Friday, May 23, 2014

Just Woke Up

it is 10:00 a.m. in the holy city of zefat.  i got up at 7:00 a.m. and went straight upstairs to check out the pigeon situation on the porch.  i read online a tip from a handyman, who swears by WD40.  he apparently uses it on everything, including his body, for various reasons.  i don't even know if they sell WD40 here, but i was sure ready to buy some.  as ready as i am to get rid of these pigeons once and for all, after i read another blog stating all the risks and health hazards of using the aerosol can and the contents itself; i decided to go the 'organic' route, once again.

this time i read that pigeons don't like spices.  i use cinnamon all summer long to keep the ants at bay, but it is way too expensive to use on the vast roof top apartment.   i  grabbed my hot paprika and started sprinkling it liberally on all perches.  i actually got some in my eye but thank goodness, it wasn't WD40.  let's just wait and see if it works.  these pesty birds have turned me into an angry, shrieking bird terminator.  even the grand kids scream at them when they see them on our roof.  the little granddaughter always asks to go upstairs to see them.

i've been in bed  all week.  that last trip to do the MRI completely knocked me out.  i didn't shower, or get dressed this week.  i reek!  even the grandson told me that i should use some of his perfume because i smelled bad.  he got off the couch to bring me the bottle and demonstrate how to spritz oneself.  that is pretty awful, i know.  i guess i'll wash up before shabbat.

even more awful is the fact that i couldn't buy food for shabbat.  i never made it to the bank to order checks last week and i was out of cash.  i told my son that i couldn't afford to make shabbat for them.  how awful is that!  guess what?  the kids went shopping last night and bought the food for shabbat.  i am now the hired cook instead of the hostess with the mostest.  it works for me.  they bought the fish, treats, drinks, beer, and veggies this week.  they even gave me some chicken breast to play with.

i fried up some cutlets already and stuffed some red peppers with meat and rice.  i can't decide if i will bake them or cook them on the stove top.  what heavy decisions i am faced with.  my sister invited me to come over to see my new grand nephew yesterday.  i couldn't manage it.  i am a failure.  i stuff my face everyday and avoid people.  i haven't seen my good gal pal in a couple of weeks.  depression anyone?  i made an appointment with the homeopath and then cancelled it because i couldn't be bothered getting dressed.  i also didn't have anyway to pay her.

i need to wash the floors and i just started throwing soapy water all around.  i stopped for a break.  my hip is stiff and my foot is numb, as usual.  i've been emailing people all week.  people that i don't really know.  i'm in that type of communication mode.  i can't stay on the phone because i get antsy.  i guess it's the discomfort i'm experiencing from the sciatic condition.  i am in a recluse kind of state.  i spend countless hours watching 'dexter'.  i haven't seen people all week long.  escapism is good at times.

one of the people that i've been emailing is a newcomer to zefat.  a "young" 67 male who is looking for a wife and a laundromat.  he says he's 'between wives'.  what exactly does that mean?  is he a serial husband?  someone forwarded a letter he wrote to the english library requesting a welcome committee.  i sent him some suggestions on how to meet people.  you know, local shuls, the chabad house, keruv institutes.  it took all of my strength not to offer to wash his clothes.  i actually, apologized for not inviting him for shabbat, as i didn't think i'd be cooking this week.  what is wrong with me?

i still need to do the floors, cook up the corn, make the fish, make some salads and i should do a bit of laundry.  i lost my groove.  i think i'll call up a friend and spend sore more time chatting and the heck with the cooking and cleaning for a while.  whatever..........

Monday, May 19, 2014

Catching A Break

it is 8:30 a.m . in the holy city of zefat.  all the kids are gone.  the daughter-in-law is in a training program for a new job and gets picked up early by a tender.  my son has to get the small kids and himself, to their gans and his workplace.  yesterday was a bit of a disaster.  the son was fast asleep and the wife had already left.  the kids were still undressed and unfed.  the granddaughter came to me and woke me up after 7:00 a.m. for chocolate milk.

i was totally unaware of the new working situation.  i hesitated going down the stairs to get the bottle.  i try not being in their faces first thing in the morning.  it's a good thing, though, that i went downstairs.  both boys were still asleep.  my son quickly got up and tried to spring into action.  he had to get both kids ready for gan, so he thought.  he dressed the girl and i got the boy ready.  it turned out that the boy was going to his other grandma because the gan was on a break.  i had to do the girl's hair, which i'm totally bad at.  after all, i never had a girl, folks and my son did not have much hair.  i did take a hairdressing course years ago, here in zefat, but none of the dummy heads that we worked on, had long hair.

the kids got out, more or less, in tact.  i went upstairs to check out the pigeon scene.  you really have to stay on top of it.  it is a long and arduous war.  i didn't have any thumb tacks so i brought up some nails.  i banged away at the plastic screening i put up.  all that banging noise got me ready for my appointment at at the hospital.  i  hope that i made the barrier strong and impenetrable.  the pigeons tend to rip it down in total defiance.  i cleaned up most of the poo and went downstairs to get ready for my trip to tel aviv.  that's right, another MRI. of the old brain.

i quickly showered and dressed.  i left at 11:30 a.m.  my appointment was for 4:00 p.m.  i walked  a distance to a local bus stop to catch a bus to rosh pina.  i usually cab it.  since the medical carrier refused to reimburse me for these taxis, i find myself  'roughing ' it.   i was able to catch a taxi off the highway to take me for a mere 10 shekels.  the bus is only 5 shekels but i was pressed for time.  the express  bus came at 12:30 p.m  and i got to tel aviv at 3:00 p.m.   i had to take a taxi to the hospital because i simply cannot hack a local tel aviv bus ride.  the taxi took nearly a half hour so the bus might have been close to an hour.  that's way too much local bus ride for me after along bus trip.

i counted on being at the MRI for hours.  the last time i waited at least 2 hours to see the doctor.  this time, i caught a break.  at 4:30 p.m. they inserted my tube and gave me my shot.  i was in the machine at 5:00 p.m.  i fell asleep.  they kept on asking me if i was okay.  i could barely answer because i was so tired.  i keep my eyes close until they unstrap my head.  that's the only way to deal with claustrophobia.  i have to keep on telling myself not to open my eyes.  i ordered a cab to pick me up at 7:30 p.m.  that's on the medical carrier's account.  i don't pay one cent.  i was finished at 6:00 p.m., a real record time for sure.  it was lovely outside and the lawns was watered and had the most lovely smell of fresh grass.  i bought some chocolate milk and a roll and sat outside and had a picnic.

i felt well and was under no pressure.  i even did a bit of window shopping in the mini maul.  i bought some chocolate and sat on the grass and watched the cats play.  i was at peace with the world.  when i first got there, just as i entered the building, a man in a  wheelchair asked me to take him to the emergency room.  it was only a short distance and i was able to walk.  i thought it was a divine message from above to get over myself.  there i was, on my own two feet and not back in a wheelchair, like last year.  i saw the same receptionists who helped me last year when i was at my worst.  it was a real 'ah ha ' moment for me.

when i was waiting to enter the MRI,  i saw a young couple who were apparently waiting for their baby to come back from his testing.  they were both exhausted and reading words of torah.  i felt so bad for them.  i also felt so blessed for my family's wellness.  a trip to the hospital is an eye opener, for sure.  everyone was so nice to me, yesterday.  the receptionist helped me with a bureaucratic issue.  the nurse was also incredibly helpful and nice.  the doctor easily got the line in  and was so gentle with me.  even the technician, who asked me to remove my scarf was nice.  she quickly got me a surgical net to wear.  it was actually a pleasure to be there.  i know that sounds weird under the circumstances.

the only hitch was finding the taxi driver, afterwards.  i didn't have any calls left on my cellphone.  i never travel with my cellphone.  it has been on my shelf, uncharged, for over a year.  i am not a cell person.  i have always been afraid of radiation.  ha ha, the joke's on me!  i sat outside for a while and then roamed the parking lot more than once,  looking for a zefat taxi medallion.  not one to be found.  at 7:30 p.m. i had a total stranger cal the cab company for me.  i was told that the driver was in a traffic jam and was about a half hour form the hospital.  it was getting cold and i was getting tired.  i could have made it home quicker if i had taken the bus.  i was getting antsy.  the driver arrived close to 9:00 p.m.  i got home at 11:00 p.m.  that's nearly 12 hours after i left.

i am really tired today.  i have to see the brain surgeon next week.  i have the sephardi family engagement party on the same day.  i actually know the bride and like her very much.  as it turns out, my daughter-in-law's father has to see the neurosurgeon at sheba, too.  we have matching appointments at the same time.  i offered to pick them up in my taxi.  we will travel back to hadera  together for the 'henna'.  i'm actually looking forward to the party.

i met the loveliest american couple last week at the radiologist office.  they were kind enough to offer me to stay over at their home for the night.  i doubt that you'd encounter this type of hospitality in america.  i didn't take them up on their offer because i had to get back to zefat, the dogs, and the kids.  i had to make shabbat, too.  in the meanwhile, we are staying in touch by email.  i know how hard a process they are going through, having survived it myself.  i am truly sorry for everyone who has to battle this disease and endure this treatment.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

I Could Just Cry

it is 5:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat and i could just start crying.   i'm so tired and cranky and have had the kids with me since 2:00 a.m.   it's lag b'omer and i'm in no shape to trek to meron to visit the grave site of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai.   my sciatic nerve has started up again.   i did not go out last night with the kids and the grandkids to the local parade and barbecue afterwards at the clan's home.  i stayed in curled up on my t.v. couch watching 'fargo' and trying to find a comfortable position.   it wasn't easy.   i was quite uncomfortable.

it's been a few weeks now that i've experienced pins and needles and numbness in my left foot.   the pain has started travelling up the leg and into the hip area .   i an constantly in discomfort.   the radiologist told me that sitting is not good for this condition.   i'm back to lying around all day.   i cannot lift the kids anymore.   that's on doctors' orders as well as what my common sense dictates.  i am miserable.   the radiologist said that being miserable isn't good for the pain.

i didn't sleep a wink last night.  i seem to have this problem every saturday night.   i have to travel again to the hospital tomorrow for a brain scan.   lying down for an hour in the MRI machine will be very hard with my leg problem.   i can't really put it off again.   i  have little or no patience for the kids today.   they are really getting on my nerves.   life is getting on my nerves.  the dogs are getting on my nerves.   the radiologist says that getting tense isn't good for the pain.

i spent most of shabbat day with the grandkids.   i had them outside at 7:30 a.m.  i knew they were making too much noise but no one screamed out of their window to let me know.   one neignbor complained  to my son in the evening.   at least, they leave the cancer patient alone these days.   i am feeling depressed.   the radiologist said it is bad to be depressed... he said that depression increases the pain.   i just want to catch a break.   i know that being cancer free should be enough but it isn't.   i want to be pain free.   i'm tired of being uncomfortable.   i'm also tired of being left with the grand kids.   the daughter-in-law started a new job today.   that will probably entail my help from now on.   and pretty soon, the grandson will be on summer vacation.   i am dreading the day when the gans close.

i know my attitude sucks.   life sucks, too.   i was hoping to go back to a part time job but that's not in store for me right now.   the homeopath wants me to come back for another visit.   of course, everyone makes money except  for me.   i had put an ad for my upstairs rental recently, online and had a prospect.   of course it didn't pan out.   neither did all the receipts i sent in to the medical carrier.   they screwed me once again, out of about 1000 shekels.   i am feeling very discouraged.  

i made shabbat for the kids even though i was tired from travelling to the hospital and back on thursday.   i guess i was a bit hyper when i returned.   i even stopped off at the super to get some veggies.   i couldn't really carry anything heavy because of my back.   i bought 3 small fish fillets, a few beers, two small red cabbages, two packs of cherry tomatoes, a pack of corn treats for the kids, a few potatoes, 2 peppers, 3 carrots and a small jar of sweet chili sauce.

 i defrosted a package of chicken breasts and a small package of chicken thighs.  i used half of the breast to make fried cutlets and i used the rest to make a stir fry.   i roasted the thighs using a prepared  grill powder.   i made instant couscous, mashed potatoes,  2 types of cole slaw, egg salad, spicy tomato stewed fish, a cherry  tomato salad, and a chocolate brownie cake.   most of the salads were untouched.   the kids ate cookies instead of the cake.   i hate waisting my money and my energy.   what can one do?  

my son actually called up on friday to see if i could keep the kids with me from 3:00 p.m. until shabbat, which is around 8:00 p.m.   i am always amazed at his requests.   i originally said to count me out for shabbat because i knew that i'd be exhausted after my hospital trip on thursday.   i had to be at the gyn/oncologist in tel aviv at 9:00 a.m.   the taxi came at 6:00 a.m.   i hardly slept at all for fear that i'd miss the taxi.  the kids do not have a clue as to how i feel.   when they have a pain or headache or are just tired, they absolutely can't cope.  i'm the martyr here.   i'm tired of being bothered by them.  i am tired of making shabbat meals.  i am tired of being with the grand kids.   there,  i've said it.   what is going to happen to me?   is someone going to take away my grandmother papers or something.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Thanks It's Almost Shabbat

it is 6:30 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.   i have had the kids with me for most of the week after school.   i'm tired.   i made a matzoh brie for the kids for supper.   it didn't go over so well.   the little girl didn't eat hers and the little boy left most of his lying around so the dog ate it.   a little while ago, the little girl came into the kitchen and upchucked all over the floor and me.   she seems fine right now.   who knows what she did to herself while i was in the kitchen.

i took the kids to a local park and as usual, the little one wanted to go home and the big one wanted to stay. we were close to home when the little boy realized that he left his 'trash pack' sticker at the park.   i had the little girl in my arms at the time, as she wanted to be carried, and i had to climb back up 2 steep flight of stairs to get back to the park.  as it turns out, i left the girl's sweater at the park.  the mother will have to drive over when she gets home and pick it up.

these kids are tired.   i am too exhausted to give them their nightly bubble bath.   i can't wait for their parents to get home and take their kids.   i have put the kids to sleep all week long.   the little one had a virus all week long and was very feverish and very testy.   it was hard dealing with her.   she kept wanting to go downstairs and as soon as we got there she wanted to be upstairs.   this was life for me all week long;          dragging this little rag a muffin around in my arms.

i couldn't go to my weekly torah class or see my adult girl friends, either.   today, a couple of gals came over to make a mock commercial video.   we spent about 2 hours on it in the living room.   we finally 'wrapped' at noon time and i served tuna sandwiches and ice cream afterwards.  i ran down to the super at 9:00 a.m. to get some things for shabbat.   the kids will be here for lunch.  i was hoping to go out for shabbat but you know how it is.

i bought fresh corn, a few potatoes, cherry tomatoes, pitas, and some beer.   i don't know what i am going to cook yet.   i have chicken breasts, wings and chopped chicken in the freezer.  i was thinking about making mashed potato kugel and chicken cutlets but i can also go with grilled wings.   i'm also thinking about chicken meatballs and mashed potatoes.   i bought some hamburgers for independence day next week.   i still have wings, franks, liver and chicken breasts in the freezer to use for a barbecue, if anyone cares to make one, besides me.

i am too too tired to think right now.   we've gone through most of the ice cream already and i've gone through most of my allotment this month.   i can't deal with these kids any more.  my son just called to ask if i was in a hurry for him to return.  ya think!   i've been with these children for hours and days and weeks now, so their parents can go to work.   i want to go to work.   i want to be out of this house, too.   i am tired of watching humpty dumpty.

i have 4 medical appointments this month.   i'm not up for travelling so much.   i went to get the medical papers sorted out and it was all one huge balagon.   i have no patience to deal with it.   on sunday, i'll go back to town and complain to the manager.   i'm not expecting any resolution to the problems in the least.   i stopped off at my friend's today for about an hour.   she hurried off to the super and i made it home in tome to take care of the little kids.

i am worn out.   it feels like the chronic fatigue is back, after a few months of a break.    i should go back to the homeopath but i don't have the funds right now.  oh well.........