Wednesday, December 22, 2010


No matter how hard we try to avoid them, there is no real escape. And since we watch them anyway, commercials should at least be fun and entertaining, regardless of their effectiveness (I leave that to the advertising experts).

I know what you,'re thinking: 'She is bored at home, watches tons of TV and then blogs about commercials'. But this is very far from the truth as I don't turn on the TV during the day, at all. I swear I haven't watched any soap, morning program, talk show or the like since I broke my ankle. I planned this post before my injury, believe it or not.

So now that we've made that clear, what makes a good commercial and what makes a lousy one? The Design Center commercial is definitely an annoying one, selling the false idea of buying all your new furniture in one place, including a new partner (pseudo-celeb Aki Avni in a ridiculous grandpa hat). Now what are they trying to imply here? That a partner is like a piece of furniture? That instead of bothering with dating sites, blind dates and the like, single women should simply go shopping in the Design Center for their Romeo (who comes in the form of an accessory to the expensive brands sold there)? Now here is the truth, girls: hunks are not design-center dwellers. All you'll find there are other desperate single women (dreaming about Aki-like boyfriends), some husbands dragged there by their wives and maybe some design-conscious gay men, along with plenty of opportunities to use your credit card. Talking about truth in advertising...

On the other hand, I find the HOT cable TV commercial absolutely charming. Despite being built on the concept of a series I haven't watched, the message is clear even without that background. In a few short seconds you find yourself in a traditional Georgian family atmosphere, cleverly built with elements such as the wallpaper in the bathroom, the nameplate on the front door and the enormous quantity of food. They talk about commitment (a nowadays archaic value) and give a brilliant punchline complete with charming syntax mistakes. The message is both clear and positive: real relationships are built on commitment, while a HOT cable TV agreement is commitment-free. Well done!

I'm not sure I'll replace my satellite TV (with commitment till 2014!) with cable, but I might consider it.

Monday, December 20, 2010

How Much Can One Talk about a Fractured Ankle?

A lot.

X-Rays with a Story
When I showed up for the X-rays I mentioned in a previous post, the receptionist said I couldn't have them taken without a referral from my health fund doctor. No, the one from the hospital doctor is not good enough. In my naivety, I suggested she let me do the X-rays and deal with the paperwork later. "That is not possible because I wouldn't know what body part to shoot", said the technician. Well, since I came with a broken right ankle, I thought of taking X-rays of my left hand. I mean how complicated is figuring out what body part is broken when the patient walks in on crutches and has a bandaged right foot? Classical example of procedure-centered rather than client-centered approach. Assuming there is a valid reason they really need the referral (even though I cannot think of one), the minimum I expect from a fund official is to try to help me get such a referral on the spot, by making a few phone calls, for example. But she didn't even think of it, of course. We did. Called up my GP, told him what's on the hospital form and he faxed the referral on the spot.

What's the Complication?
I told everyone I'd be into work last Wednesday. Then I told them I wouldn't. "What complication do you have with the ankle?", asked my colleague logically assuming that was the reason I postponed my arrival. "Wishful thinking", I replied. I didn't want to believe I am not some kind of superwoman whose fracture heals in 2 weeks rather than 6. Now I do. The doctor (who saw my X-rays with the story) told me so. And just to be absolutely sure, I also googled it on the net and yep, that is the standard bone healing time and 3-4 months for complete healing.

Bonus of the Week
Saturday we decided spontaneously to go out in the evening, that is Dan couldn't find any friends to go out with and so we all went together. After 2 long weeks of prisonership (interrupted only by the 2 aforementioned medical appointments), I suddenly saw streets and people and lights and had a way too large Belgian waffle in a cafe.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Fractured Ankle - Weekend and Start of Week II

Last week ended with some positive developments, as 2 people came to visit and there are more coming tomorrow, not to mention the first serious rain (and storm), which is a positive development for this dry and thirsty land of ours. The downside is that my foot hurt more (I guess because of the change in atmospheric pressure) and the whole apartment is covered in very thin yellowish dust.

My entire family was home on the weekend and they replaced me with my usual weekend tasks. Took 3 men to replace one woman! Actually, it was quite fun to instruct them on cooking, that is after I succeeded pursuing them to enter the kitchen in the first place. When Tom realized I want him to make soup, he thought of combining hot water with soup mix powder. 'So why do you think I asked you to buy all these ingredients, then?' "Dunno, you asked for them, so we brought them', came the intelligent answer. I had to give very precise instructions, including location of ingredients, pots, utensils and the process of combining of all of these together into something edible. At the end, the food was ready on time and tasty, too.

This week I decided to get out of bed and stop feeling sorry for myself. I did some work around the house at my own [slow] pace, from the wheeled office chair and by standing/hopping on one foot.

And now to the bonus of the week: a new 46" LED TV.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Day 2: Necessity is the Mother of Invention

I was really worried this morning about getting along until I figured out a way of moving around the house: sitting on a wheeled office chair and pushing myself back and forth. OK, it's not perfect, I can't get everywhere, the carpet is a problem and I can't reach stuff on upper shelves (nothing new for handicapped people in wheelchairs), but it's good enough for my current minimalist approach.

The discovery made me feel better in an instant and my first thought was that I should make 'kapros-túrós lángos' (Hungarian flat donut with cheese and dill filling) for dinner. My second thought was that I should fold the laundry. Well, turns out it's not so easy to operate this makeshift wheelchair, especially with the bruises on my right butt and a hurting ankle, so sadly (or not) I had to postpone the grandiose plans for a few more days. 

Instead, I concentrated on setting up my 'operations room' atop the bed: moved the laptop to the other side so I don't have to cross any cables and laid out newspapers, books, the TV remote, the land-line wireless handset and my mobile phone within easy reach. Crutches across the bed and the office chair nearby. With all set, I decided to spend most of the time on reducing my electronic backlog (reading and writing) and answering work mails.

Following some online messages I sent about my situation, friends wrote to me, some called (my cousin even made an international call) to ask how I feel and offer help, my employer sent flowers (especially thoughtful and appreciated). Nobody came. Venus came in a few times, pushed its plushy face against mine and purred.

Tomorrow the cleaning lady will come and make this place more pleasant and presentable. Face time with a human being between 6:30 AM and 7:30 PM (even between vacuum cleaning sessions) is not a negligible mercy these days.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Hanukkah Bad Luck

I know Hanukkah is related to miracles, but this year Hanukkah brought the country and myself lots of bad luck. The Carmel went on fire and I broke my ankle. According to Rabbi Ovadia, these are caused by insufficient Shabbat observance. Maybe I should check my mezuzah at home.

Day 1
After fracturing my ankle I was in a lot of pain, could not step on my foot to make the trip from the underground parking to my apartment. My husband brought a wheeled office chair and pushed me with it into the elevator and the apartment. When my son came home, we used the same method to get into the car to go to hospital and back again.

After lots of X-rays, the doctor determined I fractured a small bone between the ankle and the foot that cannot be set in plaster. He told me not to step on my foot. Funny man, this doctor. I can't step on my foot, it hurts even when someone just breathes next to it. It's like those signs atop the Ayalon highway lanes amidst traffic jams, restricting speed to say 80 km/h when you can barely drive at 20 km/h.

While Prime Minister Netanyahu and Minister of Inerior Yishai are competing over circumventing bureaucracy to ensure swift compensation for the Carmel fire victims, the medical bureaucacy is in full flower. Before going to hospital, I called my private medical insurance company, but could not get through. My friend Z, a medical doctor for my Sick Fund, advised me to call their emergency number. I needed their authorization to turn to the hospital trauma room. I also needed a Social Security form form work to be given to the Sick Fund, a liability form from the Sick Fund to the hospital and some other forms from the Sick Fund and hospital back to my employer.

In a week I have to see an orthopedic doctor with fresh X-rays. One would think this is an easy task as many people before me needed the same. But no, it is not possible to have X-rays taken and seeing a doctor right after, even though they are located in the same building. These will have to happen 2 days apart, as all the doctors are booked. Who cares I can barely walk a few steps with crutches and that someone will have to lose work to drive me to these appointments.

In the mean time, I joined the minimalist movement. I walk/jump the minimum steps when I get out of bed and combine several tasks into each such trip. I've never noticed how many redundant steps I take every day. I also do many projects: turning over in bed is a project, a trip to the bathroom is a project, not to mention taking a shower.

By tomorrow I have to figure out how to use crutches and hold my lunch plate at the same time as I will have to manage on my own.