Thursday, February 20, 2014

My Hysterectomy in Siberia Part 4

8 am in Novosibirsk in December - My Hysterectomy in Siberia Part 4
8 am in Novosibirsk in December.
Tuesday 17 December

I opened my eyes and remembered. I was lying in my hospital room in a clinic in Siberia, and it was the morning of my surgery. Natasha, the nurse had come in at six to wake me and help me put on the T.E.D stockings.   After that I lay in bed for awhile.  Not much to do between six and eight in the morning when you are waiting for surgery.  Can't exactly eat breakfast.  But You are still with me here.  You are my God.  And I am having surgery today.  In Siberia.

"Yet I am always with You, You hold me by my right hand." Psalm 73:23-26.

I am always with You, no matter where I am.

A lot more nurses and doctors here this morning than there were last night.  It's a small place, but it's bustling.  

At about twenty after eight they sent me downstairs to the front desk to pay for the operation.  That took a little while because there were some complications and I needed to call Joey.  It felt a little weird to be ready for my operation, which technically was starting at 8:30, but be ironing out complications at the front desk on the phone with my husband after 8:30.  At least I wasn't sitting and thinking about the operation ahead.  I was a little antsy because the operation was supposed to start already, but I figured they knew where I was and they wouldn't start without me.

About 15 minutes later we resolved the issue and I went back upstairs.  The nurse at the nurse's station was new to me.  A lady sat with her where I had sat the night before, filling out the paperwork for an operation.  I suppose she was after me.  

In my room I found a hospital gown made out of translucent gauze laid out for me.  

This was the first time I'd seen a hospital gown in Russia.  So far in my experiences with Russian hospitals/clinics (they haven't been many), they don't do the exam/hospital gown thing.  You just do the necessary disrobing - no gown.  I've heard of cases at other hospitals where they didn't have a gown for the operation and had to shed their robe in the operating room and climb onto the operating table naked.  

If you think about it, they're just going to move it to do what they need to do.  Everyone in the operating room would see more of me than most people do.  In fact, they would see more of me than I ever will.  The gown is just to help us feel we're preserving a dignity that we really have already given up.

In spite of the fact that the gown was completely see-through, I was thankful for it; it did feel better to FEEL like I had something on.  Something between me and the world.  Even if it wasn't much. 

I put my robe on over the gown and padded out in my bedroom slippers (which concealed more than the gown did). The nurse at the nurses station said they weren't quite ready for me and sent me back to my room.  A few minutes later, they called me and I headed back out.  I walked down the hall and into the operating suite.

Operating Room Doors - My Hysterectomy in Siberia Part 4
On my way to the operating room in Novosibirsk, Russia.

"You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory"

I'm not afraid of seeing You, and this is probably one of the easiest ways to get there.  But I've got kids to finish raising.

The first room I walked into was like a long foyer.  There were things like cushions arranged on the floor in front of the door - I'm not sure what for, but I stepped over them.  A nurse told me to hang my robe on a hook and gave me a hair cap.  I didn't ask her name.  I lost my focus on asking people's names when I went into the operating room.  

I took off my robe (this is where folks who don't have a gown would now be naked - I was just essentially naked) and hung it on a hook.  I adjusted the hair cap in the mirror on the wall.  

She handed me бахилы bahili (surgical slippers); I took off my bedroom slippers and put the bahili on my bare feet. 

Two rooms opened off the first.  Through the doors of one of them I saw the operating table with the customary bright lights over it.  Nurses were standing by and Igor Alexandrovich (head anesthesiologist) was standing at the head of it waiting for me, motioning for me to come.  

They helped me climb onto the operating table.  

"Who have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you..."

I lay on the operating table looking up at the lights.  Igor Alexandrovich stood at my head and helped me position my arms.

"Is it comfortable?"  

I nodded.  I didn't really know whether my arms were comfortable or not, but it was nice of him.

While the nurse was hunting for a vein, he was patting my shoulders and telling me that this was the worst part.  I didn't quite have the presence of mind to tell them that the arm she was poking at tended to have issues at times.  It was having issues now, but I couldn't care.

"Look at the clock, Michele," Igor Alexandrovich directed me.  I looked over at the clock by the window on the wall - it was ten or fifteen minutes after nine.  The nurse moved to the other arm and got the IV going.  I felt it start to move up toward my shoulder.

"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."

My room and operating room windows at the clinic in Novosibirsk, Russia - My Hysterectomy in Siberia Part 4
The windows of my room and the operating room at the clinic Your Health (Ваше Здоровье) in Novosibirsk, Russia. 

Share This:    

Related Posts

Read: My Hysterectomy in Siberia Part 1
My Hysterectomy
in Siberia Part 1
Link to My Hysterectomy in Siberia Part 2
My Hysterectomy
in Siberia Part 2
Link to My Hysterectomy in Siberia Part 3
My Hysterectomy
in Siberia Part 3
Link to My Hysterectomy in Siberia Part 5
My Hysterectomy
in Siberia Part 5
You Might Be Interested In
Where Does the Gospel Begin?
Where Does the Gospel Begin?
Link to Water Is Not Enough Part 2 - Mark 1:1-8 Post 9 (Video/song)
Water Is Not Enough
Part 2 (Video/song)
link to "Why Was Jesus Baptized?" - Mark 1:9-11 Post 1
Why Was Jesus Baptized?
link to Sent to the Desert - Mark 1:12-13
to the Desert


  1. Michele,
    So thankful for your recovery. So very thankful the pages of your life have been a place for God's to write His message and His story upon. What a glorious testimony to His Grace, Faithfulness, Care (and that He actually lives in Siberia too!) You know I would have said it was true, and believed in was true but really I haven't actually been there to testify. :) Thanking God tonight not only for your faithfulness to follow Him but your willingness to share your story. God blessed your words indeed! Much Love! Jan

    1. Yes, it's true! He does live here, too! Love that thought, Jan....I remember when I first came here that very thought really struck me - As far away and as strange as it felt to be here at that time (it feels totally normal now) - it felt like the ends of the earth, and yet, He was (and is) here, too.