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Monday, December 22, 2014

"My favorite Christmas memory is a Chanukah memory..." 'James "Kimo" Rosen'

James “Kimo” Rosen is a retired professional photographer living in Kapa'a
 with his best friend Obama Da Dog, Rosen also blogs as a hobby...
Rosen  was bestowed the honor of lighting the community
 Tiki menorah back in 2006 at Kapa'a beach park.

Note; this blog appeared in the Garden Island news on 12-17-14

Kimo's World #49

My favorite Christmas memory is  a Chanukah memory.

My favorite Christmas memory is actually a Chanukah memory...

Back in  November 2005 I was hospitalized with a life threatening spinal abscess.

A dear friend of mine bought me for my 50th birthday a  combined Chanukah-Christmas-birthday present. This was the greatest present anyone ever bought for me,  a round-trip to the holy land of Israel along with hotel including two all you can kosher buffets a day. 

I was getting ready for my sojourn by updating my passport and since  I had been  suffering  with back pain for many years from a bicycle accident  decided to get an epidural recommended by my orthopedic surgeon before departing.

After the epidural I started experiencing  a sharp pain right where i was punctured with the epidural needle. The Doctor who gave me the epidural was in Honolulu. I called his office and they said  go to your local primary care physician and get something to manage the pain, since it is most likely nerve damage and you should be fine in a day or two. Don't worry I was told. This can happen. Although all previous epidurals gave me immediate pain relief.

I went to two doctors both said,"go on your trip, the pain will disappear, just enjoy your holy land visit."

I departed for my trip still in pain. I needing assistance boarding the plane. I had  a direct flight form Honolulu to Newark and was to  lay over in Newark  to visit family that had relocated there that I hadn't seen in over 30 years. Four  days later I was schedule to depart on a non stop flight from Newark to Tel Aviv.

I went to bed that night in pain. The  next  day I pretended to not be hurting, but my system had shut down, I could no longer urinate or defecate. That night I went to  bed screaming in pain. My cousin called 911 and I was admitted to Overlook hospital in New Jersey.

I was in such pain  I could not stay still in the MRI machine so they had to call in an anesthesiologist  to knock me out.

Upon review they found one of the largest spinal abscess they had ever seen, located in such a spot that was pretty much inoperable.
The doctors advised my cousins and sister that I would most likely not make it, and if I  was lucky and blessed enough to make it  I would most likely be paralyzed for life.

I was hospitalized for 2 months with many specialists seeing me daily. I was an actually case in study where many specialist doctors where called into  contribute and observe my progress along with classes of interns. They had never seen anybody recover from the  condition I was in. 

After 2 months in the hospital I still needed 24 hour care of an IV of of anti-antibiotics every 4 hours for at least 3 more months.

I was released from the hospital and  admitted to a Manor Care nursing  home so I could learn to walk again and to keep on my IV of antibiotics.

Back home  on Kauai every church group I knew and every Jewish congregation was  praying for me. 

After a grueling 6 months I finally made it home. I t was hard to walk so I actually bought a comfort bike with 21 gears that was easier than walking  and great therapy. It took about a year to actually start feeling  better.

One year later in December 2006 I was called by a Chabad Rabbi to  share  in the honor and Mitzvah of lighting the community Tiki menorah at  Kapa'a beach park.

Lighting that menorah and just being alive was the most memorable  and fantastic Chanukah I ever had. It just felt good to be alive. 

I never made it to the the Holy land, besides Kauai is a holy land in ways all it's own. 

As we say on the Garden Island, "Happy Chanukauai !"


Hana Hou, (Encore) Shared From Facebook...


Judith Whitehead said...

I remember that and always keep that possibility in mind whenever someone is going for that treatment

Sent from my iPhone

Judith Roesch said...


Harmony Bentosino said...

i clearly remember that scary time when you asked everyone to pray for you & then we didn't hear for along time whether or not you were OK. I'm so glad you are! I wonder if that experience is what has caused you to fear traveling now.

Judith Whitehead said...

In. Mind

Chester "Unc" Lau said...

I have nothing to complaint after what you went through ,I have nothing to complaint after what you went through ,,happy Chanukah & many more to my dear friend .

KimoRosen said...

Harmony, I think that may be one of the factors... I have a fear of traveling, the other is, almost every time I have made a mainland or lower 48 trip form either Alaska or Hawaii it has been for a funeral... Too a great 2015!

Harmony Bentosino said...

I hope some day you will have a great trip out of state for a joyous reason!

Harmony Bentosino said...

Maybe start small & go to another island

KimoRosen said...

Every year I try to make it out, last year i wanted to go to a family and high school reunion, I found every excuse in the book. Hopefully 2015!

Harmony Bentosino said...

I remember that too. YES! Hopefully 2015 is your year!

Ja'ana Makipaa said...

What an incredible story & I'm so happy you pulled thru and that you happened to be in a state where you were able to get such excellent medical treatment! I shiver at the thought of how things might have turned out if you were treated here instead. Although Wilcox & the hospitals on Oahu aren't "terrible," they certainly aren't top notch.
Here's to a FUNtastic 2015!

KimoRosen said...

Jaana, so true. Ironically my cousin was at the hospital and happened to see a doctor she recognized as one of the best orthopedic surgeons in the country, yea, I know everyone says they have the best doctor, however this doctor was not even an emergency room doctor, yet my cousin had talked him into being my doctor. It was amazing I had an infectious disease specialist, a team of like 7 orthopedic surgeons and was a class study that everyone wanted to solve. yes, it's a miracle i am alive.

Ja'ana Makipaa said...

I'm so glad for that!

Rosemary Pahl-Palmer · said...

Glad you're feeling better. Medical mysteries always interested me, but always on paper! LOL Happy to see you are one of the miracles.

KimoRosen said...

Thanks Rosemary