Saturday, February 16, 2013

A Life In Israel ------ elinor


Over the years I guess I've heard many Six Day War stories. I didn't know it at the time but for a reason I won't go into now it proved to be a life changing event for me; even though in June 1967 I was barely a teenager who had just started high school in a place as far away from the war as you can get without leaving the planet.

Here's a great story from Eleanor who also was in a distant place at the time.

Not as distant as we might have thought, I suggest.

elinor אלינור


In May, 1967 my daughter ran into the side of an open door and cut her forehead on the thingy that keeps the door in place when it’s shut. Ive heard it called a tongue. In any case, she ran screaming into the family room, bleeding copiously from a scalp wound—which by now we have discovered bleeds like unleashed Hell.

I tossed her into the car, rushed her to the hospital and fortunately ran into the surgeon I had worked with before she was born. Who-who-who? I articulated. I’ll get Frank, he said, rushing off to find his junior.

Frank greeted me on the run, grabbed the child and carted her into a small operating room which had no doubt seen the blood of many, many Montrealers. No more than 30 minutes had passed since she’d run into the door. I had no idea how frightening all the subsequent rushing and parents yelling and wildly driving and horrid hospital smells must have been for her. She was not quite four years old.

A nurse came in and cleansed her forehead with Betadine—which looks exactly like blood, being composed of an iodine solution. She took one look at the descending sponge and let out a howl. She kicked, she tossed her head, she screamed, she moaned, she rolled, she did every living thing a human can do to avoid being treated. I tried to calm her but she was ‘way beyond reason.

Finally, the young surgeon said You’ll have to leave so that we can tie her down. Oh my God—well, at least they’re not going to tranquilise her. I left.

Some minutes later my sobbing, bandaged daughter was returned to me. Her scar healed beautifully and I was so grateful to the young surgeon who had stuck with his mission.

Several months later my daughter and I met the surgeon on the street. Hey Frank, how are you? Oh, he said, I feel quite rested now. Rested? What’s happened? Well, he said, as soon as the Six Day War was declared, I flew over to Israel and signed up. I saw many interesting and unusual wounds and learned a great deal about wartime surgery—but we operated day and night. How was it? I asked sympathetically. Bending to check my daughter’s scar, he whispered Easier than her…

cross posted Geoffff's Joint

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