Thursday, May 26, 2022

No despair

 After sending him another gentle reminder, my NY surgeon finally sent me the recommendation for an MRI with contrast. Now I have to go to the health clinic tomorrow and get a referral based on the recommendation. Then the referral has to go through the system to get an approval for the health fund to pay for it. So much processing before I can even make an appointment for the MRI.

Meanwhile I am using Voltarin medicine for the pain. It helps a little.

There is still physical therapy and my amended work-outs at the gym, but nothing is helping in any significant way. The other day I thought that a certain "light traction" maneuver my PT used actually helped, but it didn't last, and things are right back to where they were before.

It gets depressing not being able to walk to synagogue; that is a primary way for me to see my friends and community while also praying and hearing the Torah. My PT suggested I use my crutches to get there, but it doesn't really help much. I could use the wheelchair, but I *hate* using the wheelchair. Emotionally it's not good for me. I've written about that before. But I might do it to get to shul (synagogue) on either Shabbat or the holiday of Shavu'ot coming up. It really is good for me to be in shul, and depressing when I can't be there.

Recently I have taken two of my kids out small feat with this pain. I can't say it was easy, but it was important to me. They both really needed some things, and while they are old enough to shop themselves, having me, my opinion and my car to go places is very helpful for them. Especially Shifra. She is right now on a "Birthright" (Taglit) tour as an Israeli accompanying them. She really needed some things before her trip, and I was happy I could do it. I took the Voltarin and girded myself for a few hours of going around shopping. We got what she needed, and I went home, made dinner for everyone, and went immediately out again to see a concert about an hour away. A friend was playing solo horn for part of the concert, so I wanted to go to support her. The Voltarin effect was still working, so away I went. I was really in pain during the concert, but I made it through and drove home (another hour drive) to collapse into bed.

Then yesterday I took Ya'akov out for an impromptu shopping trip. Many tried on shoes at many stores later, and he had two new pairs of shoes. I was spent, though, afterward. I didn't make dinner. Nobody went to bed hungry.

Oh, and did I tell you that the week before this we had a ton of guests for Shabbat? It was all of Robert's brothers (a rarity considering that two of them live in the US, but were here visiting), his niece and nephew, my brother, Robert's sister-in-law....the whole gang, including also all my 4 kids, daughter-in-law and wonderful granddaughter. It was actually very beautiful to have everyone over, but between the two big meals, it was...well... a lot. 11 people for dinner, and 15 people for lunch the next day (26 meals). And many of those people sleeping in our house. I don't know how I did it; the Voltarin helps, but not that much. I was running on adrenaline. Robert cooked a lot, I cooked also, Shifra mopped the floors, I took care of bedding and linens for everyone, and generally kept telling myself to thank Gd that I am well enough to have everyone over. Was I in tremendous pain? Yes. But my soul felt at once overwhelmed, and also at peace. It's hard to explain. This bout of pain isn't giving me the despair that I felt for the two years before my big reconstruction surgery. That was real despair. I didn't know if anyone would ever be able to help me. Now that I know this extremely special surgeon in New York, and he is supporting me with the MRI recommendation and whatever comes next, I do not feel the despair I felt last time I was in lots of pain.

There are times of depression, but not despair.

I only wish the cogs of the national health care system could work faster. Well, once I get the approval for the health fund to pay for my MRI, I can possibly get it done privately. I have private insurance, that we bought into a mere nine months before I got NF, so everything related to the NF is not considered pre-existing conditions, thank the Good Lord. There is a co-pay, where if I went through the health system it would be absolutely free, but sometimes it's worth it. Appointments for MRI's are often quite a few months away. My hope is to go to New York this summer some time to see my doctor (and my 101 year-old aunt, and my cousins and friends!). One step at a time. Got the recommendation, now need the referral and approval.

In the meantime, I'm being the best "me" I can be. For me, my husband, and my family.

With the help of God.


  1. Wow! I'm exhausted just reading all you've done.

  2. Elizabeth HomansMay 26, 2022 at 9:49 PM

    You are my hero, absolutely incredible and special, living the very best out of life that you can, building memories for your children and for yourself. Pushing through the pain as difficult as it is , as gracefully as you can, and still seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
    Love ❤️& hugs 🤗. Shabbat Shalom

  3. Thank you for sharing. I need to hear other people’s strides and struggles. It helps a lot. Appreciate you, good vibes your way!

  4. You are coping so graciously! Thanks for inspiring the rest of us!