Wednesday, February 23, 2011

New Blog at Wordpress

I hate being wishy washy, but I've changed over to Wordpress. I like the features and functions better, so if you want to check it out...


Thursday, February 03, 2011

Turkey Loves Football!

This is something I pulled out of the archives. Some friends and I got stuck in a traffic jam on our way home from an opera and then later realize that Turkish national team had won a football game against Germany...and then we run out of gas.

It made me laugh out loud so I hope you enjoy watching and listening to this as much as I did!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Hospital Visit in Turkey: From a Foreigner's Perspective

I knew I was going to have an ankle scope done but I wasn’t sure how to go about it here in Turkey. I haven’t had much experience with hospitals in the States, much less in Turkey. I got a referral from a friend to go see Dr. Yetkin, an orthopedic doctor, at Akdeniz University Hospital, which I’ve heard is a great hospital from many foreigners and Turks.

Dr. Yetkin was great, but the pre-surgery appointments with other departments in the hospital where quite time consuming and inefficient, with one hand not know what the other was doing. After a week and half, I finally got everything approved to move forward with the procedure.

The day of the procedure, we show up promptly at 7:30am. After an hour wait, an assistant comes to meet us and gives a phone number we need to call to get some kind of medicine for the surgery. We make a phone call and the guy on the phone says he will come meet us in a few minutes.

He shows up about 10 minutes later, gives us the goods and we head down to the operating rooms.
The nurse is telling me in Turkish what I need to do and where I need to change, but I don’t understand anything because he is talking so fast. So I turn to my husband and ask him what the nurse said and he says that he has no idea because he can’t understand him either. I say, “You’re Turkish! How can you not understand someone else speaking your language?!” We both laugh and do what we think I’m supposed to do, and have several reprimands from the nurse of not doing one thing or another as instructed, but I finally was ready and he wheeled me off.

Now something I thought was odd is in all of my appointments, no one ever weighed me, measured how tall I was or asked or requested my blood type. 

As they are prepping me in the operating room, the nurses started asking me these questions. “How tall are you? How much do you weigh?” And me being a westerner and still not having figured out how tall I am in meters or exactly how many kilos I weighed, just shrugged and said I don’t know. I tried to tell them in feet…then I wondered why in the world does the U.S. have to do things different from everybody else in the world…They didn’t like my answer and eventually gave up. Then they asked me my blood type, and honestly I have no idea. I’ve had an I.D. card before that has the information on it, but now I don’t. FYI - That would be a useful bit of information on driver’s licenses in the states.

They gave me an epidural so I was completely numb from the waist down. They begin the ankle scope and even let me watch on a television what they were looking at. That may not be for everyone, but I am so fascinated by the body and how it all works. I felt like I was watching something on the Discovery Channel, when it was actually my foot they were looking at.

The surgery lasted about 2 ½ hours and towards the end, the leg I wasn’t having surgery on started to wake up and I started getting a little freaked out by the whole thing because they were working on me. I started to feel the bottom of the foot they were working on tingle as it started waking up and tried to tell the nurse. But how do you tell a nurse in Turkish that your foot is tingling? I have no idea, but I tried, with hand motions too. It didn’t work out so well.

The doctors promptly finished at that point, stitched me up and had my husband rolled me back to my room.  In the hospitals here, there are nurses, but they provide basic care and usually there is one person that you bring with you that will sit in with you while you are in the hospital and make sure you have anything else you need as well as help the nurses that are taking care of you. My hubby rolled me to my room, helped clean and change my bandages, helped me get to the bathroom (which I think he was relieved I could do that on my own, otherwise making sure I could go to the bathroom would have been his responsibility too), brought me food and drink and made sure I got my pain medications when I needed them.

All in all, I had a great experience with Turkish healthcare. Some things were a little inconvenient or didn’t make since to my western mind, but everything that needed to get done was accomplished. Akdeniz University was great, the rooms were clean, the staff was friendly and helpful and now I have a brand new foot that I am looking forward to using. We’ll see how things progress over the next few weeks…

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Life in Turkey: Ankle Surgery & Recovery

I’m finally home from the hospital after ankle surgery and a 3 day stay. I’ve got a lot to say about the experience of being in a hospital in Turkey, but I’ll save that for a different post. If you are wondering how I hurt my ankle to begin with, let's just say an adventurous spirit, a parachute and rocky terrain, and a nasty fall from the back of a jeep got the best of me.

This is a few hours after surgery. 

This is the first time I’ve ever had any kind of operation or hospital stay. I think its funny that my first time was in Turkey. I have to say that as I was doing all my pre-surgery prep and doctors visits, I was very thankful that I’ve never had any major health problems and that as a whole I am a healthy person. It motivates me to continue taking care of myself and look for ways that I can do an even better job as I move forward.

My orthopedic doctor, Dr. Yetkin, at Akdeniz University Hospital in Antalya was amazing. I had a million fears of miscommunications and what I might experience in Turkey, but he proved me wrong. He is an intelligent and gentle man that made me feel very comfortable with the procedure and his expertise.

For those not so faint of heart, here are a few pics of my ankle about 24 hours after surgery.

I'm home now and for the next 2 weeks, I'm bound to crutches, ice and pain/anti-inflammatory medication so that I can move on to physical therapy.  I'm not one to sit still so these next couple of weeks will be a little rough, but looking forward to the long term results.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


This is a story of my 3 year old niece.  The other day she and her daddy were having down time together and my niece lied to him when he asked her a question. He knew she was not telling him the truth and she continued to lie to him when he asked her the same question several times.

Finally, frustrated that she continued to bold face lie, he asked her "Are you lyin' to me?"  My niece sat there a second and her daddy could tell she was processing something in her mind as she looked out of the corner of her eye. After a few seconds, she turned to him and said "RAAAWWWRRR!!" and roared at him, just like a lion.

My niece is creative! But, I guess she did answer the question...

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Whirlwind Turkey Trip

While my sister and brother-in-law were here, we took them to some of our favorite places and well as a few places we hadn't been before. Here are just a FEW of the photos around Antalya and Istanbul on their whirlwind 7 day trip to Turkey. We are SO glad they came to visit.  Next time, we will make it to Cappadocia!


 Inside the Hagia Sophia

 Outside the Blue Mosque with the Hagia Sophia behind us. It was coooold...

 Jumping at Mt. Tahtali

Dancing at Termessos

 The Animal cooking fish for everyone.

My Sister & Her Hubby :)

Walking into the Blue Mosque

The Changing of the Guard at Dolma Bahce Palace

Thursday, January 06, 2011

PomPom Wreath

Since my sister and her husband were coming for Christmas this year, I figured I better do a few extra things to decorate around the house.  I wanted to find a wreath I could make with materials I could find in Turkey and I ended up making this pompom wreath.

I made what felt like a million pompoms and tied the pompoms to a styrofoam circle. I also made a few extra smaller pompoms and made some pompom garland that turned out pretty cute if I do say so myself.

I found the wreath directions at Urban Outfitters DIY blog site. The only thing I had to do different was cut my own styrofoam circle to start the wreath because they don't have straw wreaths here.

I had a lot of fun making this and it was easy to do.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011


People wonder what is so wonderful about Termessos, an ancient city set up in the Taurus Mountains of Turkey. I am a little partial because this is the place Enes proposed to me, but this view is Amazing!