Heading for Home on a Slice of Life Tuesday

Do you think that if I raced to get dressed and drive to the hospital and be there by 5:45, that they would let me take him home?

No, I know I can’t, instead I’ll wait for the sun to rise, for the coffee to perk, for my suitcase to be packed, for the shower to take, for the good morning call to come from him and for this Slice to be written.

I’ve been riding a roller coaster for the last two weeks with Tuvia that began on a very slow Sunday ride home from my pre-birthday lunch in Ellenville with family.   Just as we began to  move onto  the NYS Thruway Tuvia let me know that he wasn’t feeling well and he wasn’t sure why and  just as I made it into the middle lane of the highway   Tuvia began to pass out and of course, I started to quietly FREAK OUT!

  But  I was able to grab up my handy iPhone to tap in 911 for help and  I did get an immediate response . As I was being switched to the state police Tuvia came back to life and assured us that he was okay.  So we continued home but he soon realized that this was something serious and we stopped home just to  pack bags and head for Englewood’s emergency room.

 And so we begin this episode: He was admitted into the hospital and from Dean 6 room #624 he took tests, x rays, the usual.  His  internal bleeding stopped and he was sent home to get better and it seemed like he was.  We started an abbreviated return to normalcy and everything seemed to be good until it wasn’t and the bleeding returned and Tuvia grew weak and one very long night I sat up with Tuvia’s son Ami, and listened to Tuvia breathe.  The next morning he was sure he was on the way out and there was no hope, no hope that his doctors would be able find the source of his bleeding and operate to stop the leak. But there was no way that we would let him give up so easily and of course he didn’t want to either and with a bit of conversation, he was riding back to Englewood in an ambulance to continue to take on this problem.

 I was sure that Tuvia was wrong and that he could be fixed up. After all, doctors have all the tools they need to cure problems with the human body, right?   Yes, there’s lots of great advancements in medicine, but it still takes careful, thoughtful problem-solving and hope and faith that operations will work.  From the emergency room Tuvia was now moved to ICU and the tests were repeated by Dr. Spinel.  In the middle of this set of tests he met with us and explained with great passion and confidence what he was doing and where he believed the source of the bleeding to be.  Ami and I bought into his confident enthusiasm and with one last report back from a capsule he inserted in Tuvia’s colon and by the next morning we were moving into operation mode.

Englewood,  being Tuvia’s hospital of 40 years, the doctors working on his case were hand picked by him.  Tuvia’s surgeon, Dr, ibrahim(Abe) Ibrahim, well respected  and well known by Tuvia and his  doctor friend Fred,  was their  first choice to remove the right side and transverse of his colon and it would happen quickly.  Tuvia was weak but confident that this could solve the problem. When we first met with Dr. Ibraham he was hopeful, optimistic but hesitant to say 100% that this was the source of the bleeding.  Maybe it wasn’t.  I wanted him to say he was sure but I respected his honesty.

The operation took three hours and along with Tuvia’s two sons, his friend Fred and  wife Sheila we sat and waited  I couldn’t chat.  Instead I played the new Plants and Zombies 2 on my iPad.  and when Dr Abe came out to tell us the operation was over and went well, at that moment I fell apart but we left that night feeling almost good and then the next morning…

Tuvia, unused to being a patient, was inexperienced in the process of healing after surgery and was sure that he was still bleeding and that the operation was not a success.   We sat at his bedside as he  explained where we could find his will.  I wondered though if it was true that Tuvia was on his way out why  was the staff moving around casually just outside his room.  Two realities.  I called his buddy Fred, talked to the nurses and floor doctors and waited impatiently for Dr Ibrahim to arrive on a Saturday morning.  Nothing happens quickly in a hospital and on a Saturday, everyone seemed to move in slow motion.

And here’s where my favorite part of the story begins but I have to stop now to go pick up Tuvia.

Back at 7:45 PM

Dr. Ibrahim  gets my award for best doctor of Tuvia Rosenberg, for not just doing a great job in the operating room, but for  communicating well with Tuvia and us when he needed to sit down in Tuvia’s dark hospital room and assure him that he wasn’t dying.

After my very short two week medical education in the moment, I can’t say that I liked most of the doctors who came in and out.  All were respectful of Tuvia but few could make good eye contact with we civilians.  The nurses fared better but only one doctor seemed totally dedicated to us.  Tuvia explained that Dr. Abe was old school, not in a group, like had been during his career and both of them were 7-day-a-week doctors.  I’m sure he’s one of the only ones left.

Tuvia is home and resting, respecting his body and hopeful that we will be able to reschedule the beach vacation we were scheduled to leave for on Labor Day.  It’s good to have him back home, interested in our future.

Another bullet, dodged.

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24 thoughts

  1. Thank G-d he is okay and is back home. Yea for kind, compassionate medical professionals like Dr. Abe who healed him. May his recovery be steady so you can enjoy all that you love to do together.

  2. I saw your FB, but was in meetings all the day & couldn’t reply. So happy to hear your story & the outcome. As you know I know that the medical community has their good and the not so good, though I always hoped competent. Have a good, good rest tonight with your Tuvia at home! My thoughts are flying your way, Bonnie!

    • I thought about you a lot as I was trying to make sense of the world I was living in for the few weeks. It’s a crazy place. Way too many care givers don’t know how to be caring, but the great ones work magic 🙂

  3. Oh, Bonnie, what a relief to come to the words “here’s where my favorite part of the story begins but I have to stop and go pick up Tuvia!” Prayers for a good recovery and a future happy trip to the beach for vacation!

  4. So in the moment and honest, my friend. Love takes us to scary places, but there is always hope – and you are blessed in that you also had Dr. Abe. I picture you now, holding hands, glad to be home…glad to be together, and in the moment, as always. We send our love.

  5. Oh Bonnie! I was so glad to read Tuvia is home and healing. I hope you will be able to take that trip, even if it is a bit later. You are in my prayers.

  6. Life’s scariest moments are when the rug gets pulled out from under you, when a perfectly normal and lovely day turns into your worst nightmare! I’ve been there so I know how you must have felt! Thanks to God and the skillful doctors, that rug turned into a magic carpet ride that you can once again enjoy together! Glad for your happy ending!

  7. As always, I have glad I stopped by to read your post today, Bonnie. I too am grateful Tuvia is feeling better thanks to good doctors.

  8. Oh my, what a relief. And a story beautifully told. I’ll continue to root for Tuvia’s complete recovery and his growing strength. I hope you’re able to go on vacation soon! After this you both need it.

  9. Love you Bonnie. So wish we lived closer, and that I could give you a hug. I am so glad things turned out well. You are a wonderful person and am so glad you and Tuvia were blessed with a positive outcome.

    • I so agree Elaine. I think about coming to Toronto for a visit but it’s such a big trip for a weekend and now, well trips even to Ellenville are on hold until Tuvia is stronger. But we have an appointment with his surgeon on Monday and by then he should have more power. He’s been very good about sleeping and letting me take over. What a surprise!

  10. Oh my gosh. I’ve read your FB posts, but wasn’t exactly sure what was happening. I could tell that it wasn’t good. I am so glad that Tuvia is home and healing. Remember to take good care of yourself too. I’ll send lots of positive thoughts your way.

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