Derek opens his mission call

Monday, October 10, 2011

Derek Learns About Ukrainian Hospitals--the Hard Way

Hello everyone,

I am so happy that p-day has come and i'm talking to you guys finally! it has been one of those weeks. Mom, i kind of envision that you are going to freak out, so i will start out like this: don't freak out. i'm totally good. don't worry. i look great. i got a haircut yesterday and it looks good (actually elder winchester kind of messed up and i've got a weird part on the side of my head, but it will go away.) on saturday i had a huge beard and it looked great. but i'll get to that later.

there is a lot to write. i don't think this has anything to do with it, but we had a barbeque with Rustam, this awesome member, in celebration of his birthday, on p-day. it was way fun, and i ate a whole lot of meat. it was so tasty. mmmm it was good. we had a blast celebrating and everything. that night we had a good family night with mama bigoon and our investigator sasha. we talked about doing missionary work, and sasha actually seemed very interested, so that is awesome. then, we went to sleep. or at least, tried. for some reason, i just couldn't get to sleep at all. sometimes that happens, i figure, but it was a long night. when we woke up, i felt pretty exhausted, which was understandable. i also had some pain just going through my body, but it wasn't too bad. and we didn't have too much to do that day, so we just took it easy, went and helped mow the lawn of the church, made phone calls, and at night had one member lesson. i figured afterwards that i was going to have a great night sleep, because i was so exhausted. i had no appetite so i didn't really eat all day except one pancake my companion made, and i had to force it down. not because it was disgusting, it was rather tasty.

yeah, i didn't sleep at all again tuesday night. the pain was getting worse throughout my body, and especially my legs. i had taken a lot of advil, but it didn't do too much, it seemed. i just moved around all night, and got up to go to the bathroom several times during the night. i "woke up" feeling a bit better, but, trying to study was impossible. i was so tired, and my mind couldn't focus with all the pain. it wasn't like, extreme pain, but it was enough. that morning we started a split with mccallison, who came to me, and by then i was worse. we had a lesson with a member, and then came home and made tacos. again, i didn't have much appetite, so i had one small taco and called it good. then we walked to a lesson at the church. by the time we got there i was really exhausted, and in pain. our investigator dogged us, but luckily mama bigoon was there. she freaked out about my sickness. my eyes were yellow again, and my fever had risen. we measured my temperature, and it was 38,75- about a 102. thats not good. she suspected hepetitis again, and called a taxi to take me home. to break my fever, she did this weird thing. she rubbed me down with vinegar. don't worry, only partly. she told mccallison to do the rest, which he did. i thought it was pretty weird. but actually it helped. maybe. anyways, i call some people, and they tell me to get some blood tests done.

that night again, like usual, not much sleep. and lots of peeing, which was painful. i wake up feeling better, but i knew that it was a lie. ok so this is now thursday. mama bigoon comes and picks us up, because she is amazing like that, and we walk together to the blood place. she used to work at the hospital, so she hooked us up, took us to the good place, got us good service. here in this country before blood tests you aren't supposed to eat the whole day before, so i hadn't. and i hadn't in the past few days. and i was just weak in general. so giving blood was actually worrisome, given my inclination to pass out like a little baby. plus they are ruthless sticking in their needles here. she sticks me, and i feel the blood rush out of my head. i knew what was coming, but i fought it off until she was done taking the blood. after, i must've looked bad, they start waving at me, keeping me consious. i needed some energy, so they brought me some tea. i started drinking and then i realized, this probably isn't fruit tea. its probably green tea. but then i thought, marijuana is bad unless you have a medical reason. i needed that tea. dont judge me! i'm a sinner. dont worry i repented.

so then we go home and i took a little nap. i woke up and felt a lot better. we had district meeting and because of my fallen, pathetic state we had it in our apartment. the zl's bangeter and winchester came down. we had a good district meeting, but throughout it i just felt worse and worse. it started with the shivers, and i knew what that meant. i got myself warm and it turned into a fever. i was in a lot of pain and really weak and just out of it. the zl's and mccallison stayed with me afterwards while the rest of the district went to another meeting at the branch. they gave me a priesthood blessing. while they were there, mama bigoon came over and checked me out. so my fever was 103. she called an ambulance. but here ambulances come into the apartment to take care of you, and then if necessary, take you away. this huge fat dude who smelled strongly of smoke. basically he checked me and admitted that he had no idea. he really wanted to take me to the hospital, because it is like a law. we told him no, i'm not going to a mariupol hospital. they fought for a while, and eventually, we won. but they gave me a big ol' shot right in the cheek. not very pleasant. i don't recommend it. i don't know what was in the shot, but it made me feel great! really just fantastic. so i called dr. mayberry, the main doctor in kiev. i told him my symptoms, and he said that he couldn't diagnose it, that it was serious, and he wanted a hospital to check me out. and that he didn't trust public hospitals in ukraine, so i would need to go to donetsk.

luckily, the zl's were already down, so i just went up with them. i quickly packed my bags, called a taxi, and left. it was way expensive, 500 grivin. we went straight to this really nice hospital there, and talked with this cool doctor. he checked me out a bit, and told me that he thought it was hepetitis. unfortunately, according to some stupid law, a person with my symptoms aren't allowed to stay with them. so they told me to get a blood and urine test to see if it was. i already had a blood test, so i decided to just go to the zl's to stay the night. there i had another long, sleepless night.

ok that was all thursday. friday was another really long day. i woke up feeling better. after we woke up we drove to the office, where the mission driver picked us up in the (brand new) mission car. he drove us to the main donetsk public hospital. we walk into the dark, cold, scary building and ask the lady where to go with a sick person. she looked at us like we were crazy, so we explained further. she said she had no idea and went to ask someone else. someone else came out and told us to come back when we get the blood results. so we go back to the office and wait for results. as we were waiting this dude strolls in, sweating, in a suit, with a suitcase, and starts asking, where is the sick kid? i say, right here. he starts yelling at me for not going to a hospital yesterday after calling the ambulance. i say, i went to a hospital, but he wasn't listening. he was mad. he kept yelling, and other people came into the room until it was a full enough room, everyone just yelling. eventually we calm him down, and he leaves. we still don't know who sent him, or how he found out where i was.

then the results come. they aren't good. so the normal belirubin count in blood should be from 1.7- 20.5. mine was 54.9. a lot of other bad things. we run back to the hospital where five different people check me out, and give me a diagnosis i can't remember. they wanted to hospitalize me there. i didn't want that. it was a terrible hospital. dirty, a bunch of babooshky running around everywhere. i didn't want that at all. we were trying to give our doctor (mission doctor) in kiev all this information, so he could figure out what to do next, and they refused to give us the information. they got angry when we asked, offended, started yelling at us and told us to leave. we told that to the doctor, and he was like, yeah, you don't have to deal with that crap. thats why we hate public hospitals. get out of there. so we went to that other hospital and got a sonogram. its a boy! they actually didn't find much.

so then i was talking to the doctor in kiev again, and he sounded like i was doing ok and that i was going to get better without hospitilization. he said i should get some more tests but i didn't need anything too serious. so that was a weird shift. so i went home and slept again. i went on saturday morning to get the blood test but they are closed on the weekend! good job, ukraine. so i spent sat/sun watching conference. it was awesome! i loved it. i don't have too much else to say about it, but it was great. oh and on saturday a little bit of blood came out with my pee. it wasn't too much, i'm ok. and so this morning we went and gave the blood, three vials full, and a urine test too. i'll get the results tomorrow. so....i'm feeling much better! don't worry about me. everyone has been great to me. i'm in good hands.

MOM DON'T FREAK OUT. I LOVE YOU. you are so great. i never appreciated you guys like i do now, and i'm so excited to see you all again. but i don't want to come home yet, i'm so glad i have another 9 months to serve. i love the mission. but being sick (sorry mom) stinks! thanks for everything. you guys rock, i love you.

love, elder brimley

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