Starv­ing and swear­ing: my Is­raeli op­er­a­tion

The Jewish Chronicle - - LIFE -

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?

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