Israel Journal: Day the Fifth - Eighth

Blogging daily, or even every two or three days will probably not be a possibility for me.   So far, although it might change,  my day looks like this:  I get up in the morning, sometimes early—around 5:30-6:30 a.m., because my window down in the basement mamad* room doesn’t have a curtain yet (there is one in a plastic bag, but the people whose house guest I am have not put it up yet).  I have two bath towels hanging over the window, which swings in towards the room to open, for a little privacy and sun-blockage.  The morning sun streams into the room at 0500 hours or so, basically forcing me to wake up even if I don’t want to, as I didn’t today.  Last night I stayed up till 1:00 a.m. Skyping with my D. H. and some friends, one of whom I thought was in Israel, but was in the States.  Suffice it to say, I shouldn’t have. Stayed up, that is.  I wanted to sleep this morning, so when Mr. Shemesh* woke me up at the unearthly hour of 5:30, I staggered out of bed and rummaged through my luggage to find the eye covers that El Al so kindly distributed on a previous trip several years ago.  Back in bed with my eyes covered, I was able to snooze another couple of hours.  Until 8-something, actually.  So today, I’m late.

Talk about going off on a tangent.  So I get up, stagger upstairs to get my morning cup o’ Joe (or is it ‘Jo?’), stagger downstairs to drink it while seeing if anyone is online, meaning my family—usually they’re not, having to actually WORK HARD at their day.  My son has to help his sister get off the bed to the bathroom.  She can’t use her crutches anymore as her right leg won’t support her, is beginning to hurt and feel the RSD, which seems to be spreading to that leg.  He then helps her get to the living room couch, where he sets up her backrest and pillows, especially the one with the soft flannel fabric which is the only thing she can tolerate, under her left leg.  Then he takes care of his two little toddlers, a two-and-a-half year old and a one-and-a-half year old, two rambunctious, adorable, incredible little kids—my grandkids—a veritable handful!

Meanwhile, I am trying to get ready at my host’s house, showering and getting dressed and packing a backpack with everything I’ll need to begin walking towards my son’s place.  I can’t walk it—it’s 2.5 kilometers away, up and down serious hills.  Mainly UP.  So I start walking, a thousand-year-old woman with problem legs (betja didn't know I was that old, eh?), with my water bottle hanging from my shoulder and a heavy backpack, complete with laptop bag attached (this is a great pack, acquired by my D.H. some years back at an electronics business convention somewhere) on my back, looking back the way I came for a “tremp” – how they say a ‘lift’ or a ‘ride’  here- trudging along until a car comes my way.  And I hitch a tremp to the next neighborhood, which is my son’s.

At his place I help with the kids, wash dishes, and stay with my daughter and keep her company, and help her maneuver to the bathroom, as long as I don’t have to lift her.  I bring her coffee and food, and whatever she wants—I attend to her needs.  I make calls: to her doctors, setting up appointments, speaking to social workers, asking for prescriptions, etc.  Yesterday I drove to the local shopping center and bought them groceries.  Depending upon how tired I may be, I get the kids ready for bed; once I bathed them, although it’s hard on my back and knees.  I may help in putting them in bed, and I sing them to sleep. 

On Sunday, my daughter had what is called a “flare-up.”  That is when she suddenly gets a terrific ‘attack’ of acute pain in her leg and elsewhere, over and above her regular, chronic, constant pain, which could last for minutes, which seem like hours. And there is nothing anyone can do about it.  We have to stay with her—not touching the leg—I can rub her upper back, perhaps, while talking her through the torture—because that is what it is: you are watching your daughter being tortured—by telling her to “breathe, inhale for a count of three, exhale from your mouth for a count of four,” or try to remember my LaMaze breathing at the worse contraction in labor: panting and blowing.  All while feeling helpless to do anything, while your daughter cries and contorts her face and shakes and her toes curl in in terrible muscle spasms.  Because RSD pain is higher on the McGill Pain Scale than labor pain.  There is nothing like it.

My son is an angel.  He is calm and controlled when these flare-ups happen.  He talks softly to her, with love, and tells her she will get through it, and puts a cold compress on her forehead.  I have been blessed with these incredible children who care so much about each other—all of them.

So, I don’t have time to blog, but I did want to post this to keep you informed, and I will try to post from time to time.  Today I am already late in starting out to my son’s, so I will stop here.   Post when I can…


Batya said…
How frightening, a nightmare for sure. Shouldn't she be covered by bituach leumi, a work accident?

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