Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Air raid sirens for rockets, infection sirens from my body..

I haven't written in so long mostly because of lack of internet. Which, taking into account that it was because we were on vacation, can be a good thing. I couldn't even upload pictures to facebook, though! Withdrawal!

On Thursday evening, we went up north, to make our way closer to the kid's sleep-away camp for visiting day on Friday. We stayed with a distant relative of Robert's. They were excited to talk genealogy the whole time. :)

Friday, visiting day was wonderful. The kids are wildly happy, thank Gd. They have gotten some air-raid sirens, even all the way up where they are (nowhere near Gaza, so I don't know where they came from... Hamas in Lebanon, perhaps?), but they are all fine. My kids took it upon themselves to calm others down while in the "safe room", because, being from Be'er Sheva, they are old hands at air raids and rockets and that sort of thing. Yah. But anyway, they are all healthy and happy, and were chattering a mile-a-minute about everything that has gone on in camp. It was a great day, and I am so glad I got to be there. If I had had the surgery, we weren't sure if I'd make it up there for it.

We stayed the rest of the time in a little log cabin in the woods. :) Just me, Robert, and Azriel. No sirens at all. Bliss. We had a lovely Shabbat around the settlement where the cabin is, and then on Sunday we toured all around the ancient city and artist's quarter of Tzfat. I hadn't been there since our honeymoon, so it was very special. It is a beautiful nook of Israel, and a very spiritual city. After touring around quite a bit, we headed back to our log cabin, but not before playing mini-golf along the way. A real hit with Azriel. I was exhausted, though.

What I didn't realize, or put together, was that I needed to take it easier than usual. I just can't behave like I used to before NF. I can't do waking up relatively early, being busy all day, doing many different strenuous activities, mini-golf when I am already beat, then out for dinner late.

Before I continue, I just want to say that I *liked* that. I haven't yet, after all these years, accepted that I just cannot do that stuff all at once. I love touring around. I don't *want* to be someone who has to "take it easy" when everyone else is enjoying themselves. I am a "do-er", not a "rester". Before I got NF, I practically never stopped. Seven years later, and I *still* find it hard to make myself stop, especially when it means making others not do what they want to do.

Actually, I did rest *a lot* on Shabbat. Almost all afternoon I rested. Sunday was the big day doing lots of stuff, but I felt OK. Until the evening. I should have called it quits, but I wanted Azriel and Robert to enjoy everything. I know you can understand that, right?

Monday we had to go back to Tzfat because we forgot something in an art/glass blowing studio we visited the day before. Before we left, we packed up our stuff in the log cabin and packed up the car. I lifted one suitcase from the bed to the floor, not even walking with it anywhere, and it didn't seem heavy. A half hour later, I was laying in the hammock while Robert was packing the car, and I felt a sharply painful area on the right side of my groin. It was very, very sore to the touch, but nothing could be seen from the skin. We thought, another hernia? Could that be it?

It was also Monday morning (after the Sunday touring and fun-stuff.... did I tell you that day started out with me jumping on a trampoline?) that I started feeling pain again in the place I had the cellulitis two weeks ago. So, left side hurt reminiscent of cellulitis, right side new pain, and I was not a happy camper.

A half hour later, we were in Tzfat, at the art studio, picking up what we forgot.
As soon as Robert parked the car, I threw up, violently. Something Was Wrong.
After that, I felt fevery, and desperately needed a bed. Immediately. I couldn't do anything else but lie down. The car was not an option. Turns out, once again with the hand of God helping out here, that the art studio has a few rooms they rent to tourists. One was empty, and they gave it to me to rest. Unbelievable sense of being taken care of here by the Big Guy, you know?

I rested there for almost three hours while Robert and Azriel went around town again, seeing other things. They had a great time. I was miserable, but at least not inflicting them with it. It was enough that Azriel had to witness my classy barfing episode, poor guy. Scared the bajeebers out of him.

I had a fever, and my different assorted parts were hurting. I did not want to go to the hospital inTzfat, and neither of us thought it was that sort of life or death emergency. I desperately wanted to go home. Whether or not I'd go to the hospital in Be'er Sheva when we returned, I wasn't sure.

It was about a three hour ride. I was nauseous and fevery the whole time. Nice, right? NOT!

Such an intense bummer after such a nice few days vacation. There were no external incoming missile sirens, but my body's siren was blaring.

When we finally rolled into Be'er Sheva (Robert's great long-distance-night driving, yet again!), we both decided that it'd be best for me to sleep in my own bed all night, and see what develops. My fever was low, and I didn't feel in imminent danger. I loathed the idea of going to the ER at night, with fluorescent lights overhead for hours, getting poked and prodded, and not getting any sleep.

So, I stayed at home. It was also an issue of who will be with Azriel if Robert and I went to the ER, but we could have solved that pretty easily. We'd have brought him to his friend's house.

At home: just falling asleep at 11PM- siren, get out of bed, go down four flights of stairs (in my house) to get to the safe room. Wait for booms. Coast clear, go back up all the stairs to go back to bed, after making sure Azriel is in bed again. Sleep. Until....
3 AM- siren. Same routine, down lots of stairs, booms, back upstairs. Try to fall asleep again with adrenaline coursing through my veins. Air-raid, remember? Finally fall asleep, oh, and no fever at all.

This morning I had a pre-scheduled appointment with my ID (infectious disease) doctor in Soroka. This was the appointment which I scheduled after my postponed surgery last month- I was told to do allergy testing, then go to an ID doc before rescheduling surgery.

This appointment, however, came at a very opportune time because of all this other stuff that has happened *since* the surgery was canceled. (CRAZY!). It was one of the reasons I didn't go to the hospital when we got back last night, knowing I'd have this consult today.

This ID doctor has known me and my case since the NF. She is also an English speaker- always a plus for me. I told her all the gory details since the Vancomycin reaction which postponed the surgery, the cellulitis hospitalization, and yesterday's bonus prize. Lots of talk about antibiotics.

She did a physical exam, checking out my new right side pain. She said, to her, she couldn't feel a hernia (I coughed while she pushed- OW!). She suggested it could be a lymph node problem, and also said I need an ultrasound for it. The left side (from the cellulitis of two weeks ago) was a little red and inflamed, but less than it was last night when we came home from vacation. No fever.

For now, I have a prescription for more antibiotic (the same one I was on until last week) if my fever should go up again, or the cellulitis is back. Tomorrow I will see my GP. She will help me decide what to do. I'm sure she'll give me an ultrasound referral for the new right side pain.

Since the cellulitis from two weeks ago was "over", I never really felt it out of my system. I kept feeling pain there occasionally, and I thought I was getting new nerve pain areas. I have gotten nerve pain areas from cellulitis before. But I kept feeling just kinda under the weather, and my lymph nodes, especially in the left groin, were very painful.

Speaking of which, I got the results of the MRI.
GOOD NEWS: No PVNS! Baruch Hashem. That was great to see. Basically it said that my left thigh joint is about the same as it was from the last MRI a year ago. Stable in it's kinda messy way. It did say, though, that there is an especially large lymph node. My doctor said not to worry about that, it's normal to have that after just having been through cellulitis.

So, that's the story, in all it's glory. Tomorrow I see my GP and try to decide what to do about this episode that seems like a relapse of the cellulitis, but not 100%. Just bad enough to make me feel pretty crappy, and not bad enough to take immediate action. A very hard place to be.

I will give some pics with the next post, I hope. I gotta get internet back on my phone so I can transmit the pictures. (It's a long story why I don't have internet. It'll get aquared away soon).

I am going to bed now, quite sore where the new pain is on the right side groin. Tomorrow morning to the GP and we'll make a plan.

I decided to sleep in the safe room tonight. I sooooo don't want to for many reasons: 1) it is not a very comfortable bed, and my own bed is *awesome*, 2) there is no air conditioning and we live in the desert (but the ceiling fan is decent one), 3) all my stuff is near my bed up here. But, climbing up and down 4 flights multiple times a day while fighting an infection is just not good. I am not getting enough sleep. We have so many sirens every day, and boom boom boom boom boom boom all the time, with the sirens, *and* without. Booms of explosions literally all day. We are lucky to have a safe room. It is made of steel with reinforced concrete. It even has a window, but these days it is always shut with an iron closure covering it). I slept there during the last war as well.

I get so much adrenaline when the siren goes off and I hike up and down stairs, it is so hard to get back to sleep. Also Azriel is begging to sleep there with me. He wants to feel more secure. So, yah, Robert is setting it up now, and I'm moving in. I'm also trying to fight an infection here. I need rest and sleep.

I have many political things to say about this all (and anyone who reads my Facebook writings knows that), but not here. I chose, and still choose every day to live in Israel. This is my home in every way, shape and form. I would move my bed (and those of my children) to another one in Israel to be safer, but I would not leave Israel. I just hope this is over efficiently, fast, and that we don't keep losing precious young lives in battle. My heart breaks for them, and their families. As a mother, I fear these mother's grief. My boys are still too young to serve (at age 18 they get drafted), but I feel, in my veins, each and every loss, and case of PTSD that happens with these wars. When I was in the psych hospital after I had NF, being treated for my acute PTSD, I was only one of three civilians there- many were released soldiers battling with PTSD.

OK, I am now settled in the room which Azriel named, three wars ago, the "boom boom room". If we have another siren tonight, he will join me here. I'm fairly certain we will.

I pray we wont. 

This video is beautiful. click here: Make love, not war.

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