Dec 22 ; 2013 :
After & short & difficult night -because I slept between Sarah & Ali in the kid’s room & the mattresses were a little bit narrow, the (Iftah Ya Simsim ABC) song that I set yesterday as an alarm tone woke me up at 5AM, I waited for 10 minutes then woke up.
I shove, took a quick shower, woke up Samy for his nose pus sampling, he went first to have a nebulizer session, then serum cleaning, but his nose stayed clean after I prepared everything!! I remembered that he said to me yesterday (Dad you told me that you will take me to France last time for my nose, It’s getting worse now & I’m really getting rid of this, now it blocks sometime), I was frightened & took appointment with Dr Derradji, but now I think I understood everything, he said this just to take him with me to France today, because I told them I’m going to France for professional reasons. For the first time, there was absolutely nothing coming from his nose this morning, a comedy?
I did my best to check that nothing is missing in my bags, anyway I had to move because it was time to go.
Sarah cried a little bit but stayed strong, hugged me, & so Samy did while Ali was sleeping, then I joined Nordin to take me to the hospital, I was a little bit concerned to be late because we were trapped in the highway traffic, but we arrived before 8AM, no obstacles at the main gate, we even parked in the personnel parking. The surprise was that we were not allowed to enter via the personnel gate, we should wait with the other patients until 8:30, in the cold, Nordin insisted to stay with me until I take my bed, very nice from this good gentleman & brother. The crowd quickly increased, hopefully we arrived early, a faked young blind even tried to cheat & take my place, no way!! Inside, bureaucracy, we needed to wait, then to sign an authorization from the same person who gave me the first one (!!!), we should wait for this signature until 1PM, then the admission bulletin, I walked a lot & got tired this time, I imagine if I was alone with the heavy bags. Nordin received a lot of calls but he always answered that he was with a patient in a hospital, that means he was busy but gave up everything for me, he managed to answer the phone calls away from me & with a whispered voice but I heard him, he is extremely kind. Finally, I took my room, a very nice single one with a bathroom & a big window, two bed tables with shelving, a well compartmented closet & a very comfortable chair, the TV was in a shared area but with only 3 channels, two Algerian programs plus a kid’s channel!!
My doctor came, a kind young good looking female resident, she checked if I was comfortable in my room then said she’ll come back later. I made a minimum of order in my stuff, the closet was large enough & very well shelved, but I found old blankets in the bottom & there were no sheets or pillow cover on the bed, medics later brought me everything, nice sealed sheets & two clean blankets. I made my bed, put everything in its right place after cleaning all the surfaces with antiseptics then finally took my first meal of the day, three apples. The resident came & started questioning me about my disease’s history, but she left when Dr Hammadi came, I told him that he really saved me by helping me with this military authorization, I hugged him, then he told me about his heavy work time & daily concerns. Staff round time at around 3:30PM, the professor with the resident, he asked me about my TSH then told me that it was excellent, its quick increasing meant that the surgery left almost nothing & that I will fix 131I very well on eventual residual tissues, I told him that I was very optimistic. Dinner time, I checked with the waiter if there was a salt-free diet, he said yes, thank God, it was correct, but I took the minimum to avoid giving thyroid remnants any single iodine atom. In result, I was starving.
The night was quiet, with some bizarre nightmares, & lot of cold because the central air-conditioning was turned off in the RAI unit to avoid any nuclear contamination of the rest of the facility, they should supply the rooms at least with electrical heaters. The other problem was my hands, they were freezing my body, I didn’t know where to put them, they were a real burden to me, why didn’t I bring my gloves? Anyway, I don’t have to complain.
December 23; 2013:
Pill-day, I woke up at 4AM, bought online one day internet on my phone, & got to the good French-speaking site (Living without thyroid) to fix the last question, I found most of the answers. In the morning, I maintained the hard diet (no breakfast except an apple), the lunch was a very good smelling fish that I did not take of course, but I was sadly looking at the other patient eating his fish because the policy here was that the iodine-free diet was useless even the fish, he was told to eat anything because iodine is volatile when exposed to air & especially when cooked, maybe they were right, the thing that I was sure is that if I asked him to not eat fish he will create a scandal & his iodine will be canceled. Then I was called for the very important blood sample (TG+++). The sampling was very easy with a suction mechanism that I did not see before, totally painless.
I felt like in Robinson Crusoe’s Island, or just after the storm, the day he found the wrecked ship & was desperately looked for any useful stuff. I was running out of time before they close the gate, which looks like the gate between sick Scotland & still healthy England in a movie, I requested all what I will need later, detergents, a sweeper, gloves, anything.
A medic asked me to join him for a chest X-ray, but hopefully on the way before reaching the elevator I had the reflex to tell him “Is my last X-ray recent, October 22nd?”, he said “You should check this with your resident”, I said “I’m gonna ask her right now, hold on”, he said “It’s OK, we’ll make another one” as it was a favor or funny to undergo useless radiation, ha, I insisted, looked for my Doctor, didn’t find her, so I asked the residents in their meeting room, they said no need to have another one, great!
My constipation got better, my next door military patient told me to do the duck walking exercise to ease the transit, I made 3 go & back but quickly got my thigh muscles hurting.
IM injection of corticoids to relief the post-radiation inflammation, I told the nurse it’s my first IM injection since I was 10, I was a little bit contracted so he repeated the injection twice because the first one blew up, but OK, they were painless!!
Time to rush under-stairs to the nuclear medicine unit via a special door directly from the RAI unit, but in the stairs I told the nurse that I have to return back to bring my grapefruit-lemon juice from the medic’s room fridge to my room, so I returned back & went to the endocrinology service, medics were worried “Hey, did you take the pill, what the hell are you doing here?”, it was funny to scare them. Back to Fukushima, the stairs & the corridor were in renovation & completely dark. Dr Nacer-Khodja was not there, another resident replaced him, he was hurried & asked us if we knew the procedure, if you know so let’s go, he didn’t even know I was a dermatologist, anyway he was kind & correct, he asked a medic to finish the dirty job, there was no water, so I returned back to the room to bring it, he started with the women the me & Yunes, I had to drop the pill (which was not big for a 100mCi!!) directly from the lead container to my mouth which I did quickly, I felt like I swallowed nothing!! We all rushed back to the TV hall drinking profusely lemon-juice with lemon sweets, the juice was very cold so it burnt my throat & freeze my already frozen cold-blood reptile body, then a lot of water. Then, suddenly, diarrhea … hopefully before the pill left the stomach.
When the gate was virtually locked, I put my medical file in my bag in the closet (no medics or doctors will come), put nuts, sweets & cookies on the shared table, cleaned my room as per my own standards (I think I washed it to the bone), surrounded my bed with all my movies & books, …… it was just the beginning of a seven days vacation!!!
Forgetting that I was in a military institution, severely criticized the president (as usual) while watching the news because Slimani gave him his golden ball, my neighbor was looking at me with a suspicious eye!! I may go to military court for this, he is the supreme chief of the military forces, but anyway, I already took the pill!!
During night, I thought about the Brazil trip, I will not give up this project this time because the kids grew up quickly, a Brazil tour during the world cup with Samy & Sarah will be just ….. great.
December 24; 2013:
I woke up many times during night to drink water, eat sweets or simply go to the toilet. At 6AM, I took a good shower with a “toilet splash”, but anyway, the water was hot & relaxing. Hopefully Asma sent me a shower gel (I did never use a shower gel, I always preferred old good-days soap, but this time it was very useful because I was needing a quick stuff for both my hair & body because I got cold quickly while foaming), I will ask her to send me another shower gel, but more foaming, the more toxic & industrial to get rid of nuclear waste from my body, the cheapest. I managed to not wet an electrical alarm plug very close to the bathing area. The problem is that I had only one clean T-shirt because I thought the isolation was only for three days not seven, so most of my clean clothes were in sealed plastic bags. I asked later Yunes to take his shower after his morning prayer.
During this stay, we really feel safe, we can leave our rooms without caring about phones, laptop, or money during shower, no one will have the courage to come & challenge us, & this is just called ….. Nuclear deterrence, especially when the unit is called IRA-Unit, … if just the I.R.A (Irish Republican Army) had this nuclear deterrence in the nineties, this would scare the English.
After a lot of thinking, maybe I will go to my sister’s secondary residence in Douera for my second week, because definitely I will irradiate like someone who underwent simple scintigraphy.
I decided to continue my diet, so I took only some nuts & juice, then ….. I started to feel not good. The water was totally tasteless, almost disgusting, but I was obliged to finish my 3 liter per day! I went to my bed, a little bit confused, slept for a while, then woke up, I hesitated during lunch whether to take salted or salt-free food, in the end I decided to force & continue the diet, the food was completely without taste except a chicken thigh that I put in a bread with some salad & cucumber, it was my first oily & crusty sandwich since 6 weeks & half, & it was so delicious so I rushed to the door to ask for another piece of chicken, in vain. Back to my bed, feeling sick, my ENT friend called me to check if I was OK, he told me that will be under 175 mg of Levothyrox, I asked him if I can continue sport normally, he told me that if I make rough physical efforts like in tennis I will feel very tired the rest of the day, & that really depressed me. I tried to watch some documentaries on my laptop, I started with something like “Banned from TV”, very violent & depressing, then “The second Lebanon war”, my God, why did I not bring the Simpsons? The only good thing is that I finally found the France2 Envoye Special document where Samy & Sarah sung the Algerian national anthem that I lost since more than a year & searched everywhere except in the DVD “Documentaries”. I woke up around sunset (not good for someone who wants to have a good sleepy night), chatted with Yunes, and checked my pace-meter which showed zero.
Dinner time, they gave me a salt-free plate, but this time I decided to stop the diet because I was feeling signs of hyponatremia especially with the big amounts of water that was drinking, I ate it but avoided the fish except a very very small piece.
December 25; 2013:
The night was not very bad, with ups & downs, effects of radiations I think, rough throat & nausea, lead-tasting water, I was close to cancel the morning shower because of the cold, but I finally took it & made me feel much better for the rest of the day. I took my first cup of coffee & milk with cookies since weeks, made a competition with Yunes (who drinks more water?), chatted with him in front of TV all the morning, I finally started to feel a vacation-like time, I even forgot that I have two crucial tests that will dramatically determine my future, scintigraphy-scan & Thyroglobulin.
I asked my wife to bring me some stuff (especially woolen gloves & an extra-jacket), but it was her weekly working day during the first week of university vacations, so I called my sister to bring them, when I called back my wife to tell her that my sister was coming home to take the shipment, she couldn’t answer because she was driving, but she managed meanwhile to send her brother who was very happy to see me in a cage like a leprous patient, we already arranged to not tell anyone else about this story, & what happened really pissed me off because it was a direct medical secret violation!!
I spent most of the night documenting about my condition, it was not easy because of the extremely various prognosis options, depending on Thyroglobulin level & Iodine imaging results, anyway it will be clearer next Sunday & I prefer not thinking a lot.
December 26; 2013:
Couldn’t sleep after midnight, so I read the book (Best educator in the world) about kid’s raising, I learnt huge methods, & more important I pin-pointed a lot of mistakes, we were not having family meetings, the kids were not involved enough in decisions that concern them, many things. When back home, the first thing I will do is a meeting with my wife to see how we can re-organize everything.
Another cold night starting from 2AM, the cold is really posing me a big discomfort, even with 2 jackets & two blankets, added to recurrent constipation that retains radioactive waste in my bowel.
Morning shower, the lady who was before me splashed all the walls & ceiling, even the electrical plug was washed, I dried it with paper, waited for a while then took my 10 minutes of hot pleasure.
My sister came & brought me my requested stuff, she was holding around 1O kgs (especially because of the water), I felt concerned because her broken knee was not completely healed; she had a rehab session today in a next-door unit.
Lunch time, with spicy rice & a big piece of good fish that I did not eat (after a long hesitation).
I thought a lot about future, now I think more about the kid’s future than my career, the Canada immigration option resurrected seriously this time, I care more about my medical insurance than the issue of working as a dermatologist or not out there, to be discussed very deeply with my wife.
Another issue that also was causing me a concern, the cabinet replacement. I think I will take one more month time-off after I return back home, fully prepare Sarah for her final exam, then replace for two months & return back to prepare again the month before the exam, it sounds good to me.
I took a good & long siesta this time, despite a very noisy wind outside. When I woke up, I found my coffee-milk on the table (Yunes put it), but it was already cold.
Dinner was nasty, hopefully the elderly patient who was next-door gave us some good chicken with warm french-fries; it was enough for a small unhealthy but tasteful sandwich.
Suddenly, around 10PM, just after watching a Predator-Alien remix movie with Yunes in the hall, I remembered the day when I saw my histopathology report, the doctor (who is specialized in thyroid histology) told me that it was great, that the thyroid capsule was intact & that all the 15 lymph nodes were not infiltrated, but when I saw the detailed report, I immediately remembered what my daddy always repeated “The devil is in the details”, yes the thyroid capsule was correct but the tumoral’s one was not, & there was also one image of angio-invasion which really frightened me & forced for a few seconds some tears out of my eyes.
I was overwhelmed by a deep sorrow, & had a strong feeling that someone, somewhere in this universe, is imploring God for my healing, & this could be only ……Mom.
I went to the bathroom, I looked to my face in the mirror, & I saw for the first time of my life a weeping face, a pathetic one. I went to my bed, I sent an SMS to mom asking her to implore God for me, turned off the phone, saw a documentary then deeply slept after returning on the phone back.
I implored God too, me the secular, to heal me & keep me to my kids as long as possible, I sacrificed my twenties & thirties working in scorching deserts, having rough post-graduation studies, raising very young children, because I always believed that life begins at 40, even this Brazil trip with the kids I am planning it since 6 years, & finally I promised God that I will be ….a good father.
All this, was a short moment of painful doubt, that I over-passed the morning after.
December 27, 2013 (Week-end):
I found three SMS from Mom & sister, & reading them was an extremely emotional moment.
After taking shower & breakfast, a medic came & asked us “Who the hell took shower?” & when we said that it was a lady from the RAI unit he was very upset because in his opinion we should not leave the unit at any circumstances except for the 7th day’s shower just before Iodine-imaging. I remembered that the guy who gave us the pill told me that we need to take daily showers in the very next-door bathroom very early in the morning before anyone else gets up & so we did, but maybe they will not believe me & I will turn for the unique responsible, the doctor-patient who is defending the others, but Yunes told me that he heard him too saying that to me, ….oof.
I asked a female resident to give me a bowel washing necessary tubes & saline serum, then the medic, without insistence, but he forgot.
I spent the rest of the day reading the educational book. In this place I can read very carefully, take notes, analyze, criticize sometimes, and write some recommendations that match with my family’s circumstances.
Mom came around 2PM, I managed to shave first to look in an excellent shape & saw I was. My sister couldn’t get upstairs because it was not visit’s day (Friday).
December 28, 2013:
I will never forget the surgery that I underwent in the Debussy clinic seven weeks ago, right I did barely see the surgeon entering & asking the anesthetist (The patient is still awake?!), then the surgery passed for me like a one second good dream, but later I tried to imagine every second of what the surgeon (Dr Oussama Hocine) did, neck & chest skin cleaning, dissection plan by plan, first assessment when reaching the target (the thyroid), arteries ligature, starting with the left lobe to remove the head & the body of the evil (the nodule) & its recurrent nerve securing, then the right inflamed & extremely adherent lobe with its difficulties & unpredictable bleedings, struggling to find the recurrent nerve inside, then hesitation whether doing or not lymphatic dissection (time passing), courageously deciding to go on with that lymphatic dissection despite fatigue & different opposing views from the staff, removing finally the tail of the evil (central lymphatic chain & some of the lateral ones plus two parathyroids, even peeling the recurrents). All this, I am conscious that it may happened, & I pay a deep respect to all this work. For me, Dr Hocine, one of the best contemporary thyroid surgeons in the world, is just a hero who offered me a second life.
My struggle against constipation started to pay finally, anyway the medic came around 9AM to propose me bowel cleansing material, it was not difficult, but the saline went away almost as clean as it entered, maybe because I forgot to shake it to mix the paraffin oil, anyway I left around 100 cc full with paraffin oil for another session later.
Doubt slightly installing, what if the TG is still high? What if they detect something in tomorrow’s imaging? Why me? Tears dropped profusely this time, but calmly. One thing I am sure of is that I will continue to fight without mercy, because I wanna live for me & for my loved ones.
Back to the educational book, I learnt many things today, and then I started to think about the whole thing & to make the connections. I did never read this book as fully & carefully as this time, I was always busy for this, & therefore committing educational mistake after another. The circumstances I am passing through this time offered me finally the time that I was desperately needing, & I am very thankful for this because I feel that my life will dramatically change to the best.
Dinner time, rice with a big marine-iodine smelling piece of fish, I resisted again to the temptation because I wanted to give the 131-Iodine still circulating in my blood all its chance (without any competition from normal iodine) to find any hidden malignant cell to destroy it. The fish can wait!
They gave us Norgacol (a laxative) at about 9PM that I dissolved in one liter of water, its taste was just horrible & I found all the difficulties to swallow it, cup after cup. Even Yunes the tough military was complaining.
December 29; 2013:
6:00; the Norgacol didn’t do anything for my transit, so I started another saline-paraffin bowel cleansing, & this time, it worked.
I thought I was the first to wake up for the crucial pre-imaging shower, but disappointedly I was the last one, I cleaned first the bath-room with soap & a brush, unpacked the cleaning toilet bag then slipped because wanted to start foaming quickly (hopefully without injuries). After a very good shower, came the complicated unpacking protocol, because I put my clean clothes in doubled plastic bags packed with large tapes, then I did my best to not contaminate them with any radio-active containing stuff in order to avoid Iodine-imaging artifacts. As soon I returned back to the unit the phone rang, I answered to tell them I was coming. I preferred going there with a T-shirt (despite the cold), then the technician who complained from the fact that we were late put me comfortably on the table, & the gamma-camera started to capture. During the exam that lasted 30 minutes, I regretted to not stay only with a short, so the images will be as best as possible, it was too late anyway.
Back to the unit, with the good feeling that I did all what it was possible & just wait & hope that I will be a good & banal statistic, I began to prepare my bag, with all the contaminated clothes very well packed & taped in double plastic bags. But, as soon I finished, the unit phone rang again, & someone asked Yunes to pass him the doctor, the doctor? Did they mean me? Why? Maybe the resident wanted just to give me the hospitalization report. When I talked to the guy, he asked me to return back to Gamma-camera unit for a ‘Static image’!! A static image? What the hell does this mean? & why only me?? I returned back there, frightened, they asked me to wait in the corridor, I waited for half an hour during while I thought about all the possibilities. Did they find a suspected bone or pulmonary image? Or maybe it was just a favor treatment to me because I am a Doctor & they wanted to scan me more carefully. I was not very optimistic to be honest. Show time, I refused to ask any question, but this time I did not forget to remove my T-shirt. When I tried to climb on the table I broke the stepladder & badly fell on the floor, again without injuries. The technician apologized & asked me if I needed help, I said it was OK & they can start. I heard them talking (I see nothing, it’s not normal), then one came to put a 99-Technetium filled syringe over my neck to check the machine liability & it showed radioactivity from the syringe but not from my neck, they were very perplex & I couldn’t know if it was a good or a bad thing, was the imaging blank (which is not normal because the thyroid loge should naturally fix 131-Iodine)?? Or did I fix better than the others because I was under a strict iodine-free diet? Or maybe they found during the kinetic capture a gross residual remnant that vanished later. In the end, I heard someone saying (It OK I can see it now, it’s circular, can you see it?). Wow, wow, wow, wow, the What is What? Hey, Houston, what’s circular, over?? When they finished, Dr Nacer-Khodja told me that it was a thyroidal remnant & that my Iodine-Imaging was strictly normal, thank God!! I asked him what if that circular thing was lymphatic. He said it will be destroyed anyway!! Well, my bone & lungs are “scintigraphically” clear, & that’s the most important thing to me right now, I am an N0M0.
I called Dr Derraji (the ENT) very quickly to ask him about this remnant, I told him it was above the larynx; he almost laughed & told me that it was the thyroidal pyramid which is usually very difficult to reach by surgery & that I don’t have to worry about it. Wake up geometers, the pyramid surface is no more triangular, it’s …. Circular!!
Back to the RAI-unit, where I could this time cross the gate to the main corridor. I met Dr Hafsi who told me that my blood sample results along with the final report will be ready in a week, no beggy, I’m not hurried except for the TG. I asked her to give me her Email in order to send her this blog’s link, & I knew from the Email address that she was only 24 & already an endocrinology resident. Waw, I was close to ask her how her father was behaving with her to learn more from him, I wished if Sarah saw her, because this Doctor is a new good success example, congratulations Dr Hafsi’s father.
We have been given lunch despite being leaving today, I was very hungry & I ate everything. Before leaving, I had to see Dr Nacer-Khodja for more questions; he took me to his office then stayed away from me to avoid any unnecessary radiation on his body. I understood that I must keep a safe distance from people until day-8 at least because the 131-I’s half life is 8 days, in order to avoid hitting their DNA with direct radiation, but I am not contaminating places except my urine which must be disposed correctly. This means that I will put my sister & wife’s health in danger if they come to pick me up, so I called my wife to ask her to cancel everything & that I will go to a hotel by myself then to my sister’s empty house tomorrow morning.
I took my heavy luggage (around 20 kgs) to the taxi station, took a taxi to a hotel where I have been given a 40$ per night spider hole with a window giving a nice view on a confined laundry. I took my luggage back, put my mask & went back to the reception where I complained from the poor conditions. Noticing that the other customers were skeptical, the receptionist immediately returned me back my money & apologized. I called my wife, she parked in a taxi station where she told a group of 4 policemen that she was waiting for her husband, but they were very surprised to see that when I came I kept a safe distance while communicated with her, without kisses nor hugs, then she left the key on the engine & left me the packed pickup like a mafia transaction, all this did not raise any suspicions, they were just …watching. I went then to downtown to see my sister who almost threw me her secondary residence’s keys through the car’s window without stopping the car in another mafia scene. Finally, I headed to my temporary refuge which is situated around 30 kms from the capital.
When I got into the village on sunset, I looked for a waste bin where I threw all my probably contaminated stuff (toilet case, clothes, towel & all the used plastic bags), I should do it earlier in the hospital, it was an unnecessary precaution but I felt Okay with it.
I was very impressed by the house, it was clean & very comfortable, a 3 stars hotel conditions, plus 24/7 hot running water & a nice garden, a perfect place to be isolated & to have a comfortable rest in the same time. The only major safety measure that I must respect is to clean every urine drop from the toilet seat walls. I also managed to put my entire luggage in the garage first then take stuff carefully one by one to the floor after a deep cleaning.
December 30th, 2013:
First morning in this house, my muscles were very hurting because of yesterday’s efforts & the luggage weight. It was a rest day.
December 31st; 2013:
I woke up very early, then discovered something against constipation, something not written in literature to my knowledge: drinking a plenty of water (1,5 liters) early in the morning while sitting on the toilet seat, combining therefore the effects of gravity with those of natural reflexes, because nothing can stop the water on its way DOWN. Of course most of the water will be absorbed through very large cellular gates, but not large enough to absorb 1,5 liters coming like an over-flooding river, so the rest (even a half liter) will continue its way DOWN, & we know the devastating effects of water when it goes DOWN, it will wash away everything. Water sculpts mountains, transports billions of cubic meters of Ethiopian soil to Egypt every year on its way DOWN. Humans always used this power of water, & so I did …….successfully.
I took a shower then headed to CPMC to undergo another Iodine-imaging. I didn’t know well the new highways & I missed many times the way to get into the Algiers highway, it took me around One hour & half to arrive to destination where surprisingly I quickly found a place where to park the car, just in front of the hospital’s secondary gate. I met the nuclear doctor; he immediately asked me to start the imaging. When finished, he kept a safe distance from me this time, told me that the imaging was strictly normal with the same normal remnant, & told me that I had to keep the same distance from adults for a week, & another extra-week from infants. I asked him if I was safe for the house where I am isolated, he said “Totally safe”, the risk was only for people who get very close to me while my neck is still radiating in time “T” only, & the radiations immediately go away like microwave ones because they are not hard radioactive materials. But why he did not take any precaution in the beginning, he even shook my hand before the imaging & then changed his attitude later? Were my radiations unusually high for him?
Well, I returned back reassured. But I told my wife that we must delay our meeting until I close 14 days after RAI, I don’t wanna take any risk for her health.
This time, I could send comfortably New Year wishes to almost everyone, and then shared the minutes before midnight with my wife on the phone; I really miss her & the kids.
January 2nd; 2014:
I woke up late, went outside to do my first shopping (laundry gel & fat-free milk), I was surprised that only 100 meters away from the residential area where I was there were all the variety of shops I was needing, small shops, hardware store, a mini-supermarket, & more importantly a lot of popular cheap restaurants.
I went to the post office to have some cash, but on my surprise my account was almost empty (around 35$), I asked for a rescue check but they hadn’t, so I went to an internet space where it took me half an hour to download that damn PDF rescue check & print it expensively because there was only a color printer!! Back to the post office, it was too late, it was closed.
Waw I’m running out of money in the middle of nowhere, barely enough to cover the weekend, so I cancelled for the moment all the stuff that I was going to buy as a gift for the house (TV & satellite receiver, driller & tool box, etc).
I found a shop selling excellent old snow shoes; I will buy later two (for me & for Samy).
A little bit disappointed, I returned back, bought some boxes of prepared food (beans, rice and lentils) and a lamp plug to replace the living room’s broken one. I stopped also by the butcher where I bought one frozen fish & a turkey neck that I like its very soft meat, which left me with only 3$.
January 3rd; 2014:
I was able to sleep deeply during this stay, I knew this because in the morning I found some missing calls & SMS that I couldn’t hear while sleeping.
I woke up at 5AM with a huge hunger of writing in Arabic on Middle-East & other international issues, & on my big surprise, I discovered that I was not bad at all in journalism, the ideas came & transform fluently onto words, plus my draft writing was almost identical to my daddy’s one!!
I cleaned my two bags with maximum unnecessary precautions, and then put them to dry in the sun on the living room’s window’s fence.
I stayed in the house the whole day, it was Friday, nothing could do outside.
I tried to play guitar & sing, but my voice stuck every time when the tonality was acute, & that broke my heart. My friend the ENT reassured me later that it was just a muscular fatigue without recurrential sequella & that I must undergo a progressive rehab to retrieve my full voice.
I took a good bath at night; it was so relaxing so I almost slept.
January 4th; 2014:
I woke up early (before 7AM) & in good shape, then after breakfast I made order in the entire kitchen & cleaned it.
I decided to chose my menu randomly from the food boxes in the fridge, ah today I had beans with turkey’s neck meat, but it was almost saltless, so I changed it for rice & chicken. Before throwing the used aluminum paper (which was just lightly colored with sauce, I imagined what would Robinson Crusoe do if he found a used aluminum paper, sure he would clean it & keep it for another day, & so I did, why should I throw something while it’s still reusable? Only because it’s cheap? That’s called wasting & I hate it! Another learnt lesson. Sure the limit between austerity & tightness is tight, but wasting is not one of my moral values.
No running water in the afternoon, so I checked the 2 water tanks in the roof but they were empty, hopefully I already managed to save enough water to rinse & wash the toilet seat after every use.
I was thinking to stay in the house today, but I needed salt & more water, I am drinking almost 4 liters a day to eliminate any residual radioactivity before my wife comes in a couple of days. On the way to the shop, I found an internet space just few meters from the house where I have been told that the connection was fine for Skype, so I took the car & rushed to the post-office to get my 35$, but the bad surprise was that the rescue check was useless without my credit card that I left at home, another disappointment & time wasting. In the end of the day, I was left with only 20 cents in my pocket; hopefully I was lacking nothing except skyping with my family.
I decided to watch one movie every day, to keep a correct psychological balance, I saw Braveheart, one more time.
It was a very windy night, I even thought that someone irrupted into the house, so I took a wooden bar (the one used to press cookies pasta) & inspected the whole house, & finding the garage’s inside door open was not reassuring because I remember that I locked it. Anyway, the house was clear. The good thing is that I found a sofa in the next-door room, so I cleared it from dust (in the balcony, using the wooden pasta bar) then put it in the living room. More comfort is always welcome, because reading in the bed was not easy for a long period.
January 5th; 2014:
Without money, it was an opportunity to stay in the house to read more carefully my favorite book. The most important thing that I learnt about kids raising was that we can transform them, win them, only by loving them & listening to their feelings & concerns. I told Karima how to deal with Sarah, & she was impressed by the immediate results. Me too, I started the same thing with Samy, even by phone, with a lot of patience, & I felt it’s working very slowly …but surely.
Ali is talking on the phone like a big boy now, very fluent & confident, I really miss him a lot. I noticed to Karima that I really did not like his beginning dry cough, & that she has to keep an eye on it.
I felt very concerned after Samy complained from his persistent rhinorrhea, I have to do something because now his classroom mates are sometimes laughing on him, I spent all the day thinking about the issue, & the night was very difficult & full with emotions, car I felt responsible on this.
January 6; 2014:
I went to BEZ to pick up Karima, & thank God she was very late, because while I was waiting in the car, I pushed to the edge my internet researches on Samy’s condition (a thing I was doing unsuccessfully since years), but this time it worked, I found the name of the disease, only one article was talking about it & fully explaining the treatment modalities, it’s called Gerlach or Eustachian tonsils, treated by Laser Diode. This made me very happy, now the road map is very clear, there will be no Prs Selmen or Jenawi, nor Drs Mezwar or Boushneq, it will be Dr Jakobowicz in France, or better in the US. I decided finally to cancel the Brazil trip, take the whole family to the US during the summer holidays; we will rent a house & a car in a town where we can fulfill three objectives: tourism, Samy’s laser & my laser or Botox training. I will make this to come true!
I headed to Douera with Karima, very confident for the future. She was very beautiful & sexy to me, & she looked happy to meet me. She liked the house & especially its quietness. For the first time I think, we could TALK together around a table after lunch (about us but especially about the absolute necessity of radically changing our kids raising methods), without pressure, & we felt happy together. Then, I think I spent with my wife this day one of my best moments, & we promised to spend every month one full day in a hotel, just me & her.
We returned back to BEZ where I put her around 200 meters from the house, it was before sunset & those 200 meters looked to me later unsafe for her, so immediately I felt guilty & tried to return back to pick her up again, but when I called her she was already near our building’s gate, I apologized, & felt that I just …….love her.
On my way back to Dwera, I felt the power of this love & the confidence that left on me, I was happy & optimistic about the future.
January 7th; 2014:
I was very tired from yesterday’s efforts; I think I was sleeping from 6PM yesterday until 10AM today. Well, time to take some cash with the checks that Karima brought me. Unfortunately there was no CNEP in Dwera, so I went to the Baba Hsen agency were they let me wait for more than one hour to tell me in the end that I had to return back tomorrow, I was disappointed & cancelled the request. But while I was waiting, I had a genius idea: Why I don’t buy a land in a rural zone, offer one Acre to mom, & with CNL help combined with a 1% CNEP credit we can build a small residence.
January 8th; 2014:
I hesitated whether I take the money from Baba Hsen CNEP agency then buy the TV from Dwera or go to the Maissonier’s one the the TV from Hamiz, to save some extra-expenses!! Very bad choice, because of a diarrhea, I went outside at 8AM, put 2 hours to reach Algiers, painfully found a place to park the car, then when I went to Hamiz, instead of buying quickly the TV from the Condor mother office, I chose to have a round in many shops to save 500 AD at max, that made me very tired, & in the end I got a dusted exposition model that I discovered later was delivered to me without its electrical cable. It was so hot today in the afternoon; I turned the AC on, in January.
As soon I arrived to Dwera, I fell on the bed very tired, without dinner nor teeth brushing, until the morning.
January 9th; 2014:
I miss Sarah so much, Karima is telling me that she’s behaving like a mature good girl, & she is showing me patience concerning my return day, but with a lot of enthusiasm.
I was disappointed by Dr Khalifa telling mom that I have to stay isolated one month!! One month?? This is not documented in any reference, why one month? Anyway, I prefer not taking any risk with the kids, so I canceled the idea of taking them to sport tomorrow then to Dwera (with my wife, but without Ali) for the rest of the weekend.
I went to Baba Hsen to buy the gifts, I bought a lot of thing for around 10.000AD, but I was satisfied because all the stuff had an educational side, & the prices seemed correct to me.
January 10th; 2014:
Friday, so did nothing, except finishing my favorite book, which was very important to me. I bought also an educational weekly newspaper that I spent the rest of the day reading & taking important notes from it, I will buy it regularly from now.
I felt the solitude this time, so I decided to take dinner in the restaurant next-by, to see people & some TV news.