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August 21, 2014 / 25 Av, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Surgery’

Israeli Invents New Super Glue for Internal Surgery Incisions

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

Israeli Prof. Havazelet Bianco-Peled of Haifa’s Technion University has invented a new super glue that mechanically seals areas of potential leakage after surgery, without the need for sutures.

Bianco-Peled set up the Sealantis start-up at Technion in 2007, and the company now is expecting FDA approval for the “Seal-V” glue, developed from the cell walls of brown algae.

Seal-V retains its sealant capacity even on wet surfaces,” said Bianco-Peled. The glue also is biorestorbable, meaning that the body automatically absorbs it after the wound heals.

Security and the Belt

Monday, October 14th, 2013

When the surgeon first explained what he was going to do during my recent operation, my first thought was, “Pins? You’re going to put pins in my shoulder? Am I going to set off the metal detectors???”

The thought of having to deal with this just about broke me…and then the doctor smiled and said no, the pins weren’t made of metal and would actually, disintegrate in about six months.

I would have to wear an “immobilizer” belt made by an Israeli company named Uriel. I bought the belt and brought it on the day of the operation and woke up wearing it and except for showering, I’ve been wearing it ever since.

At the beginning, night and day, I had to wear it as you see in the picture. Arm firmly secured to my body – top and bottom. After several weeks, I “graduated” to having to keep the upper arm band in place, but the lower arm can be released.

This morning, for the first time since the operation, my husband dropped me off for a few hours to see what’s happening here at the office. I’m not officially back to work yet, but I needed to get out and because he had a meeting in Tel Aviv – he could drive me in and take me home later. I can barely handle car rides; I wasn’t up to trying buses and trains.

I work in the center of Jerusalem. It’s a beautiful city, made especially more beautiful now that the work on the light rail has finished. The city is full of people – shopping, eating, walking. And the people are as varied as the shops – Israelis, new immigrants, Arabs, tourists…

Within a 10 minute walk from my building in any direction, you can find at least a dozen plaques dedicated to victims of terror attacks. Here in the heart of Jerusalem, Palestinians terrorists have set off dozens of bombs. It is a reality that slips to the back of our minds, but never goes away. Day to day, we function normally, think of other things, regular, ordinary.

As I walked past the sidewalk and open plaza heading into the building, a guard was approaching a microwave oven. Someone had left it on a bench. They are trained to see the un-ordinary and this qualified. They have seconds to figure out what probably happened, what it is, and if it poses a threat. What probably happened is that someone who lives nearby had a microwave. Maybe they took it to be fixed at one of the stores and heard the price and thought – for that I can buy a new one. Who knows?

But you can’t trust the guess, you have to check. The guard carefully opened it and looked inside. To call a bomb squad would shut down the center of Jerusalem for an hour or more, disrupt the end of rush hour, halt all train service throughout the city. If he’d seen enough to suspect, he would have called it.

He should have called the bomb squad but he took that chance. He looked at it, around it…and then slowly opened it and looked inside. I kept walking, praying I wouldn’t hear (or feel) a boom. I didn’t turn around. Perhaps someone came running, “that’s mine, that’s mine. I’m sorry, I went to get a newspaper.” Perhaps it was any number of other things. It wasn’t a bomb…that I would have heard. It can slip way back into your head, but it never goes away.

At the door to the building, I put my purse and a bag on the guard’s table…but he wasn’t looking at them. He was looking at me…and down at the belt.

“What’s the belt?” he asked and for the first time it clicked.

No, it isn’t filled with explosives and I’m not committing suicide. But you don’t joke with security – that’s the first rule. They need to know what is happening, to decide quickly if I pose a threat.

I don’t fit profile. I’m not a young man and I’m clearly not Palestinian. If he heard my accent, he’s hear the English in it. Most people don’t come live in Israel to blow something up. Add it all up – the look of me said one thing, the belt hinted at something else.

A Lesson In Balancing…

Sunday, August 11th, 2013

I’ve spent the last few days canceling things that I had carefully arranged – meetings, seminars, events…it’s kind of depressing. At the same time, there is a side of me that stands on the side and watches with interest. This is a new me that I’ve never met before. It’s rarely in my life been about me.

It’s an interesting, almost humbling experience. I almost always over-extend myself, take on more than I can handle…but in the end, I really do manage…usually with help…to accomplish it. I’m more likely to shlep something too heavy than ask for help; more likely to over-commit to something and then feel resentful.

There was a great line in a Harry Chapin song (yes, I’m a forever fan of his). There were so many points to that song, but one of the lines was about some people (in the song, it was boys) who were taught to reach for the stars, while others (in the song, it was girls) were told to reach for the shelves. So, forgetting the boy/girl thing here – I know a lot of people who reach for the shelves and live perfectly happy lives. For some reason, I’m someone who reaches for the stars. At least I think I am…so, the last few days have been humbling because not only are the stars out of reach, so too is the shelf.

I fell something like four months ago on my way home from work. I thought I’d broken something and was happy to find that I hadn’t – what I did do, was rip the heck out of my rotator cuff and it isn’t going to get better without surgery.

I got the name of a top doctor – and was then told he could do the surgery in November. Well, I was really honored to have met him, to have him want to do the surgery…but from June to November is a lifetime when you are in pain, not sleeping, and you know that the surgery is only the first step…which will be followed by months of physical therapy.

November??? How was it possible?  I’m spending my life barely sleeping and controlling how I move. I can’t lift heavy things with my left arm; trying to control a shopping cart has brought me to tears. If it takes two hands to do it, I’m accepted that I’m limited.

I managed to take the garbage out on Friday – I was so proud of myself. I lifted it with my right hand, barely using my left…careful, easy…all’s well – and then as my right hand expertly held the garbage aloft, my left hand reached out to the side to close the front door – OUCH…I can’t move my left hand that way!

I can write; I can type – all that takes place at or below elbow level is fine so long as it doesn’t involve lifting or moving my left arm towards my back (or even the side).

And while I was learning to copy, I was walking around complaining, thinking of trying to find the second or third or fourth best doctor in the country – anything not to have to wait until November, when my daughter called the miracle rabbi back. This is an amazing man who spends his life matching patient to doctor and then, pushes “his” person right at the doctor and says – heal this person now! And, the doctor does.

So this rabbi got us an appointment with the #1 doctor… and then, when we thought the surgery was only going to be in November – we called the rabbi back… disappointed, discouraged…ready to give up – please, we know he’s busy – give us another name. Wait, said the rabbi.

An hour later — I kid you not, the hospital called. The surgery is in less than 2 weeks and so now, I realize that I was reconciled to November… I have plans…I scheduled things…now what?

No, I can’t teach that course.

No, I can’t make that meeting.

No, you can hold that event, but I won’t be there.

Will I make it to the synagogue on Rosh Hashana? Will I be able to get myself dressed? Stand that long? Forget holding a prayer book…turning a page.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/a-soldiers-mother/a-lesson-in-balancing/2013/08/11/

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