Monday, 13 July 2009

Problems opening Blogspot, Thai excellence and hospital dashes with children

Thousands of fans of this blog (okay, two or three) have complained that they cannot open Blogspot pages like this one, and that the message 'Operation Aborted' appears.

The problem lies, apparently, with Internet Explorer. Blogspot lists this as a known issue and have not yet resolved it. Since May this year.

This stumble-bum approach brings to mind a shopkeeper who knows that a big empty cardboard box is blocking the entrance to his shop, but hasn't enough staff to tackle the problem.

In the meantime, if you can read this, Tony and Ali, I suggest you use Firefox instead.

On the subject of inefficiency (said she, segueing effortlessly onto a different topic) how is this for a heart-warming story of professionalism and excellence?

My sister and her family have been on holiday in Thailand, at a resort a good three hours from Phuket. Last week, my 10-year-old nephew developed a sore tummy in the middle of the night, with a bit of light vomiting. Suspecting a bug, my sister and her husband thought nothing of it, but the next morning, when the little chap couldn't sit up by himself, they had the presence of mind to call for a doctor. The Thai doctor, a surgeon, took one look at the boy and summoned an ambulance (see pictures), and the entire family piled in to the vehicle for a breakneck three-hour dash to Phuket. When they got to the hospital, they were received like five-star guests: their luggage was whipped up to the hospital VIP suite; the boy was scanned, needled, poked and prodded, and within the twinkling of an eye a surgeon had been summoned. My nephew's about-to-burst appendix was delicately extracted in a two-hour operation, and he is doing excellently.

In short, the quick-thinking actions of the first doctor (and his parents) probably saved the life of my little nephew: a burst appendix is a serious medical emergency.

The hospital, says my sister, was 'five times' better than any private hospital here in South Africa (and we have some damn fine hospitals here) and she was overwhelmed by the professionalism and friendliness of the team. I am in no way suggesting that we should expect anything less than excellence from Thailand, but can there be anything more terrifying than your child getting suddenly sick in a country far from home, where you don't speak the language?

Plus, she and the family get to spend an extra week in Phuket as the lad recovers, the poor darlings.

This brings to mind times in my life when I have had a sick child, and wondered whether I should stick it out, or risk making a fool of myself by rushing the child to the nearest emergency room. Every single time, I have gone to the hospital. And, sure, sometimes I've been sent away with a pack of paracetamol, but I reckon it's better to make a fool of yourself ten times over than to ignore the mommy instinct that chimes as clear as a bell.

Here, for your entertainment, are some of the things that sent me and my kids to the hospital in their tender years (two of them are boys, which explains a lot)

- a swallowed 50c coin
- another swallowed coin; different boy
- an ear partially torn by a falling log (the lad was building a teepee at Scouts)
- a febrile convulsion after a hernia repair
- an eye socket bashed by a swing
- a concussion after tumbling onto a concrete floor from the top of a bunk bed
- a fingernail and tip torn when my baby daughter stuck her hand under a door and someone opened it
- an accidental swigging of turpentine after a carpenter filled an energy-drink bottle with the stuff and left it in my kitchen; my daughter thought it was water
- a foot torn open after my son tried to open a stuck door by kicking on one of its panes of glass
- a head stuck between burglar bars (okay, not the hospital, but paramedics arrived just in time to see my gardener using a car jack to stretch the burglar bars)
- a gashed head after my son crept into a concrete culvert and stood up too quickly. He put a piece of paper on the wound, went into the school hall to write an exam, and flaked out on the desk
- a sudden blindness in one eye, and numb hand, after a bruising rugby game. I thought the boy was concussed, but it appeared to be a migraine.

The fact that I haven't been near an emergency room for two or three years indicates that my children are getting older and wiser. But I'm not counting my chickens.

Thanks Annetjie for the pictures.

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ali g said...

Thanks for sorting the IE problem. will stop glaring & cussing at my screen now. Still getting the 'abort' message but with a bit of frigging about can unfreeze you [?]
Hope SA 50c pieces are smaller than Oz ones ...ours are big enough to choke a horse!
You brought back memories about the drinking of the turpentine.
I did exactly the same thing when I was 5yo. Still remember the taste.

ReasonCheck said...

Don't bother with IE. It's the absolute worst browser. Use FireFox (get it at

My story: drinking turpentine in Xai-Xai, Mozambique and then having to be rushed through the night to Komatipoort (I think) Hospital.

Juno said...

Thanks for the visit, Reason. I trust this turpentine episode happened when you were a child!

ReasonCheck said...

Yes, a little toddler. I've got better things to drink nowadays!

And thanks for visiting mine.

tonypark said...

Amazing, I can read you via IE today!

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