Monday, 11 May 2009

Eye of the Tiger

Well, I was there and I saw what Dylan did. I saw it with my own two eyes, and I can report it had wiped any shred of a grin off our faces.
One minute, Dylan was walking around between his toys in the middle of our living room. The next minute he tripped, as he often does; but this time his face fell directly towards a sharp edged toy, and I could clearly see that sharp edge going directly towards Dylan’s right eye. It was shocking.
Obviously, Dylan cried a lot. When the dust settled we could see a big bruise on his cheek and a line going all the way from the cheek to the eye in the exact shape of that toy’s corner. The eyebrow has a small cut, too, and the eye itself was reddish. It looked like Dylan was going to get himself a black eye, but it didn’t seem to bother him that much anymore.
It was the weekend, so our medical options were limited. What we did know for sure is that we don’t want to go to an emergency room, having been there enough to know we’ll just be hanging out there in the company of severely sick people for who knows how long. As Dylan didn’t seem to mind that much, we decided to wait and see.
During the evening Dylan’s eye cleared up a bit and we could see the scratch line from his chick had continued to the white area on the side of his eye. This was too much for us, so on Sunday we took him to the doctor.
$90 later, the price for a Sunday doctor visit (and a confirmation for why the free emergency rooms are so crowded to render them unusable), we were relieved. The doctor tested Dylan’s eye quite thoroughly and found no damage to the important bits, only that scratch to the side which doesn’t matter much. Dylan will have his bruise and slightly swollen eye for a while, but that’s it. Overall, it was a demonstration case for the eye’s clever apparent “design” which saved Dylan from something that could have easily been tragic.

And what did we take out of this?
First, I took that sharp edged toy and retired it unglamorously to our toolshed; from now on we’re going to be pretty picky with those things, no matter how mice the toy may seem.
Second, to compensate Dylan for the lost toy but mostly to make me feel better after what I had seen, we went out and bought Dylan a new toy: a cop-copter (something many people would know by the rather strange word “helicopter”). I know money can’t buy happiness, but it did relive me to see Dylan playing up with his new cop-copter. I think I’ll take him for a helicopter tour of New York in the Grand Theft Auto 4 world one coming evening; I’ll suspect he’ll like it, sound and all.
Third, we got $44 back from Medicare for our doctor’s visit, which still leaves us with $45 out of pocket; a substantial sum which, once again, shows how badly crafted the Australian health system is. Why do we let our governments get away with it? Essential medical services such as this should not depend on their users’ financial means.
And last, but not least: The doctor has made it very clear, with her two sons’ battle stories, that we should not regard this particular incident as a one off.

No comments: