Sometimes I think to myself, if I wrote about ALL the stuff that happens in our life, people would think I made it up. So I wasnt going to write about the last few days, but I will anyway. Because Im laughing now, and its funny in a comedy movie sort of way. Short version.
Thursday afternoon going home from school A (Celiac kid) says her cheek hurts ALOT. I think maybe she has a small sore in her mouth, maybe she got contaminated. With clean hands I check the inside of her cheek. Nothing there.
Fast forward to two hours later, I’m lying on the sofa playing some game on my iPad, kids are watching TV. I turn around to look at A who is whinging about her cheek and I literally FLY up and in to action. Her cheek, on the side, slightly below the ear, has swelled up to golf ball size! All Im thinking is airway! What if the swelling is inside too! Call our doctor who says she cant see us straight away but to take her to the emergency room. We already had shoes on! GO! Mad drive through the city. Get to emergency room. 2 doctors and 4 nurses then spend ten minutes arguing about how to do our paperwork, kids are Polish, but have no pesel numbers (long story). Im thrusting my credit card at them saying it doesnt matter we arent asking for free care, we will PAY, just please LOOK at her. Finally another doctor looks at A while the others argue with her that its against the RULES (people in Poland are very concerned about rules and the right way to do things – at times, its infuriating – because while they all argued, A had swelled up further). She reassures me there is no threat to the airway, but because we are paying we must go to another part of the hospital. Off we go, its far enough that we need to drive around.
We get to the gate I think we are meant to go in, and the man speaks no English, I refuse, REFUSE to give up, so I shout at him in English, Im tired of being ignored (in general, not by this man), its a hospital, my kid needs to be seen and I cant understand you and LET ME IN GODDAMMIT! Barrier opens. Jenki bardzo! (later I realise we actually parked in the doctors only parking, poor guy, but at least shouting in english sometimes works. I need to send the poor guy flowers or something, I thought he was just being difficult because I was speaking english – oops!)
In this part (of the hospital) we are helped instantly. The hospital is huge, clean and very empty. A doctor and a med student see us. After a while the Dr calls for all the english speaking med students to join. Story of our lives, A is an interesting case, but hey, the more the merrier 🙂
The doctor is very concerned that it looks like mumps, and although A has been vaccinated we are at that point again where we wonder, does A’s immune system know she has been vaccinated? I call my husband, tell him it may be mumps, he’s like a gigantic question mark, SWINKA I say. Because Im getting really good at Polish disease names and hospital lingo.
Because its suspected mumps we need to go to another hospital. Some infectious disease place. The couple behind us warns me in english the place looks awful and not to be frightened, its not as bad as it looks. I think in my head it must be like the Poznan place and smile and say thank you.
GPS and me and kids drive to the other hospital. Well. GPS takes me to allotments in the middle of nowhere, I reverse, go around. Search. Eventually hubby has to help by phone, him and his Polish friends all get involved. We need to go to opposite the graveyard! but opposite the graveyard there is something that looks like an old deserted asylum, the kind of place horror movies are made in, you go in…. but NEVER come out….. I drive around, many times. I find a door, hubby says, ‘Go in and ask’. I sit, in my car, thinking NO WAY. Im laughing pretty much the whole time, I actually started laughing already in the first hospital, because these things, they only happen to us.
I take photos, because Im thinking no one will believe me. They are all iPhone photos, not great quality, but I have to share them…..
So, hubby calls them, and they explain exactly in which part of this huge complex they are. By this time its getting dark, and the feeling that Im in a scary movie is hard to shake off.
I park, away from walls and shadows, haha! And walk towards the building. A nurse nods and smiles and points to some chairs under a tree. Wait there she says. Im not kidding. Under a tree.
Part of me now thinks Im in some joke show, you know where they pull a prank on you and someone will jump out in a minute and explain its just a joke. That doesn’t happen. Instead a dr. opens the door and lets us in. She doesn’t look like someone from a joke show OR a scary movie, she speaks english and she’s lovely. She examines A and says no tests needed. She believes its an infection of the salivary gland and not mumps. She goes to type some forms for us and I cant help it, I have to snap some more photos, because feel like Im in a time warp of some kind and Im in the wrong decade… possibly even century!
I get my paperwork and get in the car. My phone beeps and I look, its from hubby. ‘So, is it muppets?’.
A note, I have now been to 5 different hospitals in Poland and although two of them were extremely old buildings the staff have all been great. Most medical facilities in Poland look nothing like the one above so don’t let this post put you off.
I hope A is feeling better. Now I wish I had snapped some photos when I gave birth in less than ideal conditions. Just like you, funny now, not so funny then.
Now, that is just way too funny!! 😀
You ara a great writer, Linda!!
I encourage you to take it as if not for your Polish hospitals’ experiences, this great story wouldn’t ever be written, therefore: “always look at the bright side of life” (or every challenging life’s experience- in your case)…
And, BTW: it must have been just the great, old MUPPET SHOW, and you guys had your guest apparence in it, THAT’S IT!! 🙂
Take care and stay strong,
Kasia Foltyn-Romero 😉