Sunday, May 29, 2011

The pain of one generation

I need so badly to write I feel like a nervous wreck. It is phenomenal how desperately I need to write. I go from one task to the other, feeling the day slipping away, wondering when I can WRITE. We have been sort of off-line for a while, switching internet providers. We don't yet have the proper wireless modem, so my computer is presently "hard-wired", and it is the only one in the house [temporarily] that has internet. Hopefully tomorrow this will be rectified...

If I say things have been so hard, will you cry with me? I need you to cry with me. I need to cry and have you be there; right there with me. Breathe deeply, and hold my hands, and look at my face, my tired eyes.

There are times that I feel so sick. My body aches like the flu, my fever gets to that low-grade-fever-non-fever zone. But my doctor says I'm not sick. So, I'm not sick. I try to fight it. I fight it with all I have. I fight it with my life force.

The most recent example of my fight:
I got out of bed late in the waning Friday afternoon, showered, even did my hair nicely, then relented; rested, in bed again. Forcing myself to go against the gravity of my body with my bed, I arose, and got dressed in Shabbat finery. Giving in once again, I slipped back into bed again and cried, together with my life force. The struggle is draining. I needed just to sleep, but I am *not sick*. I keep saying to myself I am *not sick*. I don't want to be the "in-bed" person.

Robert said we'd have to leave in 10 minutes in order to drive the car to the banquet hall. I GOT UP AGAIN. I lit Shabbat candles. We went to a lovely dinner in honor of our good friend's daughter's Bat Mitzvah. I felt sick the whole time. My chest felt like there were cinder blocks on it.

I had a throbbing migraine in the middle of the night. I took lots of Advil, an NSAID, which is prohibited for someone like me with kidney disease, but I have no other options to relieve the headaches. I should go see a neurologist. Another doctor. I put it off until the next time, then take lots more Advil, then say I should go see a neurologist, then I put it off. A new doctor; I cannot palate the idea.

The migraine, I am very sure, would not have entered the picture if I had listened to my body and rested Friday night; not joined family and friends celebrating. But I'd have been sad. That is, sadder.

Did I tell you that I am also a closet hypochondriac?
A birth mark with red around it probably means I will die within a few days from some infection-gone-awry, or that it's cancerous.
The dermatologist dismissed it, unimpressed.

I don't have the evaluation of my neck/shoulder MRI. While I wait for it, I secretly wonder if it is a tumor, or if I'll need surgery. I'll have the answer in a week or so... My un-closet self says it's probably nothing; tension. The same constant pain for five months, yes, it could be nothing treatable. Pain and I, we know each other.

Which brings me to the subject of... pain. I wrote a letter to my pain specialist, and will fax it soon. I am asking him for his opinion about the possibility of upping the Lyrica. I am having break-through nerve pain with my thigh skin. My clothes make my skin hurt. The surgery I had last July also is acting up. I need a new pain solution.

The Torah implies that the people of Israel cried out for many years while they were being enslaved in Egypt. We read in Exodus 2:24 that "God heard their cries, and he remembered the agreement he had made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob" [that being to bring them into the Promised Land]. This begs the question: *When* did He hear their cries? How much crying happened before He heard? What do you mean "He remembered"? Gd forgets? No, my Emmunah does not have room to allow for a forgetful Gd. So where does that leave me-- well, where does that leave us -- you, my readers, my partners-- and our communal tears?

Did you know that the generation which Moshe brought out of Egypt never made it into the Promised Land? They received the Torah, but not the Land.
They bore the pain for the entire generation. (Andi... your words reached me.)
But I want to say again, *they* were the ones who received the Torah.

There is so much implied for me, personally, in that statement, I feel humbled to even voice it.


  1. You are an immense credit to your generation.

    On behalf of your many readers, I want to say that if we're not there to cry with you, we wish we could be.


  2. we are all here for you sarah. being a friend doesn't just mean listening to the good stuff, it's also about sharing the harder times. as I have written b4, I have not met you in person, but through your blog I have come to know you as a person with very strong emuna, love for your family, and a strong fighter! we are all here to share the good and harder days. you are in our tefillot. with love, rochel.

  3. Refuah Shelaimah Sarah Rachel bas Tova - in every way.

    - Norman

  4. Amaing blog entry-really well written.

  5. Honey - I will look you in the eyes. Much love being sent your way. -Rivka

  6. Sarah: I don't even know how to respond to this. Yes, I cry with you. I wish I could hold your hands and look into your eyes. I wish I could take away the pain. Does it really help to know I cry with you from Pennsylvania?
    Hugs, Jackie