Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Kazan is the sports capital of Russia

The FINA (or something. I think. It was big and official) world cup was here this summer, so a lot of people ask us if we're volunteers with the swimming thing, even though it ended almost a month ago. And the FIFA world cup is going to be here in three years, so this city is nice and it's just getting nicer. And I'm so glad it is, because that means it's the most up-to-date city in our mission. Which means it has the best hospitals in our mission. Yeah that's right, you guessed it, we got to spend a night in the hospital. Also there are T-shirts aplenty here that say "Kazan- sports capital of Russia", so if anyone wants one let me know...

Okay, before anyone panics, I am in perfect health. I should probably take Sister Wilson's mom off my email list for this week. All right, done. I just don't want to scare her any more than she probably already is. A little over a week ago my companion woke up in the middle of the night with pain in her chest. She talked to a doctor over the phone and took the medicine he recommended, and tried to ignore it. But it kept getting worse. So on Tuesday we went to a polyclinic in Kazan center, and it was so nice. And weird. Walking into it felt like walking into America. It turns out doctors aren't super patient for people who don't fluently know their language, and with doctors you run into a lot of unusual vocabulary, so we were there for a whole evening, being passed from office to office, it felt like. I tried not to laugh in a nurse's face when she asked me if I could come help my friend because "she understands badly". I just stared and managed to say "I'm worse". That was funny. We had to come back to the clinic on Friday for Sister Wilson to have a camera shoved down her throat. That was unpleasant enough to watch, I can't imagine how it must have felt. I didn't even get any pictures of it, to her disappointment. After that they sat her down and told her she had two ulcers in her esophagus, and one of them was pretty big and it was bleeding. They told us they'd called an ambulance and we were going to the hospital.

The hospital was interesting. They took Sister Wilson and started poking and prodding her, and I had some conversations with people, including a random lady with terrifyingly perfect English. And then they told Sister Wilson that she had to stay in the hospital at least until Monday. The most awkward part was definitely trying to explain to the doctors that I couldn't just go home, that I had to stay at the hospital too. That made absolutely no sense to them. But we got it worked out and they took us up to the ward. The three people already in there were thrilled to see us. They must have been so bored. They laid Sister Wilson down and stuck an IV in her and I busied myself getting acquainted with the woman on my other side. Lutzia is about 85 and and absolute angel- we have an invitation to come over to her house when she gets out of the hospital. I'm so glad we were in there with her. The ward started to fill up as the day wore on, so there were a couple girls in there with appendicitis, and and a few middle-aged women with other stomach problems. I just sat on my bed (I got a bed!) and read my dictionary like a novel. Because we had no idea we were going to the hospital, we weren't super well-equipped. During visiting hours we got an awesome church member to bring us a few things we needed, toothbrushes, dishes, pajamas, etc. We had about the least restful night you can imagine, there was a lot going on in that ward overnight, and in the morning the American mission doctor who lives in Moscow called and told us to get out of there. The nurses and doctors all thought we were crazy for leaving. Maybe we were. I know Sister Wilson missed it when we left.

I probably haven't talked about food enough this letter- Russian hospital food isn't bad! It probably wouldn't fly in America, but that's just because Americans don't like their oatmeal with salt and butter.

So that was the hospital. Both before we stayed there and after we had some days where we stayed inside a lot more than usual, on the orders of our mission president and doctor. So our kitchen is now pristine (it was actually way good that we had time to clean that, after an unfortunate incident involving beet juice), and our area book is looking great, and I am pretty bored. It's hard to find effective things to do! We made two pans of brownies...

Sister Wilson is definitely on the recovery side of things now, though. Which is so good. I think we'll be pretty busy in the coming weeks too, partly because we postponed a bunch of appointments this week. 

Also the other people in the hospital were SO NICE and it got me thinking. Jesus told us to feed his sheep. And I'm definitely a believer that God puts us in places so that we can meet and help specific people. We're around people to help them and build them up! Take care of people! You can all do that. Okay?

I love you all! You are the coolest! (Sorry I didn't take any pictures this week. But I have a goal to improve!)

Sister Nielsen

PS. also I don't know if I told anyone this anywhere but sister wilson and I are staying together in kazan this cycle. and probably next cycle too! so she'll die here, most likely. it's a good place to die

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