I woke up with a start to a totally silent house at 11:45am! For those of you who don’t know what “trisim” are, they are both the biggest blessing and curse of every Israeli home. Trisim are heavy plastic slated blinds that roll up and down the outside of the window. When pulled all the way down they block out all sunlight which is good when you are trying to keep the cool in and the heat out. They are also awesome if you want to take a nap in broad daylight; just pull them down and it’s immediately midnight. For jet-laggers, they are not so good. They allow you to keep your US sleeping habits for as long as you mighty well please. So, at NOON today, I promptly became the Tris Nazi, going from room to room in an overly annoying cheerful voice saying, “good morning! Time to get up! Our first whole day in E”Y!” and opening the trisim to let in the heat/light of day. After much grumbling, most people got up without too much prodding.
But again, N had a scarily high fever. Over 104. I called the American doctor who had given me his cell number (now, c’mon, imagine a Doc in the US giving me his own private cell?) and he urged me to go back to the Emergency Center and get a referral to the hospital. We moved fast at this point, as he was screaming and yelling and I ran the kids over to Saba and Savta and ran to get the referral. This time, they took us right in, no one was messing around anymore and we were at Shaarei Tzedek in Jerusalem within the hour. I had both my naturally born Sabras at STz and I still marvel at that hospital every time. As we are walking in, there is a little machine that looks like a vending machine but upon closer inspection has 10 different docking spots with chargers. You pay to have your phone/iPod/whatever locked in a case and charged. Israelis are brilliant.
Maybe not so brilliant, but worth the mention was the next vending machine that sold hot French fries with ketchup. Gross you say? Believe me, by 3am the next morning those “chips” were looking pretty enticing.
Another thing that always strikes me about STz are the frum women doctors. It makes me marvel that there are some women out there just like me that somehow actually can pull it together enough to have a family and be a great doctor, too. Awesome.
Again here, they took one look at N’s leg and took him right back to Emergency Pediatrics. At this point, he was burning up and they guaranteed us one night’s stay at the very least. Now think about this. We are literally off the plane. We have no health insurance, we haven’t slept more than a couple of hours in the past few days, and oh! The best part of all: when we first arrived, we went to the bank and there was a strike. No workers at a bank means no money. So now we are admitted to the hospital with no health insurance and no money.
BAW stayed with us for a few hours, but then we decided that someone had to get home to the other five very cranky, needy kids. I surprised myself by not being nervous about being left alone there, and by understanding just about everything the nurses and doctors said. The only thing I was very uncomfortable about was the Arab nurse that was the only nurse on the Emergency Peds floor all night. But the Israeli Docs seem to be able to work side by side with them with no problem, so I dealt with it.
N was uncomfortable to say the very least. They put his IV in his foot since he had one in his hand the night before, and after much poking around L they couldn’t find one in his other arm. You can only imagine that most of my past 24 hours have been spent trying to get him to stop pulling at that IV. They gave him IV antibiotics every 8 hours as well as pain meds. For the most part he wasn’t too bad. Saba and Savta came with A and A to visit from 10 to 12 last night, and that helped us a lot too. N needed the distraction, and I needed a bathroom break and a good teeth brushing. I have a whole new respect for people with sick kids who spend lots of time at the hospital. It is emotionally and physically exhausting for both the child and the parent.
He only dozed off for an hour or so the whole day, and by 3am I was in panic mode again because I was so tired. He wouldn’t sleep. I finally put up the bars to the cage/crib and let him dance around while I fell asleep on the chair next to him. I was out like a light for 15 minutes exactly. When I woke up, he was unnaturally sliding around his crib. He had had a terrible diaper that had leaked and was literally dancing around in the mess. His IV on his foot was COVERED in diarrhea, and I sat down and had my first good cry since arriving here. I had literally reached my limit. The next shift of nurses (wonderful people!!) helped me clean him up without asking too many questions as to why I didn’t notice this sooner :/
Finally, around 5am we both fell asleep and woke up to BAW standing over us around 8am, both of us cranky and exhausted. I felt disgusting, not having had a hot shower since Sat. night, and now it was Wednesday morning! I smiled at BAW and fell promptly asleep again in my squeaky chair next to the crib, only to have him shake me awake to take a taxi home. I was so nervous to leave and only did so when the doctor promised me that N would be home by this evening. I somehow made it home in a stupor and stopped at Saba and Savta’s to have Saba drive us all home. After a shower and some food I was finally feeling human again, and put on a DVD on my computer for the masses to watch so that I could take a quick nap.