Thursday, July 27, 2006

The demise of Supermum

I used to be Supermum .... that's what I thought of myself.

Five children (the oldest 10 ) - having a career - running a frum home - being a "perfect wife etc.

I'm not Supermum anymore. I don't bathe my kids, cook their food, change nappies, clear the table, get them dressed, take them to school, put them in bed and the list goes on. I don't even do much for myself anymore like taking a shower, going to the bathroom, putting on a sheitl, going to a shiur etc etc. I have a live-in careworker who does everything now.

Sounds great doesn't it. I always complained before of how busy I was and that I had no time for myself. I used to dream of having a life of leisure. But now I've got it I don't like it.

Yes, I am still "Mum" and will always be that even if I sit in a wheelchair and do nothing all day.

Yes, I still work and have a sort of career.

It's just the loss of the word "Super" that is upsetting for me. I am just "Mrs Average" now.

I think the lesson here for me (and everyone else) is "Ezer who ashir hasameach be'helko".

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Is acupuncture painful?

I was quite anxious before today's treatment. I have had a lot of painful treatments in the last 10 months - EMG (severe electric shocks), Plasmaferrosis (removing all your blood and cleaning it) and an MRI (having your head and body blasted by a noise level of a million decibels). So I tried not to panic too much about a mild session of accupuncture. Anyway I can hardly feel my legs and arms so it shouldn't hurt too much?

I lay on the bed and the doctor started with the needles. No sensation first, then a little ouch. So I reckon he put in about 20 needles. "Fine", he said, "we are finished now". Great, I raised my head to start getting up. Then I noticed my arm/body was covered in needles! "Oh", he said, "I should have told you the needles have to stay in 20 minutes".

Wow, then I panicked! But with a background of relaxing music and a lot of praying I managed to stay calm until the end. Did it help? Too early to say yet, I still have to pay out for a lot more treatments ....

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I walked in the garden

This is just for me to track my progress and for everyone who is interested in what I can manage.

Today for the first time I walked outside! Not unaided though. I walked into the garden on my walker and out the gate. Then I walked up and down 9 steps once. I did all this with some help from my physiotherapist though. Going down the steps was not great - not as good as I did in December when I left the hospital. But progress nevertheless ....

Tomorrow I am starting treatments with a doctor practising chinese medicine - homeopathy and accupunture. I hope it doesn't hurt too much. But it sure is hurting my pocket.

Monday, July 24, 2006

A state of war

With no TV and living in Jerusalem, we are quite out of touch with what is going on here. But everyone living in Eretz Yisroel feels the state of war right now, and the tremendous "Nissim" being experienced. So many hundreds of rockets and so few casualties. I saw an amazing video clip showing a man playing his piano in the middle of a house just destroyed by a rocket.

On the work front, all the charities I work with are flooded out by calls for help. Even Jerusalem is affected. I heard that more than 3000 people have moved here temporarily from up North. One of our neighbours is putting up 30 of his family members in his small apartment! Right now I am waiting up for a phone call from a charity that is sending out food to over 1000 people a day. I have to help them advertise to get donations for these meals.

Let's pray that the war ends soon ....

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Looking inwards?

This "blog thing" has really been fun for me. I keep thinking of subjects to write about and had in mind something to write about today. But today is not the same as yesterday.

This "illness" of mine has forced me to look inwards and think about middos and teshuva. But I just couldn't focus on me again today. There is too much going on in Israel right now to be self-centered. Jerusalem is not exactly close to the border, but the whole country feels the threat of war.

I think today's entry is aimed at all my complacent friends and family in England. No, I am not suggesting that everyone should make Aliyah. But just think about Israel ... A few things to do:
pray, give charity, fight anti-semitism, come on vacation here!

I was just taken out of this serious mood by a 3 year-old running everywhere with no knickers on and boundless energy. Life is still fun when you are surrounded by little kids.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Facts about Nepal

I think this is of interest to everyone in the Western world. These are "true" facts about life in Nepal as told to me by my Nepali careworker.

1. Men wear their watches with the face upwards, women wear them with the face palm side.
2. Babies only make (gedolim) in their nappies once a day
3. After the age of 50 husband and wife have to sleep in separate beds
4. A wife has to kiss the feet of her mother in-law every time she sees her
5. All women have small breasts
6. People throw away any food they don't like
7. Spitting in public is acceptable
8. Women don't smoke
9. There is noone in a wheelchair
10. Women don't work after the age of 50
11. After giving birth, a mother rests for 6 months

This list is to be continued at a later date ....

The beginning of the 3 weeks -17 Tammuz

It's strange not to be fasting today, but I still feel sad! I don't normally follow Israeli news, but for the last 2 days I have been glued to the updates on what looks like War. I have been forced to follow events in order to work on a Google campaign for Ynet. It is quite gruesome to profit from bad news, but a lot of people do including some of my charity customers. For me, it is amazing to see the upturn in searches for any Israel search terms hour by hour. Very addictive work.

Now I have to change my focus as this evening is Moshe's birthday - no songs and dancing - but I guess I have to be cheerful.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

A picture taken on my webcam!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

An Introduction

This is an introduction to a collection of my thoughts, feelings, days happenings and an insight into life.

No, it won't be that profound. Just updates on daily events for friends and family.

A quick summary of where I am up to now:
age - 40+
married - yes, up to 11 years
children - 5 bli ein hora
location - Jerusalem, Israel
work - snr account exec for JMG
hobbies - exercise, exercise, exercise and net surfing
religiouous observance - very "Ortho", but not fanatical
likes - kids
dislikes - kids & careworkers

Now a little about our family. We have 1 boy and 4 girls. The oldest is Yehuda (11 in August), next Rivka (age 9), Chavi (age 7), Tsipora (age 3) and Malki (age 20 months). With 4 girls, lots of money on jewellry, shabbos dresses, new shoes..... and I don't have any teenagers yet...All my children are tri-lingual - English, Hebrew and Yiddish. But when they speak English they have a very "strange" accent.

We are so fortunate - baruch hashem, bli ein hora - to be blessed with these children. Right now, even though it is very hard for me to do anything for them, they are a big source of nachas and joy for me !

I have been working for the last 4-5 years, and still am now. I work in Internet marketing for a small company and spent 2 years at the Jerusalem Post. I am very fortunate to still be able to work, I just need the computer and phone.

This is a brief summary of my recent predicament, the "true version".

It just happened very suddenly in September, although I had felt very weak since the birth of our last child, Malki. Within a few days I could no longer walk, and my arms and legs became numb. It was very scary ...Well, I had to spend 2 weeks in hospital being tested and prodded before anyone could find a reason why. Then a visiting professor from America saw me and he came up with a reason - an overdose of vitamin B6, causing nerve damage. Most bizarre.... I had been given this huge dose of B6 since July by a neurologist for carpal tunnel syndrome.

After this diagnosis the doctors sent me to Hadassah Mount Scopus hospital to the rehabilitation department for 3 months. I have been home since January with a careworker to look after the kids. After coming home I had a relapse and am now on a slow path of gradual improvement. Lots of physiotherapy and tons of patience.

I am still in a wheelchair, but can walk a little on a walker with help. The prognosis? Well, the doctors don't know as I am the only case in Israel. Some are pessimistic, others are more hopeful...But as you know, doctors don't know everything.

I try to be positive, and I always see people in the hospital much worse off than me. Hopefully this blog will give me a bit of fun!