a winter week

The week started with an assembly of pain. At first I thought that an unexpected attack of sinusitis was the result of going through old audio cassettes, as I chose some of my favorite old albums for transfer to MP3. The cassettes which hadn’t been used for about 20 years, seemed to have collected a lot of dust. And I’m allergic to dust, so it seemed natural that I would suffer from my sinuses, which became worse with every hour, and were followed by a head ache and pressure on my eyes. And when I suffered from a pain in my mouth, I thought it was probably a tooth (though the pain wasn’t really that close to any tooth I had… but then I remembered having cut the inside of my mouth on something I had eaten a few days earlier. Perhaps it was an infection of some internal wound.


Another day came and went, and the pain grew worse. And I seemed to have gotten a cold too. Was it the flu, I wondered. No, probably not, because I had just gotten the flu shot a short while earlier. Well then, maybe it was the reaction to the flu shot. Or maybe some other flu, not covered by the flu shot. Whatever it was, it didn’t let up, and I was tired a lot, and feeling weak. It was really uncomfortable. And I started remembering difficult winters that I’ve had in the past, and wondering whether this was the start of another miserable winter. Since it was raining, I didn’t go out for a walk for a couple of days. And aside from the exercise, these daily walks of mine usually improve my spirits. It’s also a time for contemplation, which I am loathe to give up.


At the same time, I seemed to be having a problem with my computer monitor. A window for the adjustment of the volume kept popping up on the screen. I thought it might be dust inside the mechanism, and took it to my trusted computer man. Fortunately, when it comes to computers and photographic equipment, I always have backups. I had another monitor, smaller, but it was able to fill in while my regular monitor was getting fixed.


And my cat, Nechama seemed to sense that I wasn’t feeling well, and she kept so close that I it seemed like an intrusion of my own personal space. But it touched me that she was concerned, so I didn’t kick her out of my work room, even when I preferred to be alone.


The pain got so bad one night that I couldn’t sleep. I finally got out of bed, because there didn’t seem to be any point in lying there, unable to sleep. I thought of Michael Jackson. It was strange, because I haven’t thought much of him up till now. But lying there in pain, I could imagine how a person could get crazed by pain, and be willing to take anything to get rid of it, even if it killed him. I’m not used to taking pain pills, and even now I wasn’t taking anything stronger than Paracetamol to deal with my physical distress. When you’re not used to taking medicines, you don’t look in that direction for a solution, even when you feel bad. And I was beginning to feel really bad. And then the next day, things got still worse… until in the afternoon, all of a sudden, things started easing up. It was about the time when a couple of friends had gotten in touch, and been alarmed by my situation, and were beginning to organize help. They said there was something going around, and it included headaches and aches in the sinuses. A doctor was called. Medicines were on their way. But as I say, things were easing up…


I was reminded that for many generations, people got sick… and their bodies wrestled with the sickness. Before the great strides of medicine that I have seen in my own life, it was common for people to be in great distress from illness. In some parts of the world it is still fairly common. If they got lucky, they overcame it… and if not, they died. There wasn’t that great faith that we have now, that the doctor will take care of us somehow. It isn’t that long ago, that pneumonia was looked upon as a death sentence. And I remember children that died when I was a child. It wasn’t that rare. But now we are more insulated.


As the week comes to an end, I am feeling so much better. Even took a walk when there was a break in the rain. I enjoyed the winter colors, which I’m sharing with you here. And after being informed that the monitor had an electric short, I bought a new monitor, which I’ve already connected, and everything is working as it should. I had to learn a little about wide screens for computers. They seem bigger than they are when you work with Photoshop. As I approach the Sabbath, I’m very happy to anticipate the rest… It seems like I’ve passed a difficult week.


10 responses to “a winter week

  1. Glad you’re feeling better! I understand your feelings about medicine. I also try to avoid them, but there was a time in my past when modern medicine saved my life, so I’ve come to feel they have a place, and like anything else we need to know when they’re needed and when not.

    • My life too has been extended by modern medicine. I have respect for it. I don’t like pain killers, because I like to feel what’s going on in my body, even if some of it is bad news. And in most cases, the body really does know how to deal with difficulties. And I guess I’m part cat too, cause I like to hide away and curl up when I’m suffering. But now that the worst is over, and I’m on the mend, I feel a renewed love for life. Thank you for your comment, Jordan.

  2. Beautiful autumn photos and glad to hear that you are recovering. I suffered with terrible headaches last month and toothache all due to sinuses. Eventually I could not take the pain in my face any longer and went to my dentist who diagnosed the problem and gave me myprodol capsules which worked wonders.

    • Thank you so much GB. Sorry to hear that you went through a similar experience. Fortunately, things have calmed down, and I am back to enjoying my days again, and enjoying the beautiful winter colors.

      • I am glad to hear it. We are approaching mid summer and have received only a little bit of rain. In a month’s time I will be on my annual leave which is good because working when it is so hot is tiring.

  3. WordsFallFromMyEyes

    My gosh, I’m glad this didn’t last too long. Nechama sounds so precious. You know, it was Yaz (I think it was) who said that cats have healing powers & know when we’re down or sick. Maybe this is why I’ve always liked cats – & I mean right since childhood. They’ve kept me enormous company again & again.

    I would have seen the doctor sooner than you. I do let things go a number of days, trusting my body will heal itself (which I think is self-empowering), but you endured for ages. I guess I too have that total trust in the doctor’s powers, but yes, when you think of the old days and people would die so easily – we are fortunate.

    Is beautiful Nechama still alive today?

    • How wonderful it is to look back at this after more than a year has gone by. Actually, it was a very hard time. But fortunately, I survived it, and am feeling much better these days, though I seem to suffer more in winter. My wonderful cat, Nechama, is still with me, and we go for walks together almost every morning. And yes, they do seem to be very sensitive to the pain of their friends. Thank you so much, Noeleen, for checking out some of my earlier posts. It is a pleasure to share with you.

      • WordsFallFromMyEyes

        Shimon, I love hitting ‘play’ on past random posts. You get an impression of how people are today, & with some – such as you, you wonder “what were they like, say, a year ago”. It can be very interesting. When I have time to go, what is it – “site surfing” – this I enjoy to do.

        Beautiful, beautiful Nechama… I can so imagine your walks.

        Here’s to your health 🙂

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