It ain’t the Hilton
I must say of all the places where I could have been operated on I’m very thankful that it happened at Hospital #7 in Kazan. But a hospital stay in Russia is very different then one in the States. I feel I must make a few statements here. The facility was absolutely the state of the art. When I left my room to begin my journey I began to see the truth of what it means to be a part of it. See in Russia you will get extremely qualified surgeons and staff that helped and comforted me along the way. They were always making sure I understood what was happening, they even had a doctor who could speak English in the operating room and for the most part this continued the whole time. When I did meet the language barrier those to whom I was trying to converse were very patient and once they let down that “Russian guard”, (the frown) they always had a smile. Continuing with my journey I was amazed when we reached the part of the hospital were surgeries are done. The difference is like night and day, the air changed right away. I could tell that this level was hermetically sealed at that point I felt a bit like a science experiment but was glad for it. If the surgery lasted an hour and a half I’d be surprised. What I wasn’t expecting was the music, very pleasant and peaceful, I think it was Tatar but not sure. Oh, one thing I forgot to share is at this point I couldn’t feel anything from the waist down. Now that I had been carved up and repaired it was time for my return trip to the room I started in. This is were things become interesting. See here in your recovery room there aren’t any button that will bring nurses running. Don’t get me wrong they make their rounds to check to make sure you are doing well afterwards but it ain’t the Hilton.
Threading the needle
This is were the Tatarian wife and Russian wife become an integral part of what happens. See in America the nurse would be running around answering to your every whim, but not so here. In our room we had four gentlemen who were in some state of the process. What I saw from this point on caught me completely off guard. I watched a young wife who was Tatarian take care of her husband. I wish my words could express what I saw. She catered to him and watched over him like I’ve never seen anyone do before. She feed him, washed him, anointed him with oil, each time she approached him it was with such reverence, I can’t remember ever seeing such love been poured out. It didn’t stop there, this is how the entire family conducted themselves towards him, it was truly a sight to behold. What I haven’t shared with you is the fact that my wife was doing the same. So, “no bell and whistles in Russian care”, it’s the responsibility of the family. This spoke volumes to me. In America the health care industry is built to cater to the patient, it may be good but now I understand it isn’t perfect. I think there are a few lessons here to be learned. But what those lessons are should be dwelt upon by the person who is contemplating them. Personally for myself I’m so very glad my family was there for me. They were empowered over a part of my care. Russian medicine isn’t perfect but it is all a part of threading the needle. It proved to me that family is always first and the little things do count.