Sunday, July 12, 2015

A beach, a wedding, an intensive care unit, and a family.

I did have that beach day, and it was **amazing**. I went to the beach alone for the first time in I-don't-know-when. I got to be alone with my thoughts, my feelings about all the heavy things that are going on in my life recently, and I swam in the Mediterranean to my heart's content. Unfortunately my leg became quite discontent with the exertion of swimming in the large strong waves, but I loved it anyway. Me and the beach, we are soul-mates. I gotta do that more often. The spiritual power of a natural body of water is so cleansing. I felt the dark cloud that was hanging over my head just dissipate with the waves, and evaporate in the blazing Israeli sun. I returned home renewed and at peace.

after a swim....
enjoying my solitude

Sunset over the Israeli flag... pure beauty.

That was Wednesday of this week.
That night I called Rabbi Fisher to get a recommendation for an orthopedist.
If he was going to recommend my recent orthopedist (who did arthroscopic surgery on my left leg twice), I'd have to tell him the whole history of why that doctor "fired me" after I became a tomato on his operating table last year. I was prepared to try once again with that orthopedist if Rabbi Fisher recommended him, especially since I am now off narcotic pain meds and am a lower-risk patient.

Instead of going through all that, though, at the outset Rabbi Fisher recommended a different orthopedist who I had never heard of! I thought my guy was THE arthroscopic hip specialist, but he wasn't the first "go to" with the recommendation. Interesting. Rabbi Fisher gave me this orthopedist's phone number. I did venture to tell him that I have had two successful arthroscopic surgeries with this other orthopedist, and even with that information he still recommended the new one. OK, then!

So I called the new guy the next day. He doesn't have an opening to see me until November! The secretary told me that if she gets a cancellation before that, she'll call me. She said there was a good possibility of that, but she couldn't promise, of course.

I *really* was hoping to get this surgery sooner. I am pain on the right side *all the time* with this, on top of the chronic pain I have from all the surgeries I've had on the left side. It's too much. Well, I am handling it without pain meds, so I guess it's not too much, right? Too much means I can't handle it. I guess what I mean is that I don't want to deal with this. I want a higher quality of life. I was actually thinking of doing the surgery at the end of August when I get back from the US, because Robert is still home for the summer before he goes back to work, and I could have good recuperation time with him home. That's not gonna happen. Well, by now, we know that Hashem makes these decisions in the end, not us. I thought I'd have this surgery last summer when I was ready for it, and got all the way to the operating table. That blog update is here, if anyone wants to look at that episode. It didn't happen then, and I wondered in the back of my head if it would ever happen.

I upped my pain meds at that point. Numbed that pain a bit more.

I'm now off pain meds. I don't plan on going back on them. I have come too far, through all the withdrawal, to reclaim my body from the side effects of Fentanyl. But I am now feeling pain much more acutely.

The newest development with the right hip is that the entire leg now has a tingling sensation all the way down to my foot. Pins and needles. almost all the time. I assume there is a nerve pinched with the impingement. It is very uncomfortable; although it's not pain. It just takes all my attention when it gets bad. All these things- pain, tingling sensations, take me away from being in the world at large, and drag me into the world of self. It takes away the entire world, and my position at any given time in the world, to have a private conversation in my head, which signals to me something going wrong. At these points, I can barely concentrate on conversations.

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On another front... my friend who had cancer surgery last week.
She is still sedated, almost a week later, still in ICU. Her situation is fragile, and they haven't been able yet to take her off the respirator or lessen the sedation. She has undergone a series of surgeries. Without going into any more details, I'll just say that she still needs your prayers. Shoshana Chaya Bat Basie.

Because her story involves the same surgeon, the ICU, induced coma, and numerous surgeries, it has been a heavy time for me. I feel I am healthy enough emotionally to be in her life and not make myself traumatized again, but at the same time, I do struggle. There are still loose-ends in my own story, of course. I am not at liberty to discuss them here, but they do weigh heavily on my heart.

Most of us have stories with loose ends, though, when you think about it. Nobody's life can be wrapped up in a neat little box. We all have deep stories, once we open up. Those stories are the ones that propel us through life. These stories happen in order to teach us our specific tikkun (improving on the world, fixing something that is wrong in your soul) for this lifetime.

I love my life, I love my husband and incredible children.

Having fun with "selfies" at a wedding we recently attended.

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I write here because my story needs to be written. I use this space to let my soul roar when it needs to. I know, though, without a shadow of a doubt, that I am blessed beyond the depth of words. I Survived NF. Most people who confront that beast don't survive.

I get up every morning on my own two legs, and I communicate on every level with every member of my family. I get to continue mothering my children. Full time. I see them, hear them, feel them, taste them, smell them, and hold them. I am fortunate beyond measure.

May Hashem help my friend who is now in such fragile condition in the hospital, be able to walk out by the strength of her own two feet, and have all her senses open to her little girl for many, many years to come.

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We are up north now for a few days. We're in Tzfat, and it's beautiful. It was visiting day at Shifra's sleep-away camp (she's there for three weeks) on Friday, so we made a little mini vacation out of it, and stayed with Robert's cousin Chayim, at the lovely house of his fiancee Chaya, although she is in the states for a few weeks.

Here are some pictures from visiting day, camp Amichai, 2015:

Shifra and Dov looking awfully cute here, right?
The whole gang! (yes, Azriel has his arm in a sling,
but it's not broken, and is slowly but surely healing,)

visiting day over, saying goodbye to Big Sister.


  1. You never cease to be a source of tremendous inspiration! May Hashem see you through this as He has to now, and may you reach the place where you are no longer an inspiration for what you endure, and be one rather simply for who you are. Much love and respect to you, dear woman!

    1. Thank you, anonymous friend. I am humbled by what you wrote.
      May Hashem bless you with health and a long, fulfilling life!

  2. What an incredible person you are, family you have, and example you demonstrate! In so many ways. Beautifully written as usual.

    1. Ken, thank you. Incredible people have incredible friends.

  3. Glad to hear the update. What a joy to have that beach time. I'm sure something will come up sooner with that doctor, and in the meantime stay strong and enjoy that wonderful family.

  4. May you continue to feel Hashem's presence and love closely, especially during these 3 weeks. In this last post, you seem very balanced, in tune with yourself and your blessings and what triggers your more challenging moments. Your photos are fantastic... despite all the pain and struggles, your beautiful, whole and loving family is testament to the love and strength you have for them and that you have for each other. Yasher koach! Nothing like a dip in the big ocean to bring us back to ourselves.

    Love, Dev from NJ
    btw, when are you coming to the US?