Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Zzzzzzzzzz vs. Ouch

Yesterday I almost fell asleep during a meeting. My boss called me out to let me know he noticed. Honestly, I hadn't noticed. I thought I was paying attention. But I ran out and got coffee, which messed up my sleep. I got about 4 hours last night. I had real trouble getting up and getting to work, and I was afraid to take more than the anti-inflammatory medication lest I nod off again. Painkillers and muscle relaxants make you drowsy.

By the end of the day, my back was killing me and I was cranky. Short with clients; no patience for annoying coworkers. Waiting in the subway station, muscles aflame from waist to neck, I watched express train after express train enter and leave. Of course, I needed the local. By the time I finally spotted it in the tunnel, I almost wanted to throw myself in front of it.

You see, I've dealt with years of back pain before. I thought I was cured, thanks to tons of physical therapy, chiropractic care, and acupuncture. But now I've got back pain and knee pain. If this is what I feel like in my thirties, what are my fifties going to feel like?

A friend of mine who's also single despite being completely fabulous -- have I mentioned that frum men are idiots? -- told me that she plans to buy poison after her parents are gone. She didn't give herself an expiration date. But standing on the platform as more and more people gathered to wait, wondering if I was going to have to stand on the train -- which is extremely uncomfortable for someone with back pain -- I saw years of pain and waiting stretching ahead of me. I almost couldn't take it

"Almost" being the operant word, of course. I made it home and scarfed down a nice little cocktail -- all 3 medications, plus some aloe capsules for the resultant constipation. I saw Spike yesterday morning before work and felt pretty good, but by now that's dissipated. I'll see him again next Thursday. Fortunately, I've got the drugs to hold me over till then.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Ending the chagim with a bang

I was hit by a car Monday night. On my way to shul. I was crossing the street -- IN the crosswalk, WITH the light -- and a car made a turn and smacked into me.

Fortunately, a cute Hatzolah guy and two homely EMTs in an ambulance were right there. The car that hit me stopped for a little while but then drove off, and no one noted his license plate number, so I don't expect the driver will suffer any consequences.

Some other girls on their way to shul said they'd tell the friend I was supposed to meet what happened. I was strapped to a board, bundled into the ambulance, and taken to the ER, where every person over 65 in my area had apparently decided to have a heart attack.

At least they gave me some Percocet fairly quickly. I was X-rayed and supposedly there's nothing seriously broken or dislocated. They gave me a prescription for more Percocet, but I only used it on Tuesday. Today I'm ibuprofin-only. Stiff and sore, with a bright purple bruise right over my tailbone, but mostly okay.

I was very angry in the ER -- I had time to be; the doctors and nurses were preoccupied with the 5,000 or so middle-aged myocardial infarctions. I cried a lot. Apparently Spike's teacher was right. Crying releases a lot of bad chi, because my mood these past 2 days has been pretty good.

I was furious that night -- it honestly felt like Gd saying, "Fuck you, Ayelet." And I cried about the fact that the driver left the scene, so I wouldn't be able to sue him. But one of the civilians in the ER was a Hatzolah guy who took me to the ER the year I had a seizure on Yom Kippur. I don't know what he was doing there, but he gave me money to take a cab home.

When I woke up Tuesday morning, even though I was in a significant amount of physical pain, my mood was a lot better. I went to Shuli's and learned that Baruch hasn't forgotten me, as I was worried he might have, given my hibernation habits of the past month or so. He smiled when I came in and reached for me, even though his dad was holding him -- that's a new trick, stretching out his arms to be picked up. Baruch definitely still loves Aunt Ayelet. Shuli and her family were kind enough to let me stay for lunch.

Today I went to shul and benched gomel -- said a prayer during the Torah reading to thank Gd for getting me through a dangerous situation. I guess I'm thankful, because I honestly feel a lot better. More emotionally so than physically, but still.

It has pleased Gd to send me far more than the usual share of physical pain in this life, to say nothing of emotional pain. I'm not being melodramatic by stating this; I've had numerous physical health problems, including horrible sinus surgery, many years of chronic lower back pain, terrible gums and painful dental surgeries, twin knee blowouts, and now this.

Tradition has it that the physical pain you endure in this world is counted against the torment you suffer in the afterlife before achieving true redemption and reconciliation with Gd. You go through a limited amount of purgatory, which Jews call gehinnom, and then move straight into paradise, or olam habah -- the world to come. As far as I'm concerned, I should skip gehinnom and go straight to heaven.

And I'm really glad the holidays are over. Really, really glad it's almost Cheshvan.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Marginal improvement

Work was awesome on Thursday and Friday. Even though I had a ton of clients, a few no-shows, and anger management group. I'm definitely feeling a little better -- at work there's nothing wrong with me. Today I didn't feel like doing anything or going anywhere, but I wasn't unhappy about it. So I'm feeling slightly better.

My knees were really hurting yesterday, so I took 2 tramadol -- 1 in the morning, 1 at night. Now I've got a wicked tramadol hangover. I don't think I could ever become a substance abuser. I'm such a cheap date.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


That's how I spent the first 2 days of Succot. I did manage to see Spike, my acupuncturist, on Monday. He advised me to cry, if I could, to get rid of some of the bad chi. I tried, but it didn't really work. Then I had a dream he was my physics T.A. and I just couldn't understand the material.

I just feel so ashamed, embarrassed, to have reached this advanced age with so little to show beyond a few degrees, a messy apartment, and a job. I don't feel like going to families for meals anymore. It highlights what I don't have. My insignificant status. My essential unworth.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Sunday, October 12, 2008

It's official

I must be depressed, because I'm completely unable to shop. I need new work shoes. Badly -- my old everyday shoes are all worn and torn, and between my knees and my back, I never wear heels to work. But I don't like anything I see online, and I wasn't up to leaving the house today to shop in real life.

I'm supposed to see Spike tomorrow -- he warned me that alleviating my anxiety might lead to depression. He had no idea how right he could be. Maybe he'll stick me in a few places and improve my mood. Maybe.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Saturday, October 11, 2008


I don't feel like seeing people, outside of work. I don't feel like socializing. Once again, I look back at times when I went out for Shabbos meals, or hung out at kiddush and shmoozed, with a kind of wonder. How did I ever manage that? How did I actually enjoy talking to people?

Today I sat at home, then went to Barnes & Noble to do some reading. I would have gone to the library but it's being renovated. And at Barnes & Noble I felt uncomfortable, on display. I need to buy some more books for Succot, so I won't have to leave the house.

Maybe I'm thrown off my routine by the chagim, which this year fall in the middle of the work week. I'm functioning well enough at work; then again, no one there has to know how I really feel. My clients come into my office and speak, and usually I'm able to listen, do a little for them. But it's hard. Really, really hard.

So is writing. I have a feeling October 2008 will be identifiable as a depressed month by a low number of blog posts.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Almost made it

I fasted until about 5:30. Slept most of the day. But when I got up, I felt dizzy and shaky. I didn't want to have another seizure, so I had a bowl of cereal.

I kind of feel like my life is enough of a kapparah. Not because I'm single -- because of the illness. Always dancing backwards in high heels, trying to stay balanced. Right now it's difficult. I'm struggling. I don't feel like going to people's homes for yom tov meals -- I feel like a loser, without my own family and status. That's why I blew off most of my Rosh Hashana plans, and I think I'll hibernate over Succot as well.

Shocking news update: Jerusha's husband moved out. They're getting a divorce.

My mother told me a few weeks ago. He's involved with his former secretary, who's not Jewish. Although apparently he still goes to the same shul, and he's building the succah at their house on Sunday. I know that because Malka called me tonight to say that she managed to fast the whole day, and that her father is on the verge of buying a new house. With a pool. She's excited about the pool.

I made a stupid mistake. I said, "Do you know about his friend?"

"What friend?" she asked, alarmed.

"Isn't he moving in with a friend of his?" I hazarded. "A guy friend -- not a girlfriend, silly!" I think she bought it. Whew.

Of course they wouldn't tell her about his secretary. Who I guess will be converting to Judaism, since apparently my soon-to-be-ex-brother-in-law is still going to shul. They just told her they'd been fighting a lot. Which has the added grace of being true.

I should feel sorrier for Jerusha, but I don't. I'm a bad person, I guess.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Nothing to say for himself

What else do you want to know?

Mal asked. I don't know -- anything?? This kind of email correspondence is painful. But I kept trying:

Where are you from, what do you do, what kind of music do you like? stuff like that

Apparently he can't think beyond two sentences.

I am from Brooklyn. I like rock and roll. What more do you want to know?

ARGH. Do I give up? No. Apparently I'm that desperate.

What do you do? And what did you like about my profile?

As I mentioned in my last post, usually men who avoid talking about what they do have good reason. He skirted the question again.

I think you are pretty. That is what I like about you.

That is flattering but lame. LAME.

Why don't you want to tell me what you do for a living?

I asked. Still haven't heard back. I don't know why I'm bothering.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"