Monday, September 25, 2006

A different Rosh Hashana

This year I thought I might get to make an appearance in Shul and pray a little bit. Well, it didn't go as planned. My booked help didn't show up, and I was forced to stay at home. So I got to be a regular Mum again and play with my kids. Very different from last year!

Yet again, a few wonderful friends came to the rescue and lifted my spirits. A dear friend made me walk there and back down the street on the first day. Then on the second day, I got to whizz down my ramp and visit another friend 'round the corner. I haven't been to that street or her house in over a year!

So, all in all, it wasn't a very spiritual Rosh Hashana. But minor health ailments over the 2 days made my personal prayers intense. And now my spirits are raised for the coming year as I can get out of the house and visit people.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Reflections before Rosh Hashana

Last Rosh Hashana I spent a lot of the time in Shul. More than I have in the last 12 years. But this wasn't a regular shul. It was the hospital Synagogue of Hadassah Har HaSofim. To get there was no easy walk. My parents came to the rescue. We had to navigate the long corridors and troublesome shabbos elevators. Up and down, stuck on the 6th floor, almost getting caught in the closing doors. Quite an ordeal....

What an interesting mix of people in shul. All types of kippot, hats, women in trousers, doctors, nurses and of course people in wheelchairs. I felt "Am Yisrael" very powerfully there and was happy to be in Israel. But concentrating on the davening was hard - especially when the Minyan split up into Sephardi and Ashkenazi. Sitting outside I had a stereo version of the prayers.

As to my state of health. Well, it was rather feeble then. After a few hours in the wheelchair I would feel dizzy and sweaty. I could hardly feed myself and I couldn't stand up at all. But overall my mood was positive, I davened hard, and I was sure that quite soon I would be back to normal.

Well, here I am a year later and I am still in a wheelchair. My mood is not so positive now even though I have come a long way. I have to think about the coming year, and worry how I will be judged. I was given a test, but maybe I failed it. I haven't had any amazing insights or revelations yet on the purpose of my test. Did I miss opportunities for changing for the positive?

Yes, I am still the same person that I was last Rosh Hashana. Just maybe a little bit more grateful for what I have (bli ein hora). 5 beautiful children, a comitted husband, living in this holy city, a little work and my mental facilities. As my physiotherapist said "You need to see the glass half full, not half empty."

To a Shana Tova!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

New hairstyle and walking clothes

Does 3 needles stuck in your head count as a new hairstyle? Another form of accupuncture I underwent today.

Yes, I think I am experiencing all types of pain in my current experiences. The pain is what bothers me most right now - forget the walking! But the doctors say the pain may be good ie. a sign the nerves are repairing. As the saying goes "no pain, no gain". Let them suffer it...

One "benefit" of my walking/wheelchair situation is that I get to wear all trendy clothes now. Bright colored tracksuits, expensive trainers and the new Israel fashion - a one-piece skirt and trousers. Problem is this style doesn't go down too well in our frum neighborhood. But I have no choice, I need to be comfortable and I have to see my legs to be able to walk. Anyway as I am always looking down when I walk I don't see peoples' surprised faces.

I walked the street again today (plus a little more). Just waiting for our ramp to be finished and I will be out and about again.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

A marathon walk

Up until now I have only walked indoors, which is quite limiting. Two or three circuits of the house and I am bored and ready to give up immediately.

So on Shabbat, egged on by a good friend I got to walk outside. With her help and distraction I walked the lenth of my street. It felt like running the marathon! But it is only 100 metres or so. It also took around 20 minutes, and I had to perform it in front of an audience of friends and staring Israeli children.

Not to be outdone, I did the marathon walk again today. With my physiotherapist I had to walk properly, and that was hard. I also walked up our half-finished ramp.

So how do I feel now? Not really elated like after a real marathon. It's just that I have a new goal now - to walk to the end of the street and back!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Even robots can make a cup of tea

Yesterday I finally collected my legcasts. I had been eagerly waiting them for the last 2 months in the hope they will change my life. They will make me walk like a robot, but in the words of a good friend "Even robots can make a cup of tea". If I could just make a cup of tea on my own, life would be wonderful!

So today, I couldn't stand the suspense, I just had to try them out. First of all they don't fit in my shoes, so now I have an excuse to buy another expensive pair of sports shoes. Well, without a physiotherapist training me they are very hard to walk even a few steps. Right now I prefer my own legs.

Well this is the next day. Today the physiotherapist came, and showed me how to walk. It was still hard, but I was walking more like a normal person and much more steady. There is hope! So later on I decided to make a cup of tea. I did it - with the help of my careworker and not on my own - and it tasted good!

This is just the beginning and there is a long way to go towards walking on my own. But as my physiotherapist said, just set you yourself small goals. A lesson for everyone.....