Thursday, February 1, 2018

God, do you hear me?

It's been a week of trying to heal.

And I dare say, it's working...?

Sunday found me at another treatment with Dr. S. It actually may have been the last treatment, I feel like they aren't really doing anything. I left in hard pain, drove back to Be'er Sheva. On my way into the city, I got a call that a friend had just broken her ankle, and how could "we" help her. I didn't have to go to the hospital to rescue my friend, but knowing she was alone made me make that left turn into the hospital off the main road into the city, rather than keeping on straight to go home. Another friend was coming with crutches, but I went anyway. Turns out it was good I went... good for her. But not so great for me, unfortunately. Also my kids all needed me for different dramas, and I wasn't home. Teens have a lot of dramas, and I have kinda like four teens, but one is 12 (they call them "tweens").

After situating my friend in her home with her broken ankle, I was short-tempered and in terrible pain by the time I got myself home. I needed to cook some dinner, and deal with teen-angst. When I have pain, I have no patience for their angst. But I have to. Robert is never home evenings, he comes home late every night from work. Often with a ton of groceries; bless his soul for being the sole grocery-getter, but it makes him home that much later. I miss him in the evenings. It's harder and harder for me to make dinner and drive the kids around and be their everything. Being in constant pain changes the whole game. Everything. And for whatever reasons, Ya'akov chose not to go to school this week, so I had three instead of the more doable two usually home during the week.

Monday I went to my friend and long-time healer, Miriam Maslin. She's also an hour drive away, like Dr. S., but a different city. Going through a lot of gas here trying to heal. It was time for me to go to her; part of trying to heal includes dealing with grief, as well. By all standards, my year last year was incredibly hard- losing my mom, then Sabrina, and with Sabrina went my dream of adopting Tessa, her daughter. I didn't want her to have another sick mom. It's a lot to lose at one time. This belly pain was in full force by the time my Dad died this past November.

God I miss my parents. Do you hear me, God?

I miss my father, well I'm still in a sort of shock that he's gone... but Mom, oh, Mom. I wish I could hear your voice on the phone again. I wish I could climb into your bed with you just one more time.

That turned into a pretty intense therapy session... dealing with grief. Forgiveness, of myself, and of others, even if they're already gone. Lots and lots of tears were shed. And I feel there are many more tears... I feel the grief is so, so deep, sometimes I fear I will never get out of it once I let it in. My mother and I had a very complicated relationship, so many things left unsaid. I haven't even really started to deal with my Dad's passing. Believe it or not I am still shocked about it. I speak with my Aunt now, his older sister. She's grieving, also. I called her last night and told her I miss my parents. She understood. That was good.

There's grief about going through NF, also. Losing my careers at age 39. Little stuff like that.
I mean, nobody goes through life escaping grief. But forgiveness, that is a big thing, and has to be done or else it poisons our bodies through the soul. I haven't forgiven the surgeon that made the mistakes that landed me almost dead, maimed. Because he also "took care" of Sabrina... it's complicated. The way she died was so horrible.

The week went on... I started translating my medical documents to apply for an appointment at the MAYO clinic. That also got me so uptight-- page after page of the same thing- "patient's complaint: abdominal pain", exam- no significant findings. Gastro doctor- "pain medication as needed, surgical consult recommended". Surgeon- "I don't see anything wrong according to the CT scan, she should go to a pain clinic", gynecologist "nothing that I have examined is causing her pain". It's all the same.

Yesterday I went to my twice-yearly neurologist appointment. Told him that since I saw him last, there were a few ER visits for out-of-control migraines last spring, I was on and then off Topamax, and oh, my father died. And I told him about my latest abdominal pain crisis, although I said "it's not your department, but interesting to note that even though I'm off the Topamax, I haven't gotten my migraines back since this belly pain started." He said "it's the same thing-- it sounds to me like you have IBS (Irritable bowel syndrome)". He explained to me how a person like me- prone to migraines- can get IBS... it's the same body-mind-soul connection, just manifesting differently. Dr. S has been telling me this, in other words, but the same thing, also. When I told my neurologist that it started after we came back from the US, and I had been on antibiotics that messed up my stomach in the US, he said that was the trigger. Dr. S says the same thing. Now the fact that I have alternating days of awful diarrhea and then days of constipation, and all the pain, it points to IBS.

That is not a good diagnosis. It can be very long-term. And it's vague, but I may just have to deal with it.

The good news is that my neurologist (the best one in Be'er Sheva- Dr. Ya'akov Ezra- amazing man and doctor) got on his cell phone immediately to the gastro who I had seen, to talk with him about me, with me there. Apparently they are good friends. He got me into gastro for Sunday (the wait is often months to get to this doctor). My neurologist has a whole program of dealing with all sorts of pain through meditation and relaxation. I took his meditation course for two months a few years ago, hoping it would help with my migraines. It didn't. I'm dubious that it can help with me now, either, but apparently he has a special person to do the meditation/relaxation course for gastro problems. He told the gastro doctor to set me up with his person in his department. My neurologist was the only one who could make a diagnosis. Go figure.

I'm also going back to my osteopath in Jerusalem later Sunday. I have had good results with him before, and during this whole thing I haven't seen him. Robert encouraged me to go back to him, so I will. You never know.

The upshot is that today, Thursday, I have less pain. Markedly less pain. I don't know why, but I am making so many changes it's hard to know. My homeopathy changed, my diet is changing (with Dr. S), and who knows, maybe doing some of the grief stuff I did on Monday is freeing me up a bit. It's been amazing to feel less pain today. Let's hope it is a continuing trend... we have a lot of guests this Shabbat.

I am *still* not at all convinced that there isn't something else going on in my abdomen. I still feel that the "real" diagnosis is being missed, but we'll see. It may take much longer to either make itself known, or maybe it'll just go away as suddenly as it came. It has to go one way or the other. IBS, though, that could be a life-time management problem. My father had IBS, he also had Crohns disease. Dr. S thinks I definitely may indeed have IBS, and that it can cause this much pain, especially in someone who's stomach wall muscles are already compromised by all the surgeries and hardware.

Life is hard work. I hope some day all this hard work will pay off and I can have real joy- in Hebrew -שמחה - simcha. Being in the midst of my second year of mourning is really, really heavy.

And writing this blog entry took so long that the day has now ended, and my pain is back to quite strong. I wish God would let me into the secret of what I have to do to heal myself.

1 comment :

  1. HUGS from the friend with the broken ankle. It's healing rapidly thanks to you!