Starving and swearing: my Israeli operation
attractive green pyjamas, balancing on one leg, (very useful skill), wheel self to nurses’ station, learn some Russian and Arabic swearing, hear that I was definitely “next” on the surgery list.
Starve for 14 hours, hear that I’m not next on list but still can’t eat, because I am definitely next on list. Hear that I am not next on list. Visitors wheel me down a ramp (fun). Husband wheels me back up the ramp (less fun, particularly for Husband). Stalk doctors to ask them about possibility of having my operation.
This went on for 10 days, until I found myself parked in the Chief of Hospital’s Office, holding his very nice secretary as my hostage.
I didn’t have a weapon or anything (I’m not totally crazy), but my wheelchair became a useful tool for blocking any movement that she wished to make between her desk and the exit (I had become very nimble). After 10 days of starvation, dehydration and a crash course in swearing in foreign languages, I was fierce.
Husband and I explained the problem. I had been in hospital for a while now, and although we were very grateful for all the weirdly coloured jelly they had provided, it was apparent that when they told us I was next on the list, they were lying, as I was still here and not fixed.
I was ready to be cut open and to go home please.
My hostage looked slightly ashen-faced, like she might be sick, but she managed to call her boss and spoke some rapid, garbled Hebrew. She was breathing quite heavily by that point, so I couldn’t catch everything she said, but I think it involved words such as “meshuggana”, “excellent at wheelchair manoeuvres” and “I’m not paid enough for this.”
The Chief of Hospital rapidly agreed with her recommendation that I should be permanently removed from the hospital, and I was promised my operation that very day.
I waited for the dashing doctor to come and discuss the intricacies of my proposed surgery, but instead was faced with a rather frazzled-looking gentleman who spoke no English. My Russian was limited to swearing at angry nurses, so our communication stalled. But he was wearing scrubs and was carrying a clipboard, so I assumed he was good at his job.
Success. My operation was done. So, remember. If you ever find yourself in an Israeli hospital, cut to the chase and take a hostage.
My leg was broken very well but where was my prize?