A complicated week
In addition to all that is going on internationally, things have been busy here on the home front as well. This is my oldest.
Monday she called me saying that she was experiencing chest pain, numbness in her left arm shallow breathing and dizziness. She had gone to a walk in health center who checked out her vitals, did and EKG and suggested strongly that she go to an ER.
I met her at Mount Sinai Hospital.The ER there is busy. The gurneys are stacked three deep in each little curtained cubicle. Other gurneys with sick folks are stashed away in hallways.
The ER staff first determined that my daughter was not just having a panic attack and began monitoring all of her vitals and began testing her heart in various ways. The episodes my daughter kept having looked like what in the 19th century might be called The Vapors, . if she were a fragile sort of a girl I would have not paid a whole lot of attention…but she is a tough cookie, a strong girl in mind and spirit.
By early evening they moved my daughter to the relative luxury of the observation ward. Lots of different kinds of testing was done to my kid. She was hooked up to various sensors that kept track of all of her parts. This think that felt like something bad in her heart showed up as perfectly normal numbers and ratios.
Her potassium numbers were a bit, but not alarmingly low they gave her a dose of potassium ..and her symptoms immediately improved. Yes, we did all make Borat jokes and commented that she needed to move immediately to Kazakhstan for their excellent potassium.
My very independent girl wanted me to stay with her. So I spent the night. We discovered that two adults can not sleep on one hospital gurney. I began the night on an uncomfortable metal chair . At 2:00am a nice nurse took pity on me and brought me a comfortable chair. After another day of testing, they sent my daughter home.
We know that the problem isn’t her heart, we just don’t know yet what it is. They symptoms are somewhat less…but are still bothersome. She went to a primary care doctor today and she will explore in a less stressful way what is going on. The nice thing is that what she has isn’t fatal. The hard this is that it seems to be one of those fuzzy unclear things that make your life a little harder to lead and an answer as to what is going on isn’t all that easy to reach.
As one might assume, spending the night sleeping in a chair in a hospital isn’t all that restful. But Wednesday , instead of sleeping or just hanging out of the couch watching endless episodes of Toddlers in Tiaras I had to get ready to exhibit my work. I had made a commitment to exhibit at the national convention of Women’s league for Conservative Judaism in Whippany, NJ.
It’s a big job to get organized for a show. I was wiped out.. I did the best I could. Meaning lots of stuff just didn’t get done.
My saintly husband drove me and helped me set up and even helped me set up a slide show of my work. He was also a really good sport when I realized after we were driving on Route 80 that while I had packed the car with my display stuff…I had forgotten to bring my suitcase full of work so we had to go home to pick up my work.
So while I didn’t sell a whole lot at the show. It was pretty extraordinary for an entirely different reason. we all know the expression “six degrees of separation”. I think that in the Jewish world it’s more like two degrees of separation.
So over the course of yesterday I spoke to a woman who used to go to shul with my great aunt and uncle in their small town when she was a kid. I spoke to another woman who was a dear friend of a couple who were very dear to my parents in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. I last saw them when I was five.
I had a lovely conversation with a much younger colleague of my father’s who had worked closely with him in the 1970’s and 80’s on the publications committee of the Rabbinical Assembly.
And in the middle of all of this I reconnected through Facebook with one of my friends from middle school who I haven’t seen since she moved back to Israel in the early 1970’s.
So in many ways, it’s been a crummy week. It’s been crummy in my family, it’s pretty awful in Israel and in Gaza. It was really terrible for the folks flying over the Ukraine in the plane.
And yet, there were some nice things that took place as well. ( Including the fact that my son made Shabbat dinner after he realized that I wasn’t home to cook it)
Shabbat Shalom. Hoping for an upcoming week of health and peace for all.