Wednesday, May 2, 2012

What's in a Name?

Do you ever have amazing coincidences that just made you want to say, "wow?"

So here's mine - in several phases. My father was diagnosed with Alzheimers about 2 years ago. All along, my sister thought maybe it was another condition called NPH (roughly explained as water on the brain). I wrote about this a few months ago. After two years, my father had a slow drain test that showed marked improvement in his condition. A wonderful doctor agreed he should have an operation to put in a shunt.

The operation was performed in Beilinson Hospital in Petach Tikvah almost a month ago. After the operation, a CT was performed and the next morning, as the doctors made their rounds, my mother overheard the head of the department explain to the other doctors that the shunt they put in was too short. No one bothered to explain this to my parents.

When my mother asked, one doctor assured her that although the shunt was short (it wasn't), it was fine (it wasn't), it was in the right place (it wasn't) and it was working (it wasn't). A second doctor, the one who performed the operation, had the audacity to actually scold my mother.

So my father was discharged and sure enough, within two weeks, his condition had deteriorated enough that they returned to their doctor who felt around my father's head and in an undertone said the obvious, "the shunt isn't working."

Three weeks later, my father was admitted to Beilinson again - this time to do the work that should have been done in the first place. With their doctor as the surgeon, we were hopeful. They got a call on Sunday afternoon telling them to come to the hospital. When you go to a hospital in Israel, you need a "Form 17" which authorizes the visit and assures the hospital it will be paid by the health organization.

My parents were given so little time, the health organization said it was too late that day to generate the form, but it would be faxed the next morning to Beilinson Hospital. I drove my parents to the hospital and went with them to the Admittance office where we were told we had to either give them a Form 17 or a 10,000 NIS deposit check. Despite the explanation that they had called us too late in the day and the fax would be coming the next day, we had to leave a check.

The surgery was performed and thankfully, this time, it was done properly and my father was returned to his room. At this point, I called the hospital's Admittance Office and found they had not received the fax. I called the health organization and they explained they had the form but didn't have the fax number.

I asked if they could hold on the line while I called and got them the number and the woman was wonderful. With a phone in one ear connected to the health organization and a phone in the second ear connected to the   Admittance office, I related the fax number. Shmulik was there and suggested that I get the name of the person with whom I spoke at the health organization - always a good idea, I've taught my children.

So, after I had finished repeating the fax number and got the assurance that it was being faxed, I asked, "what is your name?"

And heard, through both lines - two women say, at the same time, "Ilana." I couldn't believe it. "Ilana?" and heard "yes" and "yes, definitely" - in both ears.

So, two women named Ilana. I thought that was pretty cool. If you have any similar stories...I'd love you to share them. I just love stories like this!

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