A year ago, I was sick with appendicitis, which was hard to diagnose and difficult to recover from! You can look through my "appendicitis" posts and read more about it.
There are a few more things I was going to share about my hospital stay, and one of those topics is my Russian hospital roommates. I had trouble finding the time to write this post because I had so many different roommates during my 2-week stay, so it will take some time to describe them all! I ended up having to split it into two posts.
As soon as I was admitted to the ward, I got that "summer camp" feeling. Let me explain: in my teen and young adult years I spent each summer in a Russian summer camp with American mission teams. And Russian hospital wards give me that same kind of feeling: the worn but crisply ironed bedding on the creaky mattress, the rules and daily schedule, the cafeteria food, and the communal environment!
I already explained a little bit about my 3 roommates when I first arrived on that Friday evening. One had been released "for the weekend," one was near to being released, and the other, Olga, had been sent there with a herniated disc because her ward did not have room.
Now, the room had 5 beds and one was empty. A 5th roommate arrived in the middle of that first night, sometime after I stopped wondering if surgery was imminent and had managed to fall asleep.
That was Friday. On Sunday was my operation.
And on Monday, my first day after surgery, 3 of the ladies were discharged, leaving me and Olga, who was in the bed next to me. When a nurse came in to do a count, we begged her to send us some ambulatory roommates. That way we would at least be able to eat. The cafeteria lady had come to check on us a few times, but it wasn't her job to remember who needed food delivered. We had to fend for ourselves.
The Young Ladies
In the middle of the night, we got our wish: 3 new young women. Younger than I was, anyway! The two on the other side of the room bonded and spent a lot of the next few days chatting. They were friendly, but didn't realize the shape I was in and didn't offer to do a lot, so I usually had Andrei get the food when he was there. When he wasn't, Olga would help me to the bathroom and wash my dishes out for me.