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*