So, I called Hadassa Ein Kerem on Sunday, and the person I needed to speak with was not there. To my pleasant surprise, the secretary (not someone I spoke with before) gently asked if, perhaps, she could help me.
She seemed so nice, I calmly explained the situation to her. Unfortunately, she could only put me on the waiting. I was not satisfied with this, but she very kindly explained that I would get an earlier appointment, she just did not know when yet; someone would call me. At the same time, she encouraged me to call often, as that might speed things up.
In the end, I received a call later that evening, with an appointment for 10:30 pm, the following night!
So, Monday night, after our final aseifat horim, we went straight to Hadassah EK. At night, parking is a lot easier, as was everything else. We had to register at the Emergency Room reception. It was quiet there and I just waited a few minutes before a very sweet young woman filed my forms. Then I went to the MRI department.
The secretaries do not work there at night. So, I waited for one of the technicians to come and take my forms.
In the meanwhile, there was a heated discussion going on between the five other people waiting about whether a Rav (Rabbi) can choose who to service or whether he is a shaliyah tzibbur (emmisary of the people) and has to attend to the needs of anyone who turns to him. There were two hareidi (ultra-Orthodox) couples arguing with a woman who might have been secular, (her clothes were modest and loose-fitting, but she was wearing pants and no head covering), but who I suspect was either traditional or modern religious. She certainly was not anti-religious. It was a good natured, but heated discussion. I joined right in (אילה מה - what did you expect?). I "look" religious (I always cover my hair and I was wearing a skirt), so the couples assumed I would agree with them, but I actually agreed with the woman. They were talking about a very well-know Rabbi who had refused to read a letter that was sent to him from a woman. I actually found it quite offensive that the Rabbi dismissed the letter, but the tone of the discussion was quite friendly, so I did not pursue that point.
After a short time, a young woman was wheeled out (in a wheelchair) from the MRI rooms. It turns out, she is someone I know from Beit Natan. A few years ago, she had breast cancer. Now, here she is, still so young, and she just had surgery to remove a tumor from her brain. I was shocked, though I tried not to show how worried I was for her. She found the tumor because had been suffering from headaches. How many women do I know who were just diagnosed with brainmets? I think this makes 6? My doctor's words echoed in my head "with symptomatic brain tumors... 2 years would be considered a long time."
When I was called in, I started feeling anxious. I mentioned to the attending physicians that the last time I had an MRI, they burst a vein and it was very painful.
Dr. Michael, the male Russian doctor who put in the needle for the contrast, did not seem particularly gentle. He chose a location, in my upper arm, that scared me. I expected it to be very painful, despite his reassurances. I closed my eyes, and focussed on my breathing to try and stay relaxed and calm. I felt a small prick and that was it! I was amazed! He might be my new favorite!
The technician, Andre, also Russian, was constantly smiling and was so nice. I recognized him from the last time. There was also an American woman working there who I recognized, who is also nice and helpful. She checked in with me several times during the radiation, to make sure I was ok.
I was worried when they injected the contrast, but besides the cool sensation I did not feel anything. I was able to relax after that and actually slept through the rest of the MRI.
When we left, I realized that this visit, with the empty corridors and the quiet calm, left me feeling much more relaxed. I almost felt bad about my rant a few days ago...
I might even write a letter about how wonderful Dr. Michael is...
Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.
With love and optimism,