Continuing on from Part I posted earlier….
So I got to the hospital around 11:45am, my check-in time was supposed to be 1:00pm, but all was good and I got past the gates. Just as a warning for people going to Russia, as many have said before, these taxi drivers are bat ass crazy drivers, seriously…. People in Russia seem to obey no traffic laws and it’s a horrifying ordeal riding in a car, especially if your from a small town that does not have to deal with this sort of thing. Just saying.
So anyways back to the hospital. The hospital is fully fenced in and you have to pass through a guard station to gain access to it, with 2 guards. So I got in there and got one guards attention and mentioned needing to meet Anastasia and he said, one moment, and got on the phone. I was told to wait, and within about 5 minutes Anastasia was down there to retrieve me. I didn’t get a chance to take any pics of the outside of the hospital, but will at some point in time in the future when I’m out and about.
So Anastasia led me into the hospital and took me up to the second floor where I will be residing during my testing period. Just like so many have said before me, Anastasia really is amazing and so sweet. Really she is a godsend. While I was waiting for my room to finish getting cleaned, Anastasia got me some paperwork to fill out, along with my wi-fi name and password, list of words along with their Russian meanings so that in the future I can point to any symptoms I have and appropriate pain level and the non-English speaking nurses can get me appropriate medications, a little certificate in Russian that I can use to show to the guards to get in and out of the hospital yard and a list of contact info for Dr. F and the hospital in Russian in case I get lost somewhere out in Moscow while exploring. After all that, my room was finished up and I was allowed to put all my stuff in there.
While in the process of getting my stuff figured out in the room, Dr. Fedorenko came in to say hello and to introduce himself. He went over all the testing that would be done over the next couple days and said that he would look over all the results and have an answer for me no later than Thursday. Like others have said, he has a great level of compassion, which is something not really seen in many doctors in the US. He stopped by a bit later in the day as well to say goodbye for the day and said he’d see me in the morning for some of my testing.
I had my first test today, the EKG. I’ve had this done before in the US several times when they were originally trying to figure out what was wrong with me, so I knew how this goes. Russia uses a different style than the US does and as I have heard from others in the past, modesty goes out the window here and that is so true. The nurse came in to do the test and started frantically motioning for me to take off my shirt and then the bra as well. Then I was laying on my back with my arms on the bed next to me and she was slapping the probes all over me. At least she was quick and to the point and it was over quickly. One test down, many to go.
Tomorrow is a day of many tests. After tonight I cannot eat or drink anything until some tests and ultrasounds are done in the morning. I’ll start out my morning by pissing in a cup, then get lots of blood drawn (my least favorite part of the day), then ultrasounds, MRIs, and a couple other things that I forgot now, but will sure remember tomorrow.
But enough about that, now onto what my room looks like. I was informed that I would not have to share a room during testing, sometimes people have to depending on how busy the place is. I have what I assume is the standard room with 2 beds, a table with 2 chairs, mini-fridge, microwave, TV and bathroom. Now my HSCT buddy across the hall has a room with just 1 bed, a couch type thing, sitting chair, her table and chairs are in a separate little room and the bathroom is another seperate room off that one. She obviously got the nicer room, but her parents are here with her for the first few days of testing so it makes sense she has actually furniture for them to sit on rather than just a bed. The rooms are rather dated compared to what most in the US are used to. I come from an area that has a very new hospital so I can really see how things have changed. But the place is very clean and that is what is important. I’ve lived in numerous remote Forest Service bunkhouses, anything is better than some of those places. Here’s a few pics of my room. Once pre-testing is done, if I am approved for treatment, then I will move up to the 4th floor to the newer rooms. Here’s some pics of my room:
And a quick little blurb about food before I sign off for the night. I’ve gotten 2 meals here so far, lunch and dinner. Lunch is served at 2:00pm and dinner at 6:00pm. So far the meals haven’t been too horrifying. Lunch was a piece of chicken with a side of cauliflower, a bowl of soup and some bread. Dinner was a bit more interesting with what I believe was beef stew with a side of beef baby food, bread, and some cookies. And then of course tea, since that apparently shows up with almost every meal. A picture of that meal is below.
Now it’s off to bed for me, so I can try to catch up on some sleep because I’m guessing things will be starting off super early for me in the morning.