Tzubachutz 2010

Sukkot is a week celebrated by the religious community with lulavs and etrogs and meals in Sukkahs.  For the rest of Israel, it’s a week where the office is open only until lunchtime, with many fun events staged around the country.  Monday night we went to “Tzubachutz”, a street festival in celebration of Sukkot, with one of Sarah’s Fulbright friends and her family.  There was a magician for the kids whose act was broad enough to draw Noah in even without much understanding of Hebrew.  We got some burgers and even bought Noah a battery-powered bubble gun that all the children were running around with.

To get away from the loud music and the packed  crowds, we went to a playground a block away from the festival.  The park has a very high twisty slide, tubular and covered, and much longer than you’d ever see in the lawsuit-happy States.  Noah came over to us to tell us he had gone down it and I (Roy) said I’d like to go down with him.  We tried, but it was too narrow for an adult to go down with his legs straigh.  My feet caught on one of the curves and brought me to a stop.  Noah’s momentum kept him going and he flipped forward, but his leg was trapped under mine. He started crying much harder than is typical for him.  I carried him back to his mommy and we tried to figure out if he was really hurt.  He could bend his knee and ankle but couldn’t put weight on his left foot and there was no visible injury.  We took a cab home immediately, watching to see if he’d get better. When the mere act of pulling his pajamas up over his shin caused him to cry out in pain, we knew we’d be taking him to the hospital in the morning.

We took him to the emergency room Tuesday morning and were fairly amazed at how simple it all was compared to our trips to US emergency rooms.  We were charged a flat emergency-room-visit fee–no separate charges for x-ray and for each doctor to walk by or equipment they used.  They printed out a page full of stickers with Noah’s name and a bar code, which they could attach to every piece of paper as needed.  A nurse took Noah’s vitals right away and in a few minutes a doctor came by, talked to us, felt Noah’s leg and sent us up to x-ray, who saw us within 10 minutes.  A few minutes after that, the doctor was looking at our x-rays on a computer screen and consulting a radiologist on the phone who was also looking at it–possibly a small fracture, but it’s very hard to tell until it starts to heal.  The doctor gave Noah a plaster splint and sent me up to get a CD with the x-rays on it to bring to a followup appointment next week.  Anyone know a good pediatric orthopedist in Haifa?

We were out of there within two hours of walking in the door.  In the US, we’d still have been waiting to see a doctor. Next, they sent us to Yad Sarah, a charity that loans out crutches etc. to the injured.  They  took a small deposit from us and gave Noah a walker and noted how “chamud” (cute) he is .  What a big boy, and such a trooper!

Noah breaking in his walker at Yad Sarah

We had been planning to visit Sarah’s sister Deborah in Jerusalem on that day, and decided that four hours late was better than never, and certainly better than moping around. Noah is in pretty good spirits considering everything he had to go through, but is nervous about going back to school on Friday.