Before we left home, I thought I was getting an ear infection, so I went to Urgent Care to have it looked at. The doctor was in and out in less than 5 minutes, told me i had wax in my ear and that the nurse would be in to flush my ear out. (Which hurt like crazy by the way!) My ear didn't feel 100%, but I hesitantly believed the doctor and went on my way.
Fast forward two weeks, and last night I was in some major pain. I've always had issues with ear infections and due to the amount of pain and some other signs, I was pretty sure I had an ear infection and had to break down and seek medical attention. Jasmina was nice enough to give me some ideas that might help, but strongly suggested I see an ENT (thanks J!) 800mg of Ibuprofin later, the pain was manageable and i went to bed. When I woke up this morning and the pain was less, but knowing we were nearing the weekend, I wasn't sure I wanted to put it off. I emailed our facilitator, knowing she would know where to go for medical attention.
We went to see Max at our normal afternoon time. It took a while longer to get there today because a local road was closed and we had to stop and ask the locals how to get there. Max wasn't expecting us because we had told him we would be heading to the capital city, but thankfully when we arrived his good buddy Vladim, was at the gate and ran to get Max for us. We talked outside for a while, watched the two boys climb trees like monkeys, and swing on tree branches. (I was really worried I was going to witness someone breaking an arm or leg from falling from the tree.) I kept saying "be careful" in Russian to the boys.
It started to sprinkle, so we went inside to Max's room to play Uno.
Sadly, the teenager I witnessed today, was not the one I'm use to at home. Since he had a friend around, there was a lot of Russian flying, giggles, and devious plans implemented. There was so much of this Mama who wanted to tell him "either play fair, or don't play", but I bit my lip. He could tell by my expression that I wasn't pleased with his attitude today.
About 15 minutes before our departure time, our facilitator called to say she had made me an appointment to see the doctor in 45 minutes. We quickly told Max we had to go and headed out the door.
Into the city we went, picking up our facilitator; T, through a lot of traffic, and onto a back street where we reached our location. When we pulled up, I noticed the sign had an eye on it, but thought maybe many doctors group together. Once in the building, T spoke to me and I turned to apologize because she was on the side that I couldn't hear out of my ear. She suddenly said, "Oh, it's your ear? I'm sorry, I thought you had said your eye." And then we both knew we were in the wrong place! We got back in the car, T made another phone call and we were quickly at a medical clinic.
When we arrived, we had to pay a fee upfront. (The equivalent of $13.13, 105 grevna) We then went upstairs and walked down a long hall that had many doors and a bench outside each door. We waited about 15 minutes outside the door, and then it was our turn.
We walked into a small room. The picture of the room is still fresh in my mind. (I wish we could have taken pictures. Mom- I think I understand house calls from Doc Hosler now!) I felt like I had walked into an episode of M.A.S.H. The tools were all metal, there were several glass bottles on a table, a glass cabinet with medical tools in it, and a small metal/glass case that had the word, "ultraviolet" on it. (Let me just say that upon walking into the office, I prayed almost the entire time until we walked out the door.)
I sat in a chair and the doctor asked me to describe the pain, and T translated for me. The doctor then asked me to move to another chair, under the light. She then proceeded to put a mirrored headband on. Instead of the medical tools we are use to in America, with lights to look in your ears, nose, throat, this doctor used her mirror, the light, and metal tools. I think at one point she told me something about tonsillitis, but I'm not sure. She used a small metal funnel looking tool to look into my nose and ears. She took one look into my left ear and let out a big "OY!" (no kidding, that's why I came to the doctor!)
She gave me a small metal bed pan looking thing, put a towel on my shoulder, and attached a long metal straw to a plastic syringe. She irrigated my ear several times, then looked at it again. When T translated, the doctor told me I had a tumor in my ear. (GREAT, a tumor....in a foreign country....WONDERFUL!) She informed me it would need surgery...but not here, in America when I got home. (Shew, thank you Lord!) She asked if anyone had ever told me this before, which they haven't. (Although I do know I have a hole in my eardrum). She then dropped a small piece of gauze into a brown glass bottle, and placed it in my ear along with some cotton. (It burned like crazy) She told me I would need to do this 3 times a day and come back and see her on Saturday (YEA) because she needed to irrigate my ear again and I couldn't do that myself!
We then had to stop and pay for the procedure the doctor had done (70 grevna, equivalent to $8.75) and then headed to the pharmacy with the list of medications. A bottle of ointment, and three boxes of medication cost 166 grevna (equivalent to $20.75). Once home, I waited for T to confer with the medical translator, and then she emailed me instructions on what medication to take when and how much.
So after Doug fixed dinner, he rewarded me for being a big girl at the doctor (although I felt like I was going to pass out at one point....I didn't) and took me for gelato.
On the walk home we stopped in a pharmacy to look for cotton balls. No luck. So I got cotton pads I tear up. I have ointment that has to go in my ear three times a day.
A new experience. Not one that I necessarily want to do again (oh wait, I have to on Saturday), but I survived, and it's one to put in the memory book!