Dawna Austin
Woke up at 7am .. trying to get on schedule with this city, which meant that we only had 5 hours sleep.  Wow do we feel exhausted.  I'm also having some stomach issues, I think because of the prednisone.  It can cause  wreak havoc on your stomach and I stopped the medication I was taking  (an antacid) for that early (and my neurologist said it was okay), but I'm having pain so it probably was not a good idea to cut that medication short.  I feel pain and and nauseous all day, in a toxic sort of way (hard to explain but it reminds me of the same feelings I had when I went off drugs post-lung surgery back in 1998).   It's been happening for a few days, but there really isn't anything I can do about it.. I will mention it to them tomorrow before the procedure, but not sure what they can do.  It really is ruining my ability to truly enjoy myself here, as it makes me feel really unwell and I don't want to eat any food.

The 5 patients who are here for the procedure tomorrow met in the lobby at 9am to be taken to the clinic for an eye examination for optic neuritis.   It was a good time, for as we sat in a room waiting for each person to be tested, we got to spend time finding about who everyone else is and their "stories". Believe, me there are some very difficult ones.   Because I didn't have to have another MRV done, after that exam was done Kirk & I had the rest of the day off.   We decided to take a taxi to a nearby shopping centre to look around.  I have never seen such expensive shops in my life!  They have the odd shop here and there with normal priced clothing (like a Bootlegger, or Levi's store etc), but most of them are very high quality and designer, so the clothing is very expensive. 

We found out that if you are on the road, either in a car or as a pedestrian walking, you are at risk for being hit.   They are very aggressive drivers, which doesn't bother me too much, until you are the person walking by the road and you realize that even if walking on the sidewalk, you aren't safe.  (They park on the sidewalks here).   I'll have to remember to take a picture of that.

After our long shopping day (it was a HUGE mall, maybe the size of metrotown, but one floor only), we took another taxi back to the hotel and talked with the kids and Kirk's parents through webcam for awhile.  It was nice to see them again (but hard!).   Around 6pm we decided to walk into the city a bit and head towards a Pub that was known for having great steak.  It was AMAZING steak.  (I'm writing very quickly because my procedure is tomorrow, I'm jetlagged and I have no energy to sound interesting, maybe I can edit this later when I get more time).  The interesting thing about Poland (and Mainz) is that is seems as though 95% of the population smokes.  You heard me .. I don't recall seeing many people who weren't smoking.  Everywhere you went, it smelled like smoke.  It's absolutely unbelievable.  So, when we went to this small Pub for dinner, I knew we'd come back smelling like smoke. That's just the say it is here it seems.   Restaurants have non-smoking sections, and hotels still have smoking rooms.  I haven't seen any warnings on cigarettes like there are in Canada.   It's an automatic in a restaurant (at least all the ones we've been to) that they bring you a glass of water and an ashtray.

This picture was taken on our walk to dinner:



Anyhow, another long day, although relaxing in a busy sort of way.  Lovely to meet the people here. More people speak English here than in Mainz, Germany .. where hardly anyone spoke English!

Gotta get up soon to go over to the hospital.. kinda nervous, I think.  I mostly am having so much difficulty with the stomach issue (feel nauseous and yucky whenever I eat) that I think it's distracting me from thinking about tomorrow.. but I'm sure it will hit me in the morning (esp when I realize I'm not allowed to eat or drink when I wake up!) .. I need coffee to stay awake!

I will try to see if Kirk can keep you posted as I don't get back from the hospital until the next day early morning.   Thanks for all your prayers!