Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Rosh Hashana 5777. About shofar, gratitude, and optimism.

It's that time of year! The high holidays are upon us. We just ended Rosh Hashana here in the holy land, and it was lovely.

The calling of the shofar was loud and clear: It broke into my praying saying to me "wake up", it said "time to cry", it said "break", it said "come together with tremendous strength", it said "LISTEN", it told me that we need to come together as a nation. The shofar blows are sometimes long, sometimes in long-ish broken sets, sometimes in short broken sets, and a few very long. God has many, many ways of getting our attention. In these days of ADD and whatnot, we need all the help we can get!!

I prayed a lot for life itself. I prayed for my husband's life, for my children's lives, and for my father. I entertained memories of my mother, daydreaming in my seat there in shul. I remembered the smell of her perfume when she got dressed up for synagogue on the holidays.

I prayed for the life of my friend who is fighting tremendous physical ailments, and is very sick. I prayed for her daughter. I prayed for my own strength of body and soul to be there for both of them.

Lots of the time I was just talking to Gd. I was in dialogue.
The shofar was at once a huge call for our nation to be strong in unity, and also it sometimes sounded like Gd crying for all that we are dealing with down here.

I feel that us Kleins are on a good path as the year starts out. The children are all in good places physically and emotionally.

I am optimistic that my personal path to health is also getting easier, with the help of Gd.
A little rundown of my varying situations would go like this:

  • Steadily going off Lamictal. It has been very challenging at times (which is why I have written less recently, the withdrawal from this medicine is really nasty), but I'm getting there. I was on 150 mg's, now down to 10... but many websites say the last 10 are the hardest. I've been on it for nine years.
  • lymph edema is unfortunately back with a vengeance. The pressure garment is no longer helpful. It's very sore and swollen where the lymph nodes were removed because of NF. I have to go back to lymphatic draining sessions. On the one hand, I know that the treatments will help, I've done them on and off over the years since I've had NF. On the other hand, I am not looking forward to them because it eats so much time from my day. Going to the physical therapy building, finding parking, a 50-minute session, driving home again (or to wherever), it is a two hour affair when all is said and done. Yet another reason I cannot work.
  • headaches still about twice a week, but can be treated with Excedrin or Advil and it usually works.
  • throat click problem still there and still very bothersome, I just don't write about it because it looks like there may be nothing that can be done about it. (this is the complication after having last year's surgery, the intubation tube caused a dislocation of something minuscule in my throat and I get a click in my head, which is palpable to anyone who puts their finger there, each and every swallow). I went to a specialist a few weeks ago, and he suggest another specialist who has a months-long appointment list. I took an appointment with specialist #2, but it's in March. Whatever. It's a big annoyance, but since it's not dangerous, and doesn't cause pain, it doesn't get priority.
  • hips functioning well, very minimal pain usually.
  • I need a knee MRI, praying for no PVNS.
  • tingling in right leg, and numbness in right foot when I wake up in the morning. Have no idea of anything about what is causing it. I was hoping the surgery last year would take away the tingling, but it didn't.
  • Gapey hasn't been doing so well. That is the wound/skin graft/mesh site where I had NF. I have had a consistent pain nearby (above the site, in my upper belly), and I am thinking it may be a high hernia, hoping it's not an ulcer or something.
Anyway, overall that laundry list is much less serious than it used to be. I am very, very grateful for that.

Things are pretty good. I have so, so, so much to be grateful for.
My little guy, Azriel, just turned 11 last week. Dovie is almost 18 (O. M. G.), Ya'akov is 16, and Shifra is 13 (although she is always sure to tell her age as "almost 14".) They are the lights of my life, the blood that runs through my veins. And Robert, well, he is the glue of this family. The stronghold.

Thank you, Gd, for the gifts, and the lessons learned in the hardhsips.

May all my readers who are celebrating the Jewish new year have a year of health, strength, and an abundance of love.

(and may I finish my book this year! It is going well!!)


  1. Wishing you a year of joy and definitely less pain.
    You are certainly a living example of how grateful we all should be!
    May Hashem bless you for a better year.

    1. Amen, thanks Sarah dear!
      May you also have lots of health and strength, nachaes and love!! :)

  2. Praying for all good things in the coming year, and that we merit seeing the good. Hugs!

  3. Beautiful, Praying for a good year too!

  4. Beautiful Sarah! May this new year be filled with an abundance of blessings and continued improvement with health! May you have a year filled with things to be grateful for! In short, may each year get bettter and better! Sending lots of love!

  5. Optimism. Yes. Shana tova u'mituka.

  6. May your laundry list get constantly shorter and may you continue getting nachat from your growing family. Wishing you a Sweet and Healthy Shana Tova.

  7. Shana Tova, my Metuka!



    P.S. Thanks for the bit about being the glue of the family.