Friday, January 31, 2014

Friday Eve

Goodness, that week went by fast!

We have been passing cold symptoms around this family for the past month. I was sick nearly the whole time we were in the hospital, but ironically, I had to hide it from the nurses! After we got discharged from the hospital last week, Andrei wasn't feeling well. Then all of a sudden, David was coughing. So I stayed home with him on Sunday and Andrei decided he felt well enough to attend church.


David's burn

On Monday we made another trip to the hospital. It actually didn't take longer than driving, but we hit a few snags: first our tram was delayed and then when we got to the other side of town, the trolley we were on broke down-actually, the door got stuck open because of the cold, so we had to evacuate. Thankfully, there was another trolley right behind us and we jumped on. We got there in time to catch the doctor, and he removed David's bandage, this time for good! The rest of the healing will take place in the comfort of our home.


Friends

We finally got our Bible study together this week, for the first time since Christmas. This was the meeting that had been delayed for two weeks...that we'd canceled the night of The Accident. Everyone noticed how much David has grown and is "talking" more. He was a source of amusement when he kept pointing at the tea mugs and then jerking his hand back to demonstrate "hot!" We can laugh about it now. Then he seemed to lose his cookie, so I gave him another, only to have him produce the original one out of nowhere, like he had hidden it up his sleeve! He likes to hold up objects and invite everyone to take a look, as if he is a magician about to perform a trick.


February

...will go by fast! Andrei finally was able to file his application for a visa to Finland. We'll go there for a day or two so that we can renew David's Russian registration. We might have to do this every 6 months for several years...though I suppose we may eventually get a permanent residency permit for him.

I also have to do some stuff with Immigration. For example, I switched registration addresses back in September, but apparently the housing committee is still charging for my living at the old address. I have to go and formally cancel that registration even though it expired in September. It isn't a huge problem, just another case of having been giving the wrong information and still not having a clear picture. And being charged for "living" in two places...thanks!

Oh yeah, and there's a church concert in 3 weeks and I haven't rehearsed for a month! Plus some other church events. But to be honest, it's exhausting for me to even imagine participating. I still feel like I need to recharge, and maybe start getting fresh air again more regularly, so I can get into things again.



Friday, January 24, 2014

Worst Fears Realized

Okay, that title may be a bit over-dramatic, but I did have to face two of my bigger fears recently. They just happened to be parenting moments, too.

1) Gruesome injuries. I shudder when I hear the word "stitches." I meticulously hide the poisons and the chokeables. And I wonder on occasion what range of injuries I will have to attend to as a mother. Sometimes out of interest and sometimes out of dread.

2) Russian (and/or foreign) hospital stay. It's a different culture, a different language, and a different medical philosophy. The problems start with forgetting your slippers...



So David ushered us into new parenting realms last week when he had a scalding water incident. He reached up to drink from a mug on the table that happened to contain hot freshly brewed tea (we actually use the same mugs for plain drinking water). Both Andrei and I were home and worked together to get him under cold water and try to figure out what to do. The skin was peeling off in some places if that gives you an idea.

The next day, David and I were admitted to the hospital for a week's stay (though the doctors immediately gave us a grim prognosis and said it would be at least 2 weeks).



Here are some of the ways the fears above are founded in reality:

Of injuries: We are mortal. We feel physical pain. We cannot protect children from getting injured, and we will witness them experiencing pain. Our nurturing instincts as parents will cause US pain.

Of hospital stay: Culture shock is real. The Russian medical system is not perfect. Even when the medical care is good, no Russian mother is going to tell you she's "comfortable" staying on the ward with her child. Everyone wants to go home. When you are in the hospital, you have no control over: your roommates or neighbors, which staff is on duty and when they will do their rounds, the food served to you, and the noise level at any given moment when you are trying to sleep.

Even as I knew David's life was not in danger and that everything was in God's hands, it didn't stop me from experiencing anguish. I wept when I saw my baby in pain, and I cried as my husband walked away, leaving us alone in the hospital for the first night.

As we settled into life on the ward, I was constantly torn between wanting to put on a happy face and yet wanting to be compassionate towards the other mothers. Stealing a glance at their faces, I could tell we were all thinking along the same lines. Behind the stoic facade, we were all ready to burst out crying. It took several days to break the ice, longer than you'd think. You would imagine that having so much in common (about 90% of the injuries we saw had happened the exact same way), there would be lots to talk about. But it was hard to talk about at first. However, my husband and mother-in-law did just fine at making friends there. And of course, David was as charming as ever.

I've had to call on the Lord's mercies lots of times in the past week and a half. We still have some sickness in the house, and are ever aware of our human weaknesses. Interestingly enough, our small group Bible study (canceled last week on account of the accident) has been gearing up to discuss the topic "Trials and Temptations."