Low point

Today is my son’s 26th Birthday…Congratulations son, I am truly proud to know you!
But I am in Skopje, using a strange hotel computer and can’t upload pictures because the diligent Dr. Darko wouldn’t let me go home tonight…but let me backup a bit. I’ve been sick for 12 days, and just started on antibiotics 3 days ago–Not Dr.Darko’s fault we both thought I was getting better, but when Monday came around and I went home exhausted after 3 hours, I thought it best to call him again. Tuesday night I let my cat out. He usually comes running back in within an hour and we settle down for a cozy evening…but not Tuesday night. At 11:00 I finally gave up and slept alone. Wednesday morning I woke up around 6:30 and could hear him meowing from somewhere–we were actually calling to each other from my back balcony, but when I went to the front to let him in–silence. And I couldn’t SEE him anywhere around either. I dragged my tired and sick body down to the “Throw the Cross in the River” celebration in the middle of town (food for another blog when I feel better) but only stayed for about an hour and had to sit down and rest twice on the way back. Of course I was calling to Kiko all the way up my street–but hey, I didn’t CARE if they think I’m crazy. Still no cat, so I went inside and lay down, getting up every hour to search different parts of the neighborhood–and I gotta say I went some places that some would consider ‘trespassing’. About 2:00 I found him, dead. He had apparently TRIED to come home as he was in a stairwell that he used to cut across in order to access MY stairs so he didn’t have to go out in the street. There were no visible injuries, just my kitty, trying to get as close to home as he could when he gave out. I put him in a box, but had nowhere to bury him and no shovel to dig with, my neighbors weren’t home, and the shopkeeper across the street kept telling me I’d get a headache if I continued to cry (NO SH…). So Wednesday was spent crying. (And today) At first I suspected he was hit by a car and had internal injuries, but then my language tutor told me (on the phone) that some people here ‘trap’ cats and poison them–they consider them a nuisance. I honestly don’t know how he died, but I’m SO sad to lose my Macedonian companion.
Dr. Darko called later Wednesday afternoon and insisted I come to Skopje for medical evaluation–Ok, it HAS been 12 days (sniff!). So off I went to the bus stop at 7:45 this morning…only to find the buses to Skopje are at 6, 7, and 9:30. So back up the hill I trudged for a quick nap and an e-mail check. At 9:15 I was dutifully headed back to the bus station when I tripped up the curb and did a face-dive into the bridge railing–which if it hadn’t been there, I’d have been 20 feet below in the river. I twisted my bad right knee, skinned both knees, got a huge goose egg on my forehead, wrenched my neck from the force, and somehow managed to hurt my shoulder in the process. Cars along the bridge braked to a halt and drivers were leaning over me, shouting in Macedonian and pulling on my injured shoulder insisting I get up. Now I don’t consider myself a wimp when it comes to pain, but everybody deserves a few seconds to test the parts and see if they still work. And let me just say, that laying on my back, looking up at the Macedonian sky, in full view of the public, sick, weak, hurt, and not understanding what they were shouting at me, was truly a low point in my service experience.
That said, the medical care I received when I finally got to Skopje has been on a par with the best I’ve experienced. After examining me and hearing my tale of tripping, it was off the the hospital. Dr. Darko took amazing care of me and stayed by my side walking me from department to department, making sure I understood everything, and debating whether to check me in to the hospital or a hotel. The CAT scan of my head showed no internal or bone injuries, (yes, for those of you that are wondering, they DID find a brain in there!) The chest films showed no pneumonia, and the decision was made for a hotel. The blood work isn’t back yet, and an orthopedic surgeon will look at my knee tomorrow. So here I sit in a hotel, with no change of clothes or hairbrush. The PC driver did stop at a supermarket and I bought a toothbrush and toothpaste, some oranges, cashews, water, etc–and it’s a good thing I did because the hotel (25 rooms, but clean) doesn’t have any restaurant service after 3 pm. And I’m NOT walking anywhere else on this knee tonight.
And so dear readers, I thank you in advance for your thoughts and prayers, your well-wishes, and even your laughter at my clumsiness. But suffice it to say that 12 days of illness, my kitty dying, and an ignoble and dangerous fall is truly the low point of my experience over here–so far! Nobody said this was gonna be easy!

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16 responses to “Low point

  1. You have a lot of friends who would like to hug you right now. I’m so sorry Linda – hope the knee is just twisted and the cold will go away soon. Feel better!

  2. My heart goes out to you, your post made me so sad I almost cried. You are truly a better woman than me, after all you have experienced I would have give up and said “Send me Home!” Hope you feel better soon.

  3. Rick and Jan Hamme

    Lyn,

    Jan and I are so sorry today didn’t get any better! We so love and appreciate you and have and will continue to lift you up until we otherwise how you are doing. Pray that you are able to feel His presence, love and our love across the miles!

  4. Seriously, you could sell this tale to the Lifetime Channel (aka the Suffering Women channel among my brothers). Buck up and get yourself a nice goldfish. Let us know what says the doctor, you don’t want to mess around with respiratory conditions.

    I love you girlfriend.
    P

  5. Linda, what can I say? I laughed, I cried….. if you need a ghost writer for your story – I’m your girl. Love you.

  6. This will probably be the story you will be requested to tell over and over again to the grandchildren, and by then with the perspective of time will even be slightly humorous to you. But NOW, its no fun at all and I sympathise with you for your suffering. Losing your kitty probably hurts worse than the goose egg on your forehead. My thoughts and prayers are with you!

  7. GOOD NEWS is they found your brain. For those of us who wouldn’t do what you’re doing, we were wondering…..

  8. Hang in there girlfriend. I am praying for you. Let us know what the doctor says. And I am with Peggy on this, get a nice goldfish or maybe an iguana.

  9. Hey sweetie! Hope you are feeling better, and have an ‘ all clear’ from the orthopod. Sorry about kitty.

    I’d have to score your performance on the bridge a 9.7. Pretty spectacular. Thank goodness you didn’t add diving into the river to your routine. You are truly amazing ,woman. Love, PB

  10. Thank you all for your words of encouragement and support!!! You don’t know how much it meant to me to read these responses…and laugh a little. Love you all and feel like I’m very blessed in the friendship department !!

  11. carol schartner

    Dear Linda,
    You poor thing. I wish I were near to give you a hug and help you to recover. You know I am and”expert” on Knees!!! I so enjoy all of your messages and as one of your friends said, “you could write a book”. Hang in there and know that my thoughts a paryers are with you as I leave for another TOI Academy in the morning.
    Love, Carol S.

  12. Linda Winnie Towne

    Oh man Eg – I just sent an e-mail before reading this blog……so sorry for all your suffering…….whine, whine, it’s OK, then wine, wine, LOL and then think of our misadventures at West Chester (Roberta Flack concert on the wrong date, flat tire on 202, silver dress story….) and laugh and laugh and laugh. Hang in there girlfriend! This too shall pass! Love you Eg, Win

  13. Mom,
    I’m so sorry I didn’t get to talk to you on my birthday and I am so sorry about all the crazy things that have happened to you. I love you and I’m praying for you. I hope we can chat soon.

    Love you,
    Chris

  14. Hang in there!! When it rains it pours but the sun will shine. We are at Acadmey and i am thinking of you.. I am so sorry for your cat but I am happy that the found the brain.. Love you!! Lis

  15. Love and hugs! I pray u get all fixed up and can return. I know what a blessing u must be to the people of Macedonia.

  16. OMG LInda! What can I sayy–I laughed, cried and just can’t believe the luck! OMG–by now–I would have just said–It’s been real–send me home! Praying for you to get better soon!!!

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