I sneaked my point & shoot into the hospital I just visited for a consultation. This is the corridor outside the traumatologist's office. The gurneys in the rear look like chain link fencing on wheels with a thin, 1/4" pad on them as a mattress. By western standards, the place is filthy & most of the people are rude. Couldn't get a shot off in the reception area which looks more like a prison than a hospital. Built in 1763 by decree of Catherine the Great as a hospital for the poor, this isn't nearly as bad as most hospitals in Russia.
I'd have avoided it like the plague except that one of the only hand specialists in the entire country is here. For 3 months I've had a problem with my thumb & since we returned from our holidays it suddenly locked in position. I'd been to every specialist imaginable most of whom diagnosed it as arthritis (though all my other fingers are fine). When I asked the orthopedist if would always be this way he answered, "God knows". Finally, one of my doctors ordered an x-ray. The x-ray technician looked at my thumb (before taking the x-ray) and said, "It's arthritis - what, you don't understand/can't accept that you're an old lady & that's just how life is!"
To set the record straight - yes, I am over 50, but I didn't quite think I was ready for the graveyard yet. I was so outraged that I went to the head of the clinic who, to make a long story short, gave me a referral to this hospital.
Thankfully, the doctor I saw was nice & knowledgeable. She could only smile sardonically when told of the arthritis diagnosis. Seems there are tears in the tendon that enable the thumb to move. I need to have an ultra-sound next week to confirm (this lovely facility doesn't have one), but because nothing was done 3 months ago when the problem appeared, I'm told there's a 99.9% chance I'll need surgery. No details about that thus far.
Nothing special about this photo - just a slice of Russian reality. Thanks for letting me sound off. (Feb. 3, 2011)
2.28.2011 Update: So far I'm in a cast. Another ultrasound next week should tell whether or not I need surgery.
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