As for me and my house we will serve the Lord....

Monday, February 23, 2015

Ready for spring?

Garry is busy getting ready for spring planting time. Last year when they harvested the sunflowers, they put them in storage at the mill in Zaporozhye. Garry planned to sell them in the spring and have enough money to buy the seed and fertilizer for this spring. Maxim Rudei is now glad they did this, one of the local farmers stored his at home and now the mill won't accept his sunflowers because of quality issues. It took a little longer than they thought to sell them, get the money in the bank and available to buy the fertilizer last week. They hoped to do it all in one day, to hit the high price for the sunflowers, and buy the fertilizer before the price went up.
They had to go back to Zap the second afternoon, and after standing in line for an hour at the bank to transfer money to the fertilizer plant, they were told they needed another identity document. Luckily they had visited a different office where Max had submitted this document so they went back there to get a copy made (I can't remember if this had to do with registering land or the electricity project, but they have been registering more rented land after winning a court case, they will have all the plots in the big field near the barn. ) They returned to the bank to discover that the bank was closed for lunch, so they had to wait some more. Eventually they were able to pay, get the documents and Max made arrangements to get a truck to pick up the fertilizer in Dnepropejisk (where they make fertilizer) the next day. He ended up having to drive there with our vehicle the next day to get the truck loaded, I think they needed to see the actual document.
 However, now most of the fertilizer is bought and in storage here on the farm. Garry will still need to buy some fertilizer, since the price is so high this year. Garry plans to buy Ukrainian corn seed, he says it is about the same price as last year. Anything imported has continued to zoom up in price, a month ago the grivna was 20 to an American dollar, this weekend you can sell dollars for 32 grivna. No one knows where it will stop, with the problems in eastern Ukraine still ongoing. Gas and diesel has gone up again at the stations, Garry used to pay 400 grivna to fill the tank of the Ford, now it's a thousand. That difference will hurt when its time to fill the tractor everyday for planting. Good thing much of the land was planted in winter wheat last fall.
The farm show (more pics on birds eye blog)

Delivery truck with the spreader

Garry's new fertilizer spreader he bought in Kiev at the farm show arrived last week. The previous one never worked well, it threw more on one side than the other as it went across the field, and last fall some part broke that they had trouble replacing, so he decided on getting a better one.

Today Garry is in Zaporosia getting the alternator fixed on the car, second time since he bought it, actually. We were stuck sitting at the mall on Saturday after my follow up dentist appointment until Victor came to the rescue with an extra battery. Garry had no problems yesterday going to church and visiting and English class, but he drove without his lights on except when passing the police checkpoints. Hopefully he remembers to buy cat food, Box is not a fan of eating dog food. I am cutting back on Advil to the recommended daily dosage, my tooth? gum? is feeling not so bad now, throat still sore, likely the mono.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Still here (my trip to the dentist, not for the faint hearted reader)

Sorry about not writing, been staying in bed mostly, resting like I'm supposed to. Garry had a followup dentist appointment on Thursday and I decided to have a tooth that started hurting last month looked at. I had decided not too when I was first sick, before the mono was diagnosed  but it was starting to hurt more than my throat. The dentist looked at it and decided that wisdom tooth had not just lost the filling, but was cracked, so it had to come out. She proceeded to close her office up and go with us to a specialist to get it pulled. It was hard to find the street the office was on, turned out it was like an alley between apartment buildings off the main street on the other side of the river. He froze it with some Novocain and proceeded to pull. It come out in three pieces, none of which contained the roots, so he had to drill and wedge an awl like thing as they came out tiny piece by tiny piece. More needles went in as the freezing wore off where the tooth had been (not my tongue or lip of course). At one point he asked Garry how old I was, saying no Ukrainian woman who had children had teeth this hard with 2 cm roots! Eventually he got the last bits out and we were off toward home, with a prescription, which turned out to be amoxicilin  (that I had the mono reaction too) I thought maybe we shouldn't take it for three days as prescribed, they could chose something else, but they decided when Victor called that it could wait until my followup appointment on Saturday.

Thursday night I barely slept, propped up and waking up choking on blood oozing from under the gauze I kept changing. It closed up Friday around noon, no more blood and slept pretty good that night, even past my every 4 hours Advil time.

Yesterday they looked at it said it looked good, but then wanted to freeze it and clean it out. I said what, no freezing, I hate needles. So they compromised and put some stuff on it for 10 minutes. Garry looked too, and said it wasn't red but there were two little white spots they were worried about. Victor said they were worried it didn't bleed enough. So now if I complain, he says you wouldn't let the dentist do what he wanted. The pain is less today, honestly my sore throat hurts as much and that is the mono, and my tongue, which got abraded while he was digging. I have decided to live dangerously Sunday morning and take the antibiotics, in hopes it keeps the dentist away, and keep rinsing often with salt water. Staying in bed again today, resting, hopefully I will be feeling good next week. I am better this week, but still tire quickly... and my mouth hurts.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Back in the village

Not missing the hospital at all. The doctor said I could go at noon at 10:30 am and I packed up my stuff and carried it out to the landing where visitors are allowed and waited for Garry, who was on his way and we were heading down the stairwell by 11:00.

 I am not missing this blanket at all, Garry was wondering why I requested a sheet from home on Monday, it was to go between me and this wool blanket!

 I hung out at the mall in the food court while Garry went to the dentist. He is getting yet another root canal done, maybe a cap, I'm not sure yet, maybe he isn't either.  KFC strips and fries for lunch, way better than the soup for breakfast (I was not as intrigued with the cream of wheat chicken soup with flecks of grated carrot as I was when I first encountered it when I screamed in my head when I swallowed).
Or the soup for Thursday's lunch which I thought tasted off, and from the diarrhea I have been plagued with since about six hours after I ate it, I really think the chicken in it was bad.

We made it home to the village after a traffic police stop... Garry forgot to turn his lights on, the traffic cop tried for a bribe, but eventually he gave up when Garry told him we worked with orphans, and we were on our way. Since then I have spent almost the entire weekend in bed resting, apparently it takes a long time to get over mono, and it is so much easier to rest in my own bed!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

plotting my escape

I have decided that it's like a pajama party in here with the patients all chatting about their lives. Now that I am feeling better I am anxious to get out of here, the sooner the better, so I can actually rest and recover from mononucleosis. Victor tells me that they're waiting on test results that will be back on Thursday, but if Garry wasn't going to Kiev with the students tonight until Friday morning, I'd be packing my bags. You saw the bed pictures yesterday, today I'll try to tell you about the daily routine of the hospital.

Between 6_7 am a nurse comes in the room with thermometers, which you put in your armpit (just like when I was a kid) They return in 15 minutes or so, and write down the results. This is repeated around 7 pm. Twice I have had to take a pill in the evening because I was over 38 C, but a few times I have been below normal 37, which is really normal for me, but I am not explaining that.
Then there are doctors going around, the lucky people who get injections line up by the treatment room twice a day (you see a lot of young people going in and coming out rubbing their backsides.)
Oral antibiotics are not the norm here, I lucked out. The nurses start IVs -saline like I had the first three days or antibiotics around 11 am until 1 or so before lunch and maybe some later in the day if needed, in your room while you lie in bed. Sometimes there are doctors in later in the day. I lucked out on Sunday when I met the young lady doctor who speaks English well, but she wasn't around when the ear nose and throat doctor arrived close to six pm,last night,  it was like charades, with my bad Russian and her no English! I believe I figured out what she was trying to ask and tell me to do for my throat. In Ukraine you say aaaay instead of ahhhhh......

There are male, female, and children's rooms on this floor and we all use the same bathroom. There's one toilet compartment for guys and one for girls, which is always open, if unoccupied. The first days I decided that if the outer door was closed, the inner one was, but now I pull it open to check, because someone had been closing it. The inner toilet compartment has a sliding lock, for privacy. Bring your own toilet paper, which goes in the trash can there, no flushing the paper. The toilets are also where you dump your uneaten food from the ladies who bring it at mealtimes, before washing your dishes Ukrainian style... rinsed under the tap. You'll notice no toiletseat, its a cold porcelain throne, but at least it's not a squatty! Normally I wipe it off when I go in.

The sinks are in a bigger room that is locked up at night, that's where you wash up, with no privacy or even same sex time in the bathroom (that I have figured out anyway, ) I haven't done much washing, its a good  thing I wore a giant t-shirt to the hospital, hides everything! My rash is pretty much gone now, I am going to try wash my hair in one of those sinks if I am here much longer. The sinks are where you go to rinse your mouth (autocorrect has something against gaggle) You mix a spoonful of green stuff that Victor picked up at the pharmacy for me, they gave him a list of what to buy when he checked me in. I am supposed to gargle this six times a day, I have done 4, today I plan to try to get to 6! I don't know what is in it, but it has something that pulls fem out of you. Sunday he had to buy me ear drops for the pain and a three day course of strong antibiotic pills for bacterial infections (which I just finished, likely why I am planning my escape, I'm feeling better.) Back to the village and toilet seats, showers, my own food, quiet, and a real bed to lie in... I promise to be good and rest.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

It's mono

It's Tuesday and the official diagnosis is mono. They are puzzled how I caught a children's disease, however it may be an extension of the jetlag... Since I arrived, I have been thankful for a roommate who knows some English, and have talked with a couple of the male patients who know English in the hallway too. "the Canadian lady " is a bit of a novelty. Victor tells me that Thursday they will have more test results back and then we can talk to them about escaping the hospital. Normally mono is a month long hospital stay here!

Here are some secret hospital photos for you to enjoy.  Just got back from seeing ear, nose, throat specialist a lady who di not speak any English... we got through it somehow. Not sure what tablets she thinks I am melting in my mouth though. The mix a spoonful in warm water and gargle thing I have down now.

There are 7 beds in my room, my cot is just big enough for me and my arms beside me. Only 3 on my side of the room because of the sink, everyone has a bedside table for your stuff, and a big cupboard for coats bags and shoes. The bed has a inch thick mattress on springs, skinny girls skim the top, but mine is u shaped when I am in it. I must be feeling better because my back hurts.
Our ward #2
mid day meal you get more than soup, like oatmeal and a meatball

Lunch or dinner or breakfast its soup and bread to eat

Sunday, February 8, 2015

hospital post #1

Well I haven't written all week because I started feeling worse. I made it through the week of teaching English, sort of, but not much else. Garry even did some cooking while I rested and hoped to not go to the doctor because I have always insisted that I will never go to hospital here in Ukraine.

So Friday morning I woke up after a sleepless night and discovered a rash, on my arms back and now legs... was it there yesterday? I have been in the infectious diseases hospital for 24 hours now. Garry phoned Victor right away and we drove to Dnepropetrovsk. We picked up Victor and drove to a private clinic first, where I ... and here's when the tablet froze up Saturday afternoon, had to wait for the battery to discharge to restart.... Sunday morning!

was seen by an ear, nose and throat specialist and we thought that he was going to order some IV antibiotics after the blood work was back, but he didn't, just after Victor dropped Garry for his dental appointment (he had a root canal done)

Sunday, February 1, 2015


I will write more soon. Garry has been busy, so there are some stories to tell. I think that I'm finally getting over being sick. I went to church with Garry today, although my throat is still sore.

It has been raining all weekend, the cistern is full of mostly soft water for a change. In winter we use well water and it's very mineral laden. The glasses are turning white, we bought salt for the dishwasher, the dishwasher and my skin will enjoy the break.

The snow has melted except for the bigger snowbanks on the edges of the highway and piles in the city. The yard is extremely muddy. The wind is really blowing tonight, so you'd think it's a winter storm on February first, but even though it's supposed to get cold, we have had temperatures around 10 C or around 50 F.

Garry's been driving all over, last night he took the male students to Zaporozhe for an outreach ministry with a band that they enjoyed in the fall. He went to Dnepropetrovsk yesterday for a new motor for the milk pump, it was throwing sparks when they used it to filling containers for the milk buyers. They pump milk out of the valve at the bottom of the tank with it instead of scooping it out of the top, which can make it too creamy and leave skim milk to sell to the next buyers. On Fridays the milk truck comes and buys and had complained about getting low fat milk. We need to keep him happy, because we're going to have milk to sell the truck in the spring when the other buyers can't take it all. Right now there's 800 liters a day, we used to make 400 and it will continue to go up, with more fresh cows and heifers to come.

For everyone who asks about the babushka next door, she is still doing well. She recently told some Jehovah Witnesses who came to her door, that they didn't need to tell her anything because she had a nice young man next door who tells her all about Jesus. Our Maxim Borodin, of course, who's always ready to give her a helping hand.