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November 25, 2014 / 3 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘ICU’

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef Hospitalized Again

Monday, September 2nd, 2013

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, former Chief Sephardic Rabbi and the spiritual leader of the Shas Sephardi party, is in the Intensive Care Unit of Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital, where he is being treated for an infection.

He is conscious but is breathing with the help of a respirator.

“Rav Ovadia,” as he is popularly known, had been in the hospital on Sunday for tests, was released but later was rushed back after not feeling well.

He has been in and out of the hospital several times this year.

Update on Two of the Injured IDF Jeep Soldiers

Sunday, November 11th, 2012

Dr. Orly Weinstein, deputy director of Soroka hospital reports that one of the IDF soldier’s injured in the anti-tank missile attack against their jeep is still in very serious condition.

The hospital just finished operating on him for his head and eye injuries. He’s more stable than he was when he was first brought in, but he’s unconscious. His life is still in danger.

The second soldier that was brought to Soroka is now listed in moderate condition, and Dr. Weinstein says the operation to remove the shrapnel from his eyes was successful. He was moved to the ICU.

The other two soldiers are being treated at Barzilai hospital and are listed as lightly injured.

Near-Death Experience

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

I have always felt that Hashem’s Will was my will.

I always accepted everything, telling myself that everything was for the best. I trusted that it was Hashem’s Will.

It was and still is.

Throughout the years, I experienced some medical problems, but I never let that stop me. I went for the usual medical exams and continued on my merry way, living the life that was given to me by our merciful Creator. I was blessed with precious parents, a wonderful life, and a dear family. I was busy and did not have time to waste on illness.

However, sometimes we have to accept that we are not in control, and that is exactly what I had to learn.

At one of my medical appointments, my doctor informed me that I would need surgery to correct a problem that had been developing for the past few years. I trusted my doctor, and after more tests confirmed his findings, I met with the surgeon to make arrangements for the operation. This was not the first surgery I had. There were so many times before this when surgery was necessary to keep me on my feet. I was never afraid, because I knew that it was for the best. I knew that Hashem was always with me.

My family was supportive and I planned and prepared so that all would be well while I recuperated. Unfortunately, things did not go as planned. The doctor could not finish the surgery since my heart began to fail under anesthesia. They did whatever they could, but had to stop. It was too dangerous to continue.

I spent a few months recuperating but did not improve. I was worse than before the surgery. Then I found out that I would need another surgical procedure to get me out of danger. I was not happy. Oh, dear Hashem, why was this happening to me? But of course I knew that He had His master plan and that it was the best for me.

I was right. The doctor explained that the surgeries had saved my life.

I am still trying to get back to “myself,” whoever that is, since “she” has not been around for a while! But, I know “she” is there, just waiting to reappear.

I was always so active and able to accomplish so much, and now, I function in slow motion. I have residual problems following the surgery, but, with Hashem’s help, I feel I will get stronger. I just need a lot of patience, and I am developing more of it as I go on. I accept that all is for the best.

I had a dream during the first surgery. I must have been in a very deep sleep . I remember walking through large soft white clouds. There was nothing around me except the white clouds, when suddenly I saw two faint figures. As I approached them, I realized in utter joy that they were my father and mother, of blessed memory. I missed them so much and I was ecstatic to see them. They looked so young and beautiful, not ill and suffering as the last time I had seen them. I ran to meet them when my dear father put up his hands and told me quietly to go back. Confused, I looked at my dear mother, and she gently motioned to me to listen to my father.

I wanted so much to run to hold and kiss them again, but I was an obedient daughter, and I did not move. My father’s hands were still up, as if to create a barrier. He softly and lovingly repeated to me, “Go back!”

I do not know how much time passed, but when I finally regained consciousness, I was gagging on the breathing tube in my throat. I wanted to say Baruch Hashem, but I could not speak. I was in the ICU in the hospital. I felt tears in my eyes as I tried to call out to Hashem and to my parents, but I had no voice.

Some time later, I remember hearing the doctors discussing my surgery and how they were losing me, but got me back.

I am so fortunate Hashem allowed me to live, and also gave me the gift of seeing my dear sweet father and mother for a few precious moments. Baruch Hashem, I am back, and I continue to feel my parents’ presence. I feel them encouraging me to get stronger and stay happy.

So you see, it was all for the best.

Midnight In The Emergency Room

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008

This true story took place in Brooklyn, New York.

It was a wintry, dark afternoon when my father collapsed before my eyes. He slumped over in the front passenger seat in the car and lost consciousness. When he slowly and dazedly opened his eyes, he was weak and pale.

I called Hatzalah, and minutes later we were zooming down Ocean Parkway to the Kings Highway Community Hospital.

This story happened late on a Friday afternoon. By the time we got to the hospital, it was Shabbos. The doctors diagnosed my father with a heart attack and admitted him to the ICU. I was alone, with no friends in this neighborhood. I sat on a hard plastic orange seat in the emergency waiting room, trying to avoid the loud TV. I was alone, tired, hungry, and sick with a bad cold. I had no prospects for a Shabbos meal or a place to rest. I faced the next 24 hours alone in the waiting room of the emergency room.

Time passed. The hands on the large clock soulessly glided around and around its face. I listened to the operator paging doctors. I looked at the candies and cookies in the candy machine. At around 1 a.m., there I was, still sniffling and trying to find a comfortable position on the hard chair under the fluorescent lights.

At about 1:30 a.m., an agitated woman rushed into the emergency room, dragging a little boy by the hand. The woman was wearing a snood, and the little boy in pajamas wore a large, embroidered kippah.

A short time later, she walked out much with a relieved expression on her face. We exchanged a few words, and she told me that the boy had hurt himself, and she had wanted to ascertain that there were no broken bones. The doctors reassured her that he was perfectly fine, and she was on her way back home.

I hurriedly told her my situation, and asked if I could possibly spend the night in her home. She was a little taken aback, but soon agreed, and there we were, walking home through the deserted streets at 2 a.m.

In the wee hours of the morning, she served me a warm meal, and then told me that the woman who stayed in her attic apartment was away for Shabbos, and that I could sleep in that apartment. Incredibly, that tenant turned out to be one of my good friends!

I spent the rest of that Shabbos enjoying this kind family’s caring and hospitality. I felt that Hashem had seen my predicament, and had sent this woman out into the cold night to the hospital with a perfectly healthy boy to bring me to a warm home.

Hashem will inevitably put us into difficult situations throughout our lives. There’s no escaping that, so don’t even try. But when He does, make sure to look around for the angels He sends to remind you that you are never alone.

When You Don’t Know What To Do (Part Two)

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2005

I have been writing a series of articles on managing simchas and crises when they occur at the same time. By sharing the stories of what happened to others in similar situations and what helped them, it is my hope to give some ideas to both the people in crisis and those who desire to help them.

Last week, I shared Shana Chana’s story about how a friend and his wife helped her clarify her immediate needs. Today, I am going to tell stories shared by other well spouses who also had to deal with joy and crisis at the same time, and the help they found in dealing with the many tasks that had to be done. They called this help “wonderful” not only because of how helpful it was, but because of how it was offered. Perhaps the stories may guide us the next time we choose to help a friend.

Many families with an ill member will tell you that celebration and crisis often go hand in hand.

Zesha’s chronic illness worsened just as Zesha and his wife Yaffa were about to celebrate their daughter’s wedding. Yaffa had only a week to deal with Zesha’s hospitalization and worsening condition while finishing the preparations for the wedding. She wasn’t sure where to turn first. There were so many last minute things to do for the wedding and so many new things she needed to do for her husband. She felt as though there were a tornado of thoughts whirling around in her head, and she had difficulty thinking about one thing before another displaced it.

There were seating arrangements to be made, kosher food baskets to be made and dropped off at the hotels, things to be delivered to the catering hall, and people to be picked up from the airport and delivered to their hotels and home hospitality. She also needed to visit her husband, deal with his depression over missing and performing part of the wedding, find a Rav to take his place, and have time left to deal with her own preparations (wig, makeup, nails and exhaustion).

Just as she was trying to decide where to begin, her doorbell rang. Her friends Sharon and Stan immediately began to help. “We’re going to the airport on Thursday to pick up Nathan (a mutual friend coming in for the wedding), so please give us a list of the guests you’re expecting. Give us their flight numbers and we’ll pick them up and take them to where they’re staying. We also know that you have to take some things to the catering hall. Stan will pick them up when you have them ready. You know he works just ten minutes away. Now, what else do you need?”

It was not Yaffa’s nature to call out for help. She found it easier to offer help than to take it. But the helpers had come to her more than ready to assist in the tasks they knew needed to be done. They made it easier for Yaffa to let them help her.

Yaffa told me how wonderful it was to get her list cut in half, as her friends took the other half. Yaffa also knew she’d have to lower her expectations and so with great regret, she crossed off delivering welcoming baskets for her guests. Much to her surprise, baskets of drinks and snacks were left at the hotel for her guests. She still has no idea who prepared them.

Rachelle and Stephen, a couple from out of town who were old friends of Yaffa and Zesha, had planned to arrive early to enjoy the celebrating and preparations with their friends. When they arrived and saw the situation, Rachelle began preparing meals for Yaffa’s family as well as cooking for the out-of-town arrivals. Stephen spent as much time as he could at the hospital so that Yaffa knew her husband had company and didn’t feel she had to be there constantly.

On the day of the wedding, two of Zesha’s friends decided to split the time and stay with Zesha. They didn’t want him to be alone during the wedding. One friend stayed for the first half and the other relieved him midway through the festivities so that they could both support their friend and be there to help celebrate for at least half of the wedding.

These stories gave me many ideas about how friends can help friends in need. Friends showed up, asked if their involvement was needed, sincerely offered to fill in the needs, were unobtrusive, and did what was needed without waiting to be asked.

The offer of help was not general, but specific. Well spouses often comment that general offers such as: “Let me know if there’s something I can do” were nice and probably meant sincerely. But it was the specific offers that were really helpful. Examples of these offers are: “I’m going to the store. Tell me what you need.”

“My kids will be at your house at one o’clock to take your children to the park.”

“Supper will be delivered to your home at 5 p.m.”

These offers are the special ones, the ones that are easier to accept, and the ones that are especially helpful.

In the past year, the ICU unit in my city has hosted three weddings either at a parent’s bedside or through a sound system. It seems that juggling joy and crisis is more common than we imagine. Perhaps knowing how to help is more appreciated than we realize.

When You Don’t Know What To Do (Part One)

Wednesday, February 16th, 2005

In a crisis, few of us know how to act. We desperately want to help, but we are afraid of overstepping or intruding where we shouldn’t. Knowing that everyone reacts to a crisis differently makes knowing what to do and how to help even more difficult. Many of us choose the option of doing nothing, or we put the onus on the family by saying, ‘Let me know if I can help.’ That is safer than doing the wrong thing, after all. But doing nothing leaves the people in crisis feeling alone and uncared for.

Several well spouses told me stories about friends who helped. They helped when these spouses were juggling occasions of joy and sorrow that happened concurrently. (This happens more often than I realized in houses where chronic illness lurks).

They helped in such a way that these well spouses were comfortable accepting the help. Their actions may serve as models for any of us who want to be there for our friends, but don’t know what to say or do.

When Shana Chana’s chronically ill husband’s condition worsened, just days before a simcha was about to take place, she didn’t know where to turn first. Her very pregnant daughter and her two toddler grandchildren had already arrived from out of town and were staying with her. When the call came that her husband had been taken to the hospital, Shana Chana wanted her daughter with her. Her daughter wanted to be there as well. They called a friend, Margo, who had several teen-age children at home to ask if someone could watch the children while they ran down to the hospital.

Margo arrived out of breath before they had time to even put on their coats! She assured them that the grandchildren would be taken care of all day. Margo would stay here for a bit, since the children were more familiar with their grandmother’s house. Later, as they became more comfortable with her, she’d take them to her house and her children would play with them and keep them occupied. This could easily be all day and all night if necessary.

Free from concern about the children, mother and daughter ran to the hospital. They were there about 45 minutes, when the daughter went to call to check on the children. Outside the hospital room she found Harold, Margo’s husband. Harold had not wanted to intrude by coming in, so he simply waited outside the hospital room to see if it was all right to be there and see what he could do to help.

Shana Chana was grateful for the support. Harold helped them collect the husband’s personal belongings that could not stay in the hospital and took them to his car. He brought coffee and as the situation stabilized, he said directly and simply, “Let’s discuss your needs and see where I can plug in.”

Shana Chana’s main concern was Shabbos. It was Friday morning. On the one hand, she did not want to leave her daughter alone over Shabbos. What if she went into labor? On the other hand, she did not want to leave her husband alone in the ICU, since she wasn’t sure if he even knew where he was or what happened to him. He needed to see someone he knew when he awoke.

Harold solved the problem. He offered to stay at the ICU all of Shabbos so that Shana Chana could be with her daughter. He would stay until after Shabbos when Shana Chana and her daughter would return. And, he said, his wife was making them Shabbos meals so they could be here all Friday, if they wished.

Shana Chana got through that first day more easily with the help of Harold and Margo. Harold had helped her to zero in on her immediate needs and helped her solve her immediate dilemmas. He helped her see that everything else could wait until after Shabbos when the situation would hopefully stabilize.

By asking her what were her immediate needs and concerns, Harold helped her get through the haze that seems to cloud our minds in a crisis. Margo took care of the tasks that needed doing.

When a crisis strikes, it is difficult to sort through which of the many things that need doing take priority. When having a simcha is one of those things in the mix, emotions make functioning almost impossible.

Having someone help you define what is urgent, what you need to deal with immediately, and then help you do it, is a great support. But it is only the first step. It enables you to deal more sanely with all the tasks that are next, but can wait till tomorrow.

When Shana Chana got home, there were two messages on her machine. One said, ‘Hi. Please call me to let me know how things are and let me know if I can help.’ The other said, ‘My 13 and 15 year old daughters will be coming to your house at 2 p.m. on Shabbos afternoon to occupy the children so that you and your daughter can sleep or just rest. If this time isn’t good, call back with another, otherwise they’ll be there at two.’ Which of these two positive messages would you want to hear? Which one would you use more freely? Which one requires nothing of you but acceptance? More examples next week.

(To be continued)

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/when-you-dont-know-what-to-do-part-one/2005/02/16/

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