Thursday, February 6, 2014

My Hysterectomy in Siberia Part 2

Clinic "Ваше Здоровье"- Your Health -  in Novosibirsk where I had my surgery.
Clinic Ваше Здоровье - Your Health
where I had my surgery in Novosibirsk, Siberia.
Because we are technically foreigners here, we use a private clinic and have been very happy with it.  However, our clinic doesn't have a surgery department.  My doctor gave me a list of reputable places that would accept me for surgery: the regional hospital (government run but also accepts paying patients), the hospital connected with the railroad (for people who work for the railroad, but they also accept outside paying patients), and two private clinics.

Russia has developed an interesting balance of government/private health care.  There are the government run clinics, for which you need the government insurance and are typically free or relatively low cost.  Then there are private clinics/hospitals.  No insurance involved at all, just a set price list and you pay directly.  Some government run clinics/ hospitals will also provide certain services for a fee.  

We made an appointment at the private clinic that our friend's mother had praised, Ваше Здоровье ("Your Health).  It was about a 20 minute walk from our apartment.  

"You should do it here.  It's so close you can just walk home after the surgery," Joey joked as we walked up to the building.  

"I'm going to do it here because the clinic looks so cute and cozy," I answered.  It did look cute and cozy, and that did make me feel kind of partial to it.  

Most important, though, is that when we came for the appointment, I really liked and felt confident in the gynecologist, Olga Andreevna Albychakova.  The doctor at our usual clinic had highly recommended her, but I also just really liked her and felt I could trust myself into her hands.  As if You were affirming the feeling that this was the right thing to do.

She told me that in Russia they don't like to remove any more than they have to.  The plan was to only remove my uterus (they referred to this as an amputation) unless she got in there and saw that something else was wrong.  They do laparoscopic surgery, but I had already been told by my other doctor to expect an abdominal hysterectomy in my case, and Olga Andreevna confirmed this.  

We tentatively scheduled the operation for Tuesday, the 17th of December.  After that followed a series of appointments and labwork to make sure I was fit for surgery.  

Sunday morning I had a final appointment with Olga Andreevna.  (Although not usual, appointments can be scheduled for Sunday in Russia.)   I was cleared for surgery, so she started preparing me for Tuesday.  Part of the preparation was to meet the director of the anesthesiology/critical care department, Igor Alexandrovich Butylskij.  He explained in great detail what I could expect from him and the anesthesia (the most commonly used throughout the world, including America).

"There's a clock in the operating room by the window," he said.  "From the time you walk into the operating room until the anesthesia takes effect will be less than 10 minutes."

I felt confident with him, too.  More confirmation for me that You were indeed directing my steps, and they were all leading to this clinic, this operation, on this date, with these doctors.  

The price of the surgery is a set price that includes the operation and two days in the clinic.  They expected me to stay about five days total, though, so they added an additional charge for three days.  The food, which they order for their patients from a nearby cafe, was included.  Total price: 47,700 rubles.  1500 dollars.  For surgery and a five day stay.

I had a choice: check in the morning of the surgery, or check in the evening before on the 16th.  Then the nurses could help me get ready that night and the following morning.  I decided to check in the evening before.  No extra charge.  

Later that evening Joey said, "During worship today, I really felt like the Lord was saying it's going to be ok."  He opened Psalms 9:11 and began to read, "But those who know your name..."

I finished it for him.  It's one of my favorite verses; I memorized it years ago.  

"...will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you."

I felt like I had good doctors, a good clinic, and most importantly, You.  

You didn't promise us that nothing bad would ever happen.  In fact, I'm 99% sure that I will die one day; I just don't know how and when.  

You did promise that You would never forsake me.  And if You won't ever forsake me, ever, what can I be afraid of, really?

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Related Posts
Read: My Hysterectomy in Siberia Part 1
My Hysterectomy
in Siberia Part 1
Link to My Hysterectomy in Siberia Part 3
My Hysterectomy in Siberia Part 3
Link to My Hysterectomy in Siberia Part 4
My Hysterectomy in Siberia Part 4
Link to My Hysterectomy in Siberia Part 5
My Hysterectomy
in Siberia Part 5

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