MRI

August 27, 2008 at 9:53 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Yesterday we went for the follow-up MRI. We went by bus and took our youngest with us. The bigger kids all were busy so insteady of making it a family outing, it was just the little kids and us.

We like to travel in Israel, even if we know the road well. Bus from Ma’aleh Adumim to Jerusalem, and then another bus to Tel Aviv. The trip to Tel Aviv is especially nice, with the green fields, and the forests as you come down from Jerusalem. we have a beautiful country and we love to travel in it.

The traffic was really heavy, so the ride took about 90 minutes instead of the usual 55. We were late. Instead of walking from the bus station to the hospital we took a cab. In the end we could have walked, because as we should have expected, there were delays at the MRI clinic as well.  Just as well we took the cab since it was hot, and Chayim Zvi was fasting. But the area around Ichilov is just beautiful, a mix of old and new buildings. Houses and apartments, trees, flowers and everything so clean.

Chayim Zvi went in at about 6 pm, about an hour late. They do the MRI with anesthesia, so as I said he had to fast beforehand, but he more or less took that in stride. He’s an old pro at fasting already. Coming out of the anesthesia he was pretty nauseated. Once he nibbled a potato chip he immediately began to feel better. Salt is great for beating nausea. So is lemon. Oil and fatty foods are not good, so next time (and there WILL be many next times because he’ll need follow-up for years) we will bring pretzels – less fat than chips so they should help even more – and lemonade or lemon-flavored water.
Then it was off to the local mall to our favorite eatery. Seems like every time we’ve gone to the hospital we’ve eaten there. Pasta, pizza, salad, and ice cream. Who could want more?

And the results? Well. We don’t know. They gave us a new CD but kept our old one for the radiologist to use for comparison. We have to make an appointment with Dr. Constantini and I suppose he’ll tell us.

School starts next week and Chayim Zvi seems to be ready. He’s not thrilled to go back, but he doesn’t seem to be offering any resistance. As is common here in Israel, his main classroom teachers will continue with the class (and the classes are not remixed – he’s with more or less the same boys he’s been with since first grade).

We still have not heard from the physical therapist as to when he can start. I’m guessing that by the time they call us he just won’t need it any more.

Devra

Shamelessly Plugging Other Blogs

August 21, 2008 at 1:50 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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Off topic! Last night Gidon and I attended the first JBloggers Convention at Nefesh B’Nefesh. It was amazing. The best part was seeing old friends, meeting new ones, and discovered who is hiding behind all those nicknames and anonymous blogs. I was there representing my “anonymous” blog: Every Day and Its Challenges. But I want to push lots of other really neat bloggers who were there.

First of all, there was RivkA (emphasis on last syllable). Her blog, Coffee and Chemo is about living with cancer and it’s amazing. RivkA is high up on my “favorite people” list.

I was pleased to see and hug my friend Ruti Mizrachi, whose blog Ki Yachol Nuchal is such an inspiration to me.

I found out that I know the woman behind West Bank Mama! Hi mom!

I saw Robin, who was so kind to link to this blog from hers (My Home in Israel).

Of course Jameel was there, and he even gave away a waffle maker (in joke). Jameel also linked to us.

I waved to Lady-Light of Tikkun Olam on the webcast.

My friend Debi has a business blog, but she has a great summary of the evening posted even though it’s not strictly her blog topic.

And for the record, Chayim Zvi will be starting school as usual on August 31st (G-d willing). He cut his knee when he started down on the down escalator, but then changed his mind and tried to go back up. Two stitches. Hurray! Normal stuff.

Today’s Dr’s Visit

August 7, 2008 at 2:07 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Today we saw Dr. Glick again. Dr. Glick is a neurologist, and the head of the Jerusalem Childhood Development Center of our sick fund (kupat cholim). We last saw Dr. Glick on our long day. For this follow-up visit we thought we would have seen the physical therapist. This didn’t happen. Dr. Glick is really amazing. I could see how he has worked on improving himself  (no he is not religious). He was annoyed but he overcame his annoyance and immediately began looking for the good in the whole thing.

Chayim Zvi still limps. This was disturbing to Dr. Glick, who could not see any reason for it. But he wanted CZ to be examined by an orthopedist. He was not satisfied with the report from our last orthopedist visit (last week) who said that the x-rays look fine and we could start trying to schedule the outpatient surgery to remove the pins in his legs. Dr. Glick went back and forth and in the end told us we didn’t need physical therapy. But before we could gather ourselves together he came back with the chief physical therapist at the center. She and another therapist examined Chayim Zvi and decided that one specific muscle seems to be weak as a result of the break, and he WILL need PT. They gave us some exercises for him to do every day and we have the green light for summer camp.

Dr. Glick emphasized that CZ should take it easy at camp, not be pushed, but he can go. That’s the most important thing. We will speak to his counselor and explain everything.

Chayim Zvi feels good and he’s looking forward to camp. We went to Haifa earlier this week for a day’s trip (Devra, Akiva, Shira Rina, Chayim Zvi and Moriyah). It was a great day and everyone enjoyed themselves even though Chayim Zvi was totally exhausted by the time we got home. You can see photos of our day out here.

Thank G-d things are returning to a semblance of normal (whatever THAT means).

Devra

No News is Good News, I Guess

July 27, 2008 at 12:10 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Since the last post there’s nothing to report. No visits to any doctors (unless you count seeing our next-door-neighbor). No physical therapy (because we are waiting for the call telling us when the appointment is).

Chayim Zvi is doing great. He’s not “all better” — whatever THAT means. He can’t run. He barely limps, unless he’s tired. Last week we spent the day at the zoo and he walked the whole time. But BOY was he tired by the end. On Friday he decided to go bike riding but very quickly decided to limit it to riding around the big open area in the entrance to our apartment building. He got a new basketball, but he hasn’t taken it to the courts yet – only to our backyard.

He’s feeling good and is excited to start camp on August 11th. We won’t know for certain if he can even go until we see Dr. Glick, the neurologist, on August 7th. For his sake, I hope he can go. Even he is beginning to understand that his life cannot totally revolve around the gameboy and the laptop (games and movies). 🙂

In the meantime, we are sliding through the summer and school is approaching faster than we like to think. Chayim Zvi’s school year will probably open August 31st (as will Shira Rina’s). Akiva and Moriyah will start September 1st. We don’t know yet when Elisheva’s program will begin. So everyone is doing their thing and they seem to be enjoying summer vacation. The parents will be happy when everyone is back in school. 😉

Devra

Been a Long Day

July 6, 2008 at 7:58 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Today I took Chayim Zvi to Dr. Constantini by myself. Gidon was dealing with all kinds of issues with getting his dad settled at the local geriatric hospital. Dad is doing great, really blossoming, and improving. It’s wonderful. But it meant that CZ and I went by bus all the way to Ichilov. Now I actually like travel by bus, but Chayim Zvi prefers cars. Anyway – that was the situation so that’s what we did.

The important stuff. Dr. Constantini still believes that Chayim Zvi has some ataxia. Since our sick fund had denied our request for rehab at Alyn, he phoned up the head doctor at the Childhood Development department of our sick fund – who happens to be a friend and colleague. Dr. Glick kindly agreed to see us today, and Dr. Constantini said that he would accept whatever Dr. Glick would recommend. Dr. C also told us to schedule the follow-up MRI for the end of August and that he would see us again only after the follow up MRI. He sent us to make the appointment at the MRI clinic at Ichilov.

After giving in our information at the Wohl MRI Clinic (they will call us to tell us when our appointment is), we went off the to mall for our now-traditional lunch. CZ had pasta and ice cream, and I had a salad. Then we went back to catch the bus home.

Our original plan had been to run a few errands in Jerusalem and then go home, but now we needed to stay in town for the 5 pm appointment with Dr. Glick. So we bought some nice pull-over shirts for my father-in-law, and took care of a few other little things. We stopped for cake and coffee (well, CZ had orange juice) and then got to the clinic 30 minutes early. In the meantime, because we had gone to Tel Aviv without the medical file, and without Chayim Zvi’s sick fund magnetic card, our son Akiva met us to bring us all those things.

Dr. Glick gave Chayim Zvi a thorough examination and decided that in fact there is some ataxia that he says is related to the brain surgery. Chayim Zvi is completely unable to walk heel to toe. There is no doubt that some of his trouble walking is due to the traffic accident, but some of it has to do with the brain surgery. However Dr. Glick did not believe that we should have to go to Alyn. We can go to the center for Childhood Development that is in Ma’aleh Adumim and get PT there. He did all the paperwork and they will call us to set up the appointment. He wants Chayim Zvi to ditch the wheelchair altogether. We have another appointment with him in a month, just a few short days before CZ is supposed to start camp, so we will see if he can participate at all or even in a limited way.

Dr. Glick, who does not wear a kippah (skullcap – which would indicate that he is religious), was astounded by the whole story. He told us that we benefitted from a miracle, that the driver of the car was a messenger sent from G-d, and other appreciative noises about G-d’s influence in the world. He also made a point of saying how much he appreciated our attitude. All-in-all it was a very positive experience. But BOY what a long day.

We left at 8:50 in the morning, barely making the bus to Jerusalem, and we were home at 7:15 at night! I’m bushed, so I’ll wind up here.

Devra

To Rehab or Not To Rehab. Kupat Cholim Says No

June 30, 2008 at 7:28 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

So Gidon left Saturday night for Florida, to bring his dad home to Israel (my father-in-law lived here as a young man). Tomorrow, July 1st, Chayim Zvi was supposed to go to Alyn Orthopedic Hospital for evaluation regarding rehabilitation. Today I call up our sick fund (shouldn’t it be well fund?) to see if the fund would cover the costs. And they told me our request was DENIED! I couldn’t believe it. The world-famous professor Shlomi Constantini said that Chayim Zvi needs rehab and some petty bureaucrat had the, well, chutzpah to say that Chayim Zvi DOESN’T need it? I was stunned. First, I panicked. I shot off an email to Gidon in all caps, praying he’d see it. Then I realized that was useless. I had to make a decision. I call Alyn. How much does it cost? About 1000 shekels (about $300) a visit. OK, we’re not going private in the hopes that we can appeal the fund’s decision. So I wrote to Professor Constantini. The man ALWAYS answers his emails. He’s amazing, have I mentioned that? I described how Chayim Zvi has really started walking since our last visit, and maybe we could just not do rehab? Dr. C said that we should  find a good physiotherapist who has a good connection with Chayim Zvi. We can do that, and in Ma’aleh Adumim! Yay. Problem solved and now I don’t have a miss a day of work to schlep Chayim Zvi to Alyn tomorrow. Double yay.

Chayim Zvi clearly needs time or PT or both. He doesn’t walk well, and he gets tired easily. But he’s got a real fighting spirit. We hope that by mid August he’ll be ready for camp.

Devra

More Progress

June 23, 2008 at 10:24 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

So. Chayim Zvi’s jaw is fine. The OMF says that they should come back in 6 months if and only if he has problems. Yay! One less regular doctor’s visit.

Yesterday we saw Dr. Constantini who said that Chayim Zvi needs a little bit of rehab, but can do it as day visits. So we have to organize that. Fortunately, Dr. C was agreeable about doing it at Alyn – which is in Jerusalem – instead of at Tel Hashomer – which is on the coast. We also like Alyn because we regularly sponsor (help sponsor, a little bit) a rider or two in the annual Alyn Bike Ride.

Wednesday we see the orthopedist and will tell him that CZ is going to Alyn for rehab – he might have input or he might tell us it’s not necessary or anything in between.

CZ in the meanwhile is using his leg more and more, though he really needs the support of the walker. He is NOT enjoying the fact that with his increased mobility we expect him to get out of bed instead of being waited on, and we expect him to help out in the house a little bit. Ah well, it’s good to be moving towards normalcy. 🙂

Gidon will, G-d willing, be leaving for the US late Saturday night to bring his dad back to Israel before the following Shabbat (to arrive on Friday). We have a place for him in the local geriatric hospital (see previous post) and we are very excited. While we feel like we need to move Dad as soon as possible, G-d runs everything, including the airlines. YOU might think that no one is travelling, but all the business class seats were booked for a return this week and Dad MUST fly business because he has to be moved frequently. As wel all know, you can’t move much or well in coach. 🙂

Gidon has been asked to speak about traffic safety this week at a local elementary school. (Remember? Chayim Zvi was in a car accident?) That should be interesting and we’ll see how it’s received. We drove past the accident site yesterday and were pleased to see the safety improvements there.

More to come as we see the orthopedist on Wednesday, and as we work out the rehab schedule.

Devra

Incremental Progress

June 16, 2008 at 9:43 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

We haven’t been posting because there’s nothing dramatic to post. Each day, Chayim Zvi is sitting up a bit longer. This past Shabbat he decided that he could move around. He had already moved from the sofa to a chair next to the sofa and back (good thing we have a small living room – that small movement brought him to the table for lunch). On Shabbat he decided that he can move across the floor on his bottom. So he scoots around. He prefers to sit on a cushion but it’s not critical. He will also rest his left foot on his right, and sort of wiggle his way – first moving his toes to the side, then his heel. So his balance seems OK (though he does this movement holding on to something).

This week he only sees the OMF team about his jaw – probably xrays and verification that it’s healing properly. His jaw bothers him not at all.

Next Sunday (the 22nd of June) he sees Dr. Constantini again. Both parents will join him for that one, G-d willing. Monday he has his first physical therapy appointment. Wednesday he’ll see the orthopedist.

Things must be getting easier, because we are now in the process of figuring out how to bring Gidon’s father over from America to the fabulous facility we have right here in Ma’aleh Adumim.  Hod Adumim has been around a few years, and was recently purchased by the respected “Amal” geriatric care company. We are friends with one of the head nurses there, and are confident that Hod Adumim will meet Gidon’s dad’s needs. It’s just a matter of getting him here – which is not simple. Ah well, we are grateful for challenges, especially ones like these. Our kids would be thrilled to have a grandparent so close by, and we’re also excited about the opportunities provided by having Gidon’s dad so close.

The Israeli elementary school year ends June 30th, so we don’t expect Chayim Zvi to go back to school this year. We are hoping to see him attend Adirim day camp in August. It will be his third summer, G-d willing.

Please continue to pray for Chayim Zvi! And thanks for all your caring and concern.

Devra

Patience

June 11, 2008 at 9:17 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

It’s all about waiting.

Sunday it was about waiting for Chayim Zvi’s turn to get his stitches out. He and Gidon travelled to Tel Aviv on Sunday morning (and Gidon will have to blog about that – it was a very interesting day). When they got to the Pediatric Neurosurgery department there were two other families waiting. Chayim Zvi was happy to see his friend Danny, the friendly and happy little boy who shared our room for a few days (and his parents gave Chayim Zvi a present when they left the hospital). Danny was thrilled to see Chayim Zvi. So the waiting wasn’t TOO bad, except that Danny was first, and Chayim Zvi was third.

Dr. Souash took out the stitches and it wasn’t a big deal. Chayim Zvi is understandably curious about the incision site. It’s long and lumpy, even without the stitches. And he can’t see it. 🙂

Over the Shavuot holiday Chayim Zvi sat up much or most of the time. He even spent some time hanging out with all the little kids in the open area under our building (it’s outside) – sitting in his wheelchair. He even wheeled himself around. But he still will not put weight on the leg so he’s dependent on us for everything. This is Just Fine.

We go back to Dr. Constantini in about a week and will have more of an update then, I hope.

In the meantime we are praying for patience and rejoicing over each tiny accomplishment. People are still coming up to us, astounded by and astonished with our amazing story. G-d is GOOD!

Devra

Staples

June 6, 2008 at 1:26 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

They stapled his head.

Oh. I don’t mean how they closed the incision from the surgery. I mean he had about 10 staples in pairs around his head. What were they for? They didn’t close anything. Apparently they had to do with how they positioned him for the surgery. Since he had to be face down for the surgery, and completely immobile, they somehow affixed him to a special support. They put staples in his head.

The staples looked really, well, strange. I mean, who puts staples in his head?

Yesterday (Thursday) we drove to Tel Aviv and they removed the staples. It took a few seconds and didn’t hurt at all. They are all under his hair line so you can’t see them. Dr. Xiao was going to remove the stiches too, but the team decided that 10 days post surgery was too soon. “Come back Sunday.”

Then we waited to see Dr. Constantini. He was very satisfied with CZ’s progress. CZ wanted to know why he sometimes throws up all of a sudden (as he did after he got out of the car and into his wheelchair to go up to Dr. C’s office). Dr. Constantini explained that the area of the surgery is near the “throw up center” of the brain, so it is sensitive. Gidon quipped, “So while you were in there, why didn’t you just take it out?” Ha!

For the next two weeks Chayim Zvi is to continue to take things easy, not push himself, not start physical therapy. He can do almost anything he wants – the operative word being “wants”. He’s not allowed to swim or go in the sea, but he can certainly shower. 🙂

We have to be patient. He’s doing just fine.

Shabbat Shalom to all, and a happy Shavuot holiday.

Devra

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