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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Oct. 12, 2005 / 9 Tishrei, 5766

Emergency room is filled with experts

By Marybeth Hicks



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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The muffled sound of "Pop Goes the Weasel" being played on the piano comes from the basement. Down the hall, the computer printer rhythmically churns out a document. The washing machine and dryer quietly hum from the laundry room, while construction crews outside my open windows send echoes through the autumn afternoon as they piece together the home that will house my new neighbors.

All of it combines to create a melodic soundtrack for my life. Then, amid the jingling of my dog's tags as he wanders from room to room, and the voice of SpongeBob from behind a door (where someone thinks I don't know she's watching television), is the now familiar hacking cough that plagues my eldest daughter.

It started with a head cold two weeks ago. Then, because she suffers from asthma, it sunk to her chest and became a persistent cough. With the geese overhead honking at one another, it's hard to tell whether she's clearing her airways or flying south for the winter.

Finally, last Tuesday, with my daughter writhing on the living room floor trying to reach for the bottom of her lungs with every breath sounding for all the world like a tuba tuning up for a concert, I dialed our pediatrician's home number. It pays to be friends with your pediatrician.

I didn't have to convince him it was serious. He could barely hear me over the phone since her uncontrollable coughing drowned out our conversation. "I think you'd better take her to the emergency room," said my friend the doctor.

It's the phrase every mother knows is coming but hates to hear. A trip to the emergency room on a Tuesday evening at 10:00 will not end until 2:00 a.m. the next day, at best — and that's if a coughing fit buys us a seat at the front of the triage line.

We climb into the van and head downtown to the hospital. She's still hacking as we walk past a group of teens gathered at the ambulance entrance, where one of them is wearing a hospital bracelet but wandering around in an agitated state. From somewhere in the darkness, a mother's voice says, "That's enough. Settle down."

We sign in. We sit down. We wait. Across the room are two girls with injuries sustained playing basketball — one holds a bloody towel on her ragged lower lip, the other has ice on her swollen knee. Their mothers sit close, adjusting bandages and speaking in low, reassuring tones.

My daughter and I sit next to a young mom whose child naps on her lap. We strike up a friendly chat but our words are punctuated by my daughter's relentless cough. I rub her back and try to help her calm her breathing.

Finally, the nurse calls and we move to the receiving room for an initial interview. After taking my daughter's temperature, blood pressure and weight, the usual drill, the nurse moves us directly to an exam room, confirming that my daughter is in bad shape.

The visit to the ER unfolds as they always do, but after 16 years of motherhood and four children, I'm not afraid the way I was when they were small. Besides, it's always easier when the patient can respond intelligently. It used to be my children kept me guessing between a miserable cry, a whiney cry or a desperate cry.

There are doctors and nurses in and out of our cube. The resident suggests we prepare for the possibility that my daughter will be admitted, but soon enough the attending physician visits and lets us know we'll be heading home before the sun comes up.

They give my daughter something to calm her cough and help her to fall asleep, and then the inevitable waiting begins as we see how she responds. Sure enough, she drifts off into a drug-induced nap while I stroke her hair and watch her eyelids flutter.

Sitting by her side, behind the curtain that pretends to offer privacy, I listen to the quiet conversations of the experts beyond the veil. Their depth of knowledge amazes me as they assess the patients in their care and offer suggestions based on years of hard-won experience.

It's not the doctors I'm hearing, but the mothers. Hovering over hospital gurneys, they advocate for a daughter here, a son over there, providing history and context and expected results for the children whose fragile health they work to improve.

My daughter takes a deep, cleansing breath and I wait for the heavy sound of the cough that inevitably will follow, but it doesn't come. Instead, she rolls gently under the flannel hospital blanket and sinks deeper into sleep. I ease back in my chair and close my eyes.

I remember all the nights I've spent walking hospital hallways with a baby in my arms or soothing a toddler into sitting still for an x-ray or holding down a child for stitches or the sharp point of a needle.

My memories become dreams and then I catch my head nodding forward. Time to wake up. In a few minutes, the nurse will return with discharge orders and I'll be driving the empty city streets back home.

When we climb in the van my groggy daughter whispers, "I love you, mom," and then drifts back to sleep. It's just another night in the ER, but then again, there's no place else I'd rather be.

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JWR contributor Marybeth Hicks, a wife of 18 years and mother of four children, lives in the Midwest. She uses her column to share her perspective on issues and experiences that shape families nationwide. To comment, please click here.


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© 2005, Marybeth Hicks