Syedyshev Oleg
Syedyshev Oleg

Humorous Essays Based on students' memories

"All have died
except for those who are alive, and those whom we remember"Confucius

Essay 138. Love and gastric ulcer

I suffer from ulcer disease, i.e. it, my gastric ulcer, has been officially diagnosed and confirmed with a roentgenological test since nineteen seventy two. Yes, that’s right, attentive and regular readers have immediately noticed, that that was the year of my graduation from the institute. Yes, I was labeled with the diagnosis at Kurgan regional hospital.

Though the diagnosis is one thing, and its manifestations are an absolutely different story! No, I am not going to bother you and expound semiotics of gastric ulcer. I will simply say that back then in 1972 – 1973 I used up about three tons of cabbage to drink a glass of freshly pressed cabbage juice three times a day. Vitamin U (from the word ulcus – ulcer), which is contained in fresh cabbage juice is a great power. So for about fifteen years I did not have practically any problems. But it happened so that after I had married Natalek, my duodenal cup ulcer started playing pranks again. That was the time of my honey moon, life was great, and I had my semiotics manifesting itself, and in such a way that it could not be ignored.

I had residential registration at Yagunovka then, but Natasha and I lived on Soviet avenue in Kemerovo. Near it there was the third city hospital. Natalek was kind and affectionate, but suddenly she firmly said: “You go to the hospital. Period.” So I went to my former fellow student Bella Friedman to complain at the “naughty thing”, not at Natalek, but the gastric ulcer. My visit to Bella was just wonderful, and when she saw results of fibrogastroscopy, she categorically announced that hospitalization was an absolute need as well as immediate beginning of treatment. I myself when carrying the FGS (fibrogastroscopy) results peeped into them and saw that in addition to my gastric ulcer I had multiple erosion of stomach mucous. So Bella did not have to put too much effort to persuade me in necessity of hospitalization. In spite of all Bella’s attempts, I refused to go to a “private ward”, but insisted to be placed on general terms. So I was placed that way. In our ward there were six men, and all ulcer patients of the first-class.

It is known long ago that ulcer patients’ character changes not for better. So imagine: five ulcer patients, almost kissing tell each other about their: “kissing ulcers”, or swear at each other when choosing a TV channel. I excluded myself from their group, so they avoided me. Nevertheless Bella called the head of Gastroenterology Department and said something to make my life easier at a regular ward. So a junior nurse had warned all of them that a doctor, a psychiatrist, was going to be placed to their ward. Basically I was glad that I was not annoyed with questions about how I was feeling after eating this or that. They did not impose their pieces of advice on me, but they acted like that between each other. I was prescribed tons of tablets and injections, and a table #1 diet. That was a nightmare; I was a hearty eater, but received blended soup or a steamed cutlet. That was terrible; the diet was killing me morally. I was constantly hungry for a couple of first days. So I persuaded Natalek that nothing would happen to me, if she brought me a real steak, and if she brought me solyanka (a spicy soup of vegetables and meat), I would be three times happier and would get better much sooner. As the main argument I promised to eat everything I was given at the hospital. And I did persuade her. Natalek came rushing home from work, made a steak for me and took it to me in a thermos together with solyanka. It was finger-licking good. I opened the thermoses and enjoyed smells coming out of them. And the smells, I should say, were wonderful. As Natalek was frying according all existing culinary rules, and spared no spices. My poor hospital ward mates, they, too, smelled the aromas.

One of them, the most sullen one, asked me: “Do you really have gastric ulcer?” He was utterly amazed, when I confirmed that. So, I will tell you all the truth about how I was treating my ulcer disease. I was brought a handful of tablets three times a day; however I have to admit that I took none of them. Remember a line from Vysotsky (Vladimir Vysotsky, 25 January 1938 – 25 July 1980, was a very popular singer, songwriter, poet, and actor during the Soviet period; his songs are well known and widely quoted): “And heaps of medicaments we sent down a toilet, who was not a fool…”

The only thing I could not escape was injections. So, all my treatment was the following: I diligently followed daily routine, slept eight hours a day minimum and received the prescribed injections. Sorry, I have not mentioned the main cure – Natashka’s love! Natasha visited me every day, and two-three times a day on weekends. Her care and solicitude gave me comfort and cured my shredded by the ulcer and erosions stomach. And what do you think? When by the end of the third week I had a fibrogastroscopy test, its result was not given to me. Bella herself came to my ward. She was sincerely happy and a bit surprised, as mucous of my stomach was clean, without any erosions. I did not want to disappoint Bella in power of tablets, which I had been prescribed; maybe they really were very efficient. It should be said, my ward mates did not betray me, though had threatened to do so.

When being discharged from the hospital, I told them: “Here is the true power of love! It not only removes mountains, but cures ulcer without a trace!”

9 May, 2012

© Copyright: Oleg Syedyshev, 2012
Publishing licence #214040200677

Translated by Viktoria Potykinato content