Monday, August 4, 2014

About the war, lymph nodes, and God.

It was Azriel who made me realize that I am snapping at people these days.
There is an underlying tension in Israel now that is impossible to shake, and I guess I have been snapping a bit. Today we were baking a cake together, and when I needed him to move out of the place where I had to be to work the blender, he jumped down off his stool and ran upstairs crying. It took me a while to get out of him what happened, but eventually he told me... I didn't ask him to move sweetly or with patience. I apologized for that, then he told me that I have been "not smiley and nice" recently. Yeah, they really can pull at the heartstrings, can't they! He helped me realize that I am very tense about living in this war. There is so much tension- it's as thick as the conflict itself.

You know, the UN gave us this land in 1948. People seem to be forgetting that. We are seen as "occupiers". How did that happen? Why is the UN now letting part of the country be run by a terrorist organization with their charter which calls for death to all Jews? They agreed that we deserve a proper homeland. Why is the UN leaving us alone, to protect ourselves all on our own against this terrorist organization?  More than that, they are even pointing accusatory fingers at us, and supporting the terrorists! The UN is not comprised of who it used to be comprised of, that's one thing for sure.

I can't write more than that. Too hard, too close to my heart and spirit, too painful. "Where this is all going to end" is the scary, unspoken question on everyone's lips here.

So, I got down to Azriel's level and hugged him really strong. He was puzzled why the war is causing adults to be tense, after all, we aren't getting that many air-raid sirens... and today we haven't had any [yet]. Oh, to be a happy child.

On the physical front, I am having a big problem with lymphoedema (yes, it is spelled that way- it refers to swelling of the lymph nodes, and lack of ability for them to drain lymphatic fluid.)

Sine I had the cellulitis a month ago, the lymph nodes near the area of infection have not been able to drain the fluid. There aren't many lymph nodes in that area to begin with. The NF infection killed them all, and they needed to be surgically removed. That's why infection can settle there- there is no system to combat it. For a year after NF I went for lymphatic draining, and it got a lot better. Now it's back, and much worse this time. I have had two sessions of lymphatic draining (a sort of massage), and the therapist (not the same one I had before) says that the problem is in "S.O.S" proportions, that there is a serious threat to my lymph system. I may have to go back to wearing a pressure garment to reduce the edema, which was awful. Right now she wants to see me three times a week, in a clinic here in Be'er Sheva (thankfully). It takes a long time to get the fluids to drain, the whole system is stopped up. We have hour-long sessions, and it is not even enough time for her to open pathways for the lymphatic fluid to drain out of the lymphoedema area. This may sound complicated. In short, I have another difficult health problem stemming from NF, and the most recent bout with cellulitis, and I am more susceptible to infections because of it.

In a few days, I am scheduled to go for more allergy testing for the purpose of seeing which antibiotics I can take, but I am leaning toward not doing it. That, I believe, is what gave me the cellulitis a month ago. On the one hand it would be good to have more antibiotics on the "OK" list, but on the other hand, does it really matter that much? I mean, I have gotten sensitive to antibiotics after having taken them many times before. Who's to say that if I get tested again, and we put another antibiotic on the "good" list (or "definitely bad" list), that's not likely to change?

I have my plans for new York and Baltimore in September. I am *very* excited about it!
I have enough trust in God, and have been through enough to know that if, for some reason, this trip would be not good for me, He would put something in it's way. It's that way in my life- always crystal clear if Hashem doesn't want me to continue on a path I have chosen. Recently it was with the surgery I had planned, and then getting the cellulitis. Those events showed me that I am super-vulnerable to infections, and the surgery isn't happening because of that. He knows what we don't know. I'm not happy that I have to postpone fixing my right leg. But, I also don't know what the future holds in the way of challenges. I have been through enough to know how to take a loud, blunt hint. (Having a huge reaction to pre-op antibiotics a mere minute before anesthesia is what I call a loud, blunt hint. That, and everything that followed it.)

About traveling, I look at it this way: We all know this will be quite hard on me.
Harder, though, would be knowing that I decided not to do it, fearful that something may happen while I am there. I know that I have to make decisions that feel positive and moving toward growth. That is what life is about- always moving toward growth.
At the same time, as I said above, I know what it is like to get big, loud, blunt hints to not go through with a plan. I'll listen if it happens, just like I am listening and not rescheduling the right leg surgery.

Me and God have been through so much in my short life... we understand each other. We communicate. Any way I can, I embrace the life He gives me. We're good. B'ezrat Hashem (with the help of God).


  1. wishing you a complete refua, and only shalom in our holy land.

  2. Sarah, how you've held it together, with the war and the health issues, I don't know. You're a wonderful mom. Don't forget it!

    1. thank you, Michele. "Holding it together" is a relative term, isn't it. Hehehe
      Thanks for saying I'm a good mom (OK, you said "wonderful"...) thank you. Now tell my kids. :)

  3. Tough on all of us taking a self examiniation, trying to be kinder to fellow Jews and those who are with us