Sergey Mitrofanov, a regular contributor to Novye Izvestia, has experienced several very unpleasant situations this year, directly related to the coronavirus pandemic, and out of professional journalistic habit, he recorded these events and his attitude towards them in his publication. Considering the most difficult epidemic situation in which Russia finds itself today, the experience of our author may be useful to readers.
To be honest, I never really believed in covid, for which one day I received a shock from a former TV presenter from St. Petersburg living in Germany, my friend. Rather, he believed that he exists, but only in a series of other diseases that I had all had. Moreover, the first meeting with the covid only convinced me even more of my invulnerability.
Here is how it was. Winter. Suddenly, his wife became strangely ill. In a matter of weeks, she lost her strength so much that she could no longer walk to the kitchen on her own. It ended with hospitalization in hospital 64, which, in connection with the pandemic, was, as it were, in a state of siege. No one was allowed to see the patients and forced relatives to stand in a coughing and sneezing line at the checkpoint in order to leave the transmission. There, however, her hemoglobin and iron were raised, and although she was still unable to walk with her feet, she was discharged with an epicrisis "significant improvements were achieved".
While they were being treated, various measurements were taken all the time.
In hospitals, measurements and protocols are generally adored. On one of these measurements, my wife had to be transported in the cold to another building. Naturally, they caught a cold on the way. They began to treat in the "red" building for infectious patients. On one test, they put covid there, on the other - it seems not. So they wrote out of harm's way for the next weekend.
Since “covid” blinked red in the general computer system, the next day a doctor in a spacesuit came to us, he left the medication (which touched me, I am always touched when I receive something that I do not count on), then another tired doctor came to draw blood. This doctor also had arthritis and had to help him get out of his chair and walk to the elevator.
However, after a few days my wife's temperature rose and her oxygen saturation dropped dramatically. Through the regional dispatch center with operating CT equipment, we were sent to the famous Kommunarka.
Kommunarka appeared before me as a set of rapidly deployed lunar modules. According to the stories of his wife (later), it was also strange inside. She remembers the hall through the ceiling of which the stars shone. The nurses transported the patients with great speed on beds with wheels, and they themselves stood like on the footrest, pushing off the floor with their feet. She remembers a nurse with an earring in his ear and a pirate's headband. Although, perhaps, the factor of high temperature played here.
In a week, the problem was sort of solved and we were sent home again. They let me into the zone with the car, but there was no one to take the patient to the car, and there was no cart itself.
From what I have experienced, I drew the following conclusions.
First. In Moscow, the medical system as a whole has adequately responded to the challenge of the pandemic. She really overwhelmed the disease with drugs, living oxygen and CT studies. The protocols followed by doctors in hospitals and in the field were of immense importance.
Second. It is very strange that these protocols had obvious holes.
For example, completely civilized and even without a mask, I opened the door to the "doctors of the space troops" in spacesuits who bypassed me as if I did not exist, although I lived in the same apartment with the covid and had direct contact with the infection. Nobody asked me to take a covid test. Like your difficulties, you want a test - do it on a commercial basis for money.
Third. You can be treated in a hospital only if you are sick, but not very-very sick. If you are immovable, then you will be very bad there. In hospital 64, it was possible for an additional fee (1,500 rubles for a part-time job) to hire a nurse who would bring drinks and help send his natural needs. In Kommunarka hospital, which is sealed even more rigidly, this cannot be done in principle, rely only on the help of more walking comrades in misfortune.
In total, hospitals treat at the very least, but the patients are not looked after or taken care of, and they adore terrible diagnoses, which, fortunately, not all come true. In general, this is Bosch, a hell that no one wants to go through. It took several months to overcome the consequences of this hell.
Fourth. Mayor Sobyanin planted a pig. As I rushed from hospital to hospital, spending meager funds, he announced a lockdown for the elderly and canceled the social pass. A trifle, but unpleasant.
Fifth. Although this may be the “first” or even the “only” one, the hospital, and not the street, still “awarded” us with the covid, which indicates some other defect in the System.
Sixth. The first specific encounter with the covid ended with my confidence in my invulnerability.
Spring was approaching, a catastrophically hot summer and my second encounter with the global virus.
The experience gained also convinced me that I myself am invulnerable to a pandemic, since I had to wander around hospitals, stand in coughing lines at the checkpoints, and even visit the famous Kommunarka, from which, in my impression, covid was supposed to ooze from all the cracks.
However, the mobilization of physical and mental efforts, which I had to undertake in the winter, was not in vain.
And although I am used to all kinds of mobilizations ... This kind of mobilization was the entire journalistic decade in the 90s ... The covid mobilization in 2021, after my already 65, apparently became too much. She burned all the forces available and even climbed into my personal fund of the future. It's as if I took out a loan, which I will have nothing to give back.
Suddenly I felt that I began to choke, my pulse increased, I lost sleep and appetite. The pills, on the advice of friends, at first helped, and then they stopped. Sighing heavily, the district therapist said that irreversible changes had begun and that it would only get worse. Our doctors do not skimp on negative predictions.
In the hot summer of 2021, I had to save myself from arrhythmia attacks by leaving at five in the morning for a forest park to lie on the ground.
It’s not surprising that the matter ended with the fact that in the end I had to call an ambulance and go to the same 64 hospital (its main specialization is cardiovascular diseases), which this time I saw and felt not from the outside, but from the inside.
So, in the hospital, I immediately fell under a certain protocol (medical protocols, in my opinion, are good, they force doctors to act when it is not clear how to act). According to the protocol, at night (when the attack began) I was injected with brown liquid from a huge syringe. It was a diuretic along with a sedative. And the attack ended, and I fell asleep.
In the future, the hospital every day, morning and evening, stuffed me with a cocktail of many pills, which the nurse had cut the day before - there were halves and quarters, you can imagine if I drank them on an outpatient basis and for my own money, it would have resulted in a huge penny ... Post-Soviet hospital SOLVED this problem! Thanks to Sobyanin!
On the other hand, it was not always possible to find out what the cocktail consisted of. The nurses referred to the "attending physician" whom I met only at the very end and only in the corridor, on the move.
And in general, modern doctors do not seek to leave a documentary trace of their treatment. They talk about medicines in a patter, forcing you to perceive the names by ear and clumsily write in a notebook. If something goes wrong, then you will have nothing to show. Obviously, this is a sign of the times.
There was also a problem with medical equipment in a post-Soviet hospital. There were plenty of expensive instruments, oxygen, and CT with an "echo of something". The food was excellent, I think. Much better and more abundant than in Soviet times, and I later decided to adopt some variants of vegetable salads.
But this miracle, I suspect, will not last forever.
A scandalous rise in the price of granulated sugar has just occurred in the country, and the canteen began to shrink with sugar. You can't beg for an extra piece. And what will happen next when the economy goes into its peak? It is also important that through the post-Soviet Sobyanin wealth in the hospital, Soviet poverty continued to shine through.
For example, to open the transom (it was stuffy), you need to have a window handle-opener, and there was only one handle for the compartment and it lay at the reception. Three toilet places for a department of 50 people, where the painters who were painting the walls at the same time with your medical procedures, this, of course, is not enough. In Soviet times, it was believed that bourgeois comfort was not needed for a sick person, and indeed for a Soviet person in general, if it was whim, this inertia was preserved.
The secret weapon of the department (as in the 18th century - "let's bleed her!") Were diuretics. It was believed that most heart problems stem from internal edema, diuretics relieve these problems. But this method also had a small drawback: if you overdo it, you can lower blood pressure so that the patient will fall into a coma. When I asked to finally measure my blood pressure, it turned out that the tonometer was at another post and one had to follow it.
It also turned out that all doctors have different tonometers here - both electric, and those in which pressure must be brought up with a pear, and those in which one must listen with the ear. I wouldn't be surprised if they showed different things. When I measured, the pressure was critical. When they - all hurt!
In two weeks of treatment, the main problem seemed to have been miraculously solved (except that the doctor in the corridor diagnosed me with a fatal illness that had been missed since childhood), but I lost the ability to walk. Whether this was a consequence of the disease itself or of treatment with diuretics, I did not know. After checking out, I found that I could not overcome the space of the courtyard. And then the temperature began to rise.
At first a little, then a little more, and one day, when I woke up, I felt that I could no longer smell. I sprinkled French perfume in my nose - nothing! Water! And I realized: this is a covid, and again from the hospital. This is how my second meeting with the covid happened.
Finally, I fell ill too. And I realized that covid is serious. Moreover, I took the version more seriously that covid is not one thing, but something that approaches the vulnerable parts of the body.
In other words, if I had not been exhausted by the previous treatment, perhaps the infection would not have grabbed me so sharply in the vice. But all together created a threatening atmosphere and had to go to the First Infectious Diseases Hospital in an ambulance rattling with an unsecured bucket.
The “first” greeted me with rather comfortable half-empty wards with their own showers and toilets (a new “wave” of the epidemic had not yet arrived), and outside the window you could notice the cyclopean construction of new buildings under the “covid of the future”, which, however, did not add optimism. For this indicated that "there" they know something that we do not know.
The most curious thing is that I did not feel much anxiety regarding the main covid symptoms. I did not have pneumonia and the usual breathing problems in such cases. But there was some kind of terrible exhaustion, which, however, did not deserve the attention of doctors and did not receive an assessment. Over the course of two weeks, as it turned out later, I lost twenty kilograms, thus becoming a prisoner of Auschwitz.
Treatment in First was even more anonymous than in 64. All the doctors who entered the ward were packed in space suits and it was not possible to identify the "attending physician" among them. The rest said: "Ask the treating person." And in fact, I talked to the "attending physician" only at the very end, when she went on vacation and finally discharged me home.
In general, doctors attacked the ward with raids. Suddenly, in the twilight (if it was early morning or evening), several people rushed in and began distributing cocktails of drugs, giving injections and taking measurements, the results of which they did not report. To complete the chaos, a food cart drove up, and the disgruntled distributor demanded that we sort out our portions faster, for "there are many of you, but I am alone." Our ward was the last in line, and she handed out food, as if she were tearing it away from herself.
Next to me lay a fairly young man who picked up a covid in the village. Realizing that they would not treat him here, and there was no one, he got into the car and drove for several hours to Moscow. And I already knew from my own experience that people with covid have blurred attention, you can easily fly out of the way. To be honest, the image of the covid drivers rushing to Moscow along the high-speed routes confused me a little.
The second and also quite young, but already overweight man coughed all the time, lay naked on top of the blanket and was not able to walk to the toilet on his own. For some reason, he believed that he was in perfect order, and the doctors seemed to support him in this opinion.
I was forced to breathe oxygen and lie on my stomach so that my lungs would not clog. And either the saturation meter finally began to show adequate numbers, or the fact that the "attending physician" went on vacation played, I was discharged even earlier than I expected.
At the same time, in order to go home, I tried to use an ambulance (this was sometimes done when the patient was poorly on his feet, and I was not on his feet well). But they answered me: we carry on ambulances with a covid, and you no longer have covid, yok, you have recovered, therefore, somehow yourself.
In American films, the patient is taken out on a gurney so that he does not fill a lump directly in a hospital. Here, on bending legs, with a dragging bag, I trudged to the checkpoint, where there was no one. It was drizzling rain. I sat down on a cold curb (my legs could not hold) and called a taxi. Thank God, there were only a few minutes of mobile Internet left (in all the hospitals where I was, the Wi-Fi for some reason did not work, although it should - another attack of unjustified stinginess).
On the eve of discharge, I had another existential conversation with the attending physician who showed up. As in the 64th hospital, the conversation turned about that fatal disease, which I was casually identified. According to the doctor, I was in a worse position than the patient who lay naked, coughed all the time and could not go to the toilet on his own. The kind doctor suggested writing an e-mail to some "third" hospital, which would continue the treatment and perform the operation.
However, there was no longer any strength to go to the "third" hospital after the rather exhausting treatment in the first and second. Besides, I already knew how the good impulses of state doctors to find a place on the side ended. As a rule, such impulses did not bring any results, no one answered calls and e-mails or answered that there were no vacancies. Continuing to try to break through, you would just find yourself on the commercial road. It's good if she led somewhere, but, as it turned out, this is far from a fact. So, a friend said that his friend with a similar illness paid a million, but the operation did not wait, and no one returned the million.
In fact, I have already gotten used to the idea that life is finite, and I am not going to participate in the squirrel race in the wheel with the aim of extending it, but it's a shame to end without receiving all the ordered goods from AliExpress and not restoring the transmission of readings on the water meters.
So far, I have chosen the strategy of going with the flow, reclaiming aspects of the existence that I had before the illness, if possible.