Saturday, October 24, 2009

One month of being Sick...Israeli Style

The most spoken Hebrew Line for me this past four weeks has been: אני הולה. אני מרגש לא טוב. (I'm Sick, I feel not good.) *I might of spelled the hebrew wrong...

This is quiet the story, I'm going to start at the beginning, for you to experience it from my point of view, please forget everything you know about the end result for a minute...btw, I'm not too sure about the time/dates so it might be fuzzy...

So just before Rosh Hashanan, I started to get a bit sick. A lot of the other people in the ulpan were sick in the few weeks before me, so I was just the next victim. It was a sore throat and running nose. It wasn't very bad and I just had some throat numbing pills. After a few days of not getting better I went to the kibbutz clinic to get it checked, make sure it wasn't some bad. They said it looks like its viral and should be fine in a few days.
Diagnosis: Sore Throat
Treatment: Stronger numbing pills

The next week it was a bit worse and I started to get headaches, not too bad and no fevers. I didn't work and it was the holidays in Israel so there was a bunch of days off anyways. I still went to class and did my homework. GI #2 (Code name for the "house mother" she is number 2 in the Ulpan Staff). She tells me that I need to get my throat tested it I want to miss work. I am not feeling well enough to go work in my shitty job, mostly because of the very loud noise that would not be the best for my headaches. I go to the clinic for a second time.*BTW, the clinic on the kibbutz is very informal but ran by my heath fund. Its free for me to see the doctors and nurses and get simple tests. The good side of universal health care. They swab my throat for a test and tell me it I just have a cold, should be a few more days.
Diagnosis: Sore Throat/ Cold
Treatment: Nothing
Result of test: Nothing

So a few days later I'm not better, I have a cough, very runny/stuffed up nose, and more headaches. I go back to the clinic. I walk in and sit for half an hour and the nurses tell me there is nothing they can do, its just a cold, no tests, no meds...

Diagnosis: Cold
Treatment: Nothing

I go back a few days later, I have a pretty bad cough and head really hurts, this is about the end of the 2nd week of being sick. I go in, they say, you need to see the doctor, and they type me in for that afternoon.

Diagnosis: Severe coughing
Treatment: See the Doctor

That afternoon, I go to my doctor's appt. He is a nice man that speaks english very well. He listens to all my symptoms  and listens to my heart and lungs, takes my blood pressure and temp. He says its just a cold. I should be better in a few days. I get Israel meds this time...very strong...

Diagnosis: Cold
Treatment: Cold Medication (Day and Night)

The next week, I still can't work and the headaches are getting worse and the pain meds and cold meds are not doing anything. So I am dragged to the clinic by GI#2, who has yelled at me almost every morning about going to work and just getting over my cold. I get called into a meeting with the Ulpan Director about being "sick" and not working. I can't keep going on like this...I need to go to work. They don't think I'm really sick and maybe I'm just depressed about my job. This is in the 3rd week.
Well, I get dragged to the clinic, she tells the nurses that I still am not better and that she wants to see me talk to the doctor. I talk to the doctor about my headaches and my cough. He listens to my lungs again, and finds that he kinda hears wheezing in my left lung. Finally they find something wrong, so much for a three week cold...a few more days I should be fine the doctor says and stop taking the cold meds.

Diagnosis: Bronchitis
Treatment: Antibiotics 150mg and cough syrup

The next day, I still don't feel any different. I feel worse, well the headaches are bad...nothing is helping. Friday, I wake up early to to tell GI#2 that I can't go to work, I am feeling really bad today. She doesn't think anything is wrong with me. I tell her my forehead is hot, she takes my temp, no fever. She wants me to go to work. She yells at me for five minutes in front of two ulpan girls about how she can't put up with me and I have to go to work. I get mad and say FINE I will go to work... I go get dressed and go to work, felling like shit. I work for a about two hours, its loud and hot. I take some breaks and can't really handle being at work, so I leave a few hours early for the day. There is no boss really on friday, and I really feel like shit. I hid out in my room for the rest of the day and weekend. Trying to feel better.

Week 4
Sunday I go to class... teacher yells at me for not doing my homework...I tell her i have really bad headaches and I can't focus very well. She also thinks I'm faking, but she is a bit nicer.

Monday same thing, I get yelled at again by GI #2... whatever... I sleep all day.

Tuesday, Class, same thing as sunday.

Wednesday, I decided not even to tell GI #2 I'm not going to work, I'll just avoid her... I go to breakfast late. I decided to go to the clinic to one, avoid GI #2 and two, to get more cough syrup.
Well Well Well, who do I run into on the way...GI #2, riding her golf cart. She stops, and gives me the yelling I have been trying to avoid. I tell her, I'll go to work and do nothing and let me headaches get worse. She tells me, this is not what the program is about. We will talk to the Ulpan Director. I can't be here if this is what I'm going to be doing. I yell, I'm Sick! She drives away, I almost start to cry, but don't , for real. I get my syrup and go back to my room and sleep all day.
Just more Cough syrup....

Thursday, Dooms Day.
I wake up with a killer headache, very congested, and coughing like crazy...I must be faking...  I sit though one and half hours of class feeling very very sick. The teacher calls on me a few times and I say I can't. She tells me I really need to do my work and participate. I say I am not feeling very well. After watching my clock until the break, I go right to the Director's office. I'm thinking I'm about to be kicked out of the ulpan, this might be a good Idea. She right away asks what has been going on with I'm in trouble. I start to cry, for real, tears and everything mostly from the pain of my headache. She says, well I think we should go to the hospital, not very willingly, but I'm crying. She gets an Ulpan car and takes me right away. We arrive about twenty minutes later at the hospital, well the main Clinic for the area, just like a hospital. I get seen pretty quick by a nurse, go over the basics, all fine. She sends me to the doctor's office. We wait a bit and see him, he listens to my lungs and my symptoms. He then orders for me to have X-rays of my nose and lungs. I go to another floor and get my X-rays, and wait for the results. They are in Hebrew, and in Doctor. We can't read what they found, but they found something. We go back to the Doctor, he says, just as I thought. You have a Sinus Infection and Pneumonia in your left lung. Take this two meds, you'll start to feel better in a few days and come back in a month to have X-rays again to make sure your fine.

Diagnosis: Pneumonia and Sinus Infection
Treatment: Antibiotics 650m


On the way back to the kibbutz, I say thank you to the director for taking me. She says, well to tell you the truth, I feel guilty about this. You really are sick. Next time to feel really bad, make sure to cry...

I go back to my room to rest, she has someone bring me lunch. GI #2, come to my room in the mean time. She says, she owes me an apology for yesterday morning and she is sorry, but you have been sick for a month...
Great, thanks...I say, very sleepily.

Well after a few days and no one yelling at me, I feel much better. My headaches have gone away, I only blow my nose a few times a day and my coughs are decreasing...well not after walking. I still have trouble breathing after walking...but its getting much better. I am starting to feel like myself again...lets see how I feel in a few more days.

Oh man, I love Israel! I really am going to like this in a few years...

1 comment:

  1. I was reading your story. sounds like you are living in a terrible place. a normal person would have leave this "terrible place" without looking babk. the fact that you still there mean's alot- it can't be bad like you described it. not all "the facts" are true and there are 2 sides for the coin. as your Ulpan Director i was insulted from your incorrect story and from the way that you described me and no. 2. feel well and i wish you better time in Israel. keren