Sunday, August 15, 2010

State of the union

Shifra's ultrasound is healthy! Thank Gd!!!! We'll follow-up in six months. It apparently turned out to be an early peak of hormones, and it subsided.

I am feeling stronger and weaker at different times. There is definitely progress, and it is slow and painful, as was originally expected and presented to me. There are days of total flu-ey feeling and low grade fever, and days that I get up and dressed and go out for short stints. On Shabbat I cried because I felt awful and got too much into the "I'm never gonna heal totally, I'll never have the kind of strength and stamina I want to have, I'll never be totally out of pain, I'll live this weary way forever..." Thank Gd for Robert who successfully pulled me out of it. I started feeling that this surgery was a big mistake. He reminded me that the Rav (and the surgeon) said it is totally necessary, that I may die early without it, and that it will be hard and painful. It's only been five weeks. Tomorrow starts week six. I am setting my sights on getting to synagogue on Rosh Hashana, even if it is with a wheelchair.

One thing I haven't written about is the increase in my nerve pain since the surgery. It has been awful. My whole outer thigh hurts to the touch. Clothing is a problem. The thigh itself is numb under the skin, but the nerves are so jangled that it has become way oversensitive and painful on the outer layer. Anyone who sits next to me on the left has to keep a distance or I literally push their leg away. The good news is that I found a topical cream that helps lower the sensitivity to a tolerable level. It is Voltarin cream. I am putting it on 3-4 times a day and it is helping. I wind up smelling like Ben Gay, though. I am using a lot of Voltarin these days (weeks, actually)... both inside and out. It's apparently not so great for kidneys, but I can't worry about that; I'll go nuts if I heed every drug warning. Getting myself out of pain is the priority here. My other regular medicine is supposed to be helping with the nerve pain, too, so I can't imagine what it'd be like without that.

I am still waiting on the results of the MRI. I see Professor Meller next Tuesday.

Good news-- I have had success with cutting down my sleeping pills!!!!!! Just before the surgery my vitamin doctor started me on straight melatonin in order to start cutting down the sleeping pills. I decided to take it into my own hands and recently cut down the sleeping pill from two, then to one & a half, to just one now... and I fall asleep!!!!!!! I wake a few times at night, but it is usually from pain, and I can shift position and fall back to sleep. This is a HUGE breakthrough.

I took Ya'akov to the doctor for a test today (results in another ten days). Later I went out to a *store* by myself!!! My favorite clothing store is having a 50-70% sale. I bought myself something nice for the holidays. I had two outings in one day. I came home dizzy and very weak, so it was a bit much, but the pain was not too bad (using only Optalgin, not the internal Voltarin today, but yes to the cream).

My diet and digestive functions are still not so great, but the trend seems to be in the positive direction.

I'm up some pluses and down some minuses. Let's just say that I'm generally up more pluses than minuses.

Goodnight from Be'er Sheva, where it is over 100 degrees F every day now, and the humidity has been stifling.
I'm good with staying home a lot.
Come visit!


  1. Wonderful news about your daughter, and your ability to limit your intake of sleeping pills. Two blessings.

  2. So glad and relieved to hear the good test result for Shifra! I'm also glad to hear of the progress you've made, including being able to go on just one sleeping pill!


  3. So glad to hear the good news.