Thursday, May 1, 2014

Another repair surgery, another "tikun".

We got the surgery date today.
It's going to be June 2nd. One month from now.

When I went to write it on the kitchen calendar, I noticed something that freaked me out a bit.
June 2nd this year is the day before erev Shavuot. Since the surgery is only expected to be an overnight stay, if all goes smoothly, I will be coming home on erev Shavuot (the "erev" means that it is the day time hours before the starting of a festival or Shabbat, being that all holidays and Shabbat start at night fall. So, erev, literally "evening" in Hebrew, means the daytime hours before nightfall when there will be a holiday or Shabbat.)

Why is this significant? I know there are a few readers out there who know, especially my dear friend MG.
Erev Shavuot is when I returned home from the hospital after NF.

Seven years later, *exactly*, I will be again coming home after surgery. 
Another repair. Another quake in the after-shocks from NF. A far ripple in the pond. 

I am still absorbing this "coincidence". Maybe it is appearing now, at this point in my life, to offer another "repair" for the original broken-ness. That day, erev Shavuot, has always been a day for me that feels unsettled and somber. Maybe this surgery timing is offering itself for a tikun, a Jewish concept that teaches about the role we have in fixing the damaged, broken world we live in. Maybe.

This surgery is to repair my *right* thigh joint, where the labrum is torn, and the bones are impinging, and causing significant pain. 

I called Ichilov hospital today to find out if a date for the surgery had been scheduled. Aside from the practical planning that needs to happen when I go through surgery, I called today (instead of waiting for them to call me) because I am in debilitating pain today, laid up in bed. Tuesday night Robert had to stay in his school overnight, so he wasn't able to come home for two days. I tried really hard to take good care of myself; got to bed early, didn't do extraneous unnecessary activities/errands, and rested when possible. Even with all that, when I woke at 6:45 (after a full 8 hours of sleep) and put my foot on the ground for the first time, and a sharp pain surged through my pelvis, I *knew* I was in for a hard day. I need more sleep than 8 hours in order to not be in pain the next day, particularly after a hard day. But, if I have to wake up early, it is nearly impossible to get to bed before 10pm. My kids are only settled by 9:30 or so, no matter what I try to do. Yesterday was just a marathon to get through to the end. I was in pain all day. As a result, I am in bed today. Each step I take today, or the twice I climbed our (many) stairs in the house, I have been suffering. Each step. So, I am recuperating in bed today, with the hopes that I can be OK tomorrow and go to a big park to celebrate my father-in-law's birthday with my family and Robert's brother's family. 

The timing of the surgery seems good, though. It gives me a month from now to plan out getting a nanny until my babysitter returns from her trip to the US. My babysitter will return about two weeks after the surgery, and said she will arrange her schedule to meet my needs for having her here. I love her. And I love that she drives my kids places (one of  my biggest needs!). And I love that my kids love her. And yes, I love that she adores my kids. What a blessing!!

School won't be over at that point, though. There will be another three weeks before Robert is off for the summer. I didn't want to schedule the surgery later, though, to match when he is finished, because there are other factors, as well.

We will, please Gd, have three kids in sleep-away camp this year. (Oy! There goes SIX months of mortgage payments!!) Visiting day is mid-July, and I want to be able to drive the three hours north to be able to get there. Traveling after hip surgery is agony, as you can imagine, so I want there to be [hopefully] enough time (6 weeks) to recover enough that I can travel to their camp. One year I couldn't make it- do you remember that? I wrote about it here and here. (There are hardly any comments on those entries because it was before the days of Facebook, and before I knew how to transfer comments from the emails I got, onto the blog.) Anyway, after that visiting day that I couldn't be there, I would do anything in my power to not have that happen again. I *still* feel sad about it.

Medical wisdom says that my right thigh got into this situation because my left thigh was in a worse situation. Lots of asymmetrical walking and over-dependence on the right side takes it's toll. Another gift from NF, the disease that just keeps on giving. The problem will be, of course, for you math wizards, that when the right thigh needs to recuperate, what happens? The *left* side will be favored. The left thigh joint is in no position to be favored.
This is for the physical therapist to work with me on, and it will probably mean pt, and crutches for longer time periods.

Oh, and in late August I hope to go to America to see my parents, and also go to an author's conference run by my mentor in early September.

Thinking through all the ramifications now, because I just got the date today, is making me a bit stressed. I just started thinking how hard driving will be because it uses the right leg solely. (We got rid of stick-shift cars when my left leg hurt too much to drive).

OK, I am going to nap now. I am in pain and I need to lie down completely. Too much racing is going on through my head, I need to be calmer.

So many "anniversaries" happening around now. Since NF, this time period between Passover and Shavuot- a time period in Judaism called the "Omer", is a very pensive time for me. This is the exact time period that the whole NF story transpired. This is also God's plan, I believe, because the Omer period is supposed to be a period of mourning and being pensive. 

Interesting how this stuff is all divinely planned. 
But, we knew that, right?


  1. just be healthy the days around your surgery date. The rest will take care of itself! My surgeon basically kept reminding me yesterday that I am only 6 weeks post op and to give it TIME. I am running out of patience! You too will need a good dose of sounds like you are planning a lot of activities and may be disappointed if they don't work out. Hope all goes well.

    1. I know. I am concerend about those two things- getting up north (hof Achziv) for visiting day, and getting to the US to see my parents. I really need to see them. At their age, and inability to travel, once a year seeing them isn't enough. But yeah, I know that 6 weeks is still the tip of the iceburg as far as recovery. I know it well. As always, one day at a time. Man plans, and Gd laughs.

  2. Sarah, you need to worry more about yourself and less about everyone else. It's a pity you didn't come to the Hadassah talk we had last week, but you still might benefit from the woman's book, on caring for others while not neglecting yourself. Visiting days at summer camp are not an essential of life. As long as your kids know the reason, and do not sit waiting for you to come, they will be fine. As for your parents, you'll just have to Skype a while longer. Give yourself the time you need to fully recover.

  3. My bday is 2 days before Shavuos. My sister was born on Shavuos. She is very strong and a real survivor.
    You are too!
    Shabbat Shalom.
    Love you.

  4. Keep planning and preparing for this surgery. This is the time to call in all those favors, when you really need it. Count me in!
    Love, Miriam