Sunday, January 18, 2009

jan 15 2009

everytime the world demands cease fire
from israel
israel stops to think about it
and more rockets come this way
30 yesterday

i woke up,
in my 'quiet' neighborhood,
and just after getting the kids to school --
we get the sound of a siren;
an odd siren sound

seems more like a british police car
but loud
and getting LOUDER
must be --
tzeva ADOM !

my wife and i go into our home, bomb shelter room
it is quite secure
but it makes me feel like...
like we are in jail

2 minutes pass
we heard no 'boom'
come out of our new cell
turn on the news
nothing fell in the neighborhood

my daughter calls my wife
panicked that she was in the shelter at school
no one hurt
but not a way to live
and learn in school

and my wife calls the baby's school
the teachers, they are freakin' out
having to run TWENTY 3-year-olds
in to a bomb shelter

the kids are fine
too young to understand the game:
bell rings,
we run,
when you're 3.

talking to a friend in rehovot later in the day
they even went in to bomb shelters for the first time today
and so did folks in jerusalem yesterday
must have been a test siren
nothing falling there but the residents there
NOW we understand the ABSOLUTE FEAR
that the sound,
and the need to run to a shelter,
puts in to a person --
it was said that the jerusalem residents,
felt like sderot residents...
if but for a moment in time.

just found out
that a car was hit in beer sheva
at least one kid
severely injured

yep, i said it
the biblical city
maybe this is the brimstone and fire
like the days of yore,
all over again...

G-d forbid
has v'halila
has v'shalom

stay safe
and shabbat shalom

dr g

january 14, 2009

yesterday finished a night on call at hospitalbarzilai "relatively" quiet

not too much time in the bomb shelters for methough all the patients --
moms and babies still sleeping soundly in bomb shelterssoundl, i say
because from the shelters there is no reason to get up an run
even when in one
we wait
for the BOOM
so we can turn up the radio
and pray
that noone was hit

yesterday's BOOMS
caused no local casualties
thank G-d

keep the faith
stay safe
dr g

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

jan 12 2009

day17 - War in gaza

417 those evacuated to Barzilai Medical Center
204 acute stress reaction
suffering injuries among them 101 soldiers

rockets still fall
hospital nearly empty
my work is random and scarce
i spend more time running to bomb shelters
than treating patients

yesterday i was sent home from work
a place that usually needs doctors due to short staffing
is now short on patients

today is monday
on sunday
i returned home at 11am
minutes later i run to bomb shelter with my wife and kids
well, 2 of them
the other 2 have school
sort of
they are on field trips
to keep busy
and away from rocket range

we find out that rocket fell next town over
building damage
no one hurt, Baruch Hashem

our town still quiet
if you call
watching the innocent and confused expression
on the face of your 6 year old

the world asks for quiet
we ask for quiet
but not if it will all happen again next year
we all pray for this action to end future actions
and start true normalcy for daily life

i gotta get back to work
patients have nonemergent problems too

dr g

jan 6, 2009

after a night of broken rest with fears that i would not wake in time for a 'code red' call and would remain in the doctor on call room, sleeping while a rocket falls on our hospital, Baruch Hashem, the night passed without incident of rocket fire upon us
but through a night of fighting, a tank unit shot upon an empty building where our soldiers were taking cover and caused 3 deaths and multiple injured soldiers from friendly fire
none of the seriously wounded came to us
6am i get a call from the nurse that a gazan muslim woman whose son is hospitalized in the pediatric unit has just shown up with ruptured membranes in her 9th month
i examined her with an ultrasound with showed that the situation is not imminent for delivery in the coming hours and suggested she be transferred to a hospital out of firing range
since we only have space for 2 laboring women in the bomb shelter, the current instructions have been to transfer any nonimminent delivery or nonserious condition to a safer area
to protect the patient and staff from being in a situation where one is unable to get quickly to a bomb shelter
just being in the bathroom undressed and hearing a 'code red' call, teached anyone just how short a time span 15 seconds is and that is much simpler than someone with an IV and monitors and undressed and in pain rising up quickly and running down the hall bleeding and dripping amniotic fluid
so the patient refused to leave the hospital where her son is and we dont want to be in a position to force anyone out especially in this situation
despite the fact that people here unneccessarily uses up our limited resources, and endangers themselves and our staff
we dont want the bad publicity that would arise
it is always seen this way
we are doing what is best for them and us
and the world says we could have, should have, and would have done more, if... but it is so not true, and oddly just the opposite
and as we will now deliver her in the coming days
in our bomb shelter
we do so and we should and must do
without praise, and likely with disdain, from the world view
and yet we are protecting her from bombs and rockets sent from her people, her neighbors, and possibly her family
may G-d continue to bless us for safety and good health

dr g

Monday, January 12, 2009

jan 8 2009

day 13
swamped with 254 to Barzilai Medical Centerin
the first 11 days
129 suffering acute stress reaction
125 suffering injuries among them 57 soldiers

more calls for TZEVA ADOM
and then...wait for it...BOOM
how much time to get to a bomb shelter
15, 20, 45 seconds
depends how far one is from gaza rockets

personally, i am afraid to use the bathroom
those in the battlefield dont even dream of clean 'facilities'
back to reality
we are here
in the hospital
in our homes
and i dont know about others
but it takes me 15 seconds just to wash up after using the bathroom
never mind the panic
to think
i could be caught,
with the proverbial "pants down"

and shower
or bathing the kids
forget it
no more rubber ducky
what ever happened to those days --
now it is: in, wash here, wash there, and...out!

i was driving home from one of my jobs yesterday
it is in Arad
at a clinic
close to the DEAD Sea
north and east of BeerSheva -- a city where Abraham our forefather walked the landa city NOW known as -- 'within range of gaza radical terrorist missiles'
where yesterday a CHILDREN's school was HIT by Grad Missile
and where the military had instructed not to have school
a move which clearly saved lives

and on my way home
the news on the radio --
by a piercing noise,
W H A T ?
in my car?
what do i do,
pull over,
get out,
that is what they suggest,
but i am driving 100 km/hr!
[or more]
my nerves are shot
i have to worry
where are my kids, wife, co-workers?
do i call them?
or pull over?
then in my altered consciousness,
i hear in the background the radio...
beersheva, ofakim, netivot...
and no other cities.
i breathe for a second
ok -- my family is not there
and i dont need to pull over
silly thought really
these thoughts took,
more than 15 seconds
if it was going to be a rocket falling on my car,
it would have hit alreadyand then...
i slow down and start looking up...

so here we are
waking up
what do we hear now
attacks from the north
who is shooting?
hizbollah says it is not them
an elderly assistance home with a hole in the roof
and a rocket sitting on the floor
and residents,
is 'panic' the right word
is there a work strong enough
Thank G-d
seems that it was an 'isolated attack'

i guess, acceptable, right
the US and France and Russia
they would all accept a bordering country
firing 3 rockets
with the power to maim and kill innocent civilians
and say
well, no one takes responsibility
so, it's ok,
...but just dont let it happen again

tell that to all those in shock in my EMERGENCY ROOM!

stay alive and healthy

dr g

jan 5, 2009

i worked in the hospital in ashkelon
day 10 since israel responded with airstrikes against the constant rocket attacks on the south of israel by hamas
arriving at 8 am
almost no activity
all elective work cancelled
usually morning report has 15 docs
this morning 6
no reports of deliveries from day before
usually several procedures, deliveries, cs
on alert that anyone not in active labor , or in active labor but can be safely transported to another
then the alarms began
code red -- tzeva adom
all times running to the bomb shelter
first i hear the city alarm, for 10 seconds and go running
then the hosp voiceover sounds
tzeva adom...tzeva adom
and within 5 seconds each time
boom! loud and close
another kassam or grad rocket falls in walking distance and earshot of our hosp
to say the least
what to do if a woman is being examined, naked, contracting, on monitors
do we abandon her to save ourselves
not too morally sound or simple
even if so instructed by those around us
and then comes a patient 6 cm
third baby
at 5pm
bleeding we bring her to a basement bomb safe area
though not truly a protected shelter
better than the labor room
with a thin roof and no insulation from a rocket that would easily penetrate
the last rocket that fell 20 minutes north
penetrated the thin roof of an empty kindergarten
spraying shrapnel
and lightly wounding 2 in the area
children safe
because the military demanded no school in the south regions of israel this woman is progressing to 8cm and bleeding like an abruption of a placenta but in the same hour, not showing any signs of fetal demise
feeling somewhat safer in the makeshift labor room in the amb surg area in the basement
but still not sure of what is happening on ground leve
land what could penetrate to where we are
then her pain is intense
no time to get an epidural
and she begins to pray
but not to dilate and deliver
rather that our soldiers should stay safe and quickly return with victory
and she begs Hashem for such to happen
as if the merciful Lord heard her cries
and as is known
reacts to selfless acts with kindness
she delivers within minutes of her prayers
the midwives are crying
and not because she delivered safely under fire of rockets
but rather because her prayers were so intense and heartfelt
her baby is placed warm and safely into a bomb shelter-turned nursery
may Hakodesh Baruchu continue to bless us with no further suffering and healthy patients
and a quick return to life as normal
only 14 hours to go on call
keep it safe
dr g

Sunday, January 11, 2009

jan 7, 2009

this morning seems fewer rockets aimed at ashkelon

many are hoping for a temporary cease fire to let essentials in to civilians without accesshospitals have been busy

dealing with many in shock, and suffering traumatic stress

3 soldiers that died when a friendly fire incident occurred, left a fourth fighting for his life

he has now been confirmed dead

another dead young man, a boy really

19 years old

[shouldnt he be playing ball between classes in college]


that would be if all the schools werent closed

my wife has no classes

but she wouldnt be able to go anyway

she has to watch the kids

now in their 4th day without school

military fears the teacher wont be able to get them into bomb shelters fast enough

my son, 10,

worried my mother, back in the US

he tells her we are winning

and THEY are getting blown up

and soon we wont have to worry about rockets threatening us

hard to know what to tell the kids

and what to hide

age appropriate, sure

but we didnt learn in school

what age fits what -- in war

but again

he is 10

and any violence he sees --

well, shouldnt that be kept to boxing on a video game

and my six year old girl

well, she is happy to not have school

she says that the bad guys are making it so she can go to the parks as much

she doesnt get it,


probably better that way

gotta sleep -- too many hours either up waiting for injured, or watching more news

dr g