Monday, September 7, 2009

Health Emergency & a Czech Hospital

Hi Everyone,
Wow, it's been a whirlwind lately with traveling home to Prague and dealing with health issues. Things were very crazy last week after I came home. A week ago Sunday, Jiri ended up at the emergency room (where his mother lives) for severe abdominal pain. They found it was his gallbladder causing the problem and gave him some shot (what--he doesn't know) and sent him home. Monday, Jiri was back in Prague and trying to get ready to meet me at the airport. The whole day he was ill and in great pain. When we met at the airport (he hadn't yet told me about the Sunday emergency room visit), I could tell that he was sick and urged him to go to the doctor. But no--he's a very stubborn guy--and said he was fine.

Tuesday morning Jiri went to work, still feeling pretty bad (though he said he was fine). But something made him visit his doctor, and his doctor immediately sent him to the hospital for tests. At the hospital, they discovered a stone was causing the was blocking bile from leaving the gallbladder. The bile was very infected and the infection and inflammation were spreading to other places in the abdomen. Not a good scenario. Jiri had to stay at the hospital and began receiving high doses of antibiotics and other meds. Everything was getting better, until Thursday morning when blood tests seemed to show more trouble. Thankfully a sonogram showed things were OK, and surgery was averted--for the time being. Friday Jiri was able to come home. The doctors have urged that surgery is necessary, but Jiri has some things at work that need to be taken care of before he will have the surgery. Ach it looks like the surgery will have to wait till November. I'm hoping and praying that Jiri's gallbladder will cooperate and wait to be taken out in November!

This is what I walked back into last week when I got home here, to Prague. It's been a very interesting experience--one of the first health emergencies (dealing with one of us) Jiri and I have had to deal with as a married couple, and this was my first experience with a Czech hospital. Last week was very stressful and then dealing with my own current health situation--has left me kind of drained. However, everything is going OK and things are gradually improving (including me) I can't complain at all!

Jiri was in Bulovka Hospital, in Prague 8. This is a typical Czech hospital in that there are many buildings on a "campus" setting. We have similar settings in the US. However, the difference comes when looking at the age of the buildings. Jiri was in a very old building that actually looked more like a former castle or hotel. I'm not very good at judging the age of a building, but it looked like this "castle" might have been built in the 1700's or 1800's. It was a nice, grand old building. Once inside, the building was kind of dreary, but immaculately clean. Jiri was in a ward for internal medicine, and there were probably about six other patients there, in the same room. Actually, Jiri had a small side room (with three beds in it) all to himself. That was really nice. Private rooms are available, but they are very expensive. So, Jiri stayed in the ward.

All the beds in the ward looked as if they were from the 1940's--no kidding. They were adjustable, but only with hand electric beds. There were no TVs in the ward, and a single window. Of course, I'm used to US hospitals where we have two people to a room, or even a private room, with TV, a bathroom for that specific room, privacy curtains, everything is very modern, etc. This is all I've known, never having lived outside of the US before moving to the Czech Republic. What surprised me more was what was necessary to pack for Jiri's stay in the hospital. The list included soap and shampoo, a towel and wash cloth, and toilet paper. These were surprising for me! These are automatically part of a stay in a US hospital. Of course, you end up paying for these, but they are supplied at the hospital. Czech hospitals, in asking patients to pack even their own toilet paper, are trying to keep the costs down for the hospital and patients. This is a good thing--just something very different than what I've been used to in the US.

Jiri's small room off the ward was not depressing--it was painted with nice, bright colors and was so clean you could eat off the floor! There was plenty of light, and a small sink near his bed (that served the whole room of three beds). All the medical equipment was very modern (aside from the beds, and each bed did have a call button to call a nurse), and the doctors and nurses were all very nice and helpful--very pleasant people. One nice thing, too, was that Jiri was able to keep his cell phone and use it there, in the ward.

All in all, it was a good first experience with a Czech hospital. Now, I'm not sure how I would do in such a setting--I'm used to privacy and am a very modest person. But for a first experience with a loved one in the hospital it was OK. Jiri was very well taken care of and looked after...and everyone was very nice to me, too. I can't complain at all, and am happy that the doctors were able to "patch up" Jiri till he will relent to have the necessary surgery!

Well, that's all for today! I'm working on the WBSD sign-up, and will have that ready later this week. I'm also getting back into dropping Entrecards--and will get that caught up this week, too!

You all have a great day!

God bless,
Sher :0)

PS My health situation is still unfolding...but is slowly improving. My doctor said it will take another five to ten days before I'm really feeling better. He is ordering more tests since my blood work showed some signs that need further investigation. I still have no wrinkles in my face...but am hoping some will show soon...I'm tired of the "moon face!" :0)

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Karen said...

I hope Jiri feels better and you too! Were there enough nurses? I know the Czechs are having a hard time keeping them at home when they can go elsewhere in the EU and make more money.

Anonymous said...

All the best to both of you.))!!!!

Sher said...

Hi Karen,
Thanks--we're both in progress..and hopefully will be back to normal soon!

Yes, there were enough nurses...there didn't seem to be a shortage, though it could have been due to there not being so many patients while Jiri was there. I'm not sure and was too caught up in everything to check on that. But definitely--the Czech Republic is facing a nurse shortage as a whole.

Have a great day,
Sher :0)

Sher said...

Hi Hans,
Thank you, and the same to you! We hope you have a very quick recovery from your double pneumonia!

There's a lot of health trouble going around lately!!

Have a great day and take it easy,
Sher :0)

Roz said...

Gosh - that was some homecoming! I'm so glad that your husband got to the doctor in time and that he felt better after his stay in hospital.

I wish you and him a full recovery very soon.

Best wishes,


Sher said...

Hi Roz,
It was quite a homecoming...I know Jiri was happy to have me home...but he went a little bit far in showing it!!! :0)

We're both coming along...Jiri will have surgery later in the Fall...and my doctor is still sorting me out, though it looks like we found the culprit--and we're hoping treatment will eventually bring things back to normal!

Have a great weekend,
Sher :0)