Personal matters

Sometimes it is difficult for me to write about the latest political events or to analyze the background to what is happening in the world, because personal matters intrude and impinge upon my consciousness and time and I find myself unable to cope.  In this vein I have followed my daughter, Miriam Green’s blog: “The Lost Kitchen: an Alzheimer’s memoir and cookbook,” at  So, for my readers who expect a political assessment or an amusing story, this is neither, but it still is an opportunity for me to share my Israeli experience.

Recently my wife had a minor fever and apparently had a urinary tract infection.  Unknown to me these caused a serious and probably irreversible deterioration in her Alzheimer’s condition (my daughter referred us to the following article:  Her memory was already compromised, but her cognitive ability has deteriorated.  We visited our GP who ordered a blood test that revealed the infection.

We were given a referral to the evening clinic (7 -10.30 pm) at the local Maccabi Health Fund (Kupat Holim) that is a very modern and efficient.  When you arrive you insert your magnetic id card into a computer terminal and it spits out a number.  Then you are called in by number and according to the referral you are sent either to the nurses for a procedure or to the doctor.

My wife had to give blood and urine samples, that for someone in her condition was very difficult.   The nurses, male and female, were very patient and helpful.  Once they had the samples we were told by the laboratory technician that the results of the tests would be ready in ca. 40 mins. They actually took 1.5 hrs.  I am not complaining about this, since to get the results the same evening was great.

When they had confirmed the type and level of the infection, they were able to prescribe the right antibiotic and the correct dose.  Then my wife had to have an infusion, a drip, of the antibiotic in saline, followed by a saline drip to wash all the drug into her system. This all took another 1.5 hrs.  After that we had to see the doctor and were told we had to go back the next evening for a second infusion of the antibiotic.  We left the clinic after 4.5 hrs at 11.30 pm.

The next evening we were back and this time the nurse who attended us was a nice friendly fellow named Mohammed.  After the drip the doctor gave her a prescription for an oral antibiotic.  There were many crying babies at the evening clinic, I couldn’t help comparing my situation to those of the anxious parents whose child could not understand what was happening to them.




10 thoughts on “Personal matters

  1. What can I say; dear Jack??   We’ve actually been friends for years  (never mind the little hurt I had last year).  Naomi and I were always close and had many warm discussions, and she WAS good on stage with me at our skits and, even the last time when she was my very good narrator.    We’ve had other friends in the U.S. with the same affliction–not to discuss, but, I did notice some change, and it moves me to see that you seem to have more patience with Naomi now….if you still do any “socializing” together, ie. lunch, or whatever, feel free to ask us to join you.             Best always,  Renie


  2. Jack, I understand your situation and commend you for your patience and caring that you show Naomi, your sweet wife. I remember her well before her condition struck her. In fact I remember dancing Israeli dances with your mother-in-law, Millie, when she was still only a tourist visiting her daughter and you and the rest of the family living here. Interesting, those Israeli dancing sessions took place in what became Shearim Netanya, the concert hall where we love to listen to beautiful music every Monday noontime. All the best, Hadassa


  3. Jack–as a geriatric psychiatrist I agree that urinary infections, or any organ system dysfunction for that matter, may cause delirium or temporary worsening of mental status in individuals with neurocognitive disorders, but once the infection has resolved, I would expect Naomi’s mental status to return to what it was before the infection. May she have a complete and speedy recovery!


    • So far the prognosis is mixed. One person said Naomi seems better this week than last. But, frankly she has deteriorated, she cannot remember the names of things, when I tell her to get her glasses she picks up a package of tissues. She won’t eat as well, and she wants to sleep all the time. She says she doesn’t feel well, but the doc gave her a physical and found only the UTI. I think is is part of her AD progression.


  4. Hope that Naomi is feeling better and of course, will have a complete recovery. I really hope that she will be able to have fun and sing songs like she has done for so long, to watch her spirit go away is terrible, may she go from strength to strength.


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