PAT – Dog bite — the finale

Dog bite — the finale If I live to be 100, I hope never again to be bitten by a dog. It wasn’t the fright (minor), or even the risk of rabies (slight) that was the problem. No, it was the sheer quantity of time that then had to be wasted hanging about in hospitals getting jabs and treatment, first to prevent infection setting in, then to treat the infection once it had. There were times in the last month when I really wondered whether I should invest in a camp bed and park it in one of the corridors of NevIehir Devlet Hastanesi (state hospital), so much time was I spending going back and forth.As the weeks wore on, I became an altogether better-informed patient, aware, not just that I needed a barcode for every transaction, but that I should take care to check once I’d got one that it actually bore my name and not that of some unknown Mehmet. I knew to check that there really was a queue before sitting down to wait on the assumption that there must be one. And I could have found my way to the vezne (cash desk) blindfolded and in my sleep.But the fact remained that there continued to be issues, not the least of which was the linguistic one. Some years back I remember a bit of a fuss when Spanish doctors threatened to refuse to treat any more monoglot English patients. How, they asked quite reasonably, could they be sure that they were providing the right treatment when the person whom they were treating was unable to explain their symptoms intelligibly? And who was going to take the blame, they asked pointedly, when something went wrong, as it was more or less bound to?Good points, good points, I thought, then found myself stuttering and stumbling over some of the vocabulary for my own predicament. Kuduz (rabies), I knew. Yara (wound), I knew. But then, suddenly, the doctor was banging on about a pansuman, and all at once, I found myself floundering.Thank goodness for mobile phones! Within minutes he had pulled the word up on an online Turkish-English dictionary. Dressing, it said. “Ah, bant,” I muttered, in what I took to be the local simplification.Then came the happy day when I looked down at my arm in the morning and decided that it could probably go without stitches, after all. Good Doc at the hospital was of the same opinion, as was Bad Doc, who had suddenly cheered up, as if someone had dosed him overnight with laughing gas, perhaps happy at the prospect of being rid of me and my inconvenient injury, at last. The pansuman was applied and secured in place. Then Good Doc was talked into agreeing that I could be on my way without another blood test.I will always have a small, neat, tooth-shaped scar on my inner arm, but I’ll wear it as a badge of honor — and perhaps as a warning against becoming unduly matey with strange dogs that cross my path in the future, as well. Now, all that remains is to replace the wristwatch that got lost in the scuffle, something one might think would be easy but turns out not to be in NevIehir, where watches mostly come in gold form and cost an arm and a leg.Pat Yale lives in a restored cave-house in Göreme in Cappadoci

SOURCE: Todays Zaman