Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The mania, and ultimate demise, of the three past days

This post covers three day's time, and is *very long*. I apologize for it being long. I am on the cusp of a big change, though, and I want to tell you all about it.

It's been so crazy, almost manic up and down, that I couldn't continue with the positive entry I started a few days ago, in the time it took before the bad times came.

This beginning was written when?... Umm, I think like maybe three days ago. So many things have happened that I loose track of time.

(Oh, before I get started with Sunday, I just want to say here that the manic stuff started on Friday, when I took it upon myself to paint huge parts of the inside of the house. We were having guests for Shabbat, and I was sick of the dirty walls, so I painted. It got way out of hand- I painted MUCH more than I planned, even running to Home Center- twice- to get more paint, on Friday afternoon, close to Shabbat. It looks clean, but it was at a huge price. I took a booster of 400mmg Fentanyl to just make it to the Shabbat table. My daily dose is 87.5. My pain doctor approves of this booster when needed, but I shouldn't have gotten myself into this situation. The walls look great, though!)

OK, this was started on Monday the 15th:

Yesterday [Sunday] was one of those days that I knew so clearly that it was led by God. No other way could these events happen.
The night before, Saturday night, I saw a program on TV about this place in the north of Israel which is a health retreat place. As I watched the program, it was like a light bulb going off in my head. They explained the theory behind the founding of the place, the philosophies of which it is built upon, and the nuts-and-bolts of day to day living there. The retreat can be a few days, or a week. Basically, it is all vegan food, vegetable and fruit shakes (no milk products at all), no sugar, white flour, meat or animal products, or bi-products at all. They grow a lot of the vegetables right there. It is actually founded by an American man many years ago. There are yoga and movement classes every day, lectures on living healthily, and on how the body deals with environment. Many people there (people on the retreat at the time) were return guests, and spoke about how it turned their health around. Their migraines, diabetes, heart problems and what-have-you, all went away. Some spoke about getting off their pills.

I don't have expectations of getting off my pills, but miracles do happen.

The program explained about what it means to "detox" the body, an internal cleansing. There are many therapies available for anyone who chooses to do them- massages of all sorts, reflexology, and some internal cleaning methods, too... It is your choice what to do or not to do.

I knew as I was watching the program that this is for *me*. I just knew. It is a get-away with no family distractions, where I can go and detox. I can eat wonderful fresh foods every day, do yoga at my own pace, and talk to God, which I plan to do a lot of. Of course I will stay on my meds, nothing happens quickly. There were people who spoke about their pain disappearing as a result of the food change, but everyone has their own story of where their pain comes from (many people don't know why they have pain to begin with). I can pray that this will help my migraines, and perhaps my kidney issues as well (tomorrow, Thursday, I see the kidney doctor after over a year of ignoring the issue).

Anyway, after the program ended on Saturday night, I looked it up on the internet. Here it is, for anyone interested.
Too expensive! Whoa Nelly, that is over budget however you look at it. I told Robert about it, and we just kind of left it at that. (Anyway he's not into these types or retreats, health food, all that stuff, so it didn't seem so impressive to him).

OK, now we go to Sunday the 14th, after I had seen the program about the health retreat:

I had a doctor's appointment in the morning with my GP. Many issues to discuss, and referrals to be gotten for the MRI of my hip and CT of my wrist.

As I was waiting in the waiting area for the doctor, Robert calls me. You're not going to believe this...
He is in the midst of catching up with back taxes. 
[I just want to point out here that this is one of the byproducts of me being sick- paperwork gets put on a back burner until the organization you need to address is breathing down your neck. So many side issues that nobody can imagine in a dynamic of living with chronic illness, I thought I'd point that out, for Robert's sake, why he has to do back taxes.] 

He needed to call the bank where I got my orchestra paychecks from, to straighten out some issue. They told him "by the way, did you know that your wife has a sabbatical fund (keren hishtalmut, for anyone Israeli who knows what that is) available for withdrawal?" Huh? What? "Yes, it has X amount of money in it, and it has been available for quite some time now. You can come get it anytime you'd like".

So, this is the news I get while waiting there at the doctor's office, before going in to see her.
WHAT? Windfall? Just like that?

My brain clicks: "Hey, I could go on that retreat, and have plenty left over!!!! WOW!" The money is actually from my hard work at the orchestra years ago! Amazing how Hashem works. Amazing isn't the word, you know?

Then, I go into my appointment.
I tell my doctor about the increased frequency of my migraines, and the increased intensity of them when they do come. She says that she will give me a referral for a neurologist, but she is quite sure that with the meds I am taking, nothing out there for migraines would be appropriate. She then suggested to go holistic. She said "I really don't want you taking any more pills. With the frequency of your migraines, you'd have another every-day pill, and I don't want that in your case. You are welcome to get another opinion from a neurologist who specializes in migraines (she even gave me a name), but she feels strongly about not putting me on another medicine.
So, one more point on the health retreat chart.

Then I bring up with her that I have been having really intense sugar cravings, and I wonder if we should do a diabetes test. She said that I am not in a high risk for diabetes category, and that my sugar cravings are most likely from Candida.

Another point on the health retreat chart.

So, I have knowledge, availability, money, and recommendation (push, actually) from my doctor to go do it, and strong desire. It is an awesome opportunity for me, and being alone somehow seems like such a relief for me. I can take care of only Sarah. When was the last time I had the luxury of doing that?

I called them, and booked for August 11th-18th, they were all booked up before then. They told me that if they have a cancellation, they will call me. I told them it is urgent. It feels urgent to me, especially after what happened the next day................

For some reason (happens so often, there isn't often a reason) I felt awful the next day- Monday the 15th. Low energy, slight nausea, unbalanced physically.

I could barely eat anything that day. I get errands done, but I felt lousy.
The fast of Tisha B'av came Monday night, lasting through Tuesday night.
Whenever there is a fast day in Judaism, I always feel that I want to do it. I want to feel connected, I want to relate as deeply as possible with the significance of the day. I know that because I am on the medicines I am on that I don't have to fast. Nobody has ever told me *not to*, though, just said I don't have to. Well, to me, unless it is prohibited completely, I will do as much as I can do.

So I ate a small meal before the fast, and drank copiously.
Went to shul then to sleep.
Woke up the next morning with dry, dry mouth, which often happens because of the meds. But this time, I didn't drink to remedy it. I did take my meds, but with a small amount of water, just to get them own. Mind you- I have done this before- it has been fine before- I had previous experience to rely on- this was not my first time. Don't get mad at me.

I went to shul, pain starting behind my eyes. This is a sign of a migraine cooking.
I decided, at around 1:00 pm to start drinking. I wouldn't eat, but I'd get through to the end of the day by drinking.

By midday, I had a full blown migraine, even though I had drank water.
Not only that, but within an hour of that drink (2 glasses at 1pm), I had a violent, hellish vomit. There was nothing in my belly except the water, so it was 1/2 minute of water coming up, and 5 minutes of heaving. It was hell.
After that, the migraine was so intense, and I have no medicine for it, I just rocked back and forth sitting on my bed, with eye-shades on, moaning. And sobbing.

Later, I had tried to drink, and I threw up again. Even more intense than the first one. It carried on for so long, I thought my entire innards were going to come up. Today my chest hurts from the intensity of the muscles in spasm yesterday.

We didn't go to the hospital because I learned, from my doctor, that as long as you can pee once every two hours, you are not in danger. You are dehydrated, but not in danger. I did pee once every two hours, so thank Gd I was able to stay out of the hospital with it's bright lights, loudness, inability to rest, and needing to talk to doctors. Just what a migraine needs.

Later that evening (still Monday the 15th), the nausea lessened (but didn't totally go away until this morning!), but the migraine was still splitting my head in two.

This marks the end of my fasting days. Yes, I am sad... I feel cut off from my tradition. I feel a loss on a deep level, a spiritual level.
I guess Hashem wants me to find new ways to connect, unlike everyone else's.

The migraine turned out to be all night.
It's the longest I have ever had- 36 hours.
I woke up this morning with remnants of migraine, and have been in bed all day. (Do you know how much I was needing to accomplish today? There is a huge project going on in my house, and it needs time and attention to get it done. My youngest child was on computer and TV most of the day because I couldn't be with him; to involve him, take him around, interact with him. Robert was very busy providing for us. He is so good at that, Baruch Hashem. But, it takes precious time.
We are going away this weekend because of visiting day at the boys' camp, and Robert needed to find a place for the 4 of us to stay for two nights. He couldn't do it before because...well, because he is living with a chronically ill person. You think it is a break to stay in bed all day? Think again. Many people suffer when I have to stay in bed all day. It just makes me depressed.

Anyone who feels like they have time and energy to donate here to get this project moving (painting rooms, packing up a disaster of a room, organizing stuff in order to lay flooring- easy to do, like Lego, if you have time and strength- ripping up carpet from another room... please let me know if you love doing this sort of thing and can donate some precious time!

Wow, I have written a very long update here.
I'll end with... I have hope tomorrow will be a good day. We have nice plans, and I hope I can be part of them. I am trying not to feel sad, and just hope for the new day.

I miss my guys! Gonna see them on Friday!

I have a very exciting plan for tomorrow night... I'll let you know afterward! It's a surprise. :)


  1. Hope u r feeling better! You should have called here bis a vis Azriel! The retreat sounds fantastic. If it can wait until next week, we would be happy to help out with the playroom!

    Love us

  2. so sorry you went thru all that pain. have a very enjoyable weekend . shabbat shalom, rochel.

  3. OMG! Glad you're able to write about it... So crazy. Enjoy the new paint, and good luck with the rest of the project (and everything else, of course!)!

  4. I hope you are feeling better. The week-long retreat sounds like just what you need. I'm sure it will help in many ways.

  5. wow...fixing up the house with all the other issues going on-you are a brave woman. Glad you got a date for the retreat.

    1. we.. the fixing up the house has to do with giving a certain 13 year old child his own room. I figure, we have a big house, we have a room which is reserved only for the guest room, it gets used like 5 or 6 times a year, there is another simple solution for the guest room, so we are moving things around. It is a bigger project than it sounds, because it involves packing up & moving the computer room!
      And yes, I got a date for the retreat. Not as soon as I had wanted, it's the week of August 11th, but they told me that if there is a cancellation of a session before that, they wil call me. I'm *very* excited to go!