Friday, July 29, 2011

Files of Memories Part 2

(Read Part 1 here)

I was numb as they carried Holly to the operating room. The trauma of the night before and precious little sleep were taking their toll. Worried about what would happen to Sweet Holly, I took a seat. Was it on the window sill or the radiator? I don't remember. There was no waiting room. No comfortable chairs. I was there with our friend Laura and our not friend Missionary Wife. Missionary Wife tried to comfort me with her own stories. "Well if you think this is bad . . . " Her chatter did not help. My mind was in a fog and I wasn't really listening anyway.

I don't know how long we waited. An hour? Four hours? It seemed like an eternity. Finally out came the nurses carrying Holly. They had smiles on their faces. They went on about how well Holly did. She didn't like the shot but afterwards was completely happy during the whole ordeal, smiling and cooing. She was always a happy baby. I often thought I should have named her Joy. I spoke with the doctor. I was told she was the best in Romania. I'm not really sure what that means in the realm of national healthcare. She performed micro plastic surgery on Holly's pinky. It was necessary to shave 1 mm of the bone but she was able to save the root of the nail.

We went home and waited for John. How could I tell him that his baby was injured? That her hand would never be whole again? When he arrived, I ran out to meet him at the gate. I didn't want him to walk in and see Holly's hand bandaged up without knowing what had happened. Once again, I don't remember what I said. Some things about the entire event are so clear and ever etched in my mind. Others are just a vague dream.

John was sad for me and for Holly. If his emotions were more than that, he held them in for my sake. He was the strong one. He was gentle and gracious and loving.

We went back to the hospital the next day to have it checked. Please keep in mind that we were in Romania. Do not envision your local hospital. And this hospital or at least the ward we were on specialized in hands and feet. Doctors and nurses were required to wear white jackets. Because it was cold a bathrobe would suffice. Patients were walking around with their hands and feet bandaged. It looked like something out of "Night of the Living Dead." Someone in a bathrobe came up to me and started to reach for Holly. At first I was shocked thinking we were in the looney ward. Then I saw her ID badge and realized she was a nurse.

We donned the required white jackets (no street clothes allowed) and took Holly into an examining room. Snip, snip, snip with the scissors and off came Holly's bandage. Then the nurse turned around to a man sitting in the same room. His hand was also bandaged and oozing . . . not a pleasant sight. She used the same scissors on that man. I wonder where they were before Holly?

We all survived these traumatic events. Amazingly her finger healed without any infections. It is scarred and the nail grows over the tip of her pinky. One day we hope to have more plastic surgery, here in the United States, to correct it. Hearts have healed as well, also with some scar tissue. But that is a story for another day.


  1. Thanks for sharing a wonderful story.
    Love, Dad

  2. I don't think I had ever heard this story before. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Oh Dear Karen, what an awful experience. Makes me very grateful for what we have and the country we live in. I'm glad there was a happy ending.

    Thanks so much for visiting's been so long and I thought I had lost you. Pretty blog look btw. It will be good to get caught up with you again. I'm putting you on my sidebar now before I lose you again.

  4. Hi Karen, Enjoyed your blog. Glad the kids are doing so well in college. I'll have one left at home after this year. Jean L