Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Kidney Club: Back to Einstein for another UTI, oy oy oy!

Blowing of the Shofar, or ram's horn. Looks a lot like my son Dan, who's never set foot in a shul.

First, to my Jewish friends and family, Happy New Year and Have a Good Fast tomorrow on Yom Kippur, the Holiest of holidays, the time when God inscribes us in the Book of Life.

He's kept my fasting mother alive for 90 years, tho Dad fell fast when he took up the false god of Lucky Strikes, which killed him at 59.

Well, this bad boy - his name is klebsiella - is what sent me to the hospital.

In my spare time I'll read about it here. Very common in the immunosuppressed like our little Ruthie, lying passively in bed at Einstein, Tower Bldg, 8th floor, which is where I recovered from the kidney tplant on April 1, 2011.

The care is excellent. Nurses, please introduce yourselves....

Here's beautiful cheerful "Funso" from Nigeria. Of course I remembered her. She, her husband and two kids, 5 and 2, just returned from their homeland in Nigeria.

She was one of my nurses on Transplant Day.

And here's wonderful Andrea from Philly. Very helpful! These gals can't do enough for the patients. Andrea got used to seeing me push my IV pole round and round the unit, getting exercise, and bumping my feet on the bottom wheels.

God gave us feet. We invented wheels.


I asked Andrea where they buy their hospital garments. At a uniform store, she said, or online.

I liked what the backet said: Oncology and Transplant.

Believe me, I knew I was not one of the most critical patients there.

 Most kidney recipients were on dialysis before they received a kidney. Here's the fistula, a set of blood vessels that attach to one of the dialysis ports.

I spoke to a man on the unit who still had his fistula. He took my hand and put it on his quickly-beating fistula. He was in the hospital b/c he was confused about taking his medicine - he takes a meal-full of meds - but made a mistake and failed to take them correctly.

That's how you lose your kidney. He'll be fine.

I felt really at home when I put on the black booties with non-skid treads on the bottom. That's my lib. book I began and finished - my first Elmore Leonard, who was 80 yrs old when he wrote the book, so he's now 88.

Yes, dear reader, this is the way of life.

Rabbi Ann asked Nurse Andrea if I'd like to see the Jewish chaplain. This was how I found out it was erev Yom Kippur.

 Since I didn't get a picture of Ms. Jawar, I got a photo of my favorite Ann, the great tapper, Miller.

Rabbi Ann was brot up a conservative Jew, as was I, but studied for her rabbinate at the Reconstructionist School in Wyncote, PA. I also have a nephew-by-marriage, Jason, who got his degree there.

Do you believe in God? Keep your answer to yourself. Whether he or she exists, there is so much we can do to help our fellow man, or foliage.

During my wanderings down the Einstein corridors, I discovered a nearly dead plant. The soil was a big dry lump. Ah! Something for Ruthie to do.

Where was the watering can?

Ah, here twas, holding this multi-rooted philodendron. I parked the philo with another plant, went to the nearby bathroom and filled up that vase twenty times while I made back n forth pilgrimages to water all the plants on the window sill.

Should I mention my overwatering? Yes. Right. I'll do dat.

I walked by two hours later and someone had put towels out on the floor.

Is the roof leaking, said a white-haired nurse as a I walked by.

No, I said, it's my fault. I overwatered.

So I picked up the towels, took em back to my room, and put em in "Soiled Linen."

Who's gonna water the foliage when I'm gone. Someone is supposed to. I should've left a sign: PLEASE WATER ME.

Luckily we have feet so we can forage for food and water by ourselves.

I'm not gonna say anything disparaging about the awful food.

Oh, this is classic! How's this for a diabetic lunch. I didn't have a chance to choose it, but I scraped off the egg salad and ate it, then the salad, and took a bite of the choc mousse and spit it out. I can't eat anything with artificial flavoring. Horrific taste.

And white bread? Don't even ask.

Window view of helipad but no one came.

Scott visited this evening from 5 to 6:30. We were hoping the discharge papers would be wrin by then so he could drive me home.

Nope. He had to leave for work at 8 pm. Don't worry. Dan will drive me, or else Rich Fleisher said he'd pick me up.

The waiting room where people waited for Sarah and me last April 1.

What a way to spend the day!  The operation took four hours.

Yep, Grace livened up the unit last nite. "Mom-mom fall and hurt her knee, Bubby."

Yeah, she was down at the shore, LBI, I suppose - Hi Rob, always thinking of you! - and fell on some rocks.

She must be OK since she's 'liking' things on FB.

Dr. Sarah R. Perloff explained the bacterial infection to me. I wrote everything down in my diary. After she explained the situation and learned there is almost nothing I can do to prevent it - AND that having diabetes contributes to the condition - she said: Do you have any questions for me?

Yes, I said. Are you related to Stephen Perloff?

Yes, she said and explained how, thru her grandfather, they are related but have never met one another.

I met Stephen and wife Naomi at a funeral for a mutual friend.  I was not allowed to read my poem at the funeral b/c son Ken and wife were in command. They did what they wanted, including, putting all of Helene's beautiful things in the dumpster so the house could be sold.

To Life! L'chaim!

Here's Louis, one of the helpers on the 8th floor, who borrowed him for the day from the 7th floor, the trauma unit.

Stabbings, gun shots, car accidents. No, said Louis, what he saw did not shock him b/c prior to that he worked on the back of an ambulance.

As for his gorgeous dreadlocks, he goes to a salon, and had them up in a bun, but he couldn't sleep, so he has them hanging long.

Now, I'll tell you something. There are few black doctors at Einstein. I did see one on the transplant team, name of Basil something, with MD after his name, the best initials of all!

He can't be from America, I said to myself. Sure enough, Nigeria, not too far from where Funso lives.

But you need money to become a physician. I'll bet if you took a few kids outa the ghetto, raised them as human beings, instead of victims of drive-by shootings and potential gang members, you could get not only doctors but really fine professions for them.

Alvin Ailey Dancers.

Can you fix us, President Obama? Can you help us?

I am READY to get my ass outa here!                                                

1 comment:

  1. Hey, I hope you are ok. Not clear if you are home or not? Kielbasa? Please shoot me an email when you feel like it and get a chance.