Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Getting Stuck

I have this blood condition that causes my bone marrow to produce too many platelets and red blood cells, which might sound like a good thing but is really a bad thing.  For one, too much blood makes too much thick blood which makes a stroke, G-d forbid.  Since being identified a few years back, my condition has been monitored regularly, and  it appears that my platelet numbers are rising.

I can reverse the disease's course by taking a medicine with a list of side effects I'd only wish on Hitler and his friends.  So my husband and I searched the web for alternative procedures and came up with acupuncture.  After my last blood test proved discouraging, I made an appointment at the local acupuncture school for a consultation.  It's like going to a dental school to have your mouth fixed - the real dentist tells the trainee what to do and you just sit there and hope for the best.

After my initial interview (it appears my yin is in bad shape and my spleen along with it), I got into a hospital gown and laid down on the examining table.  The doctor, with her interns around her, began her examination.  She wanted to know if pressing various parts of my stomach hurt.  Well, yes, it pretty much all hurt.  I made a mental note to go to the bathroom before doing this again.

The doctor and her students conferred, I believe in Chinese, and decided on my course of therapy.  I would need at least 4 or more procedures, which involves sticking needles everywhere, including my head.  We're talking hat pin needles, and it hurt.  I thought acupuncture didn't hurt, but it does.  The pain passes, of course, but it hurt.

After being stuck in my feet, legs, stomach, hands, arms, chest and head, I had to lay still for 30 minutes.  Well, don't you know what happens when you are told not to move for 30 minutes?  Everything begins to itch, of course.  But with the lights out, I did my best to relax.

Afterwards, with all the multitude of needles removed, I was asked if I felt better.  Not really.  Well, maybe I'll feel better in the morning, they told me.  The truth is, the only alternative I have to this alternative is a leukemia medicine that can bring on the curse with the cure, so I'll be back for future treatments.  I don't know what G-d has in store for me, but I thank Him for making all of us different, with different strengths and  takes on what the body needs.

Diversity, I love it!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Pulling Another Fast One

Today was the 18th of Tammuz, the day after the 17th of Tammuz, a fast day commemorating the beginning of the end of both Batei HaMikdash, the Holy Temples.  Centuries apart, both the Babylonians and the Romans laid siege to, and eventually destroying, Jewish-held Jerusalem. We're talking thousands of years ago, at precisely the same time of the year.  No coincidences here.

Since the only fast that must be held on Shabbat when it falls out on it is for Yom Kippur, the fast of the 17th of Tammuz was pushed off until today, Sunday.  Silly me, I tried to eat as much as I could yesterday, and only ended up sick last night.  But by mid-day today, I definitely wished I had eaten even more.  I was fading fast.

But I managed to make it to a Brit Milah (never been to a circumcision without loads of food!), and then took my children to a local open library to check out books.  I couldn't wait to get home and lay down.

We broke the fast on home-made lasagna and salad, and a bit of chai green tea.  Now begins the three weeks of mourning for the way it used to be, when the Jewish people had a commonwealth and Jerusalem with a Holy Temple, a place for all the world to connect to G-dliness.  May it happen speedily in our days.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Getting Old Again

I've been studying like a madwoman for the Registered Dietitian's exam.  I went to a 2-day review session, and have been rewriting the package of information I got.  I find that if I write the information down, it somehow gets in my head that much better.

But it's tiring, and last night I took the kids to the library and brought my writing along.  About 15 minutes into it, I put my head down and fell asleep.  I hardly ever sleep in public, since I'm a mouth breather, but I was so tired I couldn't help myself.

And it felt good.  Until my son came along, and out of concern, woke me up.  Those few minutes of bliss were all I needed to keep going.  Yes, I'm fine Mendel.  Just taking a nap.  Sometimes, a little nap goes a long way.

Happy Birthday Ameerica

I have this tradition of watching the movie "Independence Day" every July 4th.  It makes me feel real good to watch a Black and a Jew save the world.  Again.  And again.  Nothing like watching space aliens eat dust.

Happy birthday to my favorite country on earth.  America may not be the only country I'm concerned about, but it's the only country I feel a part of.  Sounds silly, but I'm an American.  My father and mother were first generation Americans from immigrant parents who left Europe and never looked back.  There was never a sense of dual loyalty.  Europe, the land of Jew killers extraordinaire, never held much appeal for my family.

As a teenager, I worked on a kibbutz in Israel (obviously dating myself since shortly afterwards, many kibbutzes went out of business), and then traveled through Europe by rail.  Most people my age did that, and for the most part I encountered underlying hostility towards Americans.  There was a feeling of superiority among Europeans, especially since Nixon has recently been ousted.

In fact, one Euro, in France, approached me on the street to ask me how I felt about it.  I had been traveling,  at the time, with a Canadian, and I really got pissed.  I told this man how proud I was to be an American, and how our system works.  We got rid of a corrupt politician, and the republic held firm.  He was shocked, and ran off.  The Canadian was impressed, and me, well, I decided Europeans were just stupid.

My opinion of Europeans hasn't changed, nor my pride in my country.  Happy Birthday, America.  For all your faults, you're the best there is.  G-d bless, and keep you strong.