November 5, 2011

I missed my first day of grad school. Oops.

So on Sunday night I felt like I was coming down with a cold. You know what the first day is like, right? Your throat is a little scratchy, so you get some decongestant (in anticipation), lozenges, OJ, and soup, and wait for it to move from your throat to your head...

The thing about being sick is, I can deal with a cold. As a nanny, I got used to having a cold for pretty much seven months a year. What I cannot handle (without becoming a whiny, crying, little girl who wants her mom) is a sore throat. I can't sleep, I can't talk. It's the worst!

By Monday night I realized this thing wasn't moving. It had taken up residence in my tonsils and become a raging case of strep throat. Last spring the same thing happened and I ended up in the ER- it was all I could think about. My health insurance here has the feature of house calls 24/7. Now, Tuesday was my first official day of classes, and at 3am on Monday night I realized if I didn't get a prescription soon I was gonna end up waiting in a clinic ALL day on Tuesday and missing class. So I called for a house call, and at 4am Dr. Rubin (who didn't speak much English and was wearing open-toed sandals) was in my room writing a script for antibiotics and telling me (charade-style...language barrier) not to kiss anyone. Thanks, Dr. Rubin.

I waited for the pharmacy to open at 8am, but by that time I was having trouble breathing. So I called the insurance hotline again and was told to just go to the ER. The doctor on the phone told me my script wasn't strong enough anyway, and I needed a steroid shot for the swelling in my tonsils. So I went. It was terrible- the doctor wanted to admit me cause he couldn't understand what I was telling him (again, no English) and the insurance company tried to claim I didn't have a referral and would have to pay $700 in the ER fees (after I had already been treated). And I ended up missing class anyway.


The point of this long story is that by the time I made it home from the hospital I was in NO shape to go to class. I was so traumatized and exhausted and sick. I was really upset about missing my first day- it was most definitely not the way I envisioned beginning my grad school experience. But, I was proud of myself. I relayed all of this to Sasha and Ellen the other day and they said basically "every American in Israel has to go through something like that," which was oddly comforting- believe it or not. I knew what I needed, it was a pain the in ass to get, but I did it on my own. And now I'm feeling much better- and a little more capable.

I'm also fortunate to have some friends in the emergency management program here- always nice to have your own personal medical professionals on hand.

They didn't actually make me well again, but the emotional support was there. Aren't the matching scrubs just so cute?

Seriously though, Nikki and Jared helped me feel better by having a pajama party and watching Heavyweights. Joel was there, too, but didn't have pajamas so I didn't take a picture of's one from another night so you can have a visual (I'm seriously obsessed with this kid):

I put the camera away eventually cause things got weird after this:

By 'weird' I mean that the security guards came into my room, saw a pile of people on my bed, and said we were being too loud. We weren't drinking (antibiotics...). It was 11:15pm. We are just so awesome and hilarious that campus security had to break it up.

A few months ago I was living in a beautiful apartment in Boston, and now I live in a dorm and get yelled at for being silly at 11pm on a weekend. This really is freshman year of college- round two (complete with dance parties!)...

it's great
(minus the strep, I suppose).

This week I begin my language course (finally) and will finally get to experience a disease-free, normal schedule. I'm excited about the classes I'm taking so far- on Thursday I had "Political Economy" and another called "Propaganda". It really does make studying easier when you're genuinely interested in the subject matter, but I can already tell this is going to be an intense semester. I'm looking forward to every moment (remind me of this when I post about the pain of exams and papers...).

Oh, one more story. On Thursday I got a text from the school saying "At 10am a siren will be heard in the Ramat Aviv area as part of a military exercise. Do not panic." I was told that if the siren lasted longer than 180 seconds I should just go to the bomb shelter. I need to remember to stock food stuffs and booze down there...

No comments: