Thursday, October 1, 2009

In Robby's Words...

Exactly 1 year a go today, I was diagnosed with my blood clot. (so happy 1 year anniversary to me! I guess.) Robby was our field facilitator over in Romania and was with me for almost every part of the Blood Clot Adventures in Romania. He wrote on his blog, in great detail, about the whole experience. I thought it would be interesting to revisit his account. Since the posts are so long, I will be posting one a day until Sunday. Hope your okay with it Robby.

Robby's words...

Getting Katie to Vienna Part 1

It's been a stressful couple days. We didn't really take things seriously until we got here and it's been a difficult process. I got to be a real facilitator for a couple days I guess.

Katie's been complaining about her leg for awhile now. I feel bad that I haven't been more understanding in the past couple weeks; that I hadn't probed more. It took her parents calling me to realize that it was serious. On a leisurely walk to the orphanage is when things started for me. I guess it's been going for awhile for her with pain that no one besides Jesus really knows. Her mom called and told me to get her some medical attention, because there was talk from her doctor that she may have a blood clot. I came in to language a little late and asked Mario to see what I should do first to get medical examinations. She told me I should bring her in to see Dr. Pantezescu, the resident doctor at the orphanage. Dr. Pantezescu had Sera, the physical therapist look at her and he began giving her a massage which only made her hurt worse. He prescribed some lotion and aspirin (bad diagnosis #1). I spoke with Mario briefly and she seemed confident that it was nothing to worry about. Katie on the other hand was emotionally and physically hanging by a nerve. She tries to put on a happy face as much as possible, but every once in awhile she let out what was really going on. I think she was mostly frustrated that no one took it as seriously as it really was. After I sent her home in a taxi, I decided to go back and talk to Dr. Pantezescu. She didn't understand what I was trying to ask her about some medication Katie hadn't told me about until after we were outside. I remembered another Holly-ism or maybe Ashley said it, but I could hear someone's wiser than me voice say something to the effect of, "Cultural sensitivity is fine, but don't worry about stepping on people's toes when your personal safety or health is concerned." I was skeptical that it was a blood clot and I was easily appeased by the naysayers. We planned a trip to Bucuresti though. I went and bought train tickets and we were on a train by 5:30 the next morning with 7 hours planned before our return trip. Plenty of time I thought for the tests to come back negative and for us to get some medication or at least reassurance and come home.

Some of the time was an adventure. Some was mundane. Some was just waiting. Some was us laughing to make the situation seem less than too real.

We got in at 11:30 and I made her get shwarma, because I thought she was hungry and might really enjoy it (because it's like heaven in a burrito), but I think it just made her mad, because we had to walk a bit and it hurt her a lot to walk. Like she had a friggin' bloodclot, man! If she's reading this, I'm really sorry about that. [haha! I was so mad, but it's okay... the shwarma really was good!]

We took a taxi to Dr. Hansen's clinic in Sector 5 I think it was could be wrong. It was a long taxi ride (close to a half hour). They had a hard time finding the place. We saw a bunch of clinics on the side of the road that were built into old blocks. We thought it was most likely one of those. The taxi driver was pretty much ready to drop us off anywhere considering his job mostly done having gotten us into the general vicinity. We finally saw a little gated side street amongst some dirty auto shops and across the street from a couple clinics. When we pulled in and saw this...
...I was pretty sure we were in the right place.

A Dr. Brady who was finishing his residency at Iowa state and who once served a mission out here (96-98) was working as an intern with Dr. Hanson. He was young, tough, and well trained in modern medicine. He was an angel while we were crying frightened, river, dark, drowning.

He did some blood tests, but with a visual feeling and questioning, he said something to the effect of, "My money's on a clot." But to make sure we went to Floreasca [the hospital, pictured below] to get an ultrasound (which was the main reason we were in Bucuresti). He also sent us with a prescription for just in case things came out positive.

The quest for an ultrasound is another story completely and so I'll separate these and continue typing the story in another post.

See Robby's original post here.

The Blood Clot Adventures will continue tomorrow.

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