Day +13: The Chametz Police

Written by Alexx.

April 20th Day +13

Another day.  It’s like groundhogs day. Every day i wake up in discomfort.  My abdomen is still very distended and uncomfortable.  I still have a catheter and an NG tube in.  I wish my body would start working properly.



My WBC count is up to 1.8 and my ANC is 1470.  I am no longer neutropenic. So that’s good news.  My albumin is 2.1, still has a ways to go.

The repeat CT abdomen pelvis was done today.  We weren’t really given official results but Alexx’s understanding is that I did have a GI bleed in my small intestines.  Thankfully it seems to be self-limiting and can be managed with close monitoring, blood transfusions, and nexium infusions.  I was happy that the surgeons haven’t come to see me.  Alexx asked for the GI Doctor to come and talk with us so we can better understand the process that occurred in my abdomen and how long we can expect before the distension goes down.

Today I was showered and worked with PT.  That totally knocked me out.  I’m still sleeping quite a bit.  But right now sleeping is better than being awake in this reality, so I welcome the escape.

Pesach (Passover) starts on Friday and all of Israel is in the swings of preparing.  The same goes for Shaare Zedek hospital. They took the fridge, microwave, and nightstand out of my room to clean it and make it kosher for Passover–ensuring there are no tiny crumbs of Chametz stuck in the nooks and crannies.

“What is Chametz?” My non-jewish friends may ask.  On a basic level, Chametz is “leaven” — any food that’s made of grain and water that have been allowed to ferment and rise.  Basically all of the stuff that’s forbidden on Passover.  And here at Shaare Zedek they are very serious about keeping Chametz out of the hospital and maintaining a “Kosher for Passover” Hospital.  When Alexx and Dakota were walking in today, at the entrance where they have metal detectors and security guards that checks for weapons–today they were checking for bread and any other Chametz.  There was a pile of bread and pastries that had been taken away from employees and visitors.  Alexx asked a nurse about it and she said that “during Pesach they take searching for Chametz more seriously than searching for weapons!” A  zero Chametz policy.  Imagine that!  I guess this is Israel.


Today I got a massage by this amazing volunteer named Shalom.  He’s one of my favorites. He has a wonderful touch and kind soul.  He came back later in the day and asked to speak with Alexx.  He invited our family to his Kibutz for Seder.  How kind.

I’m very discouraged but my family is doing their best to keep me strong. Your love and support continues to brighten my days.  I miss my extended family so very much and can not wait to make it make to New York.

Dakota is sleeping over tonight so Alexx and Ricky can have a night off together and go enjoy dinner.  I am very happy that he is here, it’s made a big difference.




6 thoughts on “Day +13: The Chametz Police

  1. Andrea, I know you draw strength and comfort from all your friends and family who are writing and reaching out to you. Well, we are all drawing strength from you and your amazing blog. If you could only know how we all anticipate and eagerly look forward to your next entry. You and your family are keeping us all going. It should be from strength to strength.
    Love, Lynn and Joe


  2. this is so typical Israel!!!! they are so lenient when it comes to weapons because the world makes the terrorism out to be a bigger deal than it really is – which is why their typical, normal, daily life concerns trump the terrorism. !


    1. Andi, I look forwArd to your blog as I can hear your voice as I read it. You are sorely missed, but more than any thing we want you to get stronger and feel better!!! I’ve been cooking for two days and still have a ways to go. Noah will be here in two hours so I don’t have to tell you how special this year will be.

      Ashley, thank god you weren’t on the bus that blew up innocent people in Israel this week. Aska family member who has lost their loved ones if they feel terrorized.


  3. They need a Chametz detector. I love it. How special to be celebrating Passover there. Just as you celebrate your release from MS and begin a new chapter in your journey.


  4. I know it’s sometimes difficult to get through these moments, but know that you will get through them… and sleep is a blessing… because you sleep through the discomfort and sometimes through the difficulties so that when you awake, you are feeling better and see things through a bright perspective. Hoping you are feeling better and can enjoy the miracle of just being and also “celebrating” Pesach in Israel! Please thoughts and wishes for quick healing. Lynn


  5. Andrea, you are stronger than you think. Draw strength from your beautiful family. Thanks for clarifying. You must know you are in such a beautiful place. Passover in Israel, your body is also preparing. One day at a time. Before you know it, you’ll be catching waves at the beach. God Bless You. You are in my prayers.


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