Friday, September 30, 2011

Finnish night at the Emergency Room

Yesterday afternoon, Mom and I took a leisurely stroll via "Slavica's" ice cream (the best ice cream in town!) to Ihtus, so that I could teach my Beginner's English Class. I had a great class, and then we were waiting for Ljilja to finish her shift at the Ihtus cafe so that we could go home at 9. While I was in class little Eelis, the two year old son of Sanna and Miika (who are Finns working with us here for a year) had thrown up on himself and his pram outside.

They all went home, but at 8pm Ljilja gets a phone-call from Sanna and Miika to say that Eelis was very very cold. Not a fever, but hypothermia! Not good. So Ljilja went off with them to the Emergency Room while Mom, Laura (a Finnish volunteer with us for 4 months) and I cleaned up the cafe and waited to see what would happen...

I cleaned the floor, and Laura went outside to get the cushions in and when she came back she slid on the still-wet floor and stood funny on her foot... At first I thought oh well she has just twisted her ankle it isn't anything too bad, but then unfortunately she couldn't put it back!! The end of the tibia was literally twisted out of her ankle and her ankle was stuck in the twisted position. Not good. Luckily, Rami (our Finnish colleague) was in the office and so he could take us to the Emergency Room... And little Eelis was still there with Miika and Ljilja, so it really became Finnish night at the Emergency Room!

They quickly dealt with us and sent us to the surgical hospital (around the corner) as they had to x-ray it (no x-ray in the ER) and maybe do surgery... At the same time we were taking Laura out, Miika came out with Eelis and they went by ambulance to the other main hospital (with Ljilja following in the car)! {in the end they gave him a drip and he improved almost immediately - it looks like he ate something funny, but they suspected meningitis, hence the ambulance, pretty scary.}

At the surgery department, the doctor spoke fantastic English and was wonderful with her. He did everything he could to make her comfortable while she waited for their opinion - because it looked like she would have to go under general anesthetic to move it back into place so he couldn't give her pain medicine... The good part was she hadn't eaten since lunch (other than a banana) so they could take her in straight away. He was also amazed at the injury and said that he had even written a paper about this particular injury as it happens in only about 2% of cases!

And don't forget, my mom is still with us, finding out first hand about the Banja Luka medical services!

Eelis and Miika were on his way home with Ljilja just as Laura went into surgery, so Ljilja picked me and Mom up and we went home. Later on Ljilja went back to see how Laura was doing and she was all done and they even let her come home! So at 1am Mom and I were making a bed up for her in the lounge... (she is living in her own apartment, so couldn't go back there!)

What a crazy night: and Mom got to experience first hand what my life looks like sometimes!! {luckily this was my FIRST experience of the emergency room and surgical department in Banja Luka - here's hoping I won't have to experience them again!}


OliveTree said...

Bless your heart. That is a crazy night. It is hard to deal with medical care in a different country. Definitely a new area to learn to trust God for me.

Yolande said...

Wow,what a busy time. Scary about the child being sick. As a mom I can just imagine the uncertainty! Always good to read about your adventures. Keep strong! Hope you and your mom will have a fantastic time together. Lotsa love!

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