Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Minor Miscommunications

Another year is almost over. How does that keep happening?

I spent most of my time this year hospital hopping from rotation to rotation. A couple of days ago I finished my rotation in a community clinic. It was different than being in the hospital, I was worried that it may be boring there and it almost always was. 

Every morning at around 8:30am people would come to get hooked up to one of our 24 hour holters (we only had two machines). The other morning a Portuguese speaking fellow came in and asked if anyone spoke Portuguese. We had Hebrew speakers, English speakers, French speakers, and Russian speakers but unfortunately no Portuguese speakers. 

With the help of his referral from the doctor we were able to determine that he needed to be hooked up to one of the holters. We got him all set up and told him to come back the next morning so we could take the machine off.

The next morning the old man returned and we took the holter off him. He thanked us and then asked us where he can pay. Fearing that there was a miscommunication because of the language, we explained that he has insurance and he doesn’t have to pay separately. He contemplated what we were saying and nodded his head as he stuck his hands into his pockets and rummaged around for a moment.

“Well then, how about if I pay you in THESE?” he asked as he tossed a handful of candy in our direction before getting confused about where the exit was and accidentally scurrying into the adjacent storage closet. After a good laugh, we helped him out of the storage closet and thanked him for the candy before leading him to the exit.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Tossed Salad

Its that time of the semester again. You know, the lovely time of year when the sun is out, the flowers are blooming and  panic is in the air.

This semester most of my exams are at 17:00 as opposed to in the morning. It's nice not having to wake up super early to rush to the university for an exam (especially since I don't exactly live in the area nowadays), but 17:00 isn't exactly my finest hour.

By the time I'm done with my exam and ready to go home, it's pretty dark out and rush hour is in full swing. The mental stress from sitting around all day trying to cram as much information as humanly possible into the black abyss that has taken up residence in my brain finally begins to take its toll and exhaustion takes over.

As I make my way home I find that I'm just the perfect mix of delusional and disoriented. This precarious balance opens up a world of possibilities for exciting new adventures.

Last night I arrived at the train station just in time for the 19:46 train only to discover that the train wasn't scheduled to leave from the train station that I was in. It turns out that the 18:46 train hadn't left from that station either and there were a lot of very confused passengers that had been waiting nearly two hours for a train that wasn't coming.

An announcement came over the speakers saying that the train would be leaving from the next station. Passengers waiting for the Jerusalem train were to take a train to the next station and transfer there to the Jerusalem train. The crowd surged as one and we pushed onto an already full train to head to the next station.

Propped up by my fellow passengers, I took a look around. An older woman maneuvered herself towards me and asked "Are you also trying to get to the Jerusalem train?". I nodded and she looked relieved. When we got to the next stop I watched as she pushed herself through the crowd and elbowed her way up the escalator at lightning speed yelling for them to hold the train to Jerusalem.

Spurred into action by her reminder that we would all miss the train, everyone began to run. In the most unorganized fashion imaginable we made it onto the train and I even got a seat. 

Knowing that I would be going home on the later side, I had made a chicken salad to eat on the train. There wasn't much in the way of elbow room but I was hungry so I decided to eat my salad anyways.

All eyes were on me as I struggled to retrieve my salad from the depths of my backpack, unknowingly loosening the top of the container. Victorious, I held the container in both hands and gave it a good shake to try and mix everything together. Everyone watched in horror as I showered the guy sitting next to me in my dinner.

My immediate reaction was to avoid eye contact and pretend that maybe no one had noticed. Except it was a crowded train and everyone had watched me throw chicken at the guy sitting next to me. 

Eventually I apologized and tried to be helpful by picking the pieces of chicken and various vegetables off of his sleeve. Fortunately for his jacket, I forgot to dress the salad so clean up was easy with minimal staining. 

He was nice about it. Didn't make a big fuss or anything. Just politely nodded and began intently reading some papers that he had with him. We avoided eye contact for the remainder of the ride as I ate the remaining salad. 

Maybe next time I'll pack a sandwich.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Security Scrutiny

The early morning hours are not my finest hours. I often struggle to find the balance between grace and functionality.

Ideally I like to wake up at a normal time and take my time showering, getting dressed and eating breakfast before leaving the house for the day. When I leave the house before the sun rises, my priorities are a little different. And despite my best efforts to look like a presentable member of society, things have a way of going awry.

The other morning was no different than any other.

My alarm clock went off at precisely 4:45am and I did my very best to ignore it. Five minutes later it rang again, I sighed and made a pitiful attempt to get out of bed. Having failed at getting out of bed I moved on to the next order of business, clothing. Getting dressed consists of me blindly flailing my arms in the direction of my conveniently placed clean laundry basket in order to acquire a pair of pants, underwear, two socks and some sort of shirt and/or sweater and then donning said articles of clothing.

Next I made a more successful attempt at getting out of bed and turned on the light. Satisfied with my choice in clothes I moved to the bathroom to brush my teeth and wash my face in the frigid water which doubles as an extra wake up call. From there we move down the stairs and into the kitchen where I make a cup of coffee in a travel mug to drink on the bus.

As I begin to bundle myself up in my winter gear, I notice a lonely chocolate chip muffin sitting in the cabinet begging to be eaten. After a brief moment of hesitation I grab the muffin and stick in my bag to have with my coffee in a seemingly innocent act. Thus, unknowingly changing my fate.

Mere moments later I grab my bag and head out into the early morning darkness to catch my bus. The first bus ride passes without a hitch. I disembark and make my way to the bus stop across the street to wait for the inner-city that takes me to the hospital. The bus arrived right on schedule and I sat down in my usual seat. My hand brushed against the travel mug and my stomach grumbled.

As I sat on the bus sipping my lukewarm coffee I remembered the muffin. Smiling I reached into my bag and retrieved the muffin. I don't know if you've ever tried eating a muffin while holding a coffee cup on a bus that happens to be driving down a exceptionally uneven road before, but in my experience it is not an easy task.

I arrived at the hospital feeling slightly more disheveled than usual and made my way to security as I do every morning. Each morning the security guard and I have roughly the same conversation...

Security guard: Good morning.
Me: Good morning.
Security guard: Student?
Me: Yep.
Security guard: I have to check your bag anyways because you're not an employee..
Me: OK...
*Security guard checks bag, finds nothing of interest*
Security guard: OK, have a nice day!
Me: thanks, you too.

This mornings conversation went a little bit differently:
Security guard: Good morning student!
Me: Good morning.
Security guard: You've got some coffee on your pants...
Me: Yep.
*Security guard continues to stare at my pants*
Security guard: It's in like, 3 places...
Me: I noticed, thanks.
*Security guard shakes head in apparent disbelief*
Security guard: It's a little noticeable.
Me: Thanks for pointing it out...
Security guard: I'm still gonna have to check your bag.
Me: Enjoy
*Security guard halfheartedly checks bag while still staring at the noticeable coffee stains on my pants*
Security guard: Well then, have a nice day..
Me: Sure, you too...
*Security guard giggles to himself*
Security guard: Maybe next time try to get more coffee in your mouth and less on your pants!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Early Morning Excursions

This year we jumped right into rotations as soon as school started. Each rotation is around 12-20 shifts so we end up switching hospitals each month.

My first rotation was in a psychiatric hospital. The overall experience was as enlightening as it was terrifying. I enjoyed the time that I spent there but was glad to say goodbye at the end of the month and move to Pediatrics.

Pediatrics has been fun. But the hospital itself is a little hard to get to. After a week of trial and error, I resorted to taking the first bus out of bet shemesh in order to get to my 7am shift on time.

I've always been what most people call "a morning person" but rarely have I cheerily woken up at 4:50am to catch the first bus out of the city. I was under the assumption that 5:00am is the time of day where most sane people are tucked away safe in their beds.

Boy was I surprised to find out that I was wrong. It turns out the first bus out of bet shemesh is actually pretty full. Some of the regulars have been taking the first bus for years.

The first time that I took the first bus I thought it would be a somber experience. I was shocked when I got on the bus and was greeted by warm smiles. As the bus drove down the highway unhindered by the inconvenience of other cars, the driver turned up the radio and  I was subjected to my very first 5:30am karaoke.

It turns out that the first bus is a place full of love and laughter. There's a special bond between these veteran early risers forged by sleep deprivation and a lack of caffeine. The bus driver knows them each by name and they share a knowing glance when a newcomer gingerly climbs onto the bus on their shaky legs, exhausted and disoriented from having woken at such an ungodly hour.

It certainly has been an experience and its nice to know that even in the darkness of the early morning hours, there's a group of people lighting up the day.

Today I am greatful for mornings that I get to sleep past 5am.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

To Whom It May Concern

Dearest family, friends, cats, and dogs.

I'm delighted to inform you that after years of eager waiting, mainly from my father whom I'm sure had given up all hope and resorted to saying daily prayers on my behalf, it has finally happened. 

I passed my driving test.

It's been a long and trying time but I finally have my licence.

Thank you to all of the people that helped make this possible. I appreciate it more than you know.


P.S. Today I am grateful that I finally passed my driving test. Amen. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Caution, Cows Crossing.

I'm back from Switzerland.

Actually, I got back quite a while ago. I meant to update my blog but it never seemed to happen. The rest of the trip was delightful and coming back to Israel was sort of bittersweet.

Why did the cow cross the road?
The holidays are always a fun and exciting time, lots of family time and an overabundance of delicious foods. They're also a time to think back over the past year and just to reflect on life in general.

My mom started doing this new thing where she picks (at least) one thing every day that she feels grateful for. It's easy to focus on the negative things in life especially when I'm feeling stressed or tired and ofttimes I forget that I actually have an awful lot of things to be grateful for.

With the start of a new semester right around the corner I'm making a slightly belated new year resolution to be a little more grateful for all of the positive things in my life.

Today I am grateful to my mother for reminding me that I have a lot of things in life to feel grateful for (,amongst other things).

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Kapellbrücke And Ferrys

On Thursday we went to Luzern to walk around the city and see the famous chapel bridge called the Kapellbrücke.

Apparently it is the oldest wooden covered bridge in Europe. In an effort to sound well cultured I shall pretend like I knew about it and was very interested in seeing it. Regardless of my previous knowledge of said bridge, it was actually quite impressive.

Part of the bridge had burnt down one fateful summer evening in the year 1993 (one of the most momentous events that occurred that August second only to my birth) and was subsequently restored. It is now one of Switzerland's main tourists attractions, a fact which was made evident by the vast quantities of tourists that we encountered as we attempted to cross the bridge.
The famous Kapellbrücke
 After visiting Europe's oldest wooden covered bridge we got back in the car and made our way to the ferry which took us and our car across the lake.

And herein ends another exciting Swiss-Cheese-Land adventure.

Stay tuned for more, maybe.