Monday, May 19, 2014

Catching A Break

it is 8:30 a.m . in the holy city of zefat.  all the kids are gone.  the daughter-in-law is in a training program for a new job and gets picked up early by a tender.  my son has to get the small kids and himself, to their gans and his workplace.  yesterday was a bit of a disaster.  the son was fast asleep and the wife had already left.  the kids were still undressed and unfed.  the granddaughter came to me and woke me up after 7:00 a.m. for chocolate milk.

i was totally unaware of the new working situation.  i hesitated going down the stairs to get the bottle.  i try not being in their faces first thing in the morning.  it's a good thing, though, that i went downstairs.  both boys were still asleep.  my son quickly got up and tried to spring into action.  he had to get both kids ready for gan, so he thought.  he dressed the girl and i got the boy ready.  it turned out that the boy was going to his other grandma because the gan was on a break.  i had to do the girl's hair, which i'm totally bad at.  after all, i never had a girl, folks and my son did not have much hair.  i did take a hairdressing course years ago, here in zefat, but none of the dummy heads that we worked on, had long hair.

the kids got out, more or less, in tact.  i went upstairs to check out the pigeon scene.  you really have to stay on top of it.  it is a long and arduous war.  i didn't have any thumb tacks so i brought up some nails.  i banged away at the plastic screening i put up.  all that banging noise got me ready for my appointment at at the hospital.  i  hope that i made the barrier strong and impenetrable.  the pigeons tend to rip it down in total defiance.  i cleaned up most of the poo and went downstairs to get ready for my trip to tel aviv.  that's right, another MRI. of the old brain.

i quickly showered and dressed.  i left at 11:30 a.m.  my appointment was for 4:00 p.m.  i walked  a distance to a local bus stop to catch a bus to rosh pina.  i usually cab it.  since the medical carrier refused to reimburse me for these taxis, i find myself  'roughing ' it.   i was able to catch a taxi off the highway to take me for a mere 10 shekels.  the bus is only 5 shekels but i was pressed for time.  the express  bus came at 12:30 p.m  and i got to tel aviv at 3:00 p.m.   i had to take a taxi to the hospital because i simply cannot hack a local tel aviv bus ride.  the taxi took nearly a half hour so the bus might have been close to an hour.  that's way too much local bus ride for me after along bus trip.

i counted on being at the MRI for hours.  the last time i waited at least 2 hours to see the doctor.  this time, i caught a break.  at 4:30 p.m. they inserted my tube and gave me my shot.  i was in the machine at 5:00 p.m.  i fell asleep.  they kept on asking me if i was okay.  i could barely answer because i was so tired.  i keep my eyes close until they unstrap my head.  that's the only way to deal with claustrophobia.  i have to keep on telling myself not to open my eyes.  i ordered a cab to pick me up at 7:30 p.m.  that's on the medical carrier's account.  i don't pay one cent.  i was finished at 6:00 p.m., a real record time for sure.  it was lovely outside and the lawns was watered and had the most lovely smell of fresh grass.  i bought some chocolate milk and a roll and sat outside and had a picnic.

i felt well and was under no pressure.  i even did a bit of window shopping in the mini maul.  i bought some chocolate and sat on the grass and watched the cats play.  i was at peace with the world.  when i first got there, just as i entered the building, a man in a  wheelchair asked me to take him to the emergency room.  it was only a short distance and i was able to walk.  i thought it was a divine message from above to get over myself.  there i was, on my own two feet and not back in a wheelchair, like last year.  i saw the same receptionists who helped me last year when i was at my worst.  it was a real 'ah ha ' moment for me.

when i was waiting to enter the MRI,  i saw a young couple who were apparently waiting for their baby to come back from his testing.  they were both exhausted and reading words of torah.  i felt so bad for them.  i also felt so blessed for my family's wellness.  a trip to the hospital is an eye opener, for sure.  everyone was so nice to me, yesterday.  the receptionist helped me with a bureaucratic issue.  the nurse was also incredibly helpful and nice.  the doctor easily got the line in  and was so gentle with me.  even the technician, who asked me to remove my scarf was nice.  she quickly got me a surgical net to wear.  it was actually a pleasure to be there.  i know that sounds weird under the circumstances.

the only hitch was finding the taxi driver, afterwards.  i didn't have any calls left on my cellphone.  i never travel with my cellphone.  it has been on my shelf, uncharged, for over a year.  i am not a cell person.  i have always been afraid of radiation.  ha ha, the joke's on me!  i sat outside for a while and then roamed the parking lot more than once,  looking for a zefat taxi medallion.  not one to be found.  at 7:30 p.m. i had a total stranger cal the cab company for me.  i was told that the driver was in a traffic jam and was about a half hour form the hospital.  it was getting cold and i was getting tired.  i could have made it home quicker if i had taken the bus.  i was getting antsy.  the driver arrived close to 9:00 p.m.  i got home at 11:00 p.m.  that's nearly 12 hours after i left.

i am really tired today.  i have to see the brain surgeon next week.  i have the sephardi family engagement party on the same day.  i actually know the bride and like her very much.  as it turns out, my daughter-in-law's father has to see the neurosurgeon at sheba, too.  we have matching appointments at the same time.  i offered to pick them up in my taxi.  we will travel back to hadera  together for the 'henna'.  i'm actually looking forward to the party.

i met the loveliest american couple last week at the radiologist office.  they were kind enough to offer me to stay over at their home for the night.  i doubt that you'd encounter this type of hospitality in america.  i didn't take them up on their offer because i had to get back to zefat, the dogs, and the kids.  i had to make shabbat, too.  in the meanwhile, we are staying in touch by email.  i know how hard a process they are going through, having survived it myself.  i am truly sorry for everyone who has to battle this disease and endure this treatment.

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