to me some better. The vet wanted to keep him there but as we were not happy with the care he received at the hands of the secretary/assistant last time, Q told her she would take him home and return every day for his shot instead.

We returned home and Q went to the house to get him squared away while I went across the street to our local apothecary (with the lovely pharmacists) to see if they could fill the prescriptions. They did have one of the antibiotics she had prescribed but not the other. In Morocco, with animals as with people, it is not the standard of care practiced by the doctors and veterinarians but rather the lack of supplies and equipment that is lacking.

When I arrived home he had eaten a bit which was more than he had in the past days. Again, I took this as a good sign. Q and I picked up our bags and donned our hats and sunglasses for another foray out into the rising heat of the day to go to Marjane’s and get a blender and supplies to make him chicken broth (see those “old wives” knew a thing or two) per suggestion of the vet. As I had returned from the apothecary I noted that the highway heading east was now blocked off entirely which meant our path to Marjane (our destination) was either unreachable or only attainable by a circuitous route. My backup plan was of course the Marjane at Souissi, which I also know is much COOLER. The MacDonald’s that is attached has what Q deemed, “American a/c” (meaning frigid).

We did manage to get a taxi in short order and headed in the correct direction, albeit at this point everyone else (and the entire city of Rabat had decided they needed to go somewhere in an automobile today of all days) had been made aware that the road was closed and were doing the Moroccan version of a turnabout which resembles nothing so much as the head long frantic rushing of the salmon headed upstream to spawn. Our driver took on another passenger, like you do, a young woman who looked very relieved to be out of the heat. As we progressed up the boulevard that runs parallel to the Medina I saw through the front window a scenario that passed so quickly, and was so horrid that I didn’t realize it had occurred until it was over. It was like having a movie stamped on my memory of which I had awareness, but only later did frame by frame project itself.

A young boy of nine or ten was knocked over and dragged underneath a silver midsize car (about the size of a mid-size Mercedes) in the lane coming toward us. The back wheel on the driver’s side then rolled over him. As the car passed over the boy he leaped up and ran crying around the back of the car and out of sight!

Our driver, seeing the last of the accident took the young woman (late twenties, dark hair, wearing a skirt and blouse) to task by insisting that she stop her car and not leave. I indicated to the driver he must stop as well. I am trained as a Medic and I had to stop, no equivocation. Q further explained after my hasty exit and the kind young woman in the front said, “Go, I will pay your portion of the fare.”

Arriving at the scene – the child had made it as far as the curb before he collapsed which is why Q thought he had run off all together, but I knew he would not make it far as I had witnessed the entirety of the incident – I found a crying, terrified child surrounded by caring adults who had no idea what to do, but offered support and stayed through until the end. I love Moroccans. The word “medico” is a powerful one here; as soon as I identified myself everyone backed right off and followed my directions.

He was calling for his mother, which was a wonderful sign as that indicated to us he was not a street child and at the hospital he would have someone who was responsible. I made sure that someone had indeed called for an ambulance (everyone here has a mobile) and proceeded to give him a check head to foot. The great news was that he was oriented (no concussion), moving all extremities (no spinal injury), and calling for his mother while crying (likely no broken ribs, no perforation of the lungs). All of which I found amazing. I had exited the taxi prepared to give CPR to at the least, a severely injured child and perhaps even a dying one.

After examining this child it is my considered opinion that the Universe has something in mind for this young man. He had no broken bones, no rigidity of the abdomen (bleeding), no difficulty with deep breaths (fractured or broken ribs), no problem following directions (thank you Q), no dilation of the pupils (concussion) or following my finger with his eyes. He was able to turn his head without difficulty (neck or spinal injury) and could wiggle his toes (broken knees, leg bones, nerve injury). His grip was equal in both hands and strong (concussion or spinal injury), and he was crying in pain (no shock).

He did have the skin scraped right off his left ankle and the top of both feet, and scrapes to his hands. That was the extent of the injuries that were visible and diagnosed on emergency examination. What he needed was a chest and abdominal x-ray to check for damage to his spleen, and I am not convinced that one of his lower ribs may be fractured and he was so frighten that the pain had not set in.

The ambulance arrived shortly after I had finished my examination, given him some OulMes to drink, and used the last of it to give a cursory cleaning to the wounds on his feet and hands. A well meaning, but ill informed bystander, while I was diverted by the arrival of the ambulance and giving them a report, poured tap water over his feet – a bad idea here as the bacteria content in tap water varies depending on where you obtained it and when. The EMTs had the stretcher out and him in the ambulance in short order. The only difficulty remaining was that his mother had not arrived yet and I was concerned about his ability to pay for the x-rays, which was a dilemma as there was no one to whom I could give any money since his mother had not been found; but the EMTs had no hesitation in taking him, and assured me he would have x-rays on arrival at the hospital.

We left at this point being certain that in the Medina, as in the Oudayas, everyone knows everything about everyone, and someone would find his mother. As we crossed through the gate in search of another taxi we saw the ambulance leaving. The timing was such that I think his mother had arrived.

We secured a taxi in short order and entered the nightmare that was now all traffic within ten klicks of the Oudayas. I don’t know why, it was just one lane! After spending what seemed an eternity, but in truth was more likely ten minutes (says Q it was five, but I swear it was an hour!), our taxi pulls out of traffic (huzzah we are thinking) and into a repair garage (uh oh) which was apparently full and busy so he pulled up to another. The back tire was flat and we were gone.

Now we are walking the streets of the New City in the increasing heat of the day trolling for another taxi. Again the time seemed like hours, but this time even I admit it was more like five minutes. We had no desire to return to the clogged traffic on the roads behind us, so we requested he take us to the Marjane across town in Souissi.

Yes, there is MORE if you can believe that. Part II coming up.

41 comments:

Shirl said...

The Adventures of Lady M never end, do they? That is not a flip aside...you write as it happened, with no thought for yourself BUT you are to be commended...well done for exercising your emergency exam skills by the roadside and for caring much more than you had to. I pray the lad is as well as you found and that his mother was soon with him at the hospital.

Meanwhile, I also hope that little MC is responding well to the new meds.

What a day you've had!

Ruthie said...

Wow! What a tale.

I really think God must have something in store for that little boy. What a miracle that he's all right. Looking forward to part 2.

Brillig said...

WOW!!! oh my goodness, the part where you said, "the Universe has something in mind for this young man" absolutely gave me chills, because I'm certain that you're right. Gosh, wouldn't you love to know WHAT??

Shauna Loves Chocolate said...

Wow! Your stories thrill and amaze me...

lady macleod said...

shirl

Apparently not! :-) Thank you and I hope he is well - I don't know that I shall ever find out..

thank you for the good thoughts for M.C. Solaar, and thank you for coming by.

Lee said...

G'day, Lady MacLeod...I hope you don't mind my popping in, unannounced or invited...but I've slipped over from Welshcake's blog...it's been quite a trip actually, as I'm "Down Under"...the jet lag hasn't taken hold yet!

I hope by the time of my commenting that MC is back fighting fit again...I'm sure the chicken soup worked its magic. :)

That young fellow was very lucky...and it was lucky you were at hand. Let's hope he is completely okay.

Annie said...

My thoughts, too, as I read this were that this boy was spared for a reason.

What a day is right! Well done you.

lady macleod said...

Ruthie

A tale indeed, and that's just Part I!

thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...

brillig

I would indeed love the know what the future of this child is to be; more, I would love to contribute to it!

thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...

shauna

thank you dear, and thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...

annie

thank you and thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...

lee

You are always welcomed and Invited! You are arriving from a very posh blog indeed, one of MY favorites -

I appreciate both your presence and your comments.

thank you for the good thoughts regarding M.C. Solaar, and thank you for coming by.

jmb said...

Lady Mac,
Do you have a little cloud over your head today? Well actually you are not bringing the bad luck but maybe the good luck.
What a fortunate young child that one was. You must have been terrified at what you might find when you arrived. Well done for jumping into the fray.

I'm glad to hear that MC is a little better. If it were good wishes from your blog friends that would turn the tide, he would be cured. Email arrived.
regards
jmb

xoussef said...

what you did was so great and I admire you for that!

Kaycie said...

I hope the kitty keeps improving. Regaining a bit of appetite is a good thing.

My goodness, what a story! That is one lucky young man.

I Beatrice said...

Oh my goodness, what a thrilling life you do lead! I'm breathless just listening.

I guess you could have done without that paricular thrill, mind - but how good it was that you happened to be there, and in a position to help that little boy!

I wonder if he will ever cross your path again? Stranger things have happened, you know.

So glad MC is beginning to pick up!

rilly super said...

my ladyness, there is surely a movie of your life in the offing: exotic location, action, romance, I'm thinking 'Hideous Kinky' meets 'ER'...

Omega Mum said...

Boys, kittens, bus journeys - and you still manage to engage in supremely witty dialogue with Q. Do you wear your tights outside your pants? I think we should be told.

Mama Zen said...

What a fabulous story! So lucky that you were there and knew what to do. Must have been an absolutely horrible thing to see, though.

Get well, MC!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

What a day, Lady M! Love Q's understatement about the coffee and Simi and I have MC in our thoughts. What a kind person you are and how cool-headed to just take over like that and deal with the little boy. How lucky he was both to escape serious injury and that you were there. Can't wait for part 2!

lady macleod said...

welshcakes

Indeed, such a day. Thank you, keep thinking positive for M.C. please.

thank you for the kind words and thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...

mama zen

It was indeed horrid, but I didn't have time to think that until it was all over! thank you for the positive thoughts for M.C.

thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...

omega mum

he he he, noooo superhero here I assure you, but I appreciate the thought. I would so love to be able to fly.

thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...

rilly

great title! Can we please have Catherine Zeta Jones play me???

thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...

i beatrice

I don't know that I shall ever see him again, but as you say... and the Medina is really a small town in a way.

thank you for the kind words for M.C. and

thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...

kaycle

thank you for the good thoughts for M.C.

and thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...

xoussef

Thank you very much for the kind words. I appreciate that.

and thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...

jmb

Thank you for the kind words and positive thoughts for M.C.

and thank you for coming by.

KarenO said...

Very lucky young man to have you so close by right after the accident!

Glad MC's doing a bit better :)

lady macleod said...

kareno

thank you dear and thank you for coming by - as always.

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

What a day! Thank goodness for your training and quick thinking. Do you ever have just normal, boring days?

lady macleod said...

WUASTC

very, very, rarely! I don't know why.

thank you for coming by.

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Lady M you rock! you were his surrogate mother, fantastic.
I'm sure some spirit will smile on you for your humanity.
Pig (in spiritual mood)

Pamela Jeanne said...

A cat lover to the nth degree, I am so glad to hear that MC is on the mend!

And what a story about the boy. I do expect he'll have some strong impact (in a positive sense I hope) on the world around him...

lady macleod said...

piggy

a "spiritual mood" is the best kind!

thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...

pamela jeanne

we have our fingers crossed, and as the eternal optimist I am hoping for the best as concerns M.C. Solaar

i know the Universe has to have something in mind for that child! to have witnessed the severity of the accident and his lack of injury would produce no other opinion.

thank you for coming by.

houda said...

Dearie, you really need to get to know more about the country in which you live. Monday was not the King's Birthday: it was Throne Day, celebrating His Majesty's eighth year on it.

lady macleod said...

houda

yes we found that out yesterday. I am always interested to find out more about the country i live in - thank you for your help, and thank you for coming by.

Sparx said...

Well done! I sometimes have to chuckle in amazement at the events that make up an average day in your life... makes it clear that first aid training should be mandatory for everyone - even if we can't all be medics we may be called on at some point.

Sparx said...

Well done! I sometimes have to chuckle in amazement at the events that make up an average day in your life... makes it clear that first aid training should be mandatory for everyone - even if we can't all be medics we may be called on at some point.

scarlettscion said...

Wow Houda, sounds like you really need a lesson in how not to be a sarcastic twit---

For the offical record:

I was speaking to a waiter I am friends with at a cafe, in dariija, and I asked him what day it was. He said it was 'aid al-miilaad al-malak" and then something I didn't quite hear. So, I assume he meant the anniversary of the king's birthday. I then told Lady M this. Clearly, he meant the anniversary of the King's ascension to the throne.

Moroccans (you, I assume, are one) have more holidays that any other country. You also consume more sugar per capita (treats on these holidays?). It can be a little hard to keep track of the reasons for each and every one--there isn't a central register, after all.