Sunday, September 28, 2008


Right. Now that my foot is pretty much on the road to recovery, I can get back to writing about the trip. It will take several posts to cover the places, but, I'll get it done at some point.
It was arranged that we would sleep at kibbutzim that were along the route we were taking. The first night was at Kibbutz Amiad. I was a bit apprehensive about staying there as that is where my beloved Land Rover's garage is and I really didn't want to run into it there. I didn't, but I did run straight into one of the garage managers who of course had to tell me that my Disco had been there recently. Oh, well, at least it's being well cared for.
When we got there, we were taken to the member's club which is a huge room with sofas, chairs and a coffee bar, with bathrooms just outside the front door in a corridor that leads to the main room. We Five were quite pleased with the accomodations, but the Titanic and her followers were not. They demanded separate rooms. My Communist stood firm and told her that arrangements had only been made for us. They left in a huff to find hotel rooms in Tiberius. I staked out a sofa and slept quite well in spite of dreams about my Land Rover. We were up and ready in good time to leave for Afula by vehicle as there were road works going on that made going on the scooters too dangerous. At one of the first service stations in Afula, we got back on out trusty scooters and rode through the city to a restaurant that had invited us for breakfast.

We were met by several local political types and served a very nice breakfast. After eating and listening to the politcal types we headed out and just as we got the the city limits, were greeted by The Tinic and her entourage. The police escort and My Communist told us to keep going, which we did. They decided on a show of strength and blocked the road with their vans and wheelies.

One of them was extremely abusive to My Communist and I ended up having words with her. They finally moved their vans and Baby Shmutznikim drove them so they could be with us on the road after agreeing to no more provocations. So far so good.
We stopped for a long break at a serivice station at the entrance to Um Al Fahem, one of the largest Arab cities in the country.

It was the perfect place for a rest, and after a light lunch, we continued towards our next kibbutz, Gan Shmuel.
There is a large shopping center at Gan Shmuel and My Communist lead us through it with his commentary and music blaring. People stopped and waved and yelled encouragement to us. This time we were given a children's house that is now used by teens. It had several bedrooms, a large meeting room, boys and girls bathroom and showers. Of course the room I ended up in had a Peace Now sticker that almost gave me nightmares even before I went to sleep.

We had a long meeting with everyone, including the two who would later be named Sheka and Teka, who promised to behave. As we needed a change in our police approved route, those two were sent to get it done first thing in the morning. They were less than happy to find out that we had a session with a TV crew at 0900 and demanded that we wait for them. They were told that they have to be on time, no waiting. A reporter from a radio station arrived and they made sure that they were interviewed. There was a rumor that more reporters were on the way so they hung around for hours. In the end the press delegation they were waiting for turned out to be Itzik, our very own photographer from Kiryat Shmonah who came to visit us. They left and we all went to bed at around 0230.
Breakfast at the kibbutz dining hall was very nice and took me back to my own kibbutz days.

After a wonderful kibbutz breakfast, we went out to meet the TV crew, and I had a mini temper tantrum at My Communist. He wanted me to speak, but I was in no shape to be coherent and even growled at him. 3 hours of sleep are just not enough after such a long crazy day.
Right. That's enough for now. There's a lot more to come, and I'll get to it in the next few days.

Friday, September 26, 2008


I've been too lazy this past week to post and I'm so far behind that I'm not sure where to begin, so, I'll start with the insanity at the hospital in Tiberius.
The surgeon who sent me to the ER there is a senior surgeon at Rambam Hospital in Haifa. He speciffically wrote on the reference letter to the ER that I need antibiotics by IV during hospitalization. The ER docs were just about to send me home when Moshe decided that enough was enough and went to tell the hospital administrator what was going on and that they really don't want to ignore the referral from that surgeon, and for sure not as it relates to one of The Five. Strangely enough he had heard of The Five and decided to find out who had referred me to his ER. After a few phone calls to the ER, they admitted me, and pretty much ignored me, until I caught one of the senior nurses on the floor and suggested that they start the antibiotics. She then told me that they'd put a patch on the burn with stuff that eats necrotic tissue. Ok, that's a start. Necrotic tissue is not good. She grabbed a quack and after a few phone calls they decided to start the IV antibiotics.
The next morning during rounds one of the ortho interns asked why my toes were all chopped up. "Hammer toe" said I. When he asked what hammer toe is, I just looked at him pityingly and told the interns to take out their notebooks and pens as the lesson was about to start. I, very patiently explained hammer toe, the treatment, and why the toes were chopped the way they were. (You can Google it) After that, I just said that the lesson was over and the test would be the next day. The head of the department just stood back and watched with a strange grin on his face. The next day at rounds I told them that the test would be postponed until we'd covered drop foot, which they also knew nothing about. Maybe I should start my own Medical School.
I was incredibly lucky to have been put in a room with the most amazing 82 year old woman. She told me many stories from the preState days. She's actually lived so many of things I'd only read about. I kept asking her for more. I consider it an amazing priviledge to have been able to listen to so much of our history from someone who actually lived it. At one point we discovered that her daughter and I had taught at the same school at the same time. Small world. We were a very happy room and more than a few people had a problem with the gayety and laughter that often erupted from our room. Don't those people know that laughter is the best medicine?
The docs sprung me on Sunday with instructions on how to continue treatment at home. It seemed to get worse over the first few days. I saw the plastics doc (supposedly a burn expert) and did not like what he said to do, so, went to the surgeon who actually does know his stuff and agreed with *my* teatment plan; oral antibiotics, that antibiotic gel mesh thing, and frequent checks.
Today I went to the nurse and we checked it. It seems to be improving, so I'm going to continue with the same treatment, including slathering it with Eucerin at night. Since I started doing that, it's calmed the pain and I can actually get some sleep. The nurse saw some skin growing back, so I'm hopeful that in a decade or so it will be ok.
When I went to the pharmacy to get the antibiotics, my Visa was refused. Right. Need those pills. What to do? I called Moshe and he came flying to the rescue. On the way out of the pharmacy I told the pharmacist that the trip to Jerusalem gave me four new big brothers and that any one of them would have done the same. Even, Hezi, who was in Eilat would have phoned in his credit card number. I adore having four new brothers to watch out for me. The Five is so much more than just five gimps who rode electric chairs to Jerusalem to make a statement. We are THE FIVE who are AS ONE. And it feels wonderful.

Monday, September 15, 2008


I knew it. I just knew it. Those dolts at the hospital in Safad released me too soon. Now my foot is in such a mess that I'm taking it to another hospital tomorrow in the hopes they'll be better.
I finally decide to stay in hospital until they let me out instead of doing y usual LET ME OUT OF HER shtick, and look what it gets me. The hospital I'm going to this time is one that I personally have wired, so, it should be ok. And it's about the same distance as the previous one. This time, in Tiberius. All I have to do is make it through the night, and it will be ok. Last night was a nightmare. It just kept hurting and didn't let me sleep until after 0430. I woke up exhausted at around 1000, and was not happy.
After coffee and emails I went to the clinic and the nurse who has been looking after was upset, but no so upset that she called that idiot Russian wanna be doc, Igore. She knows how much I detest him, so she asked the pediatrician to have a look. Of course I had my thumb in my mouth by the time she got there. She told the nurse to go get Igore because I really should be back in hospital. He agree with her and with me that I should go to the one in Tiberius this time. Maybe I should go today, but, I have too much to do up here in the morning. I'll go after noon sometime.
In the meantime, it's back to bed with my idiot foot. I'll up date when I get sprung. I don't plan on springing myself this time either!

Monday, September 01, 2008


It has been difficult to sit here for any length of time with my burned feet on the floor, so, I haven't.
It's been way too long since I posted here and it's all my very own fault. There's also the minor fact that head has been pretty much in the clouds over a personal issue that I am not ready to write about here just now. Maybe one day, maybe never.
I still haven't finished writing about the trip but that will have to wait for another day.
I've been busy trying to see how many stupid things I can do in day. On Saturday, just as I was about to a dress on to go out for a few minutes, my upstairs neighbor knocked on the door. I told her "Just a Minute" and tried to hurry with the dress. I managed to get my head through an armhole and both arms through the neck. Trust me. That doesn't work. Then I had to get out of that predicament. Good thing I have strong teeth and an inclination towards rubber joints. I got out of, then into said dress, and opened the door. After bringing the plate, (my neighbor likes to bring me Shabbat lunch) I went off for my little jaunt and came home to rest my foot.
Both nurses from my clinic were away for the week and the substitute nurse was less than usseless. She argued with evrything I told her to do and just went ahead and did things her way wich left me with oddly colored patches of stuff growing on the left foot burn. I wanted her to take all that gunk off but she refused, so, there I was hobbling around with a potentially lucrative patch of something quite foul on my foot. Today MY nurse was back and she very carefully picked all that gunk off and that burn is pretty much back to beginning healing wise.
The Five are having a big to do tomorrow night at Hezi's and I can't wait.
What is this nonesense? We were inseperable for 11 days........
I'll get back to trip next time. Lots of anecdotes. I promise.