When I told the story to a friend the day before yesterday, I realised that I had written it too briefly here on the blog. So here are some additions and what happened over the next few days.
Three days ago, I was down from the mountain with a bleeding arm, standing by the road, and when a car came along and I was afraid it wouldn’t realise the seriousness of the situation and just drive past (when I stuck my thumb out, the blood wasn’t visible), I hopped a bit more onto the road, turned with the bleeding side towards the car and pointed there with my other hand – and indeed the car seemed as if it wanted to drive past first – and then decided otherwise. Hach.
So I was taken to the hospital and went into the wrong building. I thought it looked like a hospital up there, there were also 3 cars parked in front of it with “Ambulance” written on them. Inside it smelled like lunch. But no reception or anything like that. I looked into a room, there were about 8 people sitting at tables eating their lunch and looking at me. I still don’t know what kind of building it was, but they told me to go to the next building. It didn’t look like a hospital at all:
In the entrance there were a few people, a mobile stretcher and a large medical-looking piece of equipment. I guess it really was the hospital. I was quite happy that my problem was clearly visible and they took care of me. I was led into a kind of treatment room. There, a gentleman who spoke a little English first took my passport. Another one practised translating and looked kindly. Various nurses (I assume) who were also in the room also looked kindly. The doctor, recognisable by her gown and gloves, did not speak English and did not look quite so kind. While they were fiddling around, some container of liquid tipped over. After the passport collector had returned and the syringe had been drawn up, the doctor went to work on my wounds, examining them and wiping them with liquids. I wasn’t allowed to sit on the couch and to make sure nothing dripped on it by mistake, I had to hold my arm over a bowl containing medical waste. I had 3 bite marks on my arm. Then I pulled down my trousers: another bite with blood above the back of my knee. That was also cleaned and my trousers were put back on. They put a plaster on my arm.
Then there was a big discussion because I also wanted to have tetanus. I didn’t understand the arguments and objections, but insisted on the injection – and then got it in the other arm.
I spent the night OK, it hurt but not excessively and I also found a sleeping position. In the morning I took off the bandage I had tied over myself and the plaster too – I am always so afraid of sticking. And it looked like this:
The biggest bite was still wet and I put another plaster over it. I didn’t do much that day and felt it was healing relatively well – only the bruise grew into a more severe bruise – when I let my arm hang it hurt. In the afternoon I went for a walk. It was in the village and I felt carefree – and was soon taught better. I found this house skeleton and peeked in to see.
And suddenly some dogs were running down the street barking. They must have been having problems with each other, but my heart immediately dropped, I thought, what a fool I am in this house, surely it “belongs” to a dog and it’s about to attack me and help is far away and so is the pepper spray. Cautiously I slipped back out onto the street and hurried creepily to where there were people again. Whew! Aha! So that’s how it is with the psyche – lesson learned.
The next night went even better, but I still had to renew the plaster. And then I went on a day trip to another village, holding the pepper spray in my hand most of the time and carefully looking for dogs and obeying. Nothing happened. And at the end of the trip I even sat in a garden restaurant with a dog next to me.
I told the story to my guesthouse lady. She doesn’t know the place or the owner, but wanted to take care of it. Does anyone remember that I found Patrick, or he better said he found me, via this Website? Patrick has been in contact with another woman from it, she had gone the tour a few days ago and had written to him about an aggressive dog. It seemed to me that it could be the same one – he sent her my photo of the place and yes, it was right there! There is also a Facebook group from this website where people exchange information and a Facebook page where only Jozef posts relevant things. I wrote down my story in the group, especially as the other woman also had problems. Then the next ones will know better. Jozef also summarised it again himself:
Under both entries there are now many posts with sympathy, own dog experiences and strategies and dog psychology and also local people who want to follow up. What I have noticed for myself is that it is good to take action and do something. If the same thing doesn’t happen to someone else because more care is taken, I’m no longer “just a victim”.
And today, 6 June, my second rabies vaccination was due to take place. I went to the hospital again. Unlike the previous visit, it was full of people in the corridors and more staff, but no one from my first visit to be seen. But they took care of me right away and took my passport again. A lady who looked more like a pensioner gave me the injection and sent me to the cashier: 25 Lari, which is less than 10,- Euro.
And then an odyssey began. I had forgotten to get the receipts and papers during the previous visit. There might not have been any either. At the checkout, they produced a receipt with the correct amount but yesterday’s date. They are sure it’s mine – sometimes the system doesn’t work and then they print everything out later. OK. But I would still need a piece of paper. I haven’t figured out this hospital, despite its smallness. Who does secretarial work, who is a doctor, who is treated by whom and where, what rooms are used for, etc. It seemed very disorganised. But people were always friendly, some people spoke a little English and wandered with me from room to room. I always followed their heels and at one point, where I appeared more often, they started to have fun (i.e. other patients). At some point I had a piece of writing with 90% Georgian characters on it. The others were, for example, the date and that was correct. I skimmed it with the Translate camera and it seemed sufficient. That was the part for today. But the one from Sunday? With two vaccinations? I got hold of another document with another person, but with 1 wrong date (May instead of June) and only 1 vaccination. People ran here and there with me, doors were locked, stamp people were nowhere to be found, and so on. It is just Georgia and not Germany…. I was put on a seat and asked to wait 40 minutes. And then came a miracle! The miracle spoke a little German (even correctly), beamed, had never been to Germany, took me to her heart and to a room again, came out with the correct paper, found the stamp people, put both papers in a plastic bag, hugged me and clarified the date for the third vaccination (10.6.). The corridors continued to be full of people and I left the place one experience richer.
Yesterday I had a shower for the first time and it seems to me that everything is healing well, especially the arm. The leg is a bit more difficult. Yesterday I also met a German ex-doctor who said that the bruises are the more protracted painful part of animal bites.
So, I think that’s it on the dog attack. I will no longer walk alone, I will no longer approach any parts of buildings without people asking me to do so, I may get some sticks, I will be constantly suspicious of dogs and I will probably become more relaxed again over time. And of course I’ll still do the third vaccination.