Monday, February 12, 2018

Update from The Front; medical and spiritual

So guess what? You can't trade migraines for tummy pain. They aren't the same. These past few weeks have shown me that my migraines are slowly creeping back into my life. They started very low level, like just a niggling headache. But in the past 4 days or so they have come back, pretty strong, but not the strength they were last spring before I went on the Topamax. But I no longer doubt that it could get to that, even while I'm suffering with this abdominal pain.

I am going to try to deal with them on a per-time basis, and raise my b-6 vitamins & magnesium. I am going to try to not go back on Topamax, even though I had NO migraines the entire time I was on it. I just think the fewer medicines the better. But if they get really bad, I reserve the right to go back on the Topamax.

Present status report:

  1. Waiting to do an MRE, which is an MRI of the small intestine (ordered by the gastro).
  2. Waiting on a recommendation for a surgical consult in Jerusalem's Hadassa hospital, with someone not affiliated with the surgeon who put in my mesh & clips, so I can get an objective opinion of my CT scan, if things are really OK or not regarding the hardware.
  3. presently doing Homeopathy, acupuncture, and will soon start Chinese herbs.
  4. Have started a full vitamin regimen (+ probiotics, Tumeric, other interesting things) from Dr. S, including fiber to calm things down in my intestines.
  5. Have implemented many changes in my diet, which are hard to keep, but I'm working on it one day at a time (also from Dr. S)
  6. bought a hernia belt at a medical supply store: it reduces the pain when I wear it. It shows me that most likely the mesh is failing, and irritating my stomach. It's uncomfortable to wear for the long-term throughout the day, so it's not a long-term solution, but I can walk for a longer stretch of time when I wear it, it helps lessen the pain. It is a wide, huge band of elastic and velcro. I think that it is holding me in when the mesh is not any longer doing that.
  7. Got a date to go to the Mayo clinic in Rochester Mn, if Israeli medicine hasn't helped me by April 9th. I will go there for a week of appointments and evaluations/tests, and see what happens. It gives me over a month (and after Passover) to do these other consults here and see if I can find a viable long-term option here, in Israel, with free medical care. Going to the Mayo would be predominantly out-of-pocket, and ideally I hope to avoid that, obviously.
I feel really backed up against a wall. If the mesh is indeed failing and causing the problems, what the heck am I supposed to do? I think I said last time- reconstruction surgery would involve a muscle graft for my stomach wall muscle, and that can't be done while I have only a thin skin graft covering the whole area externally. Without the mesh I'm in trouble, but as [I suspect] it is, I'm also in trouble.

I pray that the right conduit comes from Hashem (G-d) to propose a viable and safe long-term solution. As I mentioned, I am waiting to hear from a few different sources about a recommendation for a surgeon in Jerusalem unaffiliated with my surgeon from Tel Aviv.

Meanwhile, things remain very difficult. And painful. And I'm trying to take this all one day at a time.

I learned from a religious doctor, who I have been listening to his classes on the internet, that one cannot connect with Hashem when one is in pain, hungry, or sick. I am in pain, and I am trying to connect with Hashem, but it's not happening so frequently. I found myself the other day (Shabbat) with a migraine, abdominal pain and digestive pain, trying to talk to Hashem. I just called a meeting with The Boss. I found when I called Him Abba (my father), I could talk freer. I thanked Him for all the million things there are to be thankful for. I put in my requests for other sick and hurting friends. And asked for Him to send me the right conduit to help me out here. I was proud of myself for making the effort to talk to Him... I haven't been feeling so spiritually communicative of late, for obvious reasons. But I'm trying.

Life is happening and passing me by at the same time. Let's pray that a reasonable solution will come down the pipeline to me from the right person, and soon. I'm willing to do surgery if it means long-term benefits. Thing is, I thought putting in the mesh and clips *was* the long term solution.

NF has really shaped my life these past 10 years, for the good as well as for the difficult. I don't understand Hashem's ways. I imagine my parents around there with the all-knowing wisdom I imagine one may get after death, and I wonder what they see when they are looking at my life from their perspective now. I asked Hashem to make sure they get together, if they haven't found each other yet (Dad's only been there for a few months, I don't know how long it takes, right?). I asked Him to let them come visit me in my dreams. I haven't seen them yet. But I hope they will come visit me. I miss them.


  1. I hate to say it, but this is a pretty awesome, positive post. You might not see it that way, but from an outsider's perspective, you are moving forward in so many ways. May this forward motion continue, and may Hashem grant you your prayers. Love, Miriam

  2. Hello Sarah you have a very nice blog. I truly understand your journey and pray that soon your pain will be removed. May God bless you in your journey.