Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Getting personal....or not

I often think about what the function of this blog is. It started off as an Aliyah blog, a-dime-a-dozen, I know, and as a way to keep in touch with friends and family in the states. It's evolved, I think and now I believe it to be more of a place where I "shmooze", much of the time about my experiences as a new oleh. It's not exactly a journal. I've been keeping a handwritten journal since 1981. Actually, Mrs. Brandwein, my 12th grade English teacher had us keep a journal; I wished I'd kept those essays, although they could not have been very personal knowing that Mrs. B. was reading them.

I still keep a journal, but I rarely write in it. I suppose blogging has replaced that need. I've noticed that I do write in the journal everytime I have an arguement with Isaac. (Anyone reading the journal would think my marriage is in trouble or that I was deeply depressed, but if you look at the dates, you'll note the entries are few and far between).

Although blogging is a form of journaling, it's obviously not the same. I am not anonymous and therefore don't feel always comfortable expressing what I feel. I have a responsibility to respect my family's privacy. I do mention them and their antics, but usually in a humorous way. Yet I do think the blog loses something by not putting myself out there. So I try to find a balance, to make this place uniquely mine, a place where I can talk to you as if we were indeed "shmoozing". Much of the time it's lighthearted, because that's the way I am much of the time. But there are times when it just can't be.

My nephew Gavi, who has been competing in the Macabiah, has been hospitalized for Bacterial Meningitis. Thank G-d, he has been responding to anti-biotics, but he's pretty sick and of course we are all worried about him. We have been (really, Isaac and his sister) at his side throughout this ordeal and Gavi's mother just arrived from Venezuela.

When Isaac was called that Gavi was being rushed to the hospital, he rushed up to Haifa to be with him. At first we thought it was a case of the dreaded Swine Flu. When Isaac told me that Gavi was complaining of neck pain, I immediately asked if they were going to do a spinal tap to test for meningitis, but the doctors didn't think ,he was displaying the right symptons. A few hours later they changed their minds, did the procedure and came up with the diagnosis.

Now I have that pit in my stomach. Worried about Gavi, and selfishly worried that my own kids have been exposed. Liat had a weird bacterial thing before we made Aliyah that lead to ARDS and hospitalized her for seven weeks. This, a year after her recovery from Hodgkin's Disease. Two years later, I worry about her immune system, although follow-up visits to the doctor tell us she is fine, [TG-BAH].

I feel guilty that I'm worried about Liat when Gavi is so sick. I feel guilty that I am not as worried about Tali and Orli. I know I'm not being rational. Tali and Orli were the ones who had contact with Gavi as Liat was in camp when he came for Shabbat. And the disease is only contagious through exchange of fluid. At the hospital, visitors are told to put on masks only if they are coming close to Gavi, in case he sneezes or coughs. You can't get the disease by breathing the same air. Still the pit is there.

And the question: should I be sharing this? You may know me, but you don't really know Gavi. Would he be upset if he knew I was writing about this? Is this to personal?

I guess, if you're reading this, it means I've decided to hit the Publish Post button. And if you are reading, please think of and pray for the good health and speedy recovery of my nephew, Gavi, Gavriel ben Sara, גבריאל בן שרה, and of the many ill people in need of healing.

Thanks for listening.


Mrs. S. said...

May he have a רפואה שלמה.

mother in israel said...

refuah shlemah.
Don't people who were exposed to him have to take antibiotics? That's what happened when two local people got it. One had been on a bus to a wedding and they located everyone who had been on the bus.

Leora said...

Refuah Shlayma to Gavi. Not fun being sick when one is supposed to be doing something else...but stress may have played a role. It usually does. I got sick a lot the first year I was in Israel.

I think the function of a blog is whatever one wants the function to be...and sometimes that seems to change. That's true for me.

Anonymous said...

Refuah Shlema to Gavi ben Sara, and a big big for you.


Unknown said...

Refua shlema to Gavi I will be'H say tehillim for him!

I think it's fine to write about your nephew, and it serves a purpose, as I'm sure many of those who read this will daaven for his speedy recovery.

Also, you're a GOOD mom for worrying about your daughter's health.

Anonymous said...

Refuah shlema to Gavi. Hope you can relax a bit soon and feel better about all your worries.

Robin said...

Refua shlayma to Gavi. I know what you mean about being more fearful for one child - my son had viral meningitis this winter, but we didn't know that at the time and the experts were using a lot of big scary words and ordering a lot of big scary tests. I treated him with kid gloves for months after that, despite knowing that he was fine now.

As for what a blog is, it's whatever feels right to you. Sometimes I let it all hang loose, sometimes it's just photographs, no text. My rule is not to put anything I wouldn't share with a real life friend or acquaintance, but I don't jealously guard my privacy either. If the whole town knows my daughter is receiving speech therapy or something then there's no reason to keep it secret from the internet.

Just my two cents, you'll sort out what you're comfortable with :).

אנט פרידמן said...

Refuah Shleimah to Gavi.

I know this is very off-topic, but I also had an English teacher named Mrs. Brandwein who had us write journals!

Do you mind if I ask where you went to school? :-)

Baila said...

Hi everyone,

Thanks for all the the good thoughts. I spent the day with Gavi and his mom today. When he is not sleeping he is able to talk and walk. Hopefully, he'll fully recover soon.

Annette, I went to Bais Yaakov of Queens (stop snickering, everyone). Is that the right Brandwein? She lived in Kew Gardens, I think.

אנט פרידמן said...

I knew it! Me too! :) But it was called Shevach - I graduated in '84.

Baila said...

Annette, I was in the first graduatin class of Shevach! Small world. Do you have a blog?

אנט פרידמן said...

What year was that? I thought I was the first graduating class!

No blog, sorry.

Anonymous said...

i am glad to hear Gavi is doing well. he is lucky you and Isaac are there for him.
Keep writing I love reading it.
Don't feel guilty about worrying about Liat, no parent wants to go through that again.
they should all grow up healthy and happy.

Marta said...

I remember Ms. Brandwein's journals very well. I made sure to make mine very personal and juicy so that I could get a good grade!

Wow, you still keep a journal since 1981? Amazing! You are very prolific. Ms. Brandwein would be proud.