Friday, December 08, 2006

A daily dose of Kyiv hospital horrors:

Mama finally showed up around 6 pm, for the first time since around 1 pm on Wednesday. She ate (I had ordered pizza, for the first time in my life here), fed the cats, cooked something, did some laundry, played with Marta, packed four huge plastic bags of food, clothes, medication - and a toilet seat, a not-so-tiny personal luxury - all this in two hours or so - and rushed back to the hospital.

Unlike the other two hospitals, this one is huge and rather deserted; finding a nurse is a feat. Before leaving today, mama went looking for some staff to ask them to keep an eye on papa in case he decides to wander off. She, of course, was prepared to pay the nurse on duty for such a favor. But the bitch (my age, approximately) yelled at mama as she was about to enter the nurses' room: "Don't go in here, stay where you are!" Despite this initial rudeness, mama explained the situation to the bitch: that she had to leave to buy medication, among other things, and that her husband might get up and try to go somewhere, dressed in nothing but underwear, and if they saw him, they should know that he was from room #19, and they should catch him and lead him back. To which the bitch replied quite hysterically: "Man, doesn't he understand anything or what?!" Very calmly, mama said to her: "Excuse me, but have you forgotten where you work? It's a hospital, the floor for people with strokes, and some are in better shape than others, and you are here to help them all." The bitch was more polite after that and promised to look after my father. She didn't get any money from mama, of course. Kurwa.

You know, when I was having Marta at that wonderful, clean and expensive hospital last year (Isida), I made this observation: the nurses there were really, really sweet, which isn't surprising, considering the conditions they work in, and, perhaps, their salaries, and, definitely, the competition they faced in getting and keeping their jobs. But: I could easily imagine most of those women working at some totally shitty, average place - and still being as sweet and helpful. It does happen here sometimes, I know.

Anyway, my mother's spending the second night at the hospital, and it's good there are vacant beds in papa's room for now. We do fear that when it's this hospital's turn to accept emergency patients, they'll fill the room up, and mama will have to sleep on a bench in the hallway or something. Leaving my father on his own is out of question for now.

What's also breaking my heart is that Marta and I are moving to Moscow very soon, and neither mama, nor papa are able to enjoy Marta's company for these last days.


  1. It's so terrible, this post-Soviet health care situation. I just want to cry. Best wishes to your dad and mom.

  2. I'll say a prayer for your father. It is hard to imagine ones' parents ill. My father is 78 and not doing so well. I am thankful we are in the States.