It's Sunday evening, August 24th, and we are not yet in Estonia. Because my dear husband is in hospital... he became ill on Friday morning, with a sudden high fever and stomach upset. When the fever climbed higher AFTER he took some aspirin, it was straight off to the (thankfully nearby) American Medical Clinic. We saw a doctor very quickly, and almost as quickly the initial blood test results showed a huge white blood cell count and a very low potassium count - both bad signs. They admitted him, saying 'overnight' but even then we could see the subtext was 'probably for the weekend'.
Since then I've been trotting backwards and forwards from the hotel to the clinic, bringing stuff in for him (including red geraniums nicked from the Hotel Astoria window boxes); eluding the drunk who keeps propositioning me as I pass (I HAVE to go that way, the canal prevents me crossing elsewhere without a big detour, and at times like 11pm that's not tempting..); keeping my chins up, and trying to remember to buy gin!
Here's the gist: M's liver, white blood cell, potassium and ? metabolite function/counts are all improving from very bad levels. The liver function disarray is because of an unidentified gastro-intestinal bug. The potassium and ? levels are related to having an infection, but I can't decode the Russ-lish and heavy accents of the several doctors we've seen, well enough to explain further. He's having blood tests each day, and each time the levels of all that lot have returned a little more towards normal.
His treatment has been litres and litres of rehydrating fluids (through a drip), with added potassium and liver-helping and -fixing additives. He's having something like 4 litres or more of this daily. He's now on antibiotics, a detoxifying liquid to help flush toxins from the bowel (a charcoal-based compound); extra blood pressure meds, and another liver-fixing-up drug. He has no fever, no tummy upset or pain. And... he's bored out of his brain! We have NO English text of any kind left to read ; I made a mercy trip to the English book shop today but missed the closing time by an hour ... no English newspapers are available. I may be desperate enough to print some pages from The Australian or something for the poor man. I left him my book of crosswords, and he has the dear old iPod...
So it's exciting times for us; tomorrow we'll have to start the administrative process of getting our visas extended (this is no small thing; the travel agent on Friday warned me most solemnly that I must take care than any certification by the clinic includes ME or else there will be - not MAY be - "penalties at the border"); sort out the Estonian accommodation and travel; move me to another room in the hotel, etc etc etc. It's been a fairly tense weekend...
One excellent piece of news is that we had a call from our travel/health insurance people in Australia, to confirm that they know what's going on and that we are covered by a direct payment, no forking out a zillion roubles of otherwise purrfectly good spending money. Double triple phew!
Pardon me if I don't give a big run-down on St P, that's all recorded on my laptop waiting for me to find a WiFi connection which is connected. I've tried and tried, at the hotel and at several cafes which advertise WiFi, but no luck. It's always nyet when I try.
Yesterday brought to you by a very nice loaf of white bread and some 'Enjoy', because I needed reminding. Today brought to you by sterner stuff - I needed the strongest potion to hand after a fairly big night of worrying .. yes, it's Jean Paul Gaultier '2', which is strong, potent and brave. Like I need to be.
The Pace of Time
5 hours ago