We have been flirting with some version of a cold since arriving here a little over a month ago. Last weekend Logan and Sadie fell apart. Logan took a huge shabbat nap while I wrestled the children. I wasn't feeling well but I was in better shape. Tuesday morning Aaron woke up with abnormal amounts of eye gunk. We took him to the doctor, I'm still traumatized and not sure if I want to write about that experience.
That evening as it poured in Jerusalem I walked to three different pharmacies before someone had the prescribed eye drops for Aaron. The next morning Logan was running late to Yeshiva and I offered to take Sadie to school. Only after he left I realized I had no more points on my bus pass and I had no sheckels to pay for a taxi. I threw the kids into the stroller. In an hour I had dropped off Sadie and made it back home. Around two in the afternoon I fell apart. I developed a fever and could not function. I decided to go see a doctor.
Logan called the health insurance to get a list of doctors. Unfortunately the woman he spoke to barely spoke any English. I decided to go to Terem - which I thought was Israel's version of urgent care. Because of the insane amounts of rain every taxi I flagged already had a paying passenger. I walked 30-40 minutes in the rain until I got there. When I arrived I could not find the entrance. I found a man in military garb sitting in a tiny booth. I asked him where the Terem was and he pointed behind him. I tried exiting the booth until I realized I had to walk through the booth to access Terem.
Terem is an emergency room. I was one of the only people there. The woman at the front desk spoke perfect English. She grew up in Israel but her parents were Americans. I asked her if Terem was typically so quiet and she suggested the pouring rain was keeping people from coming. I gave her my passport and my insurance number, ten minutes later I was called to the back. My nurse was friendly, spoke great English. She took my temperature and then called in the doctor.
My doctor was very strange. He stumbled into my area nervously twitching. He acted as if not all of his limbs were in sync with one another. He had me sit on the bed while he sat on the chair. I asked him if he spoke English, he responded that he did and then he spoke to me in Hebrew. After a minute or two he realized I did not speak Hebrew. He spoke to me in English, noting down my responses on his form. After several questions he began to speak to me in Hebrew again. Out of nowhere he violently shook his head and spoke to me in English again.
The doctor checked me for the usual things, did a throat culture and left. A few minutes later the nurse came back saying she wanted to take some blood. I sat there, all I could think was CANCER. THEY FOUND CANCER. I forced myself to breathe. I tucked my hands underneath my arms. My thoughts ran together. How could they find cancer from a throat culture? From checking my heart rate? OMG I AM DYING IN ISRAEL.
I looked at the nurse. Calmly, I asked her, "is this routine?"
"Yes, this is routine. We want to see if have an infection."
CANCER CANCER CANCER CANCER
She took my blood and the doctor clumsily stumbled into my station five minutes later.
He handed me a sheet of paper, there was a prescription for antibiotics, sudafed and throat drops. He warned me not to buy the antibiotics until calling two days later to hear the results of my throat culture. He then handed me the results of my blood work, they could not see an infection.
I was really impressed with the Terem. The doctor did not rush to prescribe me antibiotics. I really like the concept of checking the blood for infection prior to pumping someone's body with intense drugs. I think it's a method that should be adopted worldwide.
Meet the Blogger!
I'm a mom. A writer. A lover of good fantasy. A proponent of nursing when possible. A birth advocate. I am absolutely horrible at keeping my house clean or the dishes washed or the laundry done. I strongly believe in women having a positive birth. When we start to respect women's rights to birth the way they want, we can start to treat women as equal people in this world.
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