In my last blog, I wrote (in feeble Hungarian) how I longed to be not simply a person who lived in a village, but a true "falusi", that is, village person. But if one is not born into this world "falusi", it seems the tranformation does not occur without a certain amount of pain.
Our birth into falusi-hood occured on Tuesday afternoon. We had planned to begin a youth group with the local reformed church. It was to start Friday and would feature Ping-Pong and Spaghetti -- quite an attraction, right?
Our Roma (gypsy) neighbors kindly offered to help us get the ping-pong table from our garage to the small house the church was to let us use. The mode of transportation would be the Roma famy's horse and wagon. Russ loaded the table on the back of the rig and as he stepped on, the horse spooked. The neighbor's son, Guszti, raced forward to grab the horse's bridal. Russ jumped to the seat and grabbed the reigns. Both Guszti and Russ pulled on the reigns with all their might, but the horse only grew more wild, dragging Guszti with it as it dashed down the road.
The boy finally let go. Russ though for sure he'd be hit by the wagon wheel. But he managed to get out of the way unharmed, but shaken. Russ failed in his effort to control the firey beast and in its tirade, the horse managed to flip both Russ and the ping-pong table out of the wagon.
Guszti ran to our house and got me as Russ lay on the side of the street, his head gashed and bleeding. He complained of some pain on the left side of his chest as I grabbed the first aid kit and tried to stop the bleeding. Neighbors began to pour out of their homes. One called the ambulance and we waited.
Russ was conscious, but closed his eyes to rest. He opened them to see Guszti's mom scrubbing the blood off his hands with soap and water as a half smoked cigarette hung from her lips. AHHH Village life!
When the ambulance came, we were glad to learn the mentő (EMT) spoke English well. He put a neck brace on him and placed him on the stretcher. As they rushed to the hospital they came across an automobile accident and said they may have to stop and help.
Imagine that, Carpooling the injured in an ambulance. It seems it wasn't a good day for many people.
At the hospital Russ was in and out of various rooms, getting x-rays, stitches etc. When I arrived he was wrapped in white netting that resembled that headgear of olympic water polo players. We were first told he had to stay over night. Then after more x-rays they determined he must stay 4-5 days.
They placed him in a room with several men in serious condition. And there he became something of a celebrity. They all were perplexed to understand how this Asian- American from Hawaii ended up living in a Hungarian village and how he managed to get in an accident involving a horse and wagon and a ping-pong table in that village.
Meanwhile every Falusi on our street wanted to help and constantly inquired about Russ' well being. One neighbor even baked pastries for him. Ahhh, sweet village life.
Friends at church met us at the hospital to help with translation and to give general moral support. They were such a delight that Russ heard the guy in the bed next to him telling them about how that American had all the people in here and they were having a party!
The next day after I visited him, the orderly, who spoke English, said "You no longer need intensive care."
Russ thought, "I did not know I was in intensive care!" And they settled him in a new room on another floor.
Today when the doctors made their rounds, Russ blurted out --"So when do I go home?" Some of docs were taken aback, but then a Canadian doctor stepped forward and began speaking with him.
"Do you know what is going on with you?" She asked.
"No, I don't know anything," Russ responded.
She explained that he has something known as a window fracture, which means there is more than one fracture in each of more than one adjacent ribs -- creating a window in the ribcage. (doctors correct me if I described that wrong) They must monitor it carefully to make sure it remains intact. We do not want any rib pieces floating around in there. (Our doctor friend in America, Thom Bresley, wrote that it is called "flail chest" in English. He said it is "not good" but "will heal as long as he can breath with the window." The good news is that Russ is breathing relatively comfortably.)
"Didn't they give you the rubber glove with the tube?" the Canadian doc asked yesterday.
"Yeah, I found that here," Russ responded rather confused. He kind of thought it was some sort of joke. After all, no one bothered to tell him what to do with it.
She told him that his job was to continually blow up the rubber glove -- some sort of therapy to make sure the lungs are not being affected by the "window," I suppose.
So now he knows what to do with the glove.
And thanks to the Canadian doc, he has a little more information on his medical status. And we await news of when he can return home.
Our Hungarian friends say that once you've had an accident involving a horse and wagon, you are truly Falusi!
It is a title we'll cherish as it has come with quite a price.