Additional Tips and a Link

28 Feb

I’ve blogging (mostly) daily for the past four weeks at  I so enjoyed our cyber time while I was in Russia and I’d be happy to see you over at my other cyber haunt.

(I will just keep adding tips to this post from here on out.  Feel free to leave questions on this post and I will answer them for everyone.)

14.  Don’t drink the tap water from anywhere in Russia except for in your isolation room where the water and air are very well filtered.  Buy water from the local store.

15.  Ladies, bring your own sanitary items from home.  You can get them in Russia, but you will find that most store visits include a game of charades.  Skip the game.

16.  Bring your own Tylenol  or whatever you prefer for mild to moderate pain relief.  They can provide some from the pharmacy there, but it is just as simple to bring something from home that you are more familiar with.

17.  What to wear: I was comfortable wearing cotton camisole undershirts, yoga pants, wool socks, and long sleeved t-shirts.  I had fantastic long underwear that I wore any time we left the hospital, though I don’t know if that matters as much for a spring stay.  I experienced a good deal of night sweats, so breathable should be your aim when packing.  During the 7-10 when you are in the thick of isolation and aseptic cleaning, you will be made to wear a regular change of hospital issued gowns.  Good news!  The back is sewed closed.  (I did not have a robe with me and likely would not have used one as the rooms are kept quite warm.)

18.  To be more precise:  My Crocs were one piece of material with no straps or fasteners.  Crocs are made out of rubber and are not very porous.  I am not promoting the brand, though they do provide a pretty perfect shoe for the aseptic process. I would assume you can find another brand that is non porous and is made of one continuous piece of material.   (click the link to see some similar to my pair.  Dr. Fedorenko wears purple Crocs.  Confidence.)

19.  The hospital does provide masks for you to use when you are discharged.  I brought my own from home and found that they were more comfortable than the hospital issued masks, though I don’t think bringing them with is a necessity.

20.  Taxi from airport to hotel/hospital cost is about or under 3,000 rubles ($100 USD.)  Taxi from hotel to hospital should be around 500 rubles ($18-$20 USD.)

21.  I ate the plane food.  On the plane I wore the mask, washed my hands, drank lots of water and generally paid attention to what I was touching with my hands.  Your bald head and face mask are like neon signs that beg people to stay away from you.  Use it.  😉

22.  No food restrictions upon my return home.

23.  We found that every where we went in Russia was almost kept too warm for my liking.  This included my hospital room.  There is no way to adjust the temperature  so I advise keeping cool with layers of clothing.

24.  (LOOK AWAY FELLOWS!!)  I used disposable pads during my period.  There was no discussion regarding a hospital preference, though I did read about some concerns of tampon use and toxic shock syndrome when used with a low immune system.  Could be wrong about it, so you may as well bring what you want and ask when the time comes.

25.  Deodorant is used very rarely by the Russians we met.  We both learned to embrace this piece of their culture.

26.  The hospital does have a laundry service, though this is not a routine thing for them.  I used them once for my own laundry and then just washed in the sink and hung in the bathroom after that.  Their service is fine, I just found it more convenient to do it myself.

7 Responses to “Additional Tips and a Link”

  1. Brooke Slick February 28, 2013 at 2:53 pm #

    I need advice on day-to-day wear while in the hospital. What to wear, and what to definitely NOT wear. Would a lightweight, short robe come in handy? Undergarments–cotton, nylon, etc.? Feminine products–Can you use what your normally would or are there restrictions? Over and above Crocs (I would kill myself in those) any other types of shoes/footwear that might work? Do they supply you with masks to wear on the plane back to the U.S.? Will it be safe to eat the “plane food”? When we get home, what types of food should we avoid? Do you take a taxi in between the hospital and hotel, and, if so, what’s the usual cost of the fare? I wish I could say that these are the only questions that I will have, but I cannot commit to that. tee hee Thanking you in advance!!

    • mustangman93 February 28, 2013 at 9:04 pm #

      Brooke, those were all great questions. I have many of the same ones…well except for the female specific ones. LOL I’ll wait to see the response before I start firing out my questions. Thank you Amy for all of your help.

  2. goodbyeMS March 1, 2013 at 10:40 am #

    Here are some thoughts that have come up recently- is the airport easy to navigate? Is it safe to walk from the hospital to the Best Western Vega Hotel? Is it difficult to travel with a cane if the walk is far, sometimes I need it. Should I bring some diaper rash cream in case of “the runs”? Did you get your sleep interrupted most nights? Did you bring “go phones” and leave your cell phones off until you got State side? I’d like to bring a little gift to the Dr. and nurses- what would be a good idea? A friend suggested gum…gum?!?
    Thanks for answering many of my initial questions already Amy- you rock!! 🙂

    • ericswife March 19, 2013 at 1:16 pm #

      We bought cell phones, but were never able to use them very easily. It did not prove to be much of a problem, though you might want to see about one if you feel better with one. My own personal phone stayed in my purse and turned off until we were stateside.
      I never did get the runs. Instead, I had horrible constipation. Proof that you cannot plan for everything, as I came fully prepared for the opposite.
      I was rarely bothered during the night and slept better than I ever have in any stateside hospital. This is no comment on American medicine, just a reassurance that they take your rest very seriously at Pirogov.
      It is far too far a walk from Vega to Pirogov, though there is a metro rail right by the hotel that you can take to within three blocks of Pirogov. My husband was a saint and figured out all the rails on his own before I attempted it, so it was quite easy. Study the maps. The metro is fantastic once you figure it out.
      Moscow is not handicap friendly. The roads and sidewalks need a lot of care. I did not use my cane and just hung on to my husband. Rest accordingly.

  3. Mary Larcome March 8, 2013 at 12:03 pm #

    Where do I send treatments to? I also have ms & would love to get treatment in Russia. I was inspired by your story.

    • ericswife March 19, 2013 at 1:17 pm #

      Contact Dr.Fedorenko at
      Best wishes to you in your search!

  4. Brooke Slick March 17, 2013 at 4:50 pm #

    Amy, with regard to the smart phones, laptops and tablets. Right now, one of my main concerns is being connected as soon as I get to Moscow. Where exactly do you go to get these “cards”? Does the one for the laptop look like a jump drive (USB). That is the first thing I want to obtain after checking into the hotel. Meanwhile, will the car service that the hospital provides from the airport take you to the hospital first, or the hotel? I know they seem silly, little details, but they are gnawing at me.

Honest Truth About Me: I'm going to need a lot of cheer leading to see this through. Your comments and encouragement mean the world to me.

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