Wednesday, July 01, 2009
Snakes, snails and puppy dog tails
That's what little boys are made of
Sugar, spice, and everything nice
That's what little girls are made of
Is it a boy?
It is a girl?
What do you think?
None of the above.
It's an appendix.
Which, after this harrowing weekend, Kevin no longer has.
Let me first preface this story by saying that we are SO thankful for Father's provision. The medical care was much better than I expected, and with the help of a lot of friends, we never once felt at a disadvantage with the language. So feel free to read on without a nagging feeling in your stomach that fears for Kev's life.
It all started on Friday morning when Kev was complaining of a little bit of stomach pain. We assumed it was the same ol' thing that happens rather frequently when you live overseas, especially in light of the fact that Kevin had eaten spicy local food the night before. After lunch, he went to bed, hoping he could sleep it off.
Within a few hours, things were certainly not slept off! The pain was worse, the groans were louder, and I had no idea what to do for my guy. I certainly didn't want to fall into the category of hypochondriac where every headache is a brain tumor and every stomach cramp is appendicitis. But you just can't be too careful with these things...
After consulting some American doctors and everyone's hero WebMD, our other American friends in our city & I decided it best to take Kev to the ER. Without a car of my own, this of course proved to be a bit of a challenge for several reasons:
1) how exactly do you say hospital?
2) how do I explain to the cab driver that he needs to go back inside my apartment complex to pick up my husband who can't even walk?
3) what do I do if there are no cabs?
All of these proved to be a challenge when a cab driver did in fact reject me after I told him I needed to go to the hospital. On cab #2, words of some manner came out of my mouth, and he indeed went to pick up Kevin and delivered us to the hospital. Perhaps I accidentally said something along the lines of "Please drive like a crazy maniac" because he certainly did.
As you can imagine, hospitals here are not like back home. You have to pay for every test before it's done, and your friends/family members play the role of hospital nurse/orderly/lab technician. We nabbed a hospital bed in the hallway and rolled poor Kev all over the place as they did various tests on him. Our favorite was the ultrasound, where Kevin had lucidity enough to ask the tech in our new language if he was pregnant. Her response: "Oh humor."
While Kevin was having his blood drawn, I had to step out of the room for a bit to collect my emotions and to keep from passing out. I figured an emotional breakdown or a collapsed wife wouldn't really contribute to the situation. So there I am, trying not to cry, when what do I see? A man (a really dirty man mind you) making his way through the ER with a wheelbarrow full of rocks. Big rocks. Really dusty rocks. Never in America...
They finally diagnosed the problem, and Kev was whisked away to surgery around 10 PM. By 11:30 PM we were in the recovery room. On Saturday afternoon, we were moved to a private room (which was really more like a deluxe sweet, complete with leather couches, a private bathroom, and a mini-kitchen) and we got to go home on Monday afternoon.
Overall, we were visited by 13 local friends, 5 Americans, and 3 kiddos. We received 24 juice boxes of milk, 15 oranges, one bouquet of flowers, one box containing 12 cans of gruel (the literal translation), one loaf of bread, two pastries, and four cucumbers. If the gifts alone don’t convince you of what an interesting experience this was, then perhaps next time you need your appendix out, you should head to our side of the world!