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Chris Sayer’s Travel Diary

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Location: Istanbul, Asia - Central

MapAnother week rolls by in Istanbul – same hospital room, same affliction, same routine. But things are looking up, and we are rushing headlong to a belated journey home. My left foot (there’s a good movie title) is improving every day, with less aches and pains and more involuntary muscle spasms as my foot tries to break out of its restrictive bandages. These spasms make me jump and are quite unpleasant, but I’m happy to put up with them if it means that the injuries are settling down and improving. The dressing is changed every two or three day, and while the skin graft is still looks very raw, the plastic surgeon is happy with its progress and is confident the new skin coverage will do its job. He tells us that the second injury, to the heel, can wait until we return to Australia, and he has granted us permission to travel. The donor site for the skin graft (the left thigh) is recovering so well that it is driving me mad with itch. To strengthen my legs I am doing physio exercises and walking down the corridor several times each day, on crutches.
It’s been a month since the accident, and we have been in this hospital three weeks. That three weeks has been as much a journey as the prior three weeks, even though I haven’t left the confines of this building. Such a journey has left a lasting impression on me, as any traveling holiday would do. The things that must be endured to get well – the pain, the medical procedures, and the needles of all shapes and sizes that get injected into every part of your body to either put something in or take something out. I feel like a pin-cushion – any unsuspecting drug-enforcer inspecting my arms must get suspicious by the number of pin-holes. Of course, all these are merely inconveniences – bumps in the road that will eventually lead us home.
We’re now negotiating with our doctors and the travel insurance company for our release from hospital and our return flights home, in the coming days. We are making enquiries about follow-up surgery in Launceston to fix my heel, so there’s more hospital time for me as soon as I return. The care we received in the Turkish hospitals has been second-to-none, and we will actually miss the staff that have become our friends over the past 3 weeks.