Monday, November 26, 2007

A visit to the hospital

For the first time ever, I have first visited the ICU (Intensive Care Unit), visiting one of my Swedish friends who suffers severe effects from a ruptured appendix two weeks ago.

I was completely shaken afterwards, had to sit in the car in the parking lot and calm down (and I'm not even afraid of hospitals) before I could drive home. It was such a shock to see this extremely athletic and busy woman, hooked up and being so very, very sick.

If you ever feel unexplained lower abdominal pain that just doesn't go away, please see your doctor. And if you feel fine - just enjoy your day - things can happen so quickly and unexpected.

During my only stays in a hospital here, giving birth, I was well prepared, had learned all the words, expressions of labor and delivery and was extremely ready. I felt safe, and I felt I had control. I can't imagine what you go through when you so unexpectedly get sick being an alien - and have to take it all in in a second language. I'm not even sure I would know how to say "sprucken blindtarm" (ruptured appendix) in English.

10 comments:

britgirl said...

I really hope she gets better soon.
I get very anxious in those kind of environments too,so I would have felt similar. Life can be so fragile.

Fia said...

Jag hoppas att hon blir bättre snart och (krasst) att hon har en bra försäkring. Hoppas hon får komma hem och att hon orkar fira jul med de sina.

Annika said...

Usch, usch...ja brusten blindtarm är ju riktigt farligt. Men nu har hon säkert bra vård, och som Fia och alla andra, önskar jag att hon får komma hem snart och att hon ska orka fira jul.
Precis som du säger ska man uppskatta det man har idag. För man vet aldrig.

Desiree said...

Jobbigt. Hoppas din vän mår bättre nu och att allt gick bra. Sin hälsa är något man ofta tar för givet och något man borde vara mer tacksam över. Extra läskigt att vara svårt sjuk då man befinner sig i ett annat land långt hemifrån.

Ally said...

Firstly I'm sorry to hear about your friend. I hope she's feeling better, those kinds of things are so freaky and unexpected.

Yes it's tricky to maneuver medical-speak in your non-native language but I think you have more fluency than you think. I had a medical scare in Sweden once and you find the words you didn't know you had and the staff are usually working very hard to understand you.

Mostly I just wish your friend a speedy recovery!

JaCal said...

Britgirl - me too - I have always felt very safe in hospital surroundings and trust medical staff- but I'm also a control person and would want to KNOW.

Fia - jo... det är ju så... det tickar pengar att ligga på ICU rent krasst. Nu är familj på väg hit för att hjälpa till.

Annika - ja, jag var inte alls medveten om vilka otroligt otäcka komplikationer som kan uppstå. Att man kan blir så sjuk så fort...

Desiree - ja, visst är det så. Och just det där med att bli komplicerat sjuk och förstå vad som händer...

Ally - I guess you're right - and maybe it's more scary "from the outside" - when you're in the middle of it, it might be easier. And it always surprises me that I know so much more English than I think... maybe all those House M.D are paying off...

Thanks all for commenting!

Marie said...

I wish her a speedy recovery so she can be home for christmas!

Mia said...

*kram*

En kram kommer svischande härifrån, både till dig och din vän. Hoppas att hon kryar på sig snart.

JaCal said...

Marie - I sure hope so too!

Mia - jag behöver ingen men tack - men svenska väninnan behöver en hel bunt - hon är fortfarande på ICU...

Katrineholm Review said...

I think I am very fortunate that when speaking with medical staff here in Sweden, English is perfectly fine for describing one's symptoms if one cannot find the Swedish word.

I recall a stay at Karolinska Sjukhuset (Hospital) with a serious infection and I certainly fell back on English for I was totally out of it the first several hours I was there. No problem in their understanding me. My experience even at a smaller hospital, Kullbergska Sjukhuset in Katrineholm, is equally good so far as language is concerned although now my spoken Swedish is better.

If one is stuck on a word and one can convince a doctor or nurse to take you to a computer that's connected to the Web, go here:

http://mesh.kib.ki.se/swemesh/swemesh.cfm

You can medical terms in Swedish and English.