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And He [the LORD] said, "My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest." Then he [Moses] said to Him, "If Your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from here. - Exodus 33:14-15
 

After the hard month of November, we somehow thought that December would be a little easier. We were looking forward to our first Ukrainian Christmas and also to having Tomasz’s parents visit us for the first time since we got married in 2005. Little did we know that we would get to experience something we had always said we would never do...

Yes, we got to spend a week in a Ukrainian hospital! In the past, we always said that if we ever needed to go to a hospital, we would go to Poland or another EU country. But it all happened so fast that there was nothing else we could do. One morning Miriam started having severe abdominal pain and when we went to a private clinic to see what was wrong, they said we had to go to a hospital immediately. They told us which one to go to, so we did. We really did not know what else to do. Most of the doctors and nurses were nice and friendly even though they had to work in really hard conditions. They worked long hours, there was no hot water anywhere in the hospital, there was no water at all during the night, some days water was off even during the day, there was no ultrasound at the gynecology ward etc etc… You had to buy your own medication, syringes, needles and everything else. Your doctor told you what to get, you got it and brought it back and then they gave it to you. The good thing was that we were both able to stay there. We had a small private room where Tomasz could sleep on the floor. That made it a whole lot easier on Miriam. It was comforting to her to know that she did not have to be there alone. Otherwise the whole experience was pretty scary.

But this week-long hospital stay also provided us with a lot of good language practice. There are situations when you definitely try hard to make yourself understood! :-) If you would like to see more pictures from this "adventure" of ours, you can go to  http://www.chmiels.com/gallery/hospital.