Hunt for a hospital and travel info and a…
We got ready early in the morning to leave Marmaris for Bozburum. There were strong winds forecast and the bays in Bozburum provide beautiful hide away’s from the wind. We had already been there last autumn and loved it. It was a 36 nm journey and we motored almost all the way as there was no wind.
I was super worried about Nina’s shoulder pain and with no real answers from the hospital visit in Marmaris, other than that nothing was fractured my active mind painted all sorts of scary scenarios. In times like this I really wish we were back home with our trusted health network nearby. It feels so sucky to sit on the boat not really knowing what to do to help. I felt helpless. But I am still using the tools I have to try and make a difference. I did Reiki healings on her, give her homeopathic remedies and rub supportive essential oils in the shoulder area and of course plenty of hugs and kisses.
Once we arrived in Bozburum with SV No Worries right behind us we stern tied to a sheltered spot, that was packed with super yachts last year. It was a beautiful bay and we had sun downers with No Worries to finish the day.
The next 3 days were spent sitting the strong winds out on our boat. Nina had lots of rest and not much moving. I did travel research for Greece and Italy. Its so hard to find any definitive answers for entry procedures and its a frustrating preoccupation. Covid certainly has taken the joy out of travel, at least when it comes to crossing borders into other countries. I also messaged with our NZ GP and a Turkish friend trying to find out more of what could cause Nina’s pain with her local Pediatrician. She’s had 2 tick bites back in March and I was worried the pain could be linked to Lyme disease from the ticks, although time wise and symptom wise the picture didn’t quite match. I felt horrible and depressed and just about ready to throw in the towel and go back home.
On Sunday I picked myself up and tidied Nina’s room, which had once again turned into an unmanageable shambles, so that kept my mind focused on other things. Once I was finished we met with SV Risling and No Worries at the beach for BBQ / shared nibbles at the beach. No Worries told us they found a nibbled on pear and rat/mouse poo in their cockpit and went to town in the morning to find some traps. As if to proof the point Nina came running from a bit further down the beach where our stern lines were tied to land to say she had seen a huge rat on the beach.
In the middle of the night Tim kept hearing noises in our salon. He got up a few times to investigate but saw nothing, until he was finally successful and saw a huge rat sitting on our bookshelf looking at us. I must say it was a rather cute one. It had brownish fur, big dark eyes and cute little ears. It hat chewed away a whole leaf of our aloe vera plant. It obviously was a health conscious rat as there was a half eaten cookie on the table that Nina hadn’t finished last night – that looked untouched by the rat. We closed all the doors to the rest of the rooms while keeping the spotlight on the rat. Tim got Lucy up, who appeared rather unwillingly and sleepy from under Luca’s duvet and showed no interest at all in the rat. We opened the door to the outside and got the boat hook out to maybe chase the rat out, the best plan we could come up with. At least she was too big to get through the holes in the floor into bilges. Once Tim agitated her/him with the boathook she ran to the navigation table and decided to jump onto the boat hook and hold on. Tim swung her out into the cockpit and she scuttled away. We closed the cockpit and searched the boat, but it appeared she ran back to land.
With hearts thumping and wide awake with adrenaline we reflected on our rat adventure and Lucy got a telling off by Tim for her disinterest in the rat. Back home in NZ we had the occasional mouse in the house and she showed no interest then, with the mouse walking right before her, so I didn’t have my hopes up on her chasing the rodent anyhow. She is too well fed and pampered to engage in such lowly activities 😉
With Nina still not better and the wind finally calming (either too much or not enough to sail…) we decided that we would head further to Datca to get her seen to again in Hospital. It was a short 13 nm motor. Once we arrived Nina and I headed to Hospital in a Taxi once more. We were seen by a Pediatrician, who told us she couldn’t really do anything, as she already had an x-ray and would need an MRI for further investigation and see an Orthopedic Specialist. She told us we could get both in Bodrum and wrote us a piece of paper to take to Bodrum Hospital. So after 5 mins we were discharged and took a taxi back to the boat, feeling rather deflated.
The wind started to blow strong again and we re-assessed what needed doing. Tim reckoned we could sail to Bodrum the next day and we decided to head to Datca to have a snack and get a few groceries. We got ourselves a Gyros and sat by the beach watching a big wooly stray dog walking in the water to cool off. The kids joined him cooling their legs off and offering some pets.
The next morning we started our journey of 50 nm to Bodrum at 6.45 in the morning. We arrived at 3.30 in the afternoon after half motoring, half sailing. We decided to head to hospital straight away to get the ball rolling. From NZ I knew that getting an MRI and specialist appointment could take months. We were greeted by a grumpy receptionist who called a much nicer interpreter who told us that we came at the wrong time and to come back at 8 am the next morning and he would help us to see an Orthopedic Specialist. So Nina and I took a taxi back to town and we had an ice cream and freshly pressed orange juice before heading back to the boat.
Just as a side note – don’t buy balloons and if you really have to – don’t let them float away. They often end up in sea creatures stomachs and can kill them.
The next morning we were up bright and early to be at hospital at 8 am as requested. The day before there were few people on the hospital grounds. This morning there was a huge long line waiting to be let in and crowds standing in front of it. We stood in line and waited. Once it was our turn our interpreter turned up and gave us a number and told us where to wait to see the Orthopedic Specialist. But first we had to pay. I was slightly nervous expecting a high cost, but the bill was 109 TL, which equals approx. 18 NZD for the specialist appointment. We had number 30 and it was number 1 on the screen, so I settled in for a few hours of waiting. Lucky we came prepared and brought crosswords and crochet. But the numbers jumped rather quickly from 1 to 2 to 3 and then to 6 and then to 20 and before 1 hour was over it was our turn. I couldn’t make any sense of the coming and goings people would just open doors and go in or just have a peak in the specialists room – it seemed normal.
The consult with the specialist was short. He said he would order an MRI and see us a few days later to review the results. He couldn’t really explain what the matter could be either without further diagnostics. Our lovely interpreter organised for us to have an MRI appointment and took me once more to the payment counter. I was surely expecting a thousand dollars at least for this, but no, the bill came to a whole 153 TL / 25 NZD for the MRI scan. I was so grateful. With our tiny budget every unexpected expense leaves a big hole and while we have health insurance for big emergencies our excess on that is also big to make the premium less expensive. Believe it or not the interpreter apologized that we had to come back in the afternoon, as there was no appointment available immediately. I was stunned that we got a same day appointment and didn’t mind in the least to come back in the afternoon.
We headed back to the boat for a bit and returned in the afternoon. Many years ago I worked in the Radiology Department in our local hospital in NZ so I was aware what was involved in an MRI scan and prepared Nina accordingly. I could stay with her in the room and hold on to her foot. In New Zealand they give the patient protective headphones, but not here. The noises were very loud, and the automatic instructions all in Turkish, so we didn’t understand a word. But Nina was super brave and got through it alright. I requested a DVD of the scan and was given it to take home.
I managed to contact a Radiologist in NZ I knew to review Nina’s scan, since it was only Wednesday and we wouldn’t see the Orthopedic Specialist until Monday next week. We were planning / preparing to leave for either Italy or Greece, so needed to get some clarity fast on how we can help Nina get better. This review and contacting our GP in NZ with it suggested that there is an Edema and it could be related to some arthritic infection. That left us totally puzzled and we just had to keep waiting until Monday.
Tim went for a trip to the chandlery with Michele from No Worries to get some things for the boat, we did schooling, writing blogs, cooking, cleaning. We met Ian and Kerry from Sailing Hobo that Tim had been in touch with. A couple from Australia trying to sail their Moody back home. Just like us all their plans got muddled by Covid and boat work.
On Friday we went to Migros and to the fruit and vegi market to stock up on groceries and Birgul and Freddie our friends from Sailing Lostura (which is now sold), who now live in Bodrum came to visit us on the boat. In the evening we were invited to celebrate Dagi’s birthday at the beach with a Gyros and beer. Tim had been trying to repair our constantly failing outboard again and it didn’t work and leaked petrol everywhere, so Tim had a very valid hissifit. The grief this outboard motor had caused him so far, I wished we had the cash to just buy a new one. And I couldn’t really do anything to help either – I don’t know anything about motors… We got a taxi ride in the banana boat from SV Risling.
We had a lovely evening of a very welcome distraction from our overwhelming worries about Nina’s health, what needed to be done to move anywhere and what to do about the constantly breaking outboard. We were so grateful for the others company that evening Nina even had a good boogie when a bunch of street musician came by.
Among all the other things we had been in touch with a German lady, Elke, who might join us on the Atlantic Crossing later in the year as crew, if its going to happen that is with Covid and all. We had kept her up to date with our plans and told her that we might sail to Italy in the next few weeks Covid and Nina’s health allowing. She suggested she come with us and visit, so we can get to know each other. So plans were made for our first stay aboard visitor on Polly.
Our spare room had turned into a storage room in the past year, as no visitors were on the horizon. So Saturday was re-arrange, tidy and thin out belongings day. Michele und Tim had another look and clean of the outboard and fingers crossed 3 days later its still going…. Risling and No Worries wanted to do a Night passage and kite surfing a bit further along the coast, so they left at 2 am for their adventure. On Sunday I did our washing and wiped the boat down – it was all dusty and salty again. It turned out to be grey and rainy day, but I still got my washing dry in the wind that blew in between showers.
In the last couple of days Nina’s arm had started to feel a bit better and she had less pain and more movement, which felt a bit of a relief. On Monday the 2 of us headed back to hospital to the Specialist for the results. I could hardly sleep at all, worrying what the outcome would be. We went to see our lovely interpreter who seemed to jump queue for us and 5 mins later we were in front of the Orthopedic Specialist who didn’t seem concerned at all. He said its an edema and that we needed to cool and put a cream on. He didn’t think it had anything to do with arthritis or ticks, but said we could go an see a pediatrician, from his orthopedic view there was nothing else that needed doing and looking at the line of patients in front of his room with all varieties of serious looking casts on varying limbs I could understand that he had other things to worry about.
Our interpreter friend hushed us to the payment place to pay another 109 TL for the specialist visit to the Pediatrician and 30 mins later we were seen. The pediatrician said he would order a thorough blood test to make sure there was nothing else lurking. Nina understandably was not at all keen on that. She’s had a blood test when she was approx. 6 years old to test for food allergies and was still traumatized from that. I tried to calm her and lucky she didn’t have much time to think on it as our Interpreter hushed us back to the payment place to pay another small fee for the blood test and on to the Lab for the bloods to be taken. Nina was so brave and before we knew it it was all over.
I told her we could go to the yarn shop for her to choose a treat for being so brave, so we did a detour through town and she got a stitching set that she had an eye on for a while. We also stopped by a pharmacy to stock up on bandages and a few medications for our on board First Aid Kit. Once back home I helped Luca along with his Algebra Homework and baked a Banana Cake. Tim picked up the papers that we had sent to Birgul and Freddie’s place from Lucie’s Rabies Antibody test that we had done in Kas. The papers were astray for a while and we were so glad to finally be in possession of them. Freddie dropped them off to the beach for us.
Next morning once again Nina and I headed for the hospital to get the results from the blood test. The pediatrician said that all her bloods where fine, except for Inflammation markers being a bit elevated, which would be normal with an edema. He and the Orthopedic Specialist both thought she must have bumped / injured herself. Usually we know about it when Nina hurts herself, but the only thing she could recall was falling off the paddleboard into the water and slightly bumping herself, but it didn’t hurt much at the time, so she didn’t worry about it. He said it could take up to 2 months for the Edema to go away and since Nina seemed to get better every day now we were very happy with that outcome and to have reassurance that there was nothing else lingering. He suggested to have another blood test to check the inflammation markers in 2 weeks time to make sure they are reducing. I can’t tell you how relieved I was. A big rock rolled off my stomach and heart. We said our goodbyes to our nice translator friend and he parted saying he was hoping not to see us again and that Nina was going to get better.
We took a taxi back to town and stocked a few things up at Migros and realised the clothes market was on. Tim and Luca needed a few more clothes, so we came back with them a bit later. The boys stocked up on shorts, shirts and undies. Luca got a new pair of crocs, since he lost his old ones, Nina got a pair of sandals and bought herself a bracelet to remember Turkey and we headed back to the boat.
Another Turkish boat, Insulam, had messaged Tim and we stopped by to say hello. They spoke good English and seemed nice, so we invited them over for a coffee. They had a cute little dog, called Whiskey. Lucy was not impressed to have an intruder on her turf and retreated downstairs slightly distressed. She loves other humans, but is somehow not all that keen on other dog friends. It was nice to meet other people and now knowing that Nina will most likely recover by herself from the edema I felt so much lighter.
On top of that the outboard was going well and we got a message that Greece might open after all in a few days time, its the first day of summer and Elke our german possible crew would arrive in a few days time. The world all of a sudden looked more friendly and bright again. The ups and downs of life – sailing or not – I guess the downs are just a bit more down out here and the ups a bit more up.
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