Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Is it the flu, or something more sinister?

Boing boing boing.... my life on a bungee cord.

Got back in the driver's seat on Saturday night. It was... ok. a little sore using my right leg, but all-n-all, doable. I decided that I'll ease my way back "into the saddle" and take on some of the driving. My doctor said to wait about a month, and it's been about a month now.

So that was a good plan, for a day or so, until it wasn't a good plan.

I still don't really understand what happened, or is still happening, but on Monday, my body took a huge nose-dive. Felt OK in the morning, then a fever developed in the afternoon, with a strong pain in my lower right torso, upper thigh, near the surgical area. I was (and still am pretty sure) that it wasn't exactly the surgery that was the problem, though. If I had an appendix I'd have thought it was that (appendectomy was in 2009). The pain is close, but I thought it was possibly ovary pain.

I had been having stabbing pains for a few days in that area (since Saturday), and when the fever developed, I was sure an infection was taking root. In my life, fever + pain means infection. I've had so many instances of it, I am pretty professional at reading the clues from my body. I get very scared, as if NF, or some other heinous infection, is right around the corner. I call it the infection ghost... but in this case I'm not sure if it's a ghost. That's the thing about ghosts, a part of our primitive brain thinks they may exist. At least, when my kids are scared of things like ghosts, that's my theory.

So, with this fever and pain going on, I decided to go to my doctor. I was trying to decide if I should see a gynecologist or my regular doctor, but that problem was solved when neither of them were in their clinics yesterday afternoon. So then I thought I'd go to a new urgent care clinic here in Be'er Sheva, that is a much better option than the ER at Soroka. I took my son there once and was really impressed. But, since I thought I may need a gynecologist, I called ahead there to see if they have one on board at that clinic, and turns out they don't.

So, after taking all these things into consideration, I decided to go to the emergency women's clinic at Soroka. It is a separate ER specifically for women's issues.

I forgot to say that the fever spiked sometime after my decision to go pick up Shifra; she was out of school early. I drove the car to pick up Shifra, and then [she talked me into] doing an errand with her at the mall. There are so many things that all the kids are asking me to do with them. They are used to having me around a lot, going out at the last minute to get something done, shopping with them. They all want me to shop with them for different needs. I guess a month is a long wait. It's been really good for me not to be running out and doing things all the time, I've actually been grateful for the opportunity to heal. But, I need now to figure out how to balance nothing with everything.

Our family friend who is one of the generous people helping out with the driving actually came to the mall, on foot, to take over the driving. He didn't know I was sick, but just called because he was ready to pick up Shifra (I had totally forgotten to tell him she got out early). I was grateful not to drive, I was feeling very dizzy, disoriented, and dealing with this weird sort of pain. Thankfully the mall isn't so far from my house, and he was so kind and considerate as to come meet us there.

He dropped us off at home, went to get Azriel from school, and with the two kids home, he took me to Soroka.

The long and short of it is that the women's ER doctor didn't find anything wrong with any internal parts. That's good, of course. But it didn't resolve the issue. She wrote on her recommendations that I should go to the regular ER to continue to clarify what may be the problem.

So after hemming and hawing trying to decide if I should just go home, I decided to go to the main ER. I was feeling so awful, I just wanted to be home, but I was still scared that something is going on. And since I was there already, I'd follow through and try to see what is up.

When I got to the main ER, it was a zoo. There were like 50 people in the waiting room, it was loud, smelly, and just a nightmare. I took a number and it was like 30 numbers away from where they were. I know enough about the ER to know that it could be many hours before I was seen. I honestly could not handle it. I just couldn't be there. I was dizzy with fever, in pain, and not prepared to sit in those hard chairs for hours on end. Oh, and I forgot to say, the hospital does not consider anything below 38.2ºf (around 101º celsius) to be a fever. I had 37.9º (around 100c), so I knew also that they wouldn't relate to that as anything abnormal. (did I ever tell you that when I had NF I didn't have a fever?)

Our friend had just found a parking spot for the car, rather far away, but I said we are turning around and going home. I just couldn't go through with being there one more minute. I think I drove him a bit nuts, but still kind and tolerant, he got the car and we left.

I figured that either the night would go fine or it wouldn't. If I was really sick, I'd know it pretty soon, and if it was going to pass, I'd have a decent night's sleep (which would not have happened in the hospital!).

Fortunately the decent night's sleep prevailed (after a few choice medicines to help ease the fever and pain). The next day (today, Tuesday) I called my health clinic to see if I could come in to see my doctor. She was in, but unavailable. Lovely. If I had gone to the clinic in person, I'd just have waited until she could see me. Again, though, I was feeling sick and in pain. Robert had to go to work, and there was no way I was going to drive. Cab is a possibility, or our friends, but I decided just not to go.
The clinic's secretary and I are pretty good friends. It's been many years we've been doing the health clinic dance together... Israelis will know what I am talking about. If you are sick, be friends with your health clinic's secretary. She can make things happen.
So, she did an instant-messaging thing with my doctor while I was on the phone. I asked questions, she wrote the answers, I asked more questions, gave more facts, she sent it to my doctor and read me the responses. Unusual, but useful. In the end my doctor said that if I felt I needed antibiotics, she'd put in a prescription. What I think I really need is  picture of what is going on in the area where it hurts me- an ultrasound or x-ray or something. That will happen if this doesn't go away.

I didn't pick up the antibiotics. The fever was up and down a few times today, just enough to make me feel junky, but a tad better than yesterday. One of the considerations I always have is that I am allergic to so many types of antibiotics, I am afraid to take them for fear that I will get allergic to that one and have less available to me.

So now I am just hanging out, feeling not-so-great, dealing with a weird pain and not knowing exactly what to do, or if I should see anyone about it. So much has happened to me over the past 8 years since NF that either I panic, or I try to ignore it. I am not even sure what "middle ground" is anymore. I think I am taking middle ground at the moment... I'll take the antibiotics if I feel it's necessary, or I'll get better without them. Only time will tell.

I just have to trust my body to tell me what's good and what's too much. I'm sure it'll be pretty soon that I am driving full-time again. I am also acutely aware of making sure that full-time is not quite the same as it used to be. I put in a request to get Shifra a free bus pass to and from school. Right now she has to pay for riding the bus (city bus). The students who get free bus passes live three kilometers or more from the school. We live 2.8 kilometers away, so technically she isn't entitled to one. I got paperwork together to appeal for it, based on my health issues and our bank issues, so we'll see if they grant it to us. Every little bit helps.

Oh, and our dryer died. So it's rainy season and I am hanging a zillion little clothing items on the rack outside, hoping it won't rain and make me dash out to pull the laundry rack in.
Not a large issue in the scheme of life, compared to what is really going on in our world these days, but in my little corner of the world, it's a drag. Every little bit helps, as I said.

Good night. It's all going to be OK. Because it has to be.


  1. going to be OK - hugs, hugs and more hugs

  2. I hope you're feeling better, soon.

  3. 1) Try to add a picture and caption it "A few years later..." 2) I love you and the inspirational blog. It is so hard to convey to anyone what pain, fear, coping efforts, the emotional whirlpool and everything in it are like for the communicator not in control of her/his situation but doing their best to minimize, let alone overcome problems. You're communicating the realities without a dramafest. You've educated many readers, some of whom might never contact you to let you know how you've helped them.

    1. thank you, Yocheved!!! I really appreciate your support!