Okay okay, don't freak out. No one's dying over here. But this week, we had our first official medical issue in Russia. And I gotta say, it was a little disconcerting. Yes, we're all healthy and medically cleared for world-wide deployment, but that doesn't mean accidents can't happen or things can't change. Not to mention conditions in most posts simply aren't up to American standards. So here's what happened...
About a week ago, I noticed what I thought was a spider bite on Jack's back. I'm still not sure what it was, but as the week went on, a few more bumps started to crop up in his diaper area. I thought it was just his sensitive skin reacting to something, but they continued to appear. And when they started to show up on his back and under his arms, I knew something wasn't right. My first thought was, he has impetigo again (the staph infection he got on his face a couple of months ago). And of course, I packed his antibiotic ointment in our HHE, which still hasn't arrived. So we called the management officer, who told us to call the on-staff Russian doctor. He came by yesterday afternoon to look at Jack, but being a surgeon, he wasn't really sure what it was. Then he mentioned a Russian disease that can be "quite serious," and I really started to freak out. Seriously, I was on the verge of tears, berating myself for bringing Jack to a foreign country with poor medical care, when John looked it up on Google translate.
Well, I was pretty darn sure it wasn't chickenpox, but I had to admit that I had perhaps overreacted a little.
Today John took Jack to the private clinic here in town, where they have a pediatrician on staff (who I'd already heard was good from another parent here). It turns out Jack DOES have a staph infection, possibly caused by the water here. That's the disconcerting part. We already knew we couldn't drink the water here. We have a permanent distiller for that. But for showering, bathing, laundry, etc., we use the local water. And last week John informed me that the distiller isn't just for any bacteria or minerals or other yuckiness that might be present. It's also for radioactive particles.
So, um, yeah.
The bottom line is, things could be a lot worse. As far as health concerns go, Yekaterinburg isn't as bad as I'm sure many places are. But it's different, and it can be a challenge. I'm willing to take risks with my own health, but I'll never forgive myself if something happens to Jack. For now, we got him antibiotic ointment for his rash and I'm going to order a filter for the shower. If there's an emergency, we get shipped off to Moscow or London for treatment. But as far as calling the advice nurse at the pediatrician's office or even taking a trip to the emergency room? Not so much. That's one of the sacrifices you make in the FS, I guess. And hopefully one I won't come to regret.