Back to the Doc

Well: orthodontist. Kenny broke a wire, now cutting his gum, with his new hockey club last night. (He’s left the phenomenal but too-far-away Imperial Guards team, sadly, though that team’s manager–the indefatigable Beijing hockey mom Jackie Chen, once of Edison, NJ [!]–drives him to the Olympic training rink with her son for this other program, with a Chinese coach, very cool, too!) It is really nothing if you’re home, minor things, but they are really huge if you can’t communicate and the system is different (cash only, pay-as-you-go, many different cashier or admin sort of desks with functions we wouldn’t recognize, etc.) It is such an incredible comfort to have Beijing United Family Hospitals. (Their elegant little French patisserie in the lobby ain’t bad, either) as we now make visit number four, after:

–Ethan’s parasite (we ate clean, we really did!)
–Ethan’s minor concussion (fall in school)
–Kenny’s chin contusion during soccer tournament (mid-air collision on the field).

And that’s the toll in only 10 weeks. I told the Fulbright people we needed a big major city because the boys get into scrapes, & I wanted English-speaking pediatric emergency care. Exactly.

7 comments on “Back to the Doc

  1. adam says:

    Its starting to get interesting!


  2. Della says:

    I dealt with the same thing for Quinn just a couple days back. In my case, what should have been a simple task was complicated by discovering my car wouldn’t start, too late to walk. But being in my own town, the solution involved enlisting the aid of two different friends, each of whom stopped what she was doing to either pick Quinn up and drive us to the orthodontist or take him back to school. Mission accomplished: Quinn’s pain abated. My day had to be recalibrated, though — and without the aid of a French patisserie! Fortunately, after dropping Quinn off, the second friend stopped in for tea, pear, cheese, and conversation. It turned out to be a very lovely — although decidedly less productive than anticipated — day.

    Your post prompted me to think about all the necessary infrastructure (in the forms of supportive people, transportation, time, knowledge, etc.) required to more or less successfully move me and my loved ones through daily life. The people I work with possess almost none of those components, except for time. That’s the currency they have to work with, and the social services structure (at least around here) seems prepared to charge exorbitantly (homeless forced to wait all day at DSS to get the paperwork required to sleep in the Red Cross shelter; sometimes returning day after day until they see someone with the proper authority, living on the streets in the meantime).

    At any rate, I love that your boys go through life with ferocious energy, even those it requires the (not so) occasional trip to the doctor’s. [And, I know that a broken wire is not evidence of ferocious anything other than discomfort. You might want to get some small wire cutters for a temporary fix in case it happens again.] I hope you bought yourself TWO macaroons (or a boxful).


  3. Della you’re amazing, INcluding for drawing the friendship support that I know flocks to you.
    We are blessed with knowledge, transportation, friends, but the real currency we have is…currency. The ortho visit ran about $70 plus $20 for the cabs — quite a few remnimbi, by anyone’s standards here but the ultra-rich. You mention social services…one positive in China is medical care, practically free, a mix of Eastern & Western, basic & specialized, which I hear’s not bad. Things are arranged differently (the cash system; many huge hospitals devoted to a single body part), but the U.S. could probably learn a fair bit from China. Unfortunately (or not), Chinese hospitals will not be on MY beat here this year. xoxo


  4. Dear Jill, Kenny and Ethan,

    I’m behind in my reading of your Blog and there was certainly a lots of News! It seems both boys had trips to the hospital. It seems that BOYS get into difficulties where they are at any time!!!! Hope both are feeling better each day and that Mother is hanging in there, which I know she is.KEEP WELL and HAPPY.

    Aidan’s Grandmother


  5. Aidan says:



  6. maxineswartz says:

    Poor little Lambie!! I just finished reading the Blog about Lambie in the Muslim quarter.
    Bella and I are very upset about lamb cooking in front of her. Bella wouldn’t eat her lunch, even with some scrambled eggs on it.
    Gramma Max


  7. […] water meets mountains — in this case of bright, jungle green — and the press is FREE and the food is CLEAN and many of the people aren’t traumatized by recent history and the subway isn’t so […]


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