Sunday, July 26, 2015

A view into my mind

One way I get through the constant drone of pain I have is to remember that people have persevered through all sorts of orthopedic and medical problems and have achieved great things. For instance- the Ethiopian Jews who walked-- walked-- across Ethiopia to reach Israel. When I came here in 1995, I had a free ticket, and a borrowed $1000 which was meant to last, hopefully, until I got a paycheck from some orchestra. (thanks, LD. You'll never know how much that meant to me). That's it. Just got on a plane with my free ticket (paid for by the youth orchestra I was teaching at the time. They went on tour to Israel. They left after two weeks, I stayed). Two weeks later, when the youth orchestra left, I played auditions for orchestras all over Israel, and indeed got that first paycheck just as the $1000 was running out.

Some Ethiopians had the opportunity to get on a plane in Addis Ababa, but needed to walk to the capital city from their village, no matter how far. I'm quite sure they had to deal with all sorts of joint and pain problems, you know?

Sometimes the mindful act of remembering that can humble me enough to be able to put the constant drone of pain on the back burner. I will be able to have at least one source of pain taken care of pretty soon. (I hope). Sometimes I long for the [much lower] level of pain I had while on Fentanyl... but that longing gets squelched when I return to logic and remember why I went off the Fentanyl. I wonder if all chronic pain sufferers have this constant inner dialogue...

Can you believe I forgot to tell the new orthopedist that I have tingling down my leg to my foot (right side)? I just forgot to tell him. My story is so complicated with shunts of all sorts of side-issues, that it is hard to focus on the today when I also have to fill-in a new doctor with all my history. I think I was just about to tell him about it when he was doing the physical exam, and he saw the pressure garment I wear, and I had to explain the lymph-edema issue, which distracted me. The tingling sensation is actually sometimes more annoying than the pain. Sometimes it feels cold, like in a confused-nerve sort of way. The pain is pretty localized, but the tingling thing is down to my foot. I can't get comfortable.

Anyway, enough complaining.

My friend in the ICU in Soroka still needs your prayers: Shoshana Chaya bat Bassie. She is in about the same condition, still sedated and on a respirator, still with a fever of unknown origin. Today marks three weeks. Her five-year-old daughter is well-adjusted and doing very well, thank Gd, but she wants to see her mommy. Please keep them both in your prayers.

Shifra holding my friend's daughter, beach in Ashkelon, last week
(Azriel heading toward them in the distance on the right)
This day of fasting (called Tisha B'av) is almost over. I have been fasting now for a bit more than 24 hours. It has been a difficult, but meaningful fast for me. May the power of communal prayer and fasting not only impact the future of Am Yisrael as a people and a nation, but also heal the ill and infirmed among us.

Sarah Rachel bat Tova