Last night after we returned to the hotel we started packing up for our early morning flight into Cappadocia (central Turkey) and realized we needed to get some money for the shuttle back to the airport. So, I went out on a trek to find an ATM. It took a while to find.
When I returned to the room Avi was asleep, but still crying. I picked him up to nurse and he wailed, but calmed after eating. When he switched sides he wailed again and it became apparent it was his arm. At first we thought it was just sore, but then realized he wasn’t moving it at all an it hung pretty limp. If I held it close to his body he seemed releaved. It seemed to me his arm was dislocated. So, a few phone calls to Tricare Europe and he and I were on our way downstairs to the International Hospital of Istanbul.
Flashback to the hotel room before I arrived: Bethany was getting a movie on the computer ready for Zoe while she was on the bed beside Bethany playing with Avi. Avi was standing on the floor with his hands on the bed playing with Zoe. They were both laughing and giggling and playing nicely. Out of the corner of her eye Bethany noticed Zoe had Avi’s hand – not abnormal – then he plopped on the floor and wailed until he fell asleep. It seems that Zoe had either pulled his arm or held onto it while he plopped down. Dislocation.
Regardless, I was on my way downstairs where the nice man at the desk who speaks little English ran out to get me a taxi. His buddy, I’m sure. They were so nice and serious. Isa from across the street also came over and was worried about his bald buddy. He was super helpful since he is fluent in English. I showed them the info I had from USAA about which hospital to go to, they said there were other hospitals closer, but I clarified that I need to go to that specific one and we were on our way. Avi was wimpering, but seemed OK as long as I kept his arm swaddled tight and squished against my body. The taxi driver definitely felt empassioned to become an ambulance driver. He put on his four ways, honked and flashed at everyone while driving like a madman. I decided just to look at Avi since the ride made me fear for my life! He weaved and went 70 km an hour in town, and then 140 on the parkway. It was nuts, but we made it. The trip took about 20 minutes – it was well past the airport in sakelshoy.
When we got there the cab driver just shooed me in with Avi. It was a nice emergency room – no waiting at a desk, just go to a triage bed in a row of 10 beds separated by curtains. No paperwork, nothing. The nurse saw him first, and brought a translator for me who helped the whole time. Avi actually had a bit of a temp so they gave him a suppository with a medicine of some kind to lower it and the inflammation. The doctor came and I explained what happened. He ordered 2 x-rays and within 5 minutes we were in the x-ray room. Back up in the emergency department a pediatric doctor came to look at him and then the x-rays. They just weren’t sure it was dislocated; since he’s so small it just didn’t feel the same and I guess it’s very hard to see on an x-ray of an infant. Plus, his shoulder was fine, this would be an elbow dislocation which is odd. So they called the Orthopedics doc at home who came in within a half hour! He also looked at it and thought it dislocated but not convinced after seeing the x-rays. He wanted it to rest for the night and see him tomorrow to let the arm rest, and lower the inflammation so when he popped it in there would be no muscle or nerve damage.
It was all very serious and the translator did a good job. They gave me a RX for some pediatric Ibuprofin and directions back to the hospital on the bus for the next day. I did have to call Tricare a few times to get the referral in order, but it worked out fine. Also called Bryan who was on his way to work. I was very impressed with how attentive they were and nice and into Avi. I never filled out any ridiculous paperwork or waited ever. They took his passport and my ID for copies, thats it. So, after all that, and worried about nerve damage I went out to get a taxi back to the hotel. To my surprise, my driver from earlier had waited! He was so nice and concerned. I cant believe he waited the two hours I was at the hospital…without running the meter. He took me to a pharmacy and back to the hotel…this time at a nice slow pace which took 45 minutes. Avi fell asleep soundly.
Our hotel owner let me use his phone to make arrangements for cancelling our trip to central Turkey (again) and said he’d be happy for us to stay another couple nights. They’ve become our little Turkish ‘family’ – I think they feel responsible since we are women and kids. We have come to realize Turkish people really like kids. When I returned to the room I broke the news to Bethany and we adjusted our plans deep into the night….I was able to get on skype with Bryan for an update. Finally, too bed. This morning I took the bus (which was an adventure in itself with all the traffic) to the hospital and was again seen right away. This time the inflammation was gone and the doc agreed the elbow was dislocated. He set it and Avi stopped screaming right away!!! It would’ve been nice to have that last night, but he is the doc and didn’t want to push it if that wasn’t the problem. Since it was inflamed he wanted it to rest. fair enough. I’m happy to have a painfree baby boy and no nerve damage. Thank God everything is fine, and thank goodness for Tricare. We took a short taxi ride to the airport to get our flight refunds and then the train to the hotel. Naptime!!