Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Being Sick - Week of 26 - 30 October, 2009

What do you do when you're sick? Take medicine and wear a face mask. I have yet to wear one, I'm not too positive it will do much, especially considering that I'm not sick.

Face masks are being passed out by the nurse, one day I think she gave one to every student. The students will wear them for a short while and then take them off. A lot of people wear them under their chin. Like that helps.

They've been passing out some kind of medicine or pills, which had me concerned at first--what are they handing out? Will Sophia take some? Then I learned that it's Vitamin C, and I was unconcerned and rather hopeful that they'd make Sophia take some.

One day they passed around what looked like a mini tin of Vaseline or lip balm; each child took a bit on his finger, and then rubbed it under his nose. Later, Valerie smelled it and said it smells just like Vicks. Hm... might not be a bad thing to have.

About a week ago, they took the students from my room--the ones whose parents signed a form, I believe--to give them what I thought was a vaccination. My assistant speaks English very well; however, she was unable to clearly translate what it was. Google translate came up with "sample injection." It was for TB. It was routine, I learned--all 6-year olds got this at school. However, it did appear that they needed parents' permission. The foreign kids (whose parents don't read Russian!) stayed in the classroom. As with everything, if you don't have the materials, clothes, permission, etc, to go somewhere, you stay in the classroom.

The next Monday, the nurse came by to look at where they'd received the injection. She measured the size of the sore. Oh! Not a shot, but a TB test--like SC requires for all teachers. Do we require students to be tested for TB? I don't think so.

To help the sores cure, the assistants passed out garlic for the children to wear around their wrists.

The 2nd grade got the injections too, but not Sophia. I guess I didn't sign the form (which I never saw.)

Valerie was sick for an entire week--the week after her boyfriend took us to Central Bazaar (without her, as she was sick). She's lucky to have a Russian-speaking boyfriend; he took her to the hospital and helped translate. She said they drew her blood by cutting her finger with a knife! They gave her some medicine that made her vomit the first time she took it, so she didn't take it again (and got reprimanded by the doctor for not taking it). She was told she had an infection; the doctor said it was "feminine" which she couldn't understand, because that was not where she felt bad. So she didn't have the flu/cold that's been spreading around, something else.

Who knows? She's better now.

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