For the last couple of days Yirmiyahu has been sick with vomiting, diarrhea and a fever. As the hours went by he became listless and apathetic, his lips and hands turned gray, he was hardly responding to me, and I was seriously considering taking him to the emergency room. A little prior to this, a friend was doing energy work on him and what was showing up as the problem for him was a bacterial infection, which I assume he picked up when he went with me to visit dd at the hospital.
I reached the pediatrician on duty by phone (it was Sunday so our regular pediatrician wasn’t available) and talked through the situation with her. She said it sounded like a virus and to keep him hydrated, then take him to a doctor in a day or two if I was still worried. I also asked a paramedic to look at him, who said he didn’t see any signs of dehydration. This was reassuring and though he’s still weak and under the weather, his color is better and he’s sleeping now. I’m honestly worried but hopefully in the morning he’ll be looking and feeling more like himself; it’s been a rough week for him and a particularly hard couple of days. So things are hopefully improving on that front.
Now for an update on dd18. Her condition is stable but she will still need a lot of prayers. The book of tehillim/ Psalms is being jointly said by people across the world who have each undertaken to say a given chapter(s) every day as a merit for dds18. For those who asked how to participate, you can email me at email@example.com, and I’ll forward your message to my dd16 who is arranging this. If there are enough people who are interested, then she will continue distributing chapters and begin another round so that the book of Tehillim will be said a second time each day. It can be said in English or Hebrew.
>>Please send some e-mail updates. I don’t read the blog, yet want to know what is happening.<<
If someone is concerned, my blog is the best way to stay aware of what’s happening since my online time is very limited. A couple of people emailed me to say they were hurt that I didn’t contact them personally with details of my trip or dd’s situation. As I shared here, my trip was extremely sudden and I had a very short time from when I was told to come to get everything together, including passports. The only person who was notified in advance was my mother. I mentioned my trip to three people I happened to see the evening before I left (two while I was walking through the park on the way home) so that people would begin to hear and pass the word along – there was no intention to be secretive or exclusive. My sister and sister-in-law found out about the situation by reading on my blog along with everyone else, and emailed my mother to find out what was happening. My closest friend in Israel is Israeli and doesn’t have the internet, so she still may not be aware of anything unless she has heard something through the grapevine. I hope that anyone who may be feeling slighted will be understanding of the situation.
Here in the US it’s the same thing; I tell everyone who I bump into why I’m here (some told me they already knew via the blog postings) but haven’t called anyone to tell them personally.
>> it is unfair to say there is no community support. There is!!! To choose to be independent of the community is not the same as lack of community support. I think it is lashon hara to speak badly about the community in Karmiel. <<
It is painful for me to get a comment like this at this time and I’m disappointed that when I shared my immediate fears regarding how my family would manage without me for several months, that someone felt I was slandering my community rather than hearing my feeling of desperation when faced with some overwhelming news. I didn’t say there was no support; what I wrote was:
>>Then this morning I was talking to someone involved with the situation, and she mentioned that I’d probably have to stay two to three months to help my daughter with her medical situation. That timeline was so totally unexpected and I was so overwhelmed at that comment that I literally couldn’t say anything for over a full minute, and when I did I wasn’t successful at keeping my voice steady. My mind was racing. How in the world am I supposed to leave all my kids overseas with minimal communal support for them? ” (bold added to this post)<<
This was the first thought of several that I listed as immediately flashing through my mind as a concern.
I have a very large family and a family this size has a lot going on. The amount of support my family will need to compensate for me being gone is significant. I know the needs of my family and I also know the emotional strains they are feeling, and I was/am afraid that my extended absence could become a breaking point for them. The Karmiel community isn’t actually big enough to be a community; there are some lovely people but there is no infrastructure in place to create the support that is necessary, and I don’t believe enough people will be able to get involved in a way that would keep the situation from becoming overwhelming for my family.
I’m not choosing to be independent of the community, though I am uninvolved in the specific arrangements by virtue of being 5500 miles away. We really don’t have extra time to make calls asking people to help, but we’re very appreciative to those who approached us with concrete offers of assistance when they heard about our situation. If you want to help out, the most helpful thing is to contact us and tell us what you’d like to do.
>>Is it possible to bring your daughter back to Israel for treatment?<<
No, this is impossible. She would need a medical transport in order to fly and the treatment facilities for her needs are much better here. There is a world class hospital with the specialty that she needs right here in the area. It has taken some time to work out the insurance for all of this but once again Hashem has smoothed the path for us and done what looked almost impossible at first.
>>How long will you be in America?<<
As of Thursday, the team said that I should go home this week as originally planned and then come back after Pesach for an extended stay. I don’t yet know if I will come with just Yirmiyahu or if the family will join me in the US for a few months to be together during this time. There’s a lot of uncertainty right now because all decisions depend on factors that have yet to be determined regarding dd’s medical care. She will be transferring from emergency care to long term care in the very near future and our decisions will be based on the feedback of the new intake team. So everything is subject to change.
>>How are you managing with all the stress?<<
Physically I haven’t been feeling so great; I was severely sleep deprived even before arriving and was dizzy, headachy and nauseous for the first few days here. The nausea and headaches have passed but I still have feelings of dizziness throughout the day. Getting more sleep is really the answer but is hard right now; in addition to the jet lag, Yirmiyahu is waking up several times a night, and each time he wakes up it takes me a long time to fall back asleep. In the day I’m busy and I don’t usually have a chance for a nap. That means I haven’t slept more than 2 – 4 hours a night at the most for over a week. For now I’m drinking a lot of water and trying to eat well and sit down as much as possible. I know it’s just temporary so it’s not a worry as much as an annoyance.
Emotionally I think I’m doing pretty well. However, my emotions are very close to the surface and sometimes tears will suddenly spring forth unexpectedly when talking about the situation. So I limit my talk to the fact she’s in the hospital, things are serious but she’s being well cared for. As far as self care, I put in a call to my amazing chiropractor yesterday and asked her if she can make time for me in her busy schedule before I leave, and a friend who does energy work has offered to do a session with me to help release some stress. (We got together yesterday with the intent to work on this but Yirmiyahu was so sick that she worked on him instead.)
Overall my feeling right now is of great hope and positivity. I’m reminded of the situation with Yirmiyahu following my difficult and traumatic birth. Due to the events prior to his emergency unplanned and unattended birth at home, when the ambulance came to transport us I chose to go to a hospital I had no experience with. I later found out it had the best NICU in northern Israel, though when I chose it I didn’t know this nor did I know that Yirmiyahu would need to be in the NICU for ten days. Similarly, I feel that this entire difficult and painful situation has been orchestrated from Above to make sure dd was in a place to get the best medical care, and things are happening to support her in a way that is nothing less than miraculous.