Saturday, December 03, 2005

Hospital Visit

I went to visit a friend in the hospital today. It was a very unique cultural experience. This hospital was extremely old and immense. The only visual I can think of to give you is the view of the inside of the hospital from the old Betty Davis movie "The Snake Pit". It was a nightmare (kashmar) to see rusted guerneys and old beds. The patients have to bring their own dishes from home to eat from. Lena went with me and she had to go to the bathroom. When she complained about the toilet I didn't even bother going in. Lena never complains!

My friend is being hospitalized simply for morning sickness. They think it is very dangerous for the baby. And they will keep the mother until it is over. She may be hospitalized for two more months. She is scared and very uninformed about pregnancy. She has bruises on her arms from them trying to find a vein when taking her blood.

I answered all of her questions. She has not even been able to see her own mother. Her mother had surgery not too long ago and cannot come to the hospital. I talked with her about asking the doctor on Monday to let her go home. She has not seen the doctor since last Monday. I think she will be better at home. She will have less of a chance of contracting any infection if she is not there with all those people who are actually sick!

I spoke with a nurse midwife who has been told that women here have been advised to have abortions simply because they have a bladder or a kidney infection.

I cried when I left the hospital. Tom and I are grateful that we had our children in America. And we discussed the fact the there are probably places in the world where the hospital I was at would be considered a "good one". This is not one of Russia's good ones. Tom had his surgery at a 'good one". I wish I could get that vision out of my head. But, at the same time, I am willing to go back and take her food or spend as much time with her as needed.

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