World Multiple Sclerosis Day -Aly’s Blog


JUGGLING… It’s not just for entertainers

Many of you may have seen a recent YouTube link that went viral. It showed a young boy juggling 3 Rubik Cubes whilst successfully solving each of them! I believe he broke the World Record for his challenge, but in “real life” we all spend our time juggling. Mostly it’s our time which we are frantically allocating … should I complete the project for work or do grocery shopping … should I empty the washing machine or walk the dogs … should I make dinner from scratch or open an instant meal and fit in an aerobics class? The list goes on and on.

Having just recently met Professor Demitrios Karussis who heads the Neurology/Multiple Sclerosis department, I realise just what a massive task this can be when you are juggling the needs of a whole hospital department … and how much even more so for the senior management team who oversee the needs of the whole hospital – its patients, staff, benefactors, suppliers, buildings and so very much more.

All the staff at both sites of Hadassah Hospital are, in my opinion and experience, truly dedicated to their patients and their departments. I believe that this opinion would be unanimously shared with all those people who have been under the care of Hadassah.

But of course, this “juggling feat” inevitably means that, no matter how many Rubik’s Cubes you are solving, or what the size of your “pie”, or budget, there will be projects which can be progressed immediately, and others which may have to be moved down the list until the situation changes.

In my three years of regular visits to both Hadassah sites, I see astonishing changes each time I visit. One department that has seen massive progress medically but sadly not yet in its facilities, is the Department of Multiple Sclerosis.
Hadassah is one of the world leaders of research into this life- limiting disease, and is involved in trials with patients aimed at significantly improving their quality of life.

The department is just one of many tucked away in a corner of the massive complex at the Ein Kerem site. Once you have mastered the conundrum of which building you should be in and which elevator you should take to the correct floor, you then wind your way past a narrow corridor filled with fridges containing blood samples, off of which are small labs housing the phlebotomists and other research doctors. At the very end of this long corridor, sits the MS department. The waiting area allows for seating for around 8 patients and their carers, and the consulting rooms will only fit a wheelchair if you move a seat out to make room.

If I had a magic wand, every department in every hospital could be fitted with the most current equipment, in spacious and welcoming facilities (of course if I had a magic wand maybe hospitals would no longer be needed…), but for now I think that what I am trying to say is that many chronic conditions will require patients to visit a particular department regularly for the duration of their life … with such conditions there is often uncertainty and fear, which can be exacerbated by the physical conditions of your visit. I personally thank each member of the MS team for the care that they give to me and to all other MS patients.

If I were the juggler, I think I would make the departments dealing with these chronic conditions my particular Rubik Cube.

The MRI Department, which I visit at least once every three months has recently undergone a major facelift. Gone is the temporary MRI machine housed in a Portakabin, gone too is the old and crowded waiting and reception areas. The new waiting area is comfortable and spacious, the changing area is expanded, and as the MRI machines are in operation 24 hours per day, 6 days a week, there is constant use of the facilities.

Just in closing, and in an attempt to bring the strands of this blog together, speaking of juggling, what better place to mention those amazing Hadassah Clown Doctors who were present throughout the hospital over both Purim and Shavuot sharing love and the best medicine of all … a laugh and a smile 😃

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