Tales from a Syrian Hospital: Part Three

Jordan & Lebanon 2010 148Suddenly an angel appeared.  Really! Not the Angel Gabriel type, but she might as well have been.  Her name is Lora and she’s with her mum who is in the bed opposite.  Seeing my bemuzed stare as I tried to make out the writing on the list, Lora offered to go to the pharmacy for me.  I had no time to weigh up whether I should give all the money I had in the world  to a complete stranger, she was it!

After what seemed like a day, Lora came back clutching a small paper bag.  After throwing myself into her arms with relief and gratitude I took a quick peak inside the bag to see what was so urgently needed: Needles, syringes, small bottles of medication (for the syringes I guess), sticking tape, a couple of crape bandages and some drainage tubing. The sort of things one might expect a hospital to have to hand during an operation.

However, I had no time to lament Syria’s Stone Age healthcare system because Suzan’s doctor charged back into the ward with hand outstretched.  He didn’t even look embarrassed as he took the bag from me with a nod.  I guess it’s all in a days work for him.  Make do with what’s to hand and hope for the best.

When I looked over to where my rescuing angel was sitting (perched on the end of her mother’s bed, of course) she was smiling knowing at me.  If ever there was an ideal image for a foreinger abroad, I must have been it. To her it was probably all part of the service. Here, in this community of patients and visitors everyone muddles in together, helping each other out in the most basic of human dilemmas, no questions asked and nothing required in return.

Lora tells me she had to do something similar during her mum’s op yesterday, but she, clever girl, brought her sister along to keep watch over the bed.   Yep, it certainly pays to have inside knowledge.  You’d think I’d have learned by now.

They have just brought Suzan out of theatre.  Thankfully she didn’t have to walk back to the ward.  Barely conscious, she was wheeled in by her ever present doctor… and Omar!  Was he in the theatre all this time, I wonder?

The doctor, who has now become both porter and post-operative nurse, has just given me a run down on Suzan’s care plan. It’s really quite simple actually: She can sleep for four hours and then I have to get her up and start walking her about.  Tomorrow she can go home.  Right.

And his parting shot as he shook my hand? “She is fortunate that she is in such good health.”  Well that much I knew. I’m not sure about the walking her about in four hours time though.  Even if I could get her off this bed, I doubt she would stay vertical long enough to take single step forward.

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