Monday, December 26, 2011

A survivor begins at the end.

S.D. was looking at my latest blog entry; the one about initiating contact to go meet her. That entry seemed to have it all. "Let's just start here", she said.
"I am clearly making a new beginning", I think to myself, so let's go with that. That blog entry actually reads very nicely like a beginning of a book..

Then I thought how wonderfully poetic and perfect for me, to start from the end. I mean, if I am feeling ready to write the book, and traveling to have professional guidance, then let's just draw a line in the sand and call all that other stuff "behind me".

In the beginning I often ruminated about how will it ever be behind me; how will I ever be able to go on. I've had two serious and rare diseases, within one year of each other. It is the human condition to need to draw lines, right? To need to say "now I am moving on".

Today, actually, looked like such an amazing "moving on" day, nobody would ever believe that I had NF, or PVNS, or that I am taking heavy narcotics in order to function. It looked like that because I...
Goodbye light green walls I painted while pregnant with Shifra, hello periwinkle bluish-purple! See those waves painted on the wall in the green behind me? They had little yellow ducks floating on them. It was a lovely nursery. But my little girl just turned 9! She wants a more sophisticated room. I completely understand her.
...painted Shifra's room! I was up (high!) on ladders, I was bending and stretching to paint around the huge closet, I pushed myself to the limit today. I [painfully] crouched to tape up baseboards and windowsills. With the help of Shifra and Ya'akov, we finished it in one day!! (Oh, and I won't leave out Robert's help-- taking down the ceiling fan by himself, including a slight electrocution-- and generally taking care of business in the house while I painted. The kids have Chanukah vacation let's not forget). I amazed myself, really. It was HARD.

Actually I have lots of experience painting rooms in this house... almost all the bedrooms were painted by me, usually when I was pregnant. I like to paint. I hadn't done it, though, since I got sick 4 years ago. Today showed me that I am back; that with these pain meds, I can do this once again.
Not only that, but the traveling that I did on Thursday and Friday (to see friends and then go to the meeting) wiped me out only for Friday evening. By Shabbat day I was almost fine. I was very tired, but I got out of bed and got to shul, hosted a family for lunch, and then took a nap. It was quite normal, actually.

So in a way, it is a good idea of S.D's to start at the end. Actually, those are my superimposed ideas. She only suggested to start there. With that entry. *I* am choosing to call it "the end". It doesn't have to be that way, though. Can a beginning be a beginning if there wasn't an end before it? Sounds like birth, doesn't it. :-)

Truth is, in my mind, there has been no real end. My medical issues are strongly in my daily life. For example, at this point in time, a few big things are going on. At almost *every* point in time, I have medical issues going on. I have to go pick up the results from my MRI. They are ready, I just haven't had time to go get them, and the secretaries are not permitted to fax them. I am anxious to know already. I also have to start the process for all the tests for my kidney doctor appointment coming up. I am still a patient, and most likely always will be.

Honestly, if I were going to try to explore why saying "it's behind me" feels so threatening, I'd have to say that it has something to do with feeling that I am a victim. The 'margin of human error' fell on me, and I paid the price with my body and my soul. I don't ever want that forgotten.

It's survivor mentality. I am nothing if not a survivor.


  1. Being a survivor is a great thing. Telling your story by starting "at the end" seems to me to be a healthy perspective. You're doing wonderfully; keep it up.
    Edna Oxman

  2. thanks!
    Tell me, did the title make sense to you? I meant to say that a survivor can only feel well enough to tell his/her story when whatever it is that they are surviving is over. So by way of reason, a survivor must start at the end. It was 2am when I published it... I just realized that the title may only make sense to me.... whaddya think?

  3. Yes, you are starting at "the end" as defined by you. But- (there's always one of those, isn't there?), this is really the beginning of a new phase of your life. That is probably something you want to emphasize, perhaps in the first paragraph of the first chapter. What you wrote makes sense to me (if you want to use that as a criterion).

  4. I like what you wrote re-birth. Your book will give so much encouragement and strength to others, BE"H. May you have much success with it. Shirley Temple's mother always said to her before she would perform "shine Shirley, shine". Well, Sarah dear you shine! Keep sending out those positive rays. The beauty is, those rays are touching your family, your friends, your acquaintances, and they're going to s-p-r-e-a-d......close and far.
    That's already success!
    Darlene Illouz

  5. A survivor is also a fighter who doesn't give in. Enjoy.
    Tzippi Cheryl Pellat

  6. A very moving and profound piece of writing. Great picture.

  7. Hey I've got a few rooms that could use a new coat of paint while you're on a roll! - Norman

  8. Norman-- you buy the ticket, and I'm there!! :-))