Friday, December 21, 2018

To operate or not to operate?


First night in the hospital...

The door to our room burst open around 2:30 a.m., but it wasn't for me. We were getting our fifth roommate. Zina had gone home for the weekend, but her bed was still reserved as she wasn't officially discharged yet. And now a new patient would occupy the remaining bed.

Lights were turned on and the new roommate squealed a little bit as the nurse tried to place an IV. I eventually learned that evening/weekend nurses were not the best at this type of procedure. And began to pray a silent prayer of thanks that I had an IV port in my wrist and didn't need a needle poke each time.




Saturday

Daily schedule

Around 6 a.m., the nurse came in and beeped our foreheads with the thermometer and left. There were still a few hours until wake-up time and I had snapped a photo of the daily schedule on my phone. If you've read about my experience when David was hospitalized, it was a lot like that. In fact, this hospital ward was quite similar, except with adult patients, of course.

I still wasn't allowed to eat, and was given IV meds in the morning. I was struggling with nausea and a heightened sense of smell, as is often the case with me. I had to hold my breath when using the bathroom and when entering our room. I could never really figure out what smelled in our room, maybe just the scent of unwashed bodies (no shower)/bed linens/old mattresses? But even when Andrei arrived with his fresh toothpaste/soapy smell, it still made me gag.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Where the month went


No posts on my blog for November. But there's a simple explanation for that!

Let's start with a month ago where I'm sitting in the ambulance. After 2 WEEKS of abdominal pain, an ultrasound has finally revealed a ruptured appendix. I wonder at what point it ruptured and whether it could have been detected sooner...such as 5 days earlier when I was at the doctor and they said "it's probably not your appendix, but I'd have to see the lab work..."

Once they saw the appendicitis on the ultrasound, the medics at the private clinic were quick in making a few phone calls and arranging transport to the hospital. At this point I was actually somewhat calm and relieved that the source of pain had finally been identified. I was hoping for an easy-peasy laparoscopic procedure and then I'd be done with my appendix for life! In fact, almost everyone I talked to seemed quite cheerful about it. While waiting for the ambulance, I saw the gynecologist whom I had seen earlier in the week in an attempt to rule out other problems. "I have appendicitis!" I announced, and she smiled and said "See? There you go!"

I had thought I was organized in grabbing my passport on the way to the doctor's office. However, when the paramedic asked to see my papers, I opened up the passport to find David's face smiling up at me. I'd grabbed the kids' passports instead of my own documents! They took me anyway, though.

Sitting in the back of the ambulance was a bit annoying because there were no windows. I could see out the front windows a bit and recognize landmarks at times. The paramedic had mentioned the address of the hospital, and I was pretty sure of the name: "St. Elizabeth's"! When the surgeon at the private clinic was making the phone call, I heard him saying that I was American...BUT that I spoke Russian. I like to think that helped in the long run. I wasn't limited by language and I think they selected a hospital with a good surgical unit-if nothing else, to make up for their failure to diagnose in a timely fashion.