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 http://www.thelostkichen.org. 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: http://www.alzheimers.net/2014-04-03/connection-between-utis-and-dementia/). 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.