Sunday, September 23, 2012

More Trouble in Odessa

Night before last, I was just talking to my buddy on my patio drinking a healthy smoothie with fresh strawberries, bananas, and chocolate protein blended with ice when BLAM! The glass broke. In fact, a portion of the glass fell out of the bottom and my friend described it as if the glass had been shot by a sniper. 

Smoothie everywhere, and the bottom fell, twisted, and sliced the top of my left foot. If you have ever been cut on the top of your hand or on the top of your foot, you know that the skin is so thin that it does not stop bleeding and the cut can re-open easily. I knew I needed stitches, so while I was trying to keep my head in a panic situation, I was trying to call someone with a car to come take me to the hospital. I made a couple of phone calls and after three declines, decided to have a friend meet me there. My new roommate grabbed my things and money, and I hobbled to the street corner to take a taxi. I told the driver in Russian where I needed to go, and he took us there. 

Once there, we didn't have to wait long because my Russian friend was already there to communicate that I had a bad cut and needed stitches. Luckily, they weren't very busy. I went to Into-Sana which is the most expensive hospital here. When I broke my leg three years ago, had kidney stones last year, and back troubles this year, I didn't go to Into-Sana because of the price. But, this time, that was the only thought going through my head. 

Once there, I saw that it hadn't bled too bad. However, the slice was deep and the wound wide. Of course, if you have ever had stitches, the worst part is when they insert the needle into your wound to anesthetize the area. They sewed it up with only two stitches, and then let me go home. i went and met a couple of friends who lived in the area which is always great. It is humbling to see all of the people who are ready to come and help. That community is what I am most grateful for. I had a pizza and a couple of beers to go with my anesthesia. 

Of course, I live in Odessa, Ukraine, so the water was out when we got home and I couldn't take a shower that night or in the morning. The next morning, which was yesterday, I had to go to the hospital before going to work. So, I was up at 6 after not being able to go to sleep until about 1am. The fact is that once the anesthesia wore off, I felt like I had been beaten ad kicked by about six guys. So, sleep was welcome. Waking up yesterday was not. 

When i got there, I had to wait more than an hour, which made me worry because I told my boss that I was going to be at work. Of course, I could have called off, but that is just not my style, and I also want the money to help promote my website and business. Finally, they lead me into the little operating theater and remove my bandage. Everything looks fine. However, when they went to wrap it up, they just put a bandage and a small piece of sticky tape over it. I know that that is going to come off. I have had too many cuts on top of my hands and feet. I am a ballplayer and an athlete, I understand that in this situation we need a figure 8 wrap in order to keep everything in place. So, when I asked the 20 year old intern to wrap it in a figure 8, he didn't understand. Then, he just wanted to put flimsy gauze over it. WE ALL KNOW GAUZE DOESN'T STAY TOGETHER IN A SHOE!!! So, i go so frustrated. I just wanted some athletic tape and I'll wrap i myself. I've had my ankles wrapped hundreds of times in my life and I've done it myself a couple of hundred times too. But, alas, no athletic tape and no understanding of what the hell I wanted!!!!

I was so frustrated!!! When it come to medical care, I cannot stand this place. I decided walked to the bus stop, cursing the whole time to get all of my frustration out, that when my book was successful, I would figure out a way to do some kind of exchange program for doctors, nurses, interns, and other hospital staff to do some kind of exchange in America so that they can learn different ways to do things. I don't believe that western medicine is the end all be all. I actually lean toward a more wholistic approach, but simple things like this drive me crazy!!! 

When I broke my leg, they used gypsum!!! That freakin' thing weighed about 15 pounds! that's about 7 kg for those in Europe reading my blog. What about a fiberglass cast or just a pain plaster cast so it doesn't break. I had to replace that piece of shit every two weeks for over 5 months because it kept breaking! Oh, how about non-stick gauze bandages which cost about 1 penny to make??? No where to be found here. 

Hence, I was frustrated until about lunchtime yesterday!!!

Things are looking better this morning though. 
living in Ukraine

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