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Monday, November 9, 2009

Role Reversal

Last Friday, we had plans.

Moshe finally was going to take down the succah (we were all sick after Succot, so the succah stayed up longer than usual).

I finally was going to clean off the Shabbat table (we were away for several weeks, so things piled up....) and cook for Shabbat (we were having guests, for the first time in ages).

Well, you know what they say, "Man plans, God laughs!"

Friday morning, Moshe woke up feeling severe abdominal pain. All he wanted to do was stay in bed.

Now, let's clarify our traditional roles:

When I am do not feel well, I need serious TLC. Every 10 minutes, or so, I announce that I am in pain or not feeling well. I want sympathy. And compassion.

Not Moshe. He is stoic. He never complains. Really. Sometimes he acts so "normal" that I forget. Then he will gently remind me that "I am not complaining, but I still do not feel well...."

So when I saw Moshe writhing in pain, I insisted we call the doctor, who insisted we come in right away. DUH!!

Of course, the doctor then sent us on to the emergency room. Double DUH!!

(Can I leave out the really embarrassing part, when I just "pop" into the pharmacy for some drugs I need, but the whole thing takes way longer than it should have, and by the time I returned to Moshe his pain was even worse! I felt horrible!!)

It took us less than 10 minutes to get to the ER, but by the time we got there, Moshe was beyond miserable. I did everything in my power to move things along and, thank God, they took us in right away. Still, everything takes time!!

The quick version (I will try to post more details later) is that the doctors first thought the source of the pain was from an umbilical hernia, requiring emergency surgery. The head surgeon ordered a CT, just to make sure there were no other problems. The CT revealed a small kidney stone (3-4 mm), which seemed the more likely source of the pain.

Moshe has been in the hosptial (Sha'are Zedek) since Friday. He is currently "under observation," in the Urology Department.

He is no longer suffering from severe pain, just "mild discomfort."

Since there is a 90% chance that the stone will pass on it's own, the doctors are adopting a "wait and see" approach.

At this time, their only concern is risk of infection, which can cause kidney damage.

If they can eliminate this concern, they will release Moshe.

Meanwhile, I have been with Moshe the whole time, except for Saturday night and now. I am off to teach swimming and then I will return to the hospital.

It has been a trying time for both of us.

And a bit strange.

Our roles have been reversed, "The Caregiver" has become "The Patient" and "The Patient" has become "The Caregiver."

Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.

With love and optimism,


MB said...

Oh no! I just thought I'd "check in" and I saw your post. Please wish Moshe a refuah shelaima from me, and please let him know that I'll be happy to repeat my shiur for both of you.

Take care,

Robin said...

Poor guy, that sounds awful. I hope he's home safe and sound and feeling much better very soon!

nmf #7 said...

Refuah Sheleima!! Aren't all husbands the same way, mine included...when they are sick, they are really sick!

See my latest post for a great link on JAP's blog about sick people of the male gender.

mikimi said...

I heard/read that for a guy with a kidney, it is worse than a woman giving birth.
Refua Shelaima -Moshe ben Ruth?

Sarah said...

I can come spend time at Shaarei Tzedek if that will help in any way: bring you stuff (food? reading material? Books you want to borrow? a pillow?), or just keep one or both of you company.

Or if you want me to run 1-2 errands for you in town or Emek Refaim, let me know.

Sarah B.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like your plate is full!
I have been following your posts, and I just have to say, I hope things stabilize for both of you very very soon. Duvaning for you in Toronto.

aliyah06 said...

Oh, no! Refuah sheleima! And he's brave--my experience is just the opposite of yours: men whine when they're sick. At least the guys in my family.....

Anonymous said...

Life is just not fair! Who needs this in addition to all you go through... thinking of you a lot and wishing Moshe refuah shlema umehira


Sarah said...

I was thinking of appendicitis, with my recent experience. Kidney stones are awful, though. My husband also writhed on the floor with them many years ago. Refuah shleima, and I pray there will not be a threat of infection.

Rahel Jaskow said...

Oy! Refua shlema -- fast!

RivkA with a capital A said...

Miryam -- you are THE BEST!! You should know, that in the middle of all this, Moshe was really upset that he might miss his Tuesday classes! (he is also taking that course at Yad Yitzchak Ben Zvi with Prof. Shwartz)

Thank you so much for your generous offer!!

If we are lucky, maybe Moshe will be discharged tomorrow and we will come to class... we both really enjoy it so much!

Robin -- me too!!

nmf #7 -- he just got over being sick! and now this!! thanks for the link! I enjoyed your post, and the poem by JACP.

Mikimi -- Moshe Ze'ev ben Rut -- a friend who has experience both natural childbirth and kidney stones said the kidney stones were WORSE!!

Sarah -- thank you so much for the offer!! If we are still there tomorrow (Tues), a visit might be nice.

Do you have Moshe's mobile phone? That is our only working mobile phone at this time.

Denise-- it sure is! thanks!

aliyah06 -- I whine; Moshe suffers in silence.

Anima -- I agree!! thanks. (hee, now I know who you are!!)

Sarah -- yeah, the CT showed it was not appendicitis

Rahel -- amen!

Rena said...

Refuah Shalema! My mom had a kidney stone about a year ago. Not fun.

It's funny, some guys are completely stoic about getting sick and others can be real babies.

Baila said...

Hoping it's passed and he feels much better today.

Anonymous said...

"the doctors are adopting a "wait and see" approach."

Wouldn't that be "wait and pee"?

sorry, couldn't resist.

here's hoping that it soon will only hurt when you laugh, and not even that.

BTW, my capcha is aba did yi - perfect, no?

-Gidon, too lazy to log in

J.A.P. said...

Hey RivkA- Saw your comment on my blog- I actually read your blog- emailed you a few months ago. Hope you can leave the "C" out of your life soon too!

My husband suffers from kidney stones every 15 months or so. I remember the first time he had one after we were married and he vomited in pain and I was so shocked and pleased at being the "caregiver" for once, that I didn't mind cleaning it up.

(I met the husband when I was still on chemo, so he was used to wiping up my lunches when they splattered his windshields on the FDR drive...I was glad for the role reversal for once!)

Anonymous said...

Oy vey. I guess this explains why you haven't posted in a few days...
Lots of refuah shleimahs to all.

Benny Adoram said...

Rfuah Shelama.
Tell Moysh he is with in good companionship.(Chevra Tova); It is an historic fact that Augustus Caesar had suffered from kidney stones for years until they came out on day in his urine when was in his 70-ties. He is still young and you never know, one day he might control all the civilized world!

RivkA with a capital A said...

Rena -- even the stoic ones need a little TLC, every once in a while

Baila -- slowly, slowly....

Gidon -- *groan*

"my capcha is aba did yi"

Am I supposed to understand what that means???

J.A.P. -- wow... and he married you anyway!! That is love!

I was really happy about the role reversal for the first 24-36 hours. Then I realized that I could not keep up the pace! I still felt happy that I could take care of my husband, but I did need to set aside time to nap, and recharge my batteries.

Na'amah -- I would not just "disappear" like that without a really good reason!

Benny -- I'm not sure Moshe would appreciate being compared to Augustus Caesar. Regarding control of the civilized world.... All I can say is that the world would be a better place if Moshe were running the show.....