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 Our experience at Karlovo hospital

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Charliechech
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PostSubject: Our experience at Karlovo hospital   Sat Nov 27, 2010 9:18 am

Well, what an experience I didn’t ever want to have!!!

About 2 weeks earlier, Gabbi had a cold, like me and Chech, doc said her tonsils were red, but her chest was clear when he listened, had medication, had 6 days off nursery and went back, no problems at all.

Last Friday, at 4am, Gabbi woke up screaming, shouting hug mamo, but then pushing me away, running round the house, it was awful. Eventually I calmed her down, she was red hot! Stripped her down and took her temp, it was 39.4. Her temp went down slowly, but kept her in my bed so I could keep an eye on her. She was still very hot in the morning, but was a little better in herself, but took her to her doctor in the village to have her checked over. By the time I got there, she was hot again and very clingy, but not chatty at all, knew there was something wrong. Doc said to take her to the paediatrician in Karlovo (which we have been to before) and off we went.

It’s a fairly new medical centre, gave them our document from the doc and told to sit. Another nurse came down after a few minutes, asked about Gabbi and went straight to work. Sat us next to the office and took temp. Well I have never seen people move so fast, her temp was 39.9, they took us straight in, one doctor, Dimitrova and 3 nurses buzzing around Gabbi. Stripped her off. Sent me for something from pharmacy which helps to cool the body down.

Dimitrova spoke pretty good English (I had no chance of listening and understanding Bulgarian as my head was elsewhere!!!!). She said Gabbi was very ill, with what she thinks might be pneumonia, but although her chest is clear, she wanted to do an x-ray. She said once we got to the hospital and ran a few tests, she would then decide if Gabbi needed to be in hospital. I rang Tanya, our Bulgarian teacher to make sure I was understanding everything ok. She told me that if it was up to her, she would go home as the hospital is horrible and full of gypsys! I didn’t care, if Gabbi had to go in then she had to go in!!

So one nurse carried Gabbi whilst I walked with my head spinning!!! Hospital is next door to the medical centre and not the nicest of places!!
(Now I have been to the hospital before, when I was pregnant, for my monthly check ups, yes the place is awful but the care I received was fabulous!!)
So went into the children’s ward, in to the treatment room and they started monitoring Gabbi.
It took a while, so rang Chech as he is in the UK at the moment. He spoke with a nurse who basically told him nothing!! They don’t know this and they don’t know that!

Eventually, Dr Dimitrova came back and said she wanted to give Gabbi her x-ray and off we went. X-ray done, back to the room. The doctor came back and said that although Gabbi’s chest sounded clear, the x-ray showed that she had bronchial pneumonia and she wants her to stay in the hospital if I was ok with that!! I said, er, YES, get my little girl better!

So rang our friend Kosta who speaks a little English to see if his girlfriend Miroslava would sit with Gabbi whilst I nipped home to grab some stuff. Gabbi adores Mi Mi so I knew I could leave Gabbi in good hands. So we were shown to the room where we would stay and there were 2 other kids with pneumonia there, the were Roma. I have no problem with them at all and to be honest, they were very helpful and considerate and even gave Gabbi a few biscuits. They hooked Gabbi up to a drip and she lay there, just staring at the 2 other children, then back to me, she hadn’t spoken in quite a while, except for tears when they put the IV in.

Mi Mi arrived after about ½ hour, until now, I had held myself together quite well, although I was torn up inside I can tell you! Mi Mi took one look at Gabbi and I could see her eyes welling up, I told her to stop, with a nervous laugh because if she broke down, I would too and I had to keep it together for Gabbi. Mi Mi went outside, took deep breathes and came back in. MiMi doesn’t’ speak English but we communicate pretty well.

Gabbi was doing ok when I got back. She was sleeping. MiMi had brought me some food and I had grabbed some from local shop too. MiMi, stayed with me until about 8pm that night, she was amazing! The room was small and stuffy, but did have double glazed windows so no drafts and we did have a terrace. I slept in the same squeaky bed as Gabbi, slept quite well as did Gabs. It was a shared bathroom with the room next door – shower, sink and toilet plus a sink area which was communal at all times. Boy did it smell!!!!!!!

Next morning, the Doc did her rounds and told me that I would be moved to another room as these 2 ladies were going home. She said Gabbi would be staying for at least 4 days and would have blood and urine tests that morning. Managed urine sample then off to blood taking. Doc took us straight in, Gabbi did pretty well, then went to move rooms.

The next room was much bigger, 2 children who were 10 years old were there with their mothers, lovely people. Tsveti and Ivan were also class mates. Ivan had the same as Gabbi and Tsveti had pneumonia. She had been there 4 days and Ivan 3. One of the mothers had brought a TV which was a nice bit of luxury. The kids adored Gabbi and she them. Gabbi had won over nurses, and the 2 doctors that were treating her, also one of the cleaning ladys adored her.

By this day, day 2, Gabbi was pretty good, bouncing on beds and into everything. MiMi came at 10am and again stayed until 8pm! The blood test results were not great, so we knew we had a few more days to go. She was put on a glucose drip during the day and also had a ventolin breathing treatment too. MiMi told me she would go back on the drip at 7pm. 7pm came and went so I presumed she wasn’t having any that night. 8.15pm, a miserable nurse came in (didn’t like her at all!) and put Gabbi on the drip. It didn’t work properly and told me to bend Gabbis hand down and press her wrist. Yeah, Gabbi really liked that, plus she was tired by this time as it was her bedtime and being ill also didn’t help! For 20 minutes I was trying to get the damn drip to work, even the other mothers were trying to help me! Another doc came in, told me I was doing it wrong and luckily, the mothers jumped in and told her it wasn’t me. I had to hold Gabbi hand flat and it worked great. BUT, she went passed the level we all thought she was having and miserable nurse didn’t come back in until 9.20pm!!!!!!! Then the nightmare began. I have never, in the 2 years we have had Gabbi, seen her hyper like she was that night!!! It was awful!!!!!!! She was kicking, screaming, hitting me, jumping, you name it. I tried to take her for a walk along the corridor but was told by miserable nurse it was not allowed and had to take her on our terrace …. Yeah right, it was bloody freezing outside!!!! She finally fell asleep about 10.30pm. BUT the next morning she was the same. MiMi came at 10am and was shocked by Gabbi’s bahaviour. She mentioned to yet another doctor (also didn’t like her) who said it had nothing to do with the glucose!!!!

So Sunday came and went, pretty much the same, Gabbi’s temp was not dropping below 38.5, Gabbi getting increasingly frustrated at not being allowed to go anywhere and MiMi staying with Gabbi whilst she slept so I could pop home. Gabbi had more medication and ventolin treatment and she was now holding the mask!

Monday, Sveti could go home!!! So happy for her, in total, she was there for 6 days. Ivan would probably be the day after and possibly Gabbi too!!! A little boy joined us in our room, 2 years old with again, the same as Gabbi and Ivan. They all played really well together and Ivans mum told me that, either (as not sure of Bulgarian) Ivan wanted Gabbi as a sister, he now wants a sister or Gabbi is like his sister!!!! Bless, he thought she was great. MiMi yet again came round for the afternoon, I told her to have a day off and she said NO!!!! MiMi told me that Tuesday, Gabbi would have blood and urine tests again and if all was ok and her temp was ok, she can go home. Monday was the same as usual. And then came Tuesday!

A nurse brought round the slips for the blood tests, I had already got the urine sample but …… no slip for us!!! Ivans mum asked where it was and she said not today!!!!!!! AHHHH. I know Gabbi had to be there but oh boy, did we want to go home! Doc came and I said I had urine sample. So they took it anyway. She said it would be Wednesday as her temp was still high! Ok, no problem, after the initial disappointment, I snapped out of it and thought positive thoughts. Ivan could go home!!!!! He gave Gabbi the biggest hug, as did his mum, his mum packed so quickly, so funny! New boy, 7 years old, again, same as Gabbi. But, oh his mother, poker face, so serious, kept looking disgusted at Gabbi and the other 2 year old running round the room! Her son was once 2 also!!!!!! She did ease up a little, interacted a bit more, but very very serious lady. MiMi had been at Uni this day so came round at 5pm so I could nip home. She stayed until 8pm. During this time, Dr Marinova came round, she was the big pediatrician in Karlovo, you had a problem, you go to her!!!!! She said Gabbi could go home tomorrow!!

WEDNESDAY!!!!!!!! This was it!!!!!! Dr Dimitrova sent us for blood test, came back, another ventolin treatment and then …. we wait!!!!!!! From 9am, we wait, we wait, we wait, we wait …… finally at 1pm, the news we were waiting for. HOME TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Kosta came round to chat with the doctor to make sure I knew all the details, given prescription and I too packed so fast!!!! Didn’t want to do it earlier as didn’t want to tempt fate!!!

Although the hospital is not the best, run down, in need of so many things, in fact like so many hospitals around the country, the level of service was fantastic!!! Great doctors (except one miserable one!), great nurses (except one miserable one!!) and other staff members, very kind, considerate, professional, I hope I never have to go again, but if it’s needed, I know we can do it and we are in good hands. We have a check up 3 or 4 days so will be taking some goodies round to both the medical centre and the hospital, a little way to say thank you to all the people that helped me and my Gabbi.

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scott
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PostSubject: Re: Our experience at Karlovo hospital   Sat Nov 27, 2010 10:36 am

Hi Charlie first of all I'm pleased to hear that Gabbi is recovering well, when I started reading this I thought "
OMG"
but then as I moved on I could see it was all coming together apart from the odd problem which we all know comes with Bulgarian hospitals etc, I know that if you were in the UK you more than likely wouldn't haver tolerated very much of the way you and Gabbi were treated but all in all it does seem as though this was quite a good experience for you and particularly Gabbi, I sometimes think that a lot of these problem we come across are nothing more than a cultural shock and what you are use to!! which as you know Bulgaria in many ways has a long way to go. I do hope Gabbi continues in the way she is and makes a full recovery and back to her normal self and have you running round like a headless chicken
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Charliechech
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PostSubject: Re: Our experience at Karlovo hospital   Sat Nov 27, 2010 11:10 am

Hi

To be honest, only 1 doc and 1 nurse were funny buggers, the rest were really good, just the facilities, the state of the place, (although bins are emptied twice/3 times a day, floors cleaned and mopped twice a day), I know it could have been much worse though, having read other peoples experiences. Thankfully, we only dealt with miserable staff on one occasion! Phew!

My Bulgarian teacher spoke with the doc at one point and teach told me that I shouldn't stay as the hospital is full of gypsys! Well yeah, there were a fair few, but at the end of the day, their children need help just as much as anyone else. The 2 I shared a room with on the first night were very pleasant and helpful, in fact one never stopped cleaning!!!!!!

Gabbi is on the mend thank you, her temp is still up and down, not high, it keeps going the other way! She takes her meds really well and she has a check up on Monday. The young girl who was in the same room as Gabbi, is now my friend on Facebook which I am really chuffed about, she and her mum are lovely and she's making a good recovery too. So got to buy some choccies on Monday to give to the nurses and doctors that helped us as they really do make the most of what they've got and do a great job.

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mike&tanya
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PostSubject: Re: Our experience at Karlovo hospital   Sat Nov 27, 2010 3:27 pm

Hi Charliechech I am happy to hear that your daughter is getting better and the care she received was good.
In the summer we had to take my wifes father into Karlova Hospital with a mild stroke. As you say the place is a bit grubby but the care and attention that he got was fine.
He did not want us to leave him in there as he has never been ill before and thought that hospitals were somewhere that you went into to die, but actually he enjoyed his time in there and also got on very well with his room mates.
As for fearing the roma, I have had no problems with any that I have meet, and in fact we have one guy in the village that does a lot of our building work who treats me like an old friend, and to be honest i treat him the same way. In fact there are a lot of Roma in the village and they are fine.

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PostSubject: Re: Our experience at Karlovo hospital   Sat Nov 27, 2010 3:53 pm



Hi Charlie

So very glad Gabbie is much better, such as shame you had to go through all that but thankfully she is on the mend again.

Every time we go to Bulgaria we visit people in the hospitals bring them food and clothes etc. They do not get food at the hospitals in BG their family or friends have to bring food daily. The have to pay 5lev for the bed and of course any medication has to be paid for. The hospital is not what I would call warm, people have to stay in the bed to keep warm, nothing for them to do if they want the tv on they have to pay 3lev for 24 hour. We never see the nurses helping the patients, usually if they need to get up they struggle themselves, no bell for them to ring for assistance.

We were due to move to BG 2 years ago but one month before the move Dougie had a heart attack and had to have a double bypass. He is now on 19 pills a day, can you imagine what that would have been like if it happened in BG - We are so very lucky - then 3 days after his surgery I was rushed to hospital myself and was there for 8 days talk about a stroke of bad luck I am sure there are plenty of good doctors in BG but the standards and conditions of the hospitals are just dreadful and really need to be updated.

So very glad all is well with Gabbi. Take care

Oddy s

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PostSubject: Re: Our experience at Karlovo hospital   Sat Nov 27, 2010 4:22 pm

OMG how I understand just what you went through. I hope Gabbi is getting better.


When my eldest was 3 she had a very high temp and could not breath. As it turned out it was called Epi glotitus, swelling of the epiglottis the little dangly bit in the throat. After it was all finished with and after they had inserted a tracky in her throat (small tube) the surgeon said to me "
Another half an hour and it would not have been worth doing"
. Basically she was choking to death.

We also found out that she was at that time the only survivor of this infection in the UK. Even had an article from our GP published in the Lancet.

We wish you all the best and hope that Gabbi makes a speedy recovery. Funny thing is that they (children ) make marvellous recoveries and us the parents are left with the worry.

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Charliechech
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PostSubject: Re: Our experience at Karlovo hospital   Sat Nov 27, 2010 6:19 pm

Thanks everyone

Well Gabbi's temp dropped to 33.4 2 nights ago, but the weird thing is that she was quite warm! Last night different temp under each arm!! I have been told that as long as she is warm and not got shivers, then she will do fine. I personally think that it's just her body recovering and that her normal temp (which in hindsight, wish I'd known!!!) is below what they call average, as mine, my sisters and my 2 nieces all are too! Tony, they do bounce back!!! I'm still getting over the stress of it all!!!

Hi Mike, absolutely agree with you about Roma. We have a couple of lads that have done work for us, working Roma, they have a good rep in our village. It was the same when Gabbi started nursery, I was told there was a lot of Roma children at the nursery. Well, I'd say about 20% are, but again, I really do see the problem!! Great to hear your father in law had a better experience that first thought. I don't ever wnat to go there again, but at least I know what to expect now and is not as bad as I imagined.

For Gabbi, there was no fee. She got food each day, but she didn't have hardly any of it! Because she is only 2, she mainly got soup and bread (the bread she would eat) and mornings was, well, what I thought was bread and yoghurt mixed but was actually feta! Now Gabbi would eat half of this but wouldn't touch the soup. I tried both and the soup would be my choice!! I took my own food in, there was no canteen that I found, but was easier to grab some bits at the supermarket and have a picnic!

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PostSubject: Re: Our experience at Karlovo hospital   Sat Nov 27, 2010 7:33 pm

What a lovely insight to this hospital and your daughters illness I would have been besides myself and more than likely on the first plain to the UK but having now read this you have given me more hope and respect for the health care in Bulgaria, thank you so much for sharing this and I look forward to you telling us that your daughter Gabbi is driving you round the bend as all toddlers do T
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PostSubject: Re: Our experience at Karlovo hospital   Sun Nov 28, 2010 7:17 pm

This actually is a very heart warming story and yet in other ways it kind of make me feel angry because of the way you were treated to start with I know it all turned out well eventually but with a child no one should ever take any risks in the medical profession but I see Gabbi is on the mend and hopefully so are you
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PostSubject: Re: Our experience at Karlovo hospital   Sun Nov 28, 2010 8:48 pm

It is a shame that out of all the doctors and nurses that helped Gabbi, just 2 can make it much harder. I understand why we couldn't walk down the corridor at night, as not wanting to disturb others (quite a few babies were in rooms on the ward), but Gabbi's only 2 herself and it was so hard trying to settle her. And the other doc, saw her that once for 2 minutes and she was gone!! Phew.

Check up tomorrow, so going buying choccies for the nurses at the hospital (hope the horrible one isn't there), but more so for the nurses at the medical centre who were just stars. Very understanding, helpful and wonderful, they acted so quickly!!

So fingers crossed, they say all is good with Gabbi. Her temp is 35.2 tonight, best temp yet, so I would say she is well on her way to recovery :) s s s s s s s s s

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PostSubject: Re: Our experience at Karlovo hospital   Sun Nov 28, 2010 8:57 pm



Tony

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PostSubject: Re: Our experience at Karlovo hospital   Sun Dec 05, 2010 12:24 pm

Hi just wondered how Gabbi is now ? is she running round yet g
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PostSubject: Re: Our experience at Karlovo hospital   Sun Dec 05, 2010 1:03 pm

In the last post she semed to be recovering well so I would hope she is now back to her normal self and driving her Mum crazy
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PostSubject: Re: Our experience at Karlovo hospital   Sun Dec 05, 2010 4:53 pm

Ha ha, yes she is driving me crazy!!! In the best possible way though :)

She is going back to nursery tomorrow, then off the get my dad from the airport and collect her on the way back. Then on Tuesday, back to the airport to collect Chech as he's coming back from the UK after a month, Gabbi has missed him bless her. She even hugged the screen the other night when speaking on Skype!!

Thank you for your concern, yes, she's doing fabulous!!!

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PostSubject: Re: Our experience at Karlovo hospital   Fri Dec 10, 2010 8:42 pm

Now she's out of the woods wish her a happy Christamas from us all and you too :Xmas4: :Xmas3:
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