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Monday Update: 03/03/08

The first day of treatments…went a little something like this:

6:25 – The nurse came in for her usual blood pressure and temperature check.
7:10 – Breakfast.
7:55 – We had our first visit with one of Matt’s doctors. We briefly went over the medical records and notes I had submitted and talked through some of Matt’s issues.
8:08 – Dr. Lee stopped by with several nurses and doctors – there must have been 8-9 people standing around.
8:30 – 3 nurses stopped by to clean the room…along with 2 housekeepers mopping the floor while the doctor came in and told Matt to lay down on the bed to prepare for the upcoming treatments.
8:55 – The nurse stopped in with this mysterious air purifier device, which she plugs in and runs for 20 minutes. We haven’t figured out why they do this…but we’re just going with the flow.
9:15 – The hoard of doctors and nurses came in to evaluate and do the first acupuncture treatment. Dr. Han, the President of the hospital had Matt do various things like lifting arms, feet, wiggling toes etc. There were at least 10 other people standing by watching and discussing. Dr. Han started placing needles, and then 2 other doctors placed several needles while the rest looked on. There were a few needles that Dr. Han placed and wiggled, then pulled out and in a few times which really felt strange to Matt. He said it felt like 120 volts of electricity shot through his leg to his toes and it made his leg move.
They left 23 needles in and hooked up an electrical machine which pulsed a current of electricity through the needles in his head. He laid with these needles in for 20 minutes. He said he almost got silly again with all the doctors hovering around and talking in Chinese.
11:35 – Lunch. The food here hasn’t been too bad, but it has been a little odd. I think maybe they’ve put together a special menu for us Americans to be more ‘Americanized’…but I’m not sure. Today Matt got an ‘all meat pizza’…as you can see there is more than just meat on there…yes, that is a pea. I had the chef salad…not terrible, but the ham tastes a little off to me. Also, I believe they serve whole milk, which I drank the first morning…but today relished my Coca-Cola Light. They do have skim on the menu, I’ll have to try that next time. Last night we ate cold pork chops (which had been sitting in the room since lunch) with green beans. My mistake when filling out the menu. I also made our ‘food lady’ a little perturbed by letting them take our silverware back when they cleared the dishes from supper last night. Apparently, we are supposed to keep our silverware in the room…always…forever. Some of my germ-a-phob friends (you know who you are) would find this unacceptable. Thankfully the water cooler in the room has hot water so I can at least soak them in hot water…because of course everyone keeps telling me not to drink the water from the tap. It seems pretty odd to us…but again, we’re trying to go with the flow.
2:15 – Another doctor came to perform the cupping treatment on Matt’s right side. This is supposed to help increase blood circulation. Unfortunately, Matt’s hairy leg and arm made it hard for the cups to stay put. Tonight we have to do some shaving to help this work better tomorrow. Matt’s really excited about that!
3:05 – 3 doctors returned for Matt’s afternoon acupuncture treatment. This was done sitting up. They put 13 needles on his right arm and shoulder, and 28 on his head and face. Once again, they hooked up the electric current to needles in his head which stayed on for 20 minutes.
3:40 – One of Matt’s nurses, a very friendly girl who speaks very good English came in to do the herbal soak – jinshee, I think she called it. This is also good for blood circulation and sensation. She soaked his right arm and leg for about 20 minutes.
4:50 – Dr. Lee stopped in again to see how Matt was feeling and to wish us a happy evening. Really, they are so friendly here.
5:15 – Supper. And after supper Matt gets treated to some sort of ‘medicine’ for his stroke. It’s a thick brown liquid…looks pretty nasty, and he gets to drink half tonight, and half tomorrow…but I think he might have to do it every day going forward. I’m not sure.

Now we’re just hanging out, watching TV and relaxing after the long day. I didn’t get out to get any money today, and was a little disappointed that there wasn’t anyone around to help us get our Chinese money. So tomorrow I plan to go to the bank over lunch. One of the China Connection workers drew me a map to where it is, so I will check that out and stock up on the other missing essentials like soap and paper towels.

A couple other things to mention – we can’t view the blog from here for some reason. I can post to it, but can’t view it. So if you write any comments, Matt won’t be able to view them. It’s better to e-mail him directly at mekarwoski@msn.com
Thankfully his regular e-mail is working perfectly and he would love to hear from any of you.

Matt and I are doing well – adjusting to this new environment the best we can. The doctors and nurses are very friendly, but it just feels weird to be here. We’ve also been talking about how Matt will do things when I am gone. As much as we really don’t want to, we may have to hire one of China Connection’s helpers to come and be with Matt to assist him with things like using the bathroom. Even though he could possibly manage it, there is still the risk that he could fall, and we’d hate for that to happen. We’re going to speak to someone about that tomorrow. Both of us agree that he just needs to do whatever it takes to make the most of this opportunity. As hard as it might be to depend on someone else, who isn’t me, it will likely provide him the best environment to heal and do well.

We also put a little before treatment video out on You Tube. You can try this link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPh6bMwKkHg
If that doesn't work, you can search on Treatment in China and it should come up.

We'll try and do some other videos this week.

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