Thursday, December 25, 2008

"All my bags are packed/ I'm ready to go..."

Yeah, right, who are we kidding? This is me we're talking about. Hyper-organized about everything BUT packing. I will always be packing until the last second possible. I had-- have-- a packing list; it's on the spreadsheet with all my schedule and OT site contact info.

Anyway, so I have one suitcase of stuff for my trip, plus clothes to leave in Chashmonaim. And my second suitcase is full of linens and stuff. It's kind of jolting-- I've packed to move halfway across the world. It's a little weird, things being up in the air-- I don't know when I'm going for sure. It also sort of feels like I'm moving into a dorm, except I'm not bringing anything electronic-- because, oh, yeah, the voltage is kind of different.

First suitcase has my clothes for the trip (only taking 4 pairs of shoes, including naot [comfy shoes] and shabbos boots! go me!), plus pjs, tanks, a couple of pairs of pants, and a couple of tees.
I have in the second suitcase:
Sheets, towels (hand/face, bath, hair, netilat yadayim [for ritual hand washing, like before eating bread], and milchig [dairy], fleishig [meat], and pareve [neither meat nor dairy-- kind of neutral] dish towels), pillows, and a couple blankets. I also have my tik [knapsack] from madrichim [instructor's course], but that's going to be my second check on the return.

The carry-on is so not packed.

On the upside, I have copies of my diplomas. Yay. Maybe I can get my degrees recognized...supposedly you need a teudat zehut, but in theory you can do it on a passport. Hope I can.

I'm surprisingly awake and focused. Not that this entry reflects that at all, but for it being 2:11 am now and me being up and running since 6 am yesterday, I think I'm doing pretty well. It feels like yesterday was so long ago-- exciting to have a break from school, but...feels odd. We'll see where things go.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Application in Process

Almost done. I scanned in and uploaded a lot of the documents that I needed, but I wasn't able to do them all-- some of them were more than one page, but there was only space to upload one file. And after I uploaded some of them and they went through, it looked like there were different files uploaded and some didn't I don't know. I sent NBN a message, so hopefully they'll respond soon.

I set up a whole bunch of appointments at hospitals in Israel-- I have to make some more phone calls, probably tomorrow or Tuesday night. I'm going to be very busy, hopefully. Also, I found my high school diplomas and did a victory dance, because I couldn't find them for a while. But now I did. See, I need to have my Bachelor's recognized to get my Master's recognized. In order to get my Bachelor's recognized I need my high school diploma. And I couldn't find them (Hebrew, English, and Regents), so I called my school and the assistant principal said she could reprint them when she got more in April...which meant that I wouldn't be able to start getting my degrees recognized until I made aliyah, but at least I'd have them. And then I found my diplomas!

So now I have my elementary school, high school, and undergrad and grad diplomas. As well as my license, a letter with my dates of attendance and fieldwork dates of my program, and my transcripts. I have 5 sealed transcripts. The NBN website says:

      1. Teudat Oleh
      2. Teudat Zehut
      3. Diploma (If you have not received your official diploma yet, you can submit a certificate indicating that you are eligible to receive your dipoma.)
      4. Transcript (If you graduated before 1987, you do not need a transcript.)
      5. Proof of name change, if relevant
      6. Transcripts of other academic study for which you received credit (such as studies abroad or summer study)
      7. For distance learning or off-site studies, declaration of type of academic study, signed by a lawyer
      8. High school diploma (for Bachelor's degree recognition, if you graduated after 2000)

For recognition of a Master's degree, you must still present your diploma and transcript of your Bachelor's degree.

Transcripts must be original copies and not student copies. If necessary, your university can send the official transcript directly to Misrad Hachinuch. If your name has changed and you are sending the document directly to Misrad Hachinuch, please ask your university to indicate your new name.

If your documentation is NOT in English, Hebrew or Russian, you must obtain a notarized translation by an Israeli notary.

You can begin the process of degree recognition prior to making Aliyah, however, you must present your documentation in person. If you are visiting Israel, you are entitled to submit a passport instead of a Teudat Oleh and Teudat Zehut. This eliminates the 5 month waiting period, once you arrive in Israel as Olim Chadashim.

The misrad hachinuch website says that I need copies of these...fine, but I can't copy the transcripts, because once I open them, they're no longer sealed, official transcripts, and the school does not guarantee that they are original. So I don't know how I do that...I'll find out.

In other other aliyah news. Wait, yes, I found out that there aren't anatomy books in Hebrew, but someone suggested getting an exercise book-- I don't need organs as much as mucles and bones and limbs. So I'm going to try to get an exercise book.

Now it's good night all.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


I started my aliyah application yesterday. So far it's...going. For some reason it didn't save my education information, so as of now I didn't go to college or grad school, but I can apparently edit things at the end. Now I'm writing my aliyah essay, which is harder than you might think.

In other news, I'm still working on my pilot trip. Sunday I have to call hospitals-- Beit Levenstein, Tel Hashomer, Hadassah, Sha"tz, Alyn, Merkaz Rakefet, maybe some kupot cholim in J'lem. A couple of other places.

And I'm going to try to pull a couple of shifts...we'll see how that goes.

This is going to be one whirlwind of a trip...wish me luck.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Israel. And Why It Feels Right

I wish I had a really good answer to this, something that everyone could understand, like 2+2 =4 (ok, not everyone gets that, but most people do-- and it's something that's clear-cut).

I wish I could put into words the pride that I feel in knowing what Israel has done over the relatively few years that she has been a recognized state.
I wish I could explain amazing it feels to walk down the streets and feel a sense of family and community, and know that the person next to me might run me over as he's trying to get to the bus, but he'll also give me a hand to help me get up, ask if I'm okay.
I wish I could express my feelings of how right it feels there.'s not just having the holy sites there, it's the day-to-day life. It's the resilience of people there.
Not that it's perfect-- by any means. I think it's rediculous that there are people who will throw stones at you because you're not dressed to their standards.
It really bothers me that I can't follow everything.
I hate that there's always a fear of someone walking onto a bus or into a cafe and blowing themselves up, or driving a car into a group of people. But on the flip side of that, there isn't a sense of doom and that danger is everywhere is you can't leave your house without fear, which is pretty impressive.

At the beginning of the year I was talking with some of my co-workers about Israel, and their reactions were, "Isn't it dangerous?" So that got me thinking-- maybe it is dangerous, maybe I shouldn't make aliyah. It's not exactly known for being not a war zone there. I started thinking about Merkaz HaRav. I wasn't at Merkaz HaRav-- I was plenty away, and the other two recent incidents I wasn't even in the country for! I was thinking about it, though, and I talked to someone and he pointed out, "You're used to it." Which is kind of a scary thought-- "What do you mean, you can get used to the fact that there ARE people who DO want you dead, and there is the potential that when you go out, there might be a pigua. And you might be somewhere in the vicinity?!?!?!?!"

It's funny...I sort of feel like an Israeli, but not quite. On one hand, I get "Are you from there?" and that I seem Israeli, but I don't feel it. I'm not Israeli yet, but...somehow standing with my hand over my heart during the Pledge of Allegiance in my office or in a classroom feels...weird. But it's ok to stand in or front of the chet and sing Hatikva at 9 o'clock at night in the middle of a courtyard. It's weird. But I'm also proud of being an American. I say I'm an American. But it feels weird to be pledging allegiance to the US of A.

That being said, I'm still trying to figure out if I'll be able to make aliyah in July. It's completely dependent on my financial situation.
If I stay here until after August, I can make a lot of money working in the DOE over the summer-- getting my regular salary, in addition to what I'd be making for the work I do over the summer. Or take a per-diem job-- something. But then I don't want to wait until January to make aliyah...and the Ulpan that I want to go to starts in July and January. I'd like to go a little bit early and get settled, but I have to see how it works out. I also want to go on an NBN flight, not being the only olah on the plane. We'll see. July is a long way off.

Monday, September 29, 2008


I'm spending the chagim-- all of them-- at home. I usually go away, at least for Simchas Torah, but this year I'm going to be home.
It's going to be weird anyway, with Bubby and Zaidy being by Doda and Uncle David part of the time, but I might as well take in as much as I can, right?
There's a part of me that's going, "Um...there's still a chance you're not moving in July, in which case you'll be here next year for the chagim..." but I'm ignoring it.

I keep thinking there are these "lasts," but on the other hand, July is so far away...but...not. The chagim do only come once a year, and I am planning on July...which means these would be the last chagim as usual. Sort of...

*Talia's comment: I keep doing that in my head with lasts, only its with getting married instead of making aliyah... but it is such a weird feeling!*

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I must be freaking crazy

There was another pigua about 50 minutes ago, at Kikar Tzahal, in Jerusalem. An Arab drove into a crowd of people, at last HNN check, 1 person was injured seriously, 4 moderate, and 13 light.
I must be freaking crazy if I still want to move there...

I was talking to the other therapists, and the reaction I got was, "But isn't it dangerous?" No kidding...sort of. I guess the whole country could technically be considered a war zone...
That made me think about Mercaz HaRav, and made me sort of think, "Well, should I be scared? Is there what to be scared of?" I talked to Jaffe about this-- figured he'd dealt with this quite a bit and he seemed like the logical person to talk to. And he pointed out that I was used to it. Which I guess I am. But...still...scary and odd that I can get used to looking at every Arab as if he or she is a potential candidate to kill me.

You'd think that if someone has a work permit, then they're ok and not going to try to kill you, but you never know now, I guess. Actually, this one wasn't a tractor (bulldozer), it was just a car.

Remind me again why Israel has such a grip on me that I cry over it, yet I'm somewhat scared to be moving there?

Monday, September 15, 2008

If I didn't love this place so much, I'd stay in America

For a while there was a suspension on the licensing of occupational therapists. Well now there is a ruling(taken from the Nefesh B'Nefesh website):

Professional Certification

The Ministry of Health is now requiring anyone with less than 5 years of work experience in your field in Israel, to take an exam and do an internship (“stage”). The five year period must be completed by January 30, 2010.

The Ministry of Health is in the process of clarifying the details pertaining to this new law, including: what constitutes work experience in your field in Israel, the dates of the exam, the content of the exam, study materials, etc. Nefesh B’Nefesh is in contact with the Ministry of Health and as we learn additional information, we will post it on the web site.

You can find the Ministry of Health’s summary of the law (in Hebrew) at:

Nefesh B’Nefesh translated the Hebrew text on the Ministry of Health web site (below). Please note that this translation has not been reviewed or approved by the Ministry of Health. In case of any specific question or lack of clarity in the translation, please refer to the original Hebrew text online on the Ministry of Health site.

Professional Recognition for Para-Medical Professions

[Translation as of September 10, 2009]

Law of Professional Recognition for Health Professions for 2008

On July 30th, 2008, the Law of Professional Recognition for Health Professions, 2008 was publicized. The law will be valid as of January 30th, 2009. At present, the Ministry of Health is making the necessary preparations in order to put this law into effect. This document is designed to provide guidance for individuals who are interested in receiving recognition from the Ministry of Health. If there are instances where this document contradicts the text of the law itself, the law itself is binding.

Starting on January 1, 2009, it will be possible to receive professional recognition through the Department of Licensing of Medical Professions for the following fields: physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, dieticians.

Requests for recognition should be submitted through local Ministry of Health offices. Residents of Jerusalem, Akko, Nazareth, Zefat, Afulah, Tiberias and Beer Sheva should send their requests in registered mail directly to the Department for Licensing of Medical Professions at the following address:

Ha’Agaf L’Rishuoy Miktso’ot Refu’iyim

Misrad Habriut

Rechov Ben Tabai 2



Graduates who completed recognized academic degree programs in one of the aforementioned fields, in an institution recognized by the Council for Higher Education in Israel or in an institution abroad that is recognized by the Council, can submit a request for degree recognition. The following documents must be included with the request:

1. 3 passport pictures.
2. 2 copies of your Teudat Zehut, including the appendix with your address (“sefakh”).
3. Final diploma in one of the medical professions listed above, or a certificate from the university indicating completion of studies, fulfillment of all of the university’s requirements and eligibility for a diploma in the relevant field, which will be granted at a specified date.
4. Official certification indicating the start and end date of studies.
5. Official certification of completion of an internship (“stage”) or, alternatively, for people who studied abroad, official certification about work done in the field abroad, with a valid license, for at least one year.
6. In the relevant situations: Official certifications of work experience, from the relevant medical institutions, indicating the start and end date of work in each institution.
7. For graduates who studied abroad: A letter of professional honesty from the appropriate body in the country that you made Aliyah from, proving that the applicant never received complaints about discipline, negligence or professional ethics.
8. An application form.
9. An application requesting to be tested in the relevant field.


1. Copies much be validated by an Israeli notary. Documents that are not written in Hebrew or Arabic, must be translated to Hebrew using a recognized translator in Israel.
2. All documents must be submitted in two copies. If the copies have been validated by a notary in Israel or translated to Hebrew by an Israel-recognized translator, you must submit the notarized copy plus an additional copy.

Granting degree recognition using conditions that are more lenient –

Rules relating to the transitional period:

To have your degree recognized, you must meet the following requirements.

1. Over the age of 18.
2. Israeli citizenship or Israeli resident.
3. Not carrying an infectious disease.
4. No conviction in Israel or abroad of criminal or disciplinary action, which (due to the nature, severity or circumstances surrounding the action), led to loss of eligibility for recognition as a medical professional. (No indictment of this kind has been initiated or submitted, even if it is still in process and has not been completed.)
5. Speech therapists: Basic knowledge of Hebrew.

In addition, you must fall into one of the following categories:

Category A: If you have a certificate indicating that you are recognized.

1. You fall into this category if you have a certificate indicating that you are recognized on a permanent or temporary basis. The certificate must have been valid as of July 22, 2005.
2. This is adequate provided that you submit a request for certification prior to January 30, 2010.

Category B: If you have academic background in a health-related field and five years of experience in the field in Israel

1. You fall into this category if you have a recognized academic degree in a health-related field from a recognized institution.
2. You must have worked in the field (for a fairly substantive number of hours per week) for at least five years in Israel (until January 30, 2009).
3. You must prove that you have knowledge and experience in the field.
4. This is adequate on condition that you submit a request for recognition until January 30, 2010.

Category C: If you have academic background in a health related field, without five years of experience in the field in Israel

1. You fall into this category is you have a recognized academic degree in a health-related field, from a recognized institution.
2. You must have worked in the field in Israel (until January 30, 2009).
3. You must prove that you have knowledge and experience in the field.
4. You are eligible to receive temporary certification which will be valid until July 30, 2010.
5. In order to receive permanent certification you will need to complete an internship (“stage”) and an exam.
6. Receipt of permanent certification in this instance, may also be dependent on additional considerations.

Category D: If you do not have an academic degree in a health-related field, but you do have five years of experience in the field in Israel

1. You fall into this category if you worked in the field (for a fairly substantive number of hours per week) for at least five years, in Israel (until January 30, 2009).
2. You must have appropriate academic background, knowledge and experience.
3. You must take a special exam, prior to January 30, 2011.
4. This is adequate on condition that you submit a request for certification until January 30, 2010.
5. Receipt of certification in this instance, may also be dependent on completing additional studies in a recognized institution for higher education, completion of an internship and passing additional exams.

Category E: If you started your studies in a non-academic program which is recognized by this body

1.You fall into this category if you started your studies until January 30, 2009, in a non-academic track that is recognized by this body for the purposes of professional certification recognition, and if you will complete your studies before July 30, 2012.

2.You must pass a special exam.

3.You must complete an internship (“stage”) and pass the (regular) exam.

4.This is adequate provided that you submit a request at least a year prior to completing studies.

5.Receipt of certification in this instance, may also be dependent on completing additional studies in an institution for higher education, completion of an internship and additional exams.

So I don't know what this means for me practically. I emailed someone from the employment office at NBN and am waiting to hear back. I know I have a headache now.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Definitely too good to be true

Technically the misrad hapnim DOES want an apostille, but since I'm not Israeli nor am I married to one, it's less of an issue. I should have it, but in the past people have been able to make aliyah without it. Knowing me, I'll probably get it just to be on the safe side.
Also when I go to Touro to pick up my diplomas (whenever that happens) I have to get copies of my transcripts...probably will get 2, to be on the safe side. That way when Israel loses one I'll have another.

I booked my ticket back to Israel for winter break, for my pilot, weird to be saying that. It is to look into things there and make connections and talk to people, but also to enjoy myself and just being back. So it's a trip. In probably all senses of the word. I leave Newark at 3:50 pm on Dec. 24 and get into Ben Gurion at 9:15 am on Dec. 25, and leave Ben Gurion at 11:40 pm on Jan. 4 and get into Newark at 4:55 am on Jan. 5 (which leaves me 3 hours to get from Newark to my school). It was expensive, but the next acceptable airline was about $1700, but because of the connections it would be 16 hours one way and 22 hours the other...and I'd have to get in in Sunday. So I sprang for the extra $300 and got direct flights with the times I need. Now to plan my itinerary...tomorrow. Bedtime now.

Monday, September 8, 2008

mostly cross-posted from my other LJ...

I created this blog for my Israel trip(s). I've decided to continue it and transform it into an aliyah blog.
That blog will have all my things about aliyah. It feels appropriate, seeing as these trips were the ones that really cemented my aliyah.

So you all will get to enjoy the ups and downs of planning aliyah-- from the "yeah, I'm thinking about making aliyah" (check!) to "am I nuts?" (check!, and will continue to happen) to "Um...yeah, it's going to be, like, 6-12 months sooner than I thought..." (check!, and will continue to happen) to "it might be pushed because I don't have enough money and am not going to have to come back because I can't make it because of financial reasons" (check!, and will continue to happen) to "holy shit, this is happening" to "I'm here" (still waiting on the last two)

Get ready, because I have no clue how this is going to go, only where I plan it to end up...and who knows exactly where I'll be..."man plans, G-d laughs"...and G-d is probably having a great laugh about me now and will for quite a while probably.

It's so weird how life turns out. In 12th grade we had an English assignment of where we thought we would be in 7 years. Here's the differences I found:
-I'm an occupational therapist not a physical therapist. I do have my license, and I have a job and am working, so that's what I thought would happen.
-I'm not married, but there were 2 options-- if I was married and if not. So as far as the not goes-- I'm not married, which was one plan, but I'm not living in my own apartment with roommates and 2 sinks.
-Aliyah was nowhere in the plan...neither was EMS or spending almost 6 months in Israel after finishing school.

It's so funny the way life turns out. When Mrs. Cohn (Israel advisor) asked me if I wanted to go to Israel for a year, my response was a very quick, "No." Her response was, "Well, then we're done." And here I am, planning on making aliyah...I never would have thought...I'm such a New Yorker, such a city girl. I said it before, there's something about Israel that...every time I think about it I feel a physical pull in my chest. So weird. goes...

And seeing as "Rent" is ending today, that was very appropriate. The rest of the quote from there that I want to use is, "Trusting desire, starting to learn. Walking through fire without a burn. Clinging a shoulder, a leap begins. Stinging and older, asleep on pins. So here we go...who knows where...who goes goes..."

Wish me luck

Already burocracy confusion?

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised.

I called NBN (Nefesh b'Nefesh, an organization that helps North American and UK Jews make aliyah) to find out if I had to get any other documents besides my birth certificate apostilled (recertified, kind of)-- if I'm making the trip downtown, might as well get everything done at once, right? This is how the conversation roughly goes (not word-for-word, and after telling me I should wait to apply anyway until the new application comes out. FOr those of you who have no clue what I'm talking about, here's the article on the NBN website:
In short, NBN will now "have primary operational responsibility for marketing and promotion, while the Jewish Agency will continue to be responsible for the Aliyah eligibility process with the appropriate authorities in Israel, and to pay the airfare of every new immigrant to Israel." And there will only be one application that combines the Jewish Agency and the NBN applications to fill out-- shocking DECREASE in burocracy):

NBN guy: Do you have an Israeli background?
Me: Nope, olah chadasha (new immigrant, feminine). Single, um...that's it.
NBN guy: Are you Canadian or American?
Me: American
NBN guy: I don't think you have to get the apostille; we have applications without it. Unless you're married to an Israeli or are registered there.
Me: The oleh chadash (new immigrant, masculine/generic) application says, "Copy of Civil Marriage/ Divorce/ Birth/ Death Certificate (Apostille is required - - please refer to the back of the packet for further instructions)"
NBN guy: And it doesn't say anything about if you're already registered or married to an Israeli citizen? Because that's just so they know that nothing's changed.
Me: Nope, it doesn't say anything else...
NBN guy: Ok, what I'm going to do is take down your name and number and get back to you tomorrow.
Me: ::gives name and number::
NBN guy: ::confirms name and number:: ok, I'll get back to you.

So...who knows? It says that if you make aliyah in Israel, you just have to bring your birth certificate, which was why I called them in August to find out if I needed the apostille, and they said yes, because it was for Misrad Hapnim. So we shall see, I guess.

I want to do more than plan. I'm also frustrated because I can't do anything else. I can't pack-- I need my clothes. And what-- they'll sit in suitcases for 10 months? That's ridiculous. And my stuff, ditto. If it was that expendable, I could chuck it. I'm starting to talk to OTs in Israel and make connections, but that's all at the computer or over the phone. Doesn't feel so active.
I also have to find out if I have to get my degree recognized by the Misrad Hachinuch (Ministry of Education), because Touro has a branch in Israel. If I don't, that's one less thing to have to worry about.

I also have to book my ticket. It's going to be expensive, but the next option is Iberia, which is about $400 less, with a stopover and I'm not so into the idea of flying's also not the times I need. Ditto the next theoretically feasible option, which isn't so feasible either because I have 8-hour overnight stopovers in London with nothing to do. So I'm willing to pay the extra $400 and get direct flights with the times I need. Now all I need is my paychecks to start coming. And my EI job to start.

July is looking more likely. I looked at my financial plan again, and although I still haven't gotten a paycheck and don't know how much each check will be, I'm using Sara's numbers as a guide...because she has almost the same base salary as me, and I have union dues that I don't think she has. So they pretty much even out, I'm guessing. And if I'm off, I'll find out when I get my paycheck.

Wish me luck in this adventure.

Oh, and here's a blog I found about a 22-year-old girl, Jamie/Yosefa who just made aliyah. I feel like I'm going to be looking at this blog a lot: I've read all the entries to date...I just wish there was a "contact" link on the blog. If anyone sees one, let me know. One thing she discusses is the name she put down on her teudat zehut (Israeli ID card)-- you know how everyone here walks around with their license? There everyone walks around with their teudat zehut (there's actually a law that you must carry it with you at all times). She registered as "Yosefa," which is her Hebrew name, and not "Jamie," which is her English name. This is something that's going to be the biggest "small thing" for me-- which name I use when I register as a citizen (10 months 'בעזרת ה!).
I go by Lauren-- everyone there knows me as Lauren. On the other hand, I wear my Hebrew name necklace...but if I had one that said "Lauren," would I wear that one? I usually used my Hebrew name, Esther Nechama, when I was in my Jewish classes in school and for things Jewish related. But isn't Israel the epitome of Jewish-related? On on hand, a name is supposed to be someone's essence; my Hebrew names mean "hidden" and "comfort," and Esther was a queen...nechama I always think of Shabbag Nachamu (the Sabbath after the Ninth of Av, which is the saddest day in the Jewish calendar). I guess I don't see my name as something that defines me in terms of when people see me, they don't translate my name and go, "Hmmmm...her name means _______...I see that..." And I respond to both. I go by both Lauren and Esther. I'll probably put "Lauren Nina" on my teudat zehut because...I go by it more. And just use Esther Nechama for religious things. That's it! Israel isn't about religion...I mean, it is, but not only. When I deal with misrad hapnim (Ministry of the Interior) or the kupat cholim (health insurance), it's not religious! When my father makes a mi sheberach (a kind prayer) for me when he gets an aliyah, that's religious. Misrad ha-fill-in-the-blank is not. And I go by my English name for legal stuff, non-religious stuff. I'm probably going to give my kids only one name (yes, a first and a middle, but not a Hebrew name and an English name). Anyway, it's still a minimum of 10 months before I have to decide.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Just when you think you think you have it all under control...

you throw yourself a curve ball.

I was planning on making aliyah in January 2010 or possibly June 2010, if Eden would be ready to go then also. But I might end up moving a little earlier, as in possibly June 2009.

The only thing that's keeping me here that's changable is my finances. I won't make aliyah when I still have loans, I just won't.
So I'm planning on paying them off by May making aliyah in June.

And I don't know...I know that I'm not happy here. Every time I keep thinking about making my aliyah sooner, I feel like...there's just a weight off of me.

I was talking to Maya today and she said I should sit on it for a while, get into the swing of work and see how that goes. I will-- I'm definitely not moving until after I pay off my loans.

The issue is how much I have saved before I go. I got 2 very different estimates on how much I need to have. One person said he heard $10,000 was enough for a year; someone else said that most Israelis live on about $2,000/month. The NBN website says estimate $1,260-$2,430/month. I would be coming with about $10,000 in savings-- about $6,000 from my salary over the year, plus $4,000 that I have otherwise.
I'm planning on going to Ulpan Etzion and living there, which is going to save a lot in the first 6 months.

I'm just worried about the money. I don't want to fall into the "I'll make aliyah when I have x amount in savings," but I'm not that worried because I'm not making my aliyah dependent on having a certain amount of savings, but rather time-dependent: I'm making aliyah by June 2010.

If I plan for June 2009 and have to push it off until January, so be it; I'll live. But I want to go as soon as I can. And I'm not cashing savings bonds to pay off my loans; those are for my wedding one day G-d willing, and for something like a down payment on a house or apartment. But not for this.

I'm actually scared shitless about this. But here goes anyway.
I'm planning on going to open a tik on October 13. I also have to call NBN to talk to them about financial assistance.
I don't want to take it, because then I'm obligated to them, but I'll see what they say. If I'm offered it and I take it, then I'm obligated to stay there for 3 years. Really I'm planning on staying there for life, so it's not like I'm not...but it's always scary to think, "Well, maybe I won't make it." Again, not going in thinking I won't be make it and won't live there until I die, but there's always that possibility somewhere in the back of your mind. And it's scary, and I want to do everything I can to prevent it, and for me that means coming with as much savings as I can. In that case, I should logically stay here. But something about Israel defies logic.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


Part II of my Israel trip happened. I kind of didn't blog it because of a lack of time; I wrote it in a handwritten journal, so if anyone wants they can read that.

In short: I went back to Israel for another seven and a half weeks, and again...had an amazing time. You know, for a shock.
I'll try to summarize a few key points: I got in Wednesday night (May 7, end of Yom Hazikaron and beginning of Yom Ha'atzmaut), was home (home= Chashmoanim; when I'm in Israel, home is always Chashmonaim, until I have my own place) for a few days.
I started off by not being able to find the stroller-- turned out that it was on the "oversize luggage belt." Rita picked me up, and things hadn't even started-- it was Yom Ha'atzmaut-- Israeli Independence Day, and since things start at night and I got in at about 6 pm, I was right on time. I wish I could have been there for Yom HaZikaron, but I enjoyed Yom Ha'atzmaut.
Yom Ha'atzmaut: I went to do an avtacha with Eden. I got into Jerusalem, called Eden, and she said she was right by the bus station...I found here-- almost didn't recognize her because she lost so much weight, but that was a happy reunion. We went to the station and couldn't find our we called Boaz and we were going back and forth, etc. In the meantime, Hannah and Ryan came to say hi to us. Our driver finally showed up about 15 minutes after we were supposed to be at the avtacha, but whatever. We got to the avtacha and just hung out. We bumped into MDA 69 people and Kaufy and Elinor. The avtacha was actually cool-- it was at Muzaeon HaChaim, which is The Living Museum, so there were people dressed and acting like historical figures from Israel's creation as a Jewish state. There were also dancers and musicians-- it was like a giant street fair. We had one call there-- as Eden and I were walking around, someone flagged us down because his friend was not feeling well. I called for our driver while Eden started taking care of the person-- the madlad didn't work either. The kesher apparently wasn't working either, so I went to our ambulance and we got another. And that didn't work, so we took the Natan's. We brought our patient to the other ambulance (it was closer) and took care of him there. He declined transport, so that was that. Nothing else.
At the end there were fireworks, which were fun. We were so close-- one building away! It was cool. Kapach made coffee, which was good. Gotta love the portables.

Spent Shabbat at home and then went into Jerusalem on Sunday to got to Shearim for a day, then do the hashlamah course. Ended up being קורס נט"ן and 88-hr.

What is your job on the ambulance? Be the paramedic's bitches"-- wise words from Jaffe
Arie (Jaffe) taught the קורס נט"ן which was half-assed, but not his fault-- we didn't even have the equipment we time I vote for a road trip to the station to see a functional ambulance and equipment. 88-hr. was taught by Yehuda (Stein). There was a heavy emphasis in the one on IVs-- we got to do 4-5 each, which was cool. I would have like to learn more...don't get me wrong-- being able to do so many IVs was good, but doing all of them so quickly together doesn't always help you learn so well. But the again, we did the 2 courses in 4 days, so what was I really expecting?
Oh, the opening exam! That was a bitch; it was all in Hebrew! I struggled through it. I'm kind of proud if myself; I got about a 60, which isn't exactly a good grade, but it was pretty high, relative to what everybody else got. And we had madrichim who are fluent in Hebrew in the class too!
The first day of the course was also my birthday. Eden and I slept over at Hannah's the night before, and they made me a surprise birthday party! (Jaffe got a call and left, and we had a party-- Jungle Speed and cake and cards!).
I failed the first practical-- I forgot to check for severe bleeding in C of the primary survey, but did fine on the patient interview. So I redid the practical later that evening-- I knew it, I know I knew it, I just...didn't.
After the courses I stayed at Bayit Vagan to help with the rest of the course. I also did a couple of shifts, including one with Gal and Yoyo (who now is a driver! yay!).

Course Madrichim, aka The Animal Brothel
The next Monday I went back to Bayit Vagan(orrhea) with Hannah to start Course Madrichim. There were 11 of us in course, which was considered to be a lot; I understand it, but there were...whatever. Our instructor was sick for the first week, so basically anyone who was available taught...Yehuda taught a few lessons, Kaufy gave a lesson on lesson plans, Dan gave a lesson on problems in the class, somebody who has nothing to do with MDA chul until that point taught a couple days...basically, fill-ins. Which was really not good and not conducive to learning. Sharon came in on Sunday, and things started coming together. I really wish they would have extended the course so we would have had more time with a cohesive one, but that's was fun sometimes. There was one point where Perle and I had it out, massively. It was bad. Anyway, so course madrichim was fun for the most part. The best part in the hostel was the mirpeset we had-- there were 9 girls, so we had 2 rooms with a huge mirpeset with doors to both rooms, so we could go back and forth (and get into the other room when the door was locked and couldn't find the key).

Then it was Shavuot; I did shift in the morning and went with Sara to MMY. I kept one day, which at first sounded weird, actually wasn't at all. I had called Kaufy to find out what was going on, if there was space for me, and it didn't even register that I was calling on what should have been second day of Shavuot. It was...I was home.
The second day (or what would have been), I did morning shift in Jerusalem and left a little early, because my driver was leaving early anyway. Went up to TA with Kaufy to do erev-layla on the atan, had one call and switched to a ragil at the hospital because there was one driver who had nobody on his ambulance, and there were 2 paramedics plus Kaufy, plus me on the I switched. I worked with a guy named Barak, who was doing a hishtalmut shift later as a paramedic. We were in the Yafo station and I discovered a new TV show-- Ramzor. He was cool. It was a good shift, and I'd like to work with him again. We had one call that he said was a "TLC call." It's so important to take care of the TLC calls...yeah, they feel like a waste of time, but ironically they're the ones who need your focus the most-- your trauma patients need you to attend and focus on the treatment, but that's pure protocol. You really have to pay attention to the person, not just the patient, when you have one of those calls.
After that we went back to the TA station (late, because of the late last call at 10:30-ish). I did night shift on the atan again; just a few calls. Eden was also doing night, so we talked a little between calls and sleeping.

Again, another week off...did random things. Couple of shifts.

Teaching the course: TBC...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Israel trip, Part II: May-July

16 days and counting!
See you all soon!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Final words from the January-March 2008 trip...almost

March 24, 2008
11:50 pm
In the airport. I feel like I'm not going home to stay, rather for a visit. I'm coming back in 6 weeks, which is reassuring and happy.
I just...don't want to leave. If they call.ask for people to bump-- I'll take it. I will take it.
Talked to Eden- she's doing a night shift on an ata"n; she's working with Shya, actually.

March 25, 2008
4:43 am, NYC time
It really feels like I'm just coming back to NYC for a visit.
I can't believe how much I already miss Israel. It's better knowing I'm going back in 6 weeks, but I miss it already. And MDA.
I called Shloime from the airport, because he's the only one that leaves regularly-- got some weird message, so I sent him a text and he called me back- and-- not that helpful. But he said that I'll miss it and good stuff will happen on the shifts that I'd be there.
I don't mind going home. I like it, and I can't wait to see everybody.
I just hope that when I come back to Israel next time I'll be able to leave, not knowing when my next time there will be.
Although, apparently the nearest MDA station is Petach Tikva, which is good to know. And I know people who work there, which is even better.
I think next time I want to do at least a shift or two at stations besides Jerusalem. Ryan wants me to do a shift in Nazareth, and I want to do a shift in Ashdod; I want to find out how Te Aviv is from Eden-- oh, wait, I can just ask Kaufy to do a shift with him. I'm so excited to go back!
Oh, I have to-- (yeah, I don't remember what I was going to write here)
6:54 am
Plane is landing in a few. I should be more excited to be back, but really-- I just want to be back in Israel. I'm excited to see my family and friends, but I don't care about being back in NY.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Final Words From Israel, at Least Until I Get to The Airport

Sunday, March 23, 2008
7:15 am
At the tachana for my last shift- unless I get a night shift.
I spent Shabbat by Eli; it was nice.
Thursday I worked a shift with Ohad, Fund, Avital, and a MDA 71 girl, Bianca. It was a day full of fainting calls. 2/3 were cancelled, and one unconscious turned out to be a fainting. Our last call was a lady who supposedly had fallen and had been lying on the ground for 2 days. I don't know how long she was actually there for, all I know is that it stank in that apt.
Thursday afternoon I went to Elkie and Yehuda's to bake. We baked some blueberry and mostly chocolate hamentaschen. Went to Yehuda's family for megillah, then went to Eli's and got there about midnight.
Shabbat was nice-- Friday night we ate at Mo's with about 15 people. Shabbat lunch was organized by Doron. I took a nap, then went to mincha, then had seudah shlishit at someone named Sarit. It was really chilled-- her, me, Eli, her roommate, and one guy who ate and ran.
Then we went to daven, made havdalah, then I came into Jerusalem. Met up with Eden at the tachana hamerkazit and we went to the SHearim Purim Shpiel; it was cute. We got there late, but saw about half of it. We slept over at Naomi, Debbie, Katie, and Leah's apt. then came to shift this morning.

I really don't want to leave. I know I'm coming back in may, but I just-- don't want to go.
I know I have to take my boards and get a job for when I get back, but I don't even know what I want to do! --cut because this is a trip journal, not a "What Kind of Job do I Want" journal-- But back to Israel-- G-d, I don't want to leave, even though I know I have to go back.

10:15 pm
Doing a night shift! Yay! And it's with Eden! We're working with 2 guys both named Shlomie. I'm so freaking tired-- I actually feel myself being clumsier and slower. But on calls I'm good-- it's the rush.
I want to take a nap, but I'm watching our stuff-- mostly the fleeces. Really, those are the things most likely to get stolen.
I can;t believe that at this time tomorrow I'll be in the airport, waiting for my flight back to NY. It doesn't seem like it's real; it'll probably only hit me when I'm on the plane or back in NYC.

10:26 pm
No call, just a conversation break.
It'll probably hit me when I see a Starbucks-- or take the subway.
Or call/text someone and hear them. Or when I look at the clock and go, "So-and-so is on shift now." Or whatever.
G-d, I'm going to miss this place.

Monday, March 24, 2008
3:30 am
Birth! I just had a birth! That makes up for the other not-so-exciting calls that we had. We also had a drunk who couldn't walk, but refused to come with us anyway, an old lay who couldn't walk and had leg pain, and a guy who had suspected recurring pneumonia.
Birth made up for these calls. She delivered within 2 minutes of getting into the ER-- a girl. It was awesome!

5:46 am
I think I just came back from my last call-- for now. Chayal, was going into a building, someone(s) thought he was a robber, shot at him and started beating him-- sof-sof, he had a couple of scratches and maybe a slight head injury. But more scared thatn anything else.
Hmmm-- skipped over yesterday; I was going to write earlier today, but it really was yesterday.
Morning shift I did with Rivchi and Shiran. It was not a normal morning-- there was no shibutz (where we pick who we're work with-- assignments)-- basically find-a-driver. There was a new MDA 71 guy there-- poor guy, it was his first day and this is what he got...But he worked with Shira and Leah, so it was a good team.
I was in the Knesset until about 11-11:30 when we got a call. We had a couple of calls-- nothing terribly exciting.
After shift I went with Eden to the Purim seudah that Kaufy and Elinor were co-hosting at their friend's apt. It was really nice-- there were about 15 people there for the meal, and then some more showed up at the end for dessert and Apples to Apples.
Then I went back to tachana merkazit, met Eden, and we came to the MDA station. I attempted to nap before shift-- it didn't work too well.
I ended up switching and working with Yair and Dikla (I did the avtacha at the bar mitzvah with her and Gal). I don't know why, but at least 3 out of 5 of our calls were in Pisgat Ze'ev, so Yair told the moked that after our last call we weren't going to bother coming back to the tachana, just stayin Pisgat Ze'ev as a konan (first responder).
Oh, I forgot! Shloime stopped by the tachana to say bye. Ryan was going to, but he was a little bit out of it. He might come this morning-- later today.
I'm so tired- but I don't want to go to sleep now- I have officially 45 minutes left to my shift, but the morning shift people (aka those doing sherut leumi and MDA chul) will be here in, like, 15-30 minutes.
I wish I could do an am shift, but it's just not happening. I have to go to Marzipan, get Gilah's gum if I can find it, and go home to pack.
--cut because my day planning is boring--
Boaz just got here, or at least 42 did-- think I'll go brush my teeth and then go hang out in the machsan for a bit.

10:20 am
On the bus back to Chashmonaiim. I just sent a text to Eden and Shloime-- "I'm on the bus and it just fucking hit me...I'm leaving. And I'm going to cry." More on this later when I'm not about to throw up as well.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

March 9, 2008-March 18, 2008

Sunday, March 9, 2008
5:44 am
Waiting for Valerie at the trempiyada (where I get a ride from). Wonder what today will be like-- it's been very warm-to-hot the past week or so. And humid; you literally see the haze all day.
10:31 am
Today it's cooler. I definitely could have worn my fleece, because I'm wearing a t-shirt under my sweatshirt and I'm slightly cool. I'm working with Boaz and Nerya today; Benny was supposed to be with us, but he was at the tachana merkazit and Refael needed someone, so Benny went with him to do an avtacha. We might go to Bayit Vagan after-- Eden went with Coby to speak at something. So now I'm hanging out in the machsan; I thought Boaz said to come at the regular time, but he said come any time until 10:30. So I came at the regular time-- and took a nap from about 8-9:30. That worked nicely.
12:32 pm
Still waiting...Boaz in in a meeting. Murgh.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008
8:11 pm
Heat broke. Finally. I had my fleece today, which made me happy. I also got up at 5:15, which was exciting. Today I worked in the machsan in the morning and had 2 calls in the afternoon.
Yesterday Benny, Eden, and I went to Bayit Vagan to see MDA 71-- there's 83 of them! I'm really glad my course was small.
Reminder- have to call Coby tomorrow about Fri. am. I REALLY want to do shift with. -- ok, nm, he'll call me back.
IN other aspects of my life, I have lots of bruises on my legs and I'm not quite sure where they came from. Which is bad.
What else? Oh, tomorrow I'm doing a shuk run- want to do shopping for mishloach manot-- which means I have to make a list of who I'm giving to. Oh, and baking- I think I'm going to bake on Tuesday. Tuesday night. I'll see.
'k, off to go make my list-- oh, wait, I have to call Shloime or Ryan to find out about Purim-- but they might not know yet- well, I'll put them on a "maybe" list.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008
10:00 pm
(note: I don't remember what I was waiting for, but it was probably laundry or something like that)

Sunday, March 16, 2008
11:50 am
Over the past few days it's not been very exciting. I've had a couple of psych pts.-- neither of which came with us.
1:10 pm
What a crazy call we just had! (translated from Hebrew) Wow, I actually have to make an effort to write in English; my first instinct is to write in Hebrew. Right, so calls-- nothing overly interesting, except the previous one, which I'll get to ina minute.
Wednesday I ended up not doing a shuk run, but just went to Bayit Vagan instead. Thursday I went to the shuk.
Wednesday I/
4:06 pm
Call. Anyway, so Wednesday I worked with Itzak and Adam. Itzak was teaching a new driver, Benny. I really like Itzak's style-- TBC...
6:16 pm
Waiting at the Old Jaffa Youth Hostel, in Yafo. By the way, this feels really sketchy-- kind of like the Bowery at night alone. Well, at night, even with people. More about this adventure later. But damn, this feels sketchy!
Anyway, so Wednesday with Itzak. He's great. He really teaches by example and direct feedback-- he says what was good, what needs to be corrected, and how to correct it. He doesn't correct you obviously in front of pts.-- he'll help you and show/guide. Or step back and let you not do it as smoothly as if you were experienced. We had a few calls that day, including one day who looked almost catatonic when we got there. He had been standing in the entrance of the yeshiva all morning. He wouldn't talk, give ID, tell us his name-- nothing. Eventually we coaxed him out towards the ambulance. He ended up just walking off.

Monday, March 17, 2008
9:06 am
At Hadassah Ein Karem. So-- what else interesting? Not too much.
I had an interesting day on Thursday. Not so much in terms of calls, but I was supposed to be with Refael/
12:07 pm
But the Boaz had no mitnadvim (volunteers) and Nerya (the bat sherut who works with him) wasn't there, so I worked with Boaz.
Yesterday I had a crazy call. First the Natan got called out. Then we got called out-- 2 girls with burns. We get there-- the Natan is parked outside already. We go in and there's a girl sitting in the office with her leg up. We get taken to another girl, who's sitting in a chair crying hysterically. Clearly not our burns girls. She's crying, her leg hurts. Get her onto a bed and extend her leg-- she has a band-aid on her knee and it's swollen and bruised. We start taking care of her; Itzak on the Natan is treating the burns girls. Balagan.
2:00 pm
By thee way, most of the time that I stop in the middle of a sentence and it's a shift, it's for a call.
Back to the balagan call-- we're treating the girl with the bruised and swollen knee, Itzak is treating the burns girls, and there's a fourth one sitting/ [insert call here] nm, mevutal-- cancelled. (continuing) in the office with I don't even know what. All 4 of the incidents happened during recess; the only ones that were related were the burns girls.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008
10:00 am
Yesterday's calls weren't anything special. I had a fire in the morning. One guy had asthma and we ended up doing a transfer to a Natan. Literally the second we got back into the ambulance we got called back to the scene-- a firefighter had smoke inhalation-- because he had taken off his mask and given it to the asthma guy.
We also had an avtacha in Givat Ram. We got there-- the university knew nothing about it. Security took us to the stadium-- which was empty. Gal got in touch with the moked (dispatcher)-- the avtacha was cancelled. That was really it.
After that I got dropped off at Bayit Vagan and helped with studying until ~8, then I went home.
No one was home, so I went to the shul and was at this simchat bat thing for about an hour, then went home to get ready for the next day, then went to sleep.

Monday, March 10, 2008

March 3, 3009-March 9, 2009

Monday, March 3, 2008
10:25 am
Another dead day at the MDA station in Jerusalem. Yesterday I had, I think, 4 calls. My first day was a real teaser, because I thought my days would be more like the first one. So far I've had 3 calls this morning-- no, wait, 4-- car accident, car accident, cancelled, car accident cancelled on the way. All were canceled- ALL. Okay, call-- let's see how this one goes…

Tuesday, March 4, 2008
2:35 pm
Yeah, so I had an "eh" day yesterday, at least during shift. It was just up-and-down for the first few hours.
At my second avtacha (medical standby in case it's needed). Of the day. Ever. Today was more exciting, but I'll finish yesterday first. So the 3 canceled car accidents, a few more calls, but nothing interesting. Our last call was an emergency call to..wait for 84 y/o who had stomach pans for a MONTH already, and it was an emergency. WTF?
Today was more interesting; we had lots of trauma! First call was a kid whose finger got slammed in a door and part of the pulp got amputated on one finger and the other one got slammed only and was bleeding.
Second call- a construction worker fell. Facial wound, backboarding involved. And then there were 2 more falls-- wow. 3 at once-- well, one after the other; you heard over the radio. 2 (including the one I was on) went to one hospital, the other went to another hospital. I did not see Shaarei Tzedek today-- usually I see that more often.
Third call was an old lady with thrombosis who didn't want to go to the hospital at first, but she ended up agreeing to go.
Fourth call was a teen who had a rock-- a rock!-- thrown at her and it hit her in the head, but she didn't lose consciousness or anything like that.
After that we pit-stopped at the MDA station to wash the ambulance before going to do avtacha at a race. When we were there, Coby called Benny and asked who was working today-- and then Benny gave me the phone and Coby asked if I could do avtacha at Binyanei Hauma for a bar mitzva. (Why there's a bar mitzva at 3 pm on a Tuesday afternoon, don't ask me)
6:05 pm
Back inside. I went to the ambulance for a bit-- took a nap- mmmm....Anyway, I'm doing avtacha for a bar mitzvah-- the grandson of the Belz Rav. There are so many people here-- and that's only the women! The men are at the Belz shul or something like that. There are, at least, 600 people in one hall alone, and there's at least 2 other halls, all just as large, of the women. (later addition: There were 2500 women there. And 4500 men wherever the men were) Wow.
In other news, I told Mom I want to do the madrichim course and she wants to talk about it not at 11:30 at night. [cut because no one wants to hear about school stuff] Well, she hasn't said no outright, which is good. It's not really up to her, but her not saying "I really don't want you to do this" is definitely appreciated.
Feels like 1 am, or so. I worked 14 hours-- no, 15-- 7 am-10 pm. Damn. And I'll be back here at 6:45 tomorrow. On the upside, I did get an approximately 1.5 hour nap in while hanging out on the ambulance. I'm waiting in the MDA station for Rita to come pick me up. I just came into the kitchen, went to rinse my cup mug to make a cup of Nescafe, and saw ants. The hot drinks machine is infested with them-- or at least it used to be; the sign is down now.
I'm debating coming in on the later bus tomorrow-- I think I'll see what time I get home and get to sleep.
I had something else to say...and I don't remember what...oh well.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008
3:28 pm
Today was an okay day. First call was at, like, 7:05-- as in, "Who wants to go with Shalom?" Car accident, and the shibutz (schedule) hadn't been done yet. So I just jumped on. Guy got hit-- there was a konan (first responder-- in MDA there are first responders/hatzala who are on scooters and have basic first aid stuff) there, so we just backboarded and took him to the hospital.
After that, a lady who—TBC

Thursday, March 6, 2008
(continued) After that, a lady who didn't feel well, and-- not too much more excitingness.
After shift I went to town with Benny, Adam, and Ryan, and then met up with Shloime there for a bit. Then I went out with Ami, and then came home-- I actually got home earlier than previous nights.
Today I went to the Knesset-- mildly interesting overall. At first they didn't have the fax that we were going to be in the Knesset today, then we got called to a car accident-- 8 cars! No one went to the hosital, though; one person had some pressure at the back of his neck, but that was it. Originally he said yes to going to the hospital, but then changed his mind-- whatever. In the afternoon we had a suspected CVA, but when we got there it was a decline in status from yesterday so the family was concerned.
Then we came back, did a sherut run, then I went to donate blood. I'm not doing a shift tonight, by the way. Meh. Shloime's driver has someone else.
I don't know if I'm going to stay and hang out. I want to, but I have at least 2 hours, don't have what to change into, and...whatever.I think I'm going to just go home. I have to be here at 9:30 tomorrow, but I can take a bus at 7:30 and not a ride at 5:40. Yay!

Friday, March 7, 2008
2:49 pm
I stayed yesterday. I went to Benny's place (aka Tal's) and showered and changed; I left my small bag at the MDA station, because I was going to crash there anyway. Then we went to town, met Eden, and went to New Deli and met up with Josh, a kid from MDA Chul 62 or 64. We had dinner, then Josh went to find some more of his friends, and Eden, Benny, and I went to a bar. We were about to order and Josh called Benny to tell us to get the hell out of town, there was a pigua. So Eden called the girls from her program that she was with, we met them, and went to one of the girl's friend's apt. We stayed there—TBC

Motzei Shabbat, March 8, 2008
8:35 pm
(continuing) We stayed in this guy's apt. for about an hour and then Eden and her friends got in a cab back to their kibbutz and Benny and I went back to the MDA station. It was a balagan there-- there were tons of people and the ambulances were coming back in. The news was on in the kitchen, people were just sitting outside talking, smoking. Helped Shloime refill his ambulance. Then Benny and I waited at the station for Ryan and Hannah to come and we went to meet Shloime and his ambulance at Kikar Tzion. Nixed that, and the 4 of us went to Burgers Bar, then Benny went home, and Ryan, Hannah, and I went to the bus. We were waiting, and all of a sudden there was a crash-- this guy fell and was bleeding. Ryan took out gloves, I went to the ambulance across the street, then Hannah called-- the guy decided he didn't want help and stumbled off. No prob...Then Shloime called and said that if I wanted, there was room on his ambulance. So I said sure and Shloime said they'd come pick me up in a bit. Ryan's and Hannah's bus came, so I went to go hang out with the guys at the other ambulance and was chilling with them until Shloime and his driver picked me up. Had a couple of calls-- first was canceled, the second I don't remember,
11:48 pm
Then we had a 4-month-old who had difficulty breathing. Then we went back to the station and had another call-- chest pain. We got to the apt. and both the husband and wife seemed like they could have used treatment. I learned how to do a quick triage-- How are you feeling? Does your chest hurt? Does your head hurt? Any other pain? Check pulse. Then tx. It was an interesting call-- read:...interesting...

Sunday, March 9, 2008
7:32 am
Waiting at the MDA station for my driver to come back. Some days you get here and shibutz doesn't happen until 7-7:15; today I got here at 7:10 and it wasn't done, but driers had already left.
Anyway, back to Friday. Got back to the station at 8:30, therefore didn't go to sleep. Found Coby and hung around until-- I don't know-- 9:45-ish (?) then we went to the momorial ceremony for Yochai Porat-- Coby drove Shloime's car with me, Shloime, and another MDA Chul person and instructor, Seri. I fell asleep for part of it, but the part I was awake for was fun. We were a bit late to the ceremony, but were there for about a 1/2 hour-20 minutes. Met Yochai's parents and sister.
After that Coby dropped me off at Bar Ilan and I went to Eli's. Shabbat was nice. I stayed at Aylana's and Chava's apt.-- and actually got to see them! Which was exciting! I fell asleep at dinner, which wasn't so exciting, but I was tired. I also slept about 12 hours Fri. night. Lunch was at Aylana' and Chava's apt., then I took a nap, then went to mincha, and had seudah shlishit at Eli's apt., followed by havdalah. After that I went back, changed, and went back to Eli's to watch Firefly. It was...interesting. Reminds me a little of Enterprise. After that I went back to the apt., chilled a bit, then went to sleep.
This morning I came in on the first bus...and that's where I'm at now. Now, reflections or thoughts or comments or...something on the pigua. It feels like it was so far away-- it was 3 nights ago, but even Friday afternoon. Maybe it's because I worked a shift after, bit-- it's not like anything STOPPED. After 9/11, things STOPPED. Here- buses were running a few hours after. Roads were closed and traffic was hell getting out of Jerusalem, but things didn't stop. People weren't out as much, for sure, but things continued. It was scary-- yes, feeling vulnerable like that, but it was also frustrating when I was in the apt. and just sitting there. Once I got back to the station and was checking an ambulance and doing something, I wasn't as frustrated. Yes, the pigua was over, but there was still what to do.
2:00 pm
Dead day. Good, but boring. 1st call was a gas leak-- cancelled-- the FD couldn't find anything wrong. 2nd call was cancelled within a few seconds. 3rd call was a transfer from a natan (intensive care ambulances)-- not even an interesting one- A-fib. And the pt. was fine in the natan; low BP and irregular pulse. That's it.

Thursday, February 29, 2009

10:48 am
Had a tiyul yesterday to the South. We were supposed to go to Ein Gedi and the Dead Sea. But there was flash flooding a couple days ago and an American tourist was killed, so Ein Gedi and Nachal David, the path to it, are closed. So we went to the Hidden Waterfall (Mapal HaNistar) via Nachal Arugot. It was pretty-- and it was dry hiking, water, and through trees. Very pretty. The mapal itself was refreshing! There were a lot of groups there, but it all worked out nicely. Not everyone went in, but most people did.
Then we went to the Dead Sea, ate lunch, then went in. A few of us went to find mud, but I ended up going only halfway and turning back because I didn't have shoes...So I hung out with everyone who just went in. The water felt weird-- like you were going to tip over if you moved or twisted your body. I had a couple of small cuts, but they didn't burn too badly-- just stung a bit when I got out. I also got a couple small cuts on the way out-- toes and L hand. More annoying thatn anything else, really.
When we went to change, there was some woman outside charging a shekel to go into the bathroom and 8 to shower...Laurie and I were like, "Our wallets are at the bottom of our bag. We'll pay you when we leave." But she was being a pain and--uch. Just stupidity.
Then we got back on the bus and came back to Jerusalem. I pit-stopped at the MDA station to try to donate blood, but they closed at 5, and it was close to 6. Then I was going to go home, but as I walking by the tachanah I saw one of the girls from the tiyul who was waiting for 2 others, and the four of us went to the shuk and hung out. I might be going to one of the girls next Shabbat. Yay!
What else...oh, yeah, I want to do the madrichim course, which is in May. But I have to be back here for Shana's wedding in maybe I'll come for the madrichim course and stay her euntil the wedding, then go back and start working. Because I"m getting back to the US at the end of March. If I take my boards in the middle of April, I won't get my score until the end of April-beginning of May, then I have to wait for the licensure paperwork to go through, which takes a while. so I can't start working until the middle of June probably anyway. So I might as well do this. Now the money issue...let's see how THAT goes...

Saturday, March 1, 2008

special mention

This entry is a special mention for Sara, of Shatzenstock fame, who so generously called me and used her DAYTIME minutes when I was freaking out about the tests during my MDA course. Thank you. And we shall do this again, when I take other courses.

*Sara's comment: Thank you- I just wanted the recognition I deserved :-p*

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Yesterday and Today

Tuesday, February 26, 2008
2:37 pm
Today is the MDA 69 girls' last day. I'm going to miss them-- I like them.

Today, Wednesday, February 27, 2008
So that entry was supposed to be continued and just didn't happen. The girls are so sweet-- they'll be in Lod, so I'll go visit them. They invited me out [last night], but I had a shift this morning.
2:31 pm
Yeah, we had a call-- and another ambulance took it. Boo-ya.
We had 2 calls today-- a drink guy who turned out to be high- he told Ohad that he had taken heroin earlier, and a kid who had a seizure. The whole station was dead; most people had maybe 3-4 calls.
Yesterday was more interesting. Had more calls, including one in an Arab area- not horribly scary- and an old lady who needed lots of reassurance. There was also a call for a fight, but it was canceled. Oh well. Oh, and a sad call, too-- a teenager OD'd on sleeping pills and we had to take her to the hospital, but we got her there and she had a good pulse, low blood pressure, but I hope she'll be okay.
The one thing I learned today was where Bikur Cholim is. It is a hole in the wall, but Elchanan (see? there's your mention) says it has a great cardio dept.
Tomorrow is a tiyul to the Ein Gedi and the Dead Sea. I might get to do a night shift with Shloime and Ryan, but Ryan's going to call Shloime and ask. I'll be wiped after the tiyul, but I can sleep on the bus and before the shift. Who knows is I'll even be able to. Maybe, maybe another week. Who knows.
I decided that if I come back and am here for a few years, I'll definitely do the medic course. I'd like to do the instructor course, bit I don't know if I'll be able to, based on timing. I also have to see how my insurance works out, and where I end up working.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

More updates!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008
11:37 am
Been a few days.Technically a couple.
I passed. I'm just a nut about exams.
4:40 pm
Un-f'ing-believable. I'm on a bus back to Chashmonaiim and apparently the first 5 rows are for men only? There's nowhere for the women to sit-- so I went and sat back down. A guy mumbled at me that the first 5 rows were for men only, and there were still plenty of seats, so I moved a bit back. Well, now the seats are full and the front was 1/3 empty, so I moved back up. If he has a problem with me sitting here, he can ask me-- NICELY-- to move. Not mumble at me that the first 5 rows are for me. Besides, it's not an official rule, just an unwritten one that people are assumed to know.

Thursday, February 21, 2008
Right. So yesterday was my first day. Went well. I got there a few minutes early- but better early than lare. Today I was late. More about that later.
So- first shift. I had an orientation with Boaz, the volunteer coordinator at the Jerusalem station. (Oh, yeah, I'm at the Jerusalem station, not Petach Tikva.) I was on an ambulance with Elkie, a driver, Mickey, and another guy who was doing ride-alongs, Simcha. Spoke mostly Hebrew, which is good for me. First call was a car accident- single car crashed intoa guardrail; guy had actually already gotten out of his car, so we put a Philadelphia collar (a type of neckbrace, one that I like) on him, and put him on the backboard on the bed. The next call was supposed to be one guy who fell at a construction site, but it turned out to be two guys who fell...anyway, there were a few other calls, then at 2:45 we got a call-- on the other side of town. Mickey put on the lights and sirens and floored it. Because it was 2:45 and our shift ended at 3.

Sunday, February 24, 2008
Third day. My second day was also okay.
7:18 pm
Wow, I need to back up.
Starting from Monday: I passed the exam. Yehuda, Shloime, and Dan called us in individually and gave us our results. Yehuda had my test rolled up, and he, Shloime, and Dan were sitting there stone-faced. Yehuda said, "Lauren, I'm really disappointed in you. I expected better." So now I'm convinced I failed-- did horribly, bombed the exam. He handed me my test, rolled up, and I opened it-- 99. Apparently the look on my face was priceless, or so Shloime told me a few times. It was the math questions I messed up on-- I knew I messed that one up. After that I went upstairs, showered, and came back down all ready to go to the Waffle Bar with people. We (Elkie, Eden, and I) sorted out the sweatshirts, then everyone closed, and most of us went to the Waffle Bar, ate dinner, then went to Zolli's-- a hookah bar-- to celebrate being done. I had one drink and sips of other people's, and did not get drunk. Some people did, and others were relaxed and some were totally smashed. I think the quote of the night come from Arie Jaffe-- "Huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge!" There is definitely a reason he had to be drunk (read: very, very drunk) to tell that one.
Tuesday morning: It was snowing! Yay! The downside was that we had to leave anyway. Coby had told us that if there was snow and the buses didn't run, we could stay in the hostel another day and have just a chilled day. Yeah, so it snowed, but the buses ran so we didn't get to stay another day. (I ended up not being able to get the bus form the hostel to Chashmonaiim, so they driver took me to the Superbus that I usually take in.) --Insert story about bus to Chashmonaiim here-- I called Aryeh to talk to him about my station, and he was able to get me into Jerusalem. Yay! Petach Tikva is also close, but it would be a 3 buses, which is a huge pain in the butt.
So now I take one bus, but it gets me to Saraei Yisrael, right by the Tachanah, at 7. And I'm supposed to be at the station at 6:45 to get on the schedule. So I'm going to call Elkie in the morning. But that comes later.
Continuing on to Tuesday: Got to Rita and Dov's, spoke to Aryeh, foind out that I should be at the station at 6:30 am, and slept at Chaviva's (whose roommate is Ms. Gordon!). --Insert first day's story here--

Thursday: Day 2: So I waited for the 5:55 bus that comes about 6:15. And I waited at the bus stop outside the yishuv, because that's where the bus compny said it stopped...yeah, not so stops INSIDE the yishuv until 8 I missed the bus. Another one came about 10 minutes later, and I got in about 7:24, which is late. I got on an ambulance-- one of the girls was leaving at 9 and hey were switching divers, so I got on then.

Friday: Nothing. Day off! I went ot the Old City in the afternoon and met the Grosses at the apt. Shabbat was nice. The apt.- not so nice. The electricity blew twice, then the Shabbos clock switched off and the neighbor found an Arab to come fix it. There was no heat (because we pulled out the heaters when we though the electricity blew and it was the Shabbos clock), but the heater in my and Sho's room didn't work anyway, there was tons of food left in the fridge, and open package of cookies left on the table, coats on the hooks-- it looked like the family just left for the weekend- which they might have done. But if you're renting out an apartment, it should look and be proper. This was not.
Besides that, there was an NY NCSY trip and we went there/had seudah shlishit with them.
Today-- Wait, Motzei Shabbat- went to Ben Yehuda and met Eden and Benny, and one of Benny's friends, Lenny. Benny called Kaufman and I called Arie, and neither one came. Although Arie sent me a text and I called him back and I'm not sure what I said...
Today: had a shift in the morning. My driver was Gabi and the bat sherut was Leah. Whatever. At 2, my driver switched and I was with Shmulik and another mitnadev, Yakov (I think). We had one call-- it was actually exciting-- it was an unconscious pt. in Har Adar- roughly the middle of nowhere, Yerushalayim. We were supposed to meet a Natan-- we were basically out of the area and the Natan showed up. The pt. was breathing and had a pulse but was non-responsive, even to pain. Shmulik put in an IV and that was that. Got back at 4 pm, then came back to the girls from MDA 69.

Monday, February 25, 2008
7:09 pm
Today was a 10.5-hour shift. It wasn't actually supposed to be, but it turned into one. At 1 pm, my driver left and Alfasi took over. I should have been done at 3-- well, I sort of could have left at 1 om, but then Alfasi wouldn't have a team and I couldn;t do that. But I can deal with him-- he actually cracks me up.
We had a couple of interesting calls- we got called to the Knesset and Dave broke all the rules-- he wore jeans and didn't have his passport. Those are the rules for going to the Knesset-- no jeans, and have your passport. There's this whole security process that you have to go through to go into the Knesset, but when it's a senator in an emergency call (okay, it was emergency because it was a senator, but whatever), you get to go in as long as you're with MDA. There was also a car accident- 3 cars. No blood-- at least on my pt.-- but yes backboarding and took him to the hospital, obviously. Anyway, I'm getting very good at opening a file. I also know how to fill out the forms and the hitchayvut (the thing that says who is responsible for the charge and how much the charge for the ambulance is). Yay!
I have to confirm the tiyul on Thursday. I'm trying to get all the info, but the guy is not getting back to me. Not helpful. -pause to call him- Okay, he told me to go to the Stagerim group on Facebook and get the info there.
In other news, I thought that one of the guys who gave us a couple of lectures was cute, but apparently he wants a tall, thin, blonde or redhead. I don't fit any of those categories. Oh, well-- clearly I'm heartbroken...

MDA Chul (Magen David Adom Overseas Program), Part I: The Training

Day 1: Sunday, February 10, 2008
12:58 pm
At the Bayit Vagan Guesthouse(/Youth Hostel). Cam in, signed in/registered, met people, went to get another person a notebook, came back, chilled, had an intro, ate lunch, and am waiting to go get introduced to my instructors and get my room key. In other news, I have to wash my splint.
6:41 pm
On a break until 7 pm. So far so good. There's a lot of 18-20-year-olds in this course. We're split into 2 classes, ~12/class. There are two full-time instructors and 1 who comes in the afternoon.
So far we've covered what we do (oxygen, bandage, vitals...), what we don't do (hit a pt., give them anything to eat/drink/smoke- except with diabetics-, talk to the media, etc.), adult and child CPR, and choking, but only conscious adults. We've got another hour or two before we finish for the night.
My biggest issues are remembering to call for an ambulance and rescue breaths-- I don't open my mouth enough (sound familiar, anyone?). I don't actually suck-- they go in, but I don't like them. Oh, and I have to tilt the head a bit farther back, I think. Again, breaths go in, I'm just not happy with. Let's see...rooms. They are, literally, a place to sleep. There's 3 beds-- 2 pushed together, and one single, a shower, a toilet, 2 nighttables, and a closet. I will be living out of my suitcase. And am debating asking Rita to send me my mattress cover, pillow cover, and duvet cover.

Day 2: Monday, February 11, 2008
3:05 pm
On break. So far I haven't flunked out-- clearly I'm very optimistic. It's okay. They're very intense days-- lots of information, but not's not as bad as the first week of school. THAT was a bitch-and-a-half. It was also the 3-4 hour breaks when I was in the 2nd lab and couldn't do anything besides work in papers or my art projects.
Today we did some review, then did CPR equipment and practice with equipment. We did some special situations-- electrocution, drowning, hanging, poisoning (note: harAHlah, not harPAlah-- harpalah means abortion). And we did-- started-- vitals-- skin, resps, BP, pulse/HR. BP the way we did it in school- with stethoscope- and also the way Katie taught me at Burke, via the radial pulse-- but you only get systolic from that.
7:01 pm
Dinner was later today-- 6:30-7:30, so I've got a half-hour left, which leaves me plenty of time to write. As a side note, it's hard to write when you've got music in your ears and you're tapping your feet and moving your body to it. I'm working on it. If I just let the music play, k'ilu in the background, it's a bit better.
I really miss fw. Not the student crap, but treating patients. I miss it. It sounds funny, but I miss treating people and-- doing it and knowing what to do and making a difference. It's cheesy. But I do.
So far, still no roommate. Not that I'm complaining, just saying. It's-- you miss out on the whole roommate-bonding thing, but I get all the towels I want. Which is a bonus, and I can use the shower and bathroom whenever I want. And don't have to worry about waking anyone up.
All right, time to put this away-- oh, wait, it's "Accidentally in Love." Okay, I'll put this away, finish the song, then be social.

Day 3: Tuesday, February 12, 2008
6:25 pm
So far no roommate-- don't think I'm getting one, seeing as it's already 3 days in...Today we did...something in the morning. I don't remember what, but it's on the midterm tomorrow, which goes from the first day until this morning. Felt like crap, actually, this morning. Feeling a bit better, but still with a headache. I don't have time for this, I've got stuff to do. Lots of studying.
It feels like the older I get, the more I get sick. Maybe it's because I'm pushing my body too hard-- or harder than I used to? Either way, I don't have time for this.

Day 4: Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Translations: ABC-O2 means "check the person's airway, breathing, circulation, and act appropriately, and give oxygen"
PHTLS means "Pre-Hospital Trauma Life Support" and there's a checklist of things to do when someone has had trauma.

9:05 am
Exam's over. Went okay, I think. I'll find out later when I get the results-- hopefully later today. There were a few questions I was kind of -ish on, mostly the one about drowning. The question was, "What is the correct treatment for drowning?" Answers were (a) remove person from water (b) ABC-O2 (c) Remove H2O from lungs. First I chose (a), but then realized the person might not be in the water, nor might I be able to remove them. And I knew (c) was wrong, so that left (b). But especially if it's shallow water, you're supposed to do PHTLS. So I don't know. Whatever, I can get one wrong.
6:19 pm
Finished dinner-- good L-rd, I eat fast. I really need to learn to slow it down a bit. A lot.
We went over the exam-- we didn't get them back, but Yehuda went over the questions. I know that I got the one on MI wrong, and I didn't write to call the Natan (ICU ambulance) fora few of them. Now I know what to work on. I think I want to start studying NOW for the final. ...See how far I get with that.
Let's just discuss the class for a minute. There are 3 instructors for my class-- Yehuda, Shloime, and Dan. Dan is by far the funniest, as in belly-laugh. Shloime is randomly amusing-- he draws on the board and...has random British humor moments that the Brits get. Yehuda has more intellectual humor.
Anyway, class is definitely NOT boring, feels...I don't even know. Like a locker room-- 90% of the humor is sexual jokes, innuendos, etc. The most popular phrase (at least on Dan's part) is Swedish; I can't pronounce it, but I can translate it. I swear, this is definitely up there with OT375, or whatever Dr. Wood's theory class was.
I did okay on the midterm, I just hope I do as well (preferably better) on the final.
10:53 pm
Got a 92 on the midterm. I got the MI question wrong, missed one on heart attack s&s (signs and symptoms), and on PE, I didn't sit her up. But my Hebrew was all good. So apparently I'm not doing too bad. I asked SHloime about his offer of a mock practical-- if he was serious. He said he didn't remember, but he said he would. I'll see. I want it, but I'll see.
In other news, guess who's dehydrated again? It's in between, "Wow, I really need a drink," which isn't anything big, and the TKD bit when I'm seeing spots/floaters and the colors are all getting brighter. I also really need to be in the fresh air, but it's wet outside. I'll go study out there. I need air and H2O.

Day 5: Thursday, February 14, 2008
11:00 pm
We actually finished early-- very early-- today, as in 6-- before dinner. I ate, discovered I wasn't the only one who got sick from the food, and went back to practice. I finally got to backboard, and learned what was a key thing I was missing-- I wasn't moving a hand, when I was at the top, and I have to. I still have to practice backboarding-- A LOT--but now I know what to do and understand what I was doing wrong. Aside from that, today was a lighter day. We had a Great Debate about t-shirts and sweatshirts, followed by practice. Then we all went to Har Hertzel and on the way back it started mamash pouring and hailing HARD on us. Not fun. By the way, hail hurts- it feels like lots of needles being repeatedly poked into you, especially when it's being blown around by the wind. After that we came back, had lunch, I took a nice HOT shower and felt better. Went back to class, had practice followed by lecture, then we closed for the day.
Really the biggest things I need to practice are PHTLS and backboarding. PHTLS is really pure memorization, and backboarding I need three others for. Bandaging I can do, I'd like to practice jaw bandaging a couple more times, but the others I can do. CPR, I'll review, especially with equipment.
Tomorrow we have class until 12, then we get ready for Shabbat. Yay! We'll also get the schedule for Shabbat, so I'll talk to Moshe and maybe hang out with him. Bedtime!

Day 6: Friday, February 15, 2008
3:17 pm
Few minutes before I jump into the shower (by the way, very good shower-- pressure, HOT water).
Today was, again, much more laid-back. We had both classes together at the beginning of the day, and we learned to prepare and IV, I punctured the part where you stick in the IV tubing, and then my finger-- but only a little bit. I felt a bit stupid, but then Elkie said she did the same thing, so I don't feel as bad. I tried it again, and this time I got it in straight. Going to shower so my hair will dry a bit before Shabbat.
4:17 pm
Showered, half-dressed, and not make-up-ified, and have not yet poked my eyes out. Finish this up, do that, call Bubby and Zaidy, then get Cassie and light with her. So-- today. IVs, practice, split up, practice, lecture on burns, practice, finish off the day, Had lunch-- falafel-- then went to get Shabbos treats! Spent, like, $12 on that-- but it's for Shabbat. Came back, checked my email., hung out with Eden and Benny, then came up to get ready.
I'm really nervous for the final. Theres a lot on the written, and I don't know most of it. The practical-- if you do something like step over your patient, you fail. I'm worried that I'll do something "little" that I'm not supposed to do, and I'll fail because of that, not because I don't know my stuff. We shall see...and on that note, I'm going to make-up-ify and poke my eyes out. And finish getting dressed.

Day 8: Sunday, February 17, 2008
12:39 pm
The good news is, I don't suck at PHTLS. I did a scenario with 2 others...and I am now supposed to stick to the head because I had C, D, and had started E before the person who wasn't holding the head had finished B. The only thing is, I did the tourniquet and forgot to write the time on the person's head. Cannot forget that. That is important. But overall we worked well for backboarding-- got the pt. on, did the rolling well.
I have to practice the secondary survey. A- Recheck AW, check for and tx skull fx. B- Check and assess breathing (30 sec.), change O2 in ambulance. C- Check pulse, BP, wounds-minor hemorrhages, IV. D- Dressing- wounds, fx, burns. E-Evac, if haven't done so already.
Moving right along, Shabbat. It was nice. There are a bunch of people from a youth group called Netzer who weren't here because they had a group Shabbat. But there was about 3/4 of the whole group in. We had davening with a Belgian school group...because neither of us had a minyan independently. There were 3 others besides me (from the girls) at kabbalat Shabbat, then more people came for dinner. Te oneg was after that-- also chilled. Then I hung out after pople left to go out...because I wasn't going out on Fri. night... and played Jungle Speed with Arie, Aryeh Kaufman, and a/
6:30 pm
doctor, Baruch, who was with us over Shabbat. (He gave a lecture on medical ethics and halacha on Shabbat afternoon.) Then they all left to take care of someone and Moshe came by. Then Arie, Aryeh, and Baruch came back an we all played Jungle Speed, and then Moshe and I went for a walk (no comments about Shabbos walks-- it wasn't a date, and if it had been, he would have been 2-3 hours late). Then we came back, chilled with the others, then Moshe left, and the four of us were talking. And then it was midnight and the lights shut off, and we wrapped up and went to sleep.
Shabbat morning we had davening, lunch, the lecture, then some people went to practice more and I took a nap until seudah shlishit, woke up, ate, then we made Havdalah. There was sort of a kumsitz which basically involved Aryeh bringing his guitar and hima nd Arie playing and singing. Everyone else was studying.
Aryeh left and brought back some movies. I watched half of "Knocked Up," then went to go to sleep but got distracted by people talking about the test, so I stopped t talk, too, and eventually went to bed.
Today we had a lecture on Mass Casualty Incidents-- Ara"n-- and the rest of the day was practice.
Shloime asked Rebecca and I to help some of the weaker students, which I'm okay with. And then hen I was doing a PHTLS scenario with Danielle and Michael, Yuda told me to stick to the head and let the others do the rest of the assessment. On one hand, that's really positive, but on the other hand, it's like-- I hope I do as well on the test. I'm mostly worried about the backboarding and the second survey. Backboarding is dependent on who you're working with. But they said they're grading us individually. Secondary survey- let's go through that again- A- check consciousness, AW, skull fx. B- Assess breathing, hook up pt. to O2 tank in ambulance. C- check pulse, BP, minor hemorrhages, IV, D- Dressing- fx, burns, wounds, E- Evacuate, if haven't done so.
PHTLS itself is SSS- Check scene safety, stop and major bleeds- write time on forehead if applying tourniquet. A- Check consciousness, AW, c-spine. B- Expose chest, check breathing, apply Asherman on open chest wound(s), C- Check for any major hemorrhages, check skin, check pulse and capillary refill, check abdomen. D- PAL- Pupils Equal And Reactive to Light, Limbs- move them, feel, AVPU again, E- Expose body, full body check-- ignore burns, scrapes, bruises, fx, Recover. TNT-- Treat or Transport. Second Survey: A- AVPU, AW, B- Assess breathing, switch O2, C- Circulation- stop minor bleeds, assess pluse, BP, IV. D- Dressing- bandage small wounds, fx, burns, E- Evacuate (if haven't done so already). Okay, I know this mostly. I need to study diseases and s&s.
Oh-- Shock- BP down, HR up, Resps. up.
Head injury-- BP up, HR down, Resps. down.

Day 9: Monday, February 18, 2008
12:29 pm
Oh, double f. I forgot to write the time I tourniqueted Sharon's arm. I also forgot to feel her abdomen. F.
The written was okay-- I messed up ont he math-- I added in an extra zero and-- ugh! I know I did all right on the Ivrit-- damn, it's cold out here!
All right, this is-- oh, and at first I screwed up Sharon's BP. I just get so nervous on exams!
All right, it's over and done with, and there's nothign more I can do. I'm going to go upstairs, finish packing, shower-- or reverse those two-- and be back down in 3 hours. Maybe I'll read a bit as well.
Or just pack and read. I'm stressed.

*Sara's comment: midterm
I can't believe I didn't get a mention here when I used daytime minutes to call you and comfort you, like I do before EVERY test. I'm just saying. :) Glad you did well, though- not at all surprised, but still glad. (yes, I realize this comment is delayed, I just wanted to make my annoyance public and maybe earn a mention in a later post)*

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Attention, attention!

As of tomorrow (aka Sunday, Feb. 10) I will be Internet-less for 10 days, until Feb. 19. So if you reply to this, email me, or Facebook me, or message me on Facebook, I will not be able to reply. So call me.
If you do not have my number, look on Facebook, or call my house.

See you all Feb. 19/20!

February 8, 2008

4:18 pm
Wow! I'm actually ready for Shabbat early! I still have to call Bubby and Zaidy and Imma's cell phone to leave a voicemail for Grandpa. I really do have to remember to call him Thursday night.
In other news, yesterday I went to breakfast with Avigayil, Basi, and Moti; we went to a place called Angelo's, aka "Blondie's." It was late for breakfast-- like 10:30, but whatever. I had a sandwich and cocoa, both very good. After that we went to "The American Store," which had frozen J2 pizza! (among other things, but that stuck out at me) After that I took a bus to Eli's and we watched House and Juno, then he made a really good stir-fry for dinner, and then we went with the Agudah (Agudat HaStudentim) to Ikea. Ikea is fun.
We went on a scavenger hunt and spent a really long time looking for boots with green polka dots-- only to learnt hat the polka dots were stickers and someone took off the stickers! That's always fun.
There was alsoa restaurant-fast food place and I split a chocolate cakey thing with Eli-- it was good, but a little very sweet.
We wandered around Ikea a little more, he got some stuff for his apt., including a 29-shekel wok! It was awesome. Then we went back on the bus and came back to Bar Ilan and I slept over at Ilana's.
Today I came back, relaxed, took a nap, got up and got ready for Shabbat. And wrote this.
Tomorrow night I have to do laundry, do the cuffs on my pants, and pack for the MDA course. I hope I pass! Not that I'm planning on not passing, but it's a very intense 9 days.