Oh, the stress of war on the human body and soul. Today we held so many weeping people in our arms. And people who never had high blood pressures with bps so high. One gentleman who is alone in the shelter with no family, who has lost his home to bombings, came to us with a headache and stress. His blood pressure was 210/135. He was so sad and so alone. We comforted him as best we could and treated his hypertension. He gave us tearful hugs of thanks when he left.
We were working in an old defunct children’s tb hospital from the 1950s, shut down in the late 1970s. A member of the community got it re-opened to house 350 refugees. It was pretty dark and dreary with barely functional rusted plumbing. There was no electricity today.
A woman who is one month older than me but looked ages older came to the clinic because she had some broken ribs. Her story: she was from a smaller village outside Kyiv and when the bombs came she ran outside and fell, hitting her head and breaking 2 ribs. She laid there terrified, listening to the bombs for several hours unable to move, hoping for an ambulance that never came because there were so many wounded. A neighbor found her and helped her but the hospital was full of more serious trauma patients.
She was able to contact her daughter in another town who came for her and then had an agonizing many hour car ride to safety in Chenevitzi. She was still in much pain and likely had a concussion as she was vomiting.
The healthcare system here is stressed beyond capacity even here in this city which is considered safe and not under attack. All resources go to the front. There is a shortage of everything. Today on our return to the Romanian border there was another air raid alert for western Ukraine. It comes on the radios and there is the siren in the background with a loop of an announcer saying “attention attention air raid alert. Take the most necessary things. Take your documents. Shut off the gas lights, the water. Leave your house. Look for a shelter or go outside. Help the sick, help the old, help your neighbor, do not panic.” The bombing was south of Kviv about 400 km away.