Doctor’s Orders

Never was I given an ultimatum to go under the knife. The surgeon proposed cervical fusion ‎to relieve pressure on my spinal cord. He hinted that surgical intervention may indeed break ‎the blanket of pain and curtail my anguish. But then again, he heartily declared that there ‎was no such thing as an allergy to titanium… That’s what the doctor said.‎

It was a very dark period and limited access to memories and sensations of the past ‎remains. For years and years the bad stuff was repressed and stuffed deep into a black hole. ‎The body in its innate wisdom has mysterious ways to keep us safe and shielded and out of ‎harm’s way.‎

It all began with the celebrations of my beloved’s jubilee. I treated him to an amazing ‎weekend of festivities in the desert area surrounding Midreshet Ben Gurion and Nahal Tzin. ‎Together with two marvelous guides, we had a private and very magical “cameltrack” bike ‎trek against a backdrop of breathtaking desert landscapes. It was still the very beginnings of ‎our mountain biking craze. When the guide ahead of me hopped over a small log, I was ‎quick to follow suit. What I lacked in skill and technique, I more than made up for with ‎tenacity and spunk….‎


Head over wheels, suddenly I found myself in a precarious handstand as my head jolted ‎about! With the grace of Nadia Comăneci and the muse of an urban mountain biker (Yeah ‎right! Note from self…), abracadabra, I found my way up, brushed my fallen ego off and ‎oops, plunked myself back in the saddle.

Without debate or deliberation, we continued our ‎adventure as planned. I completed the day’s trek and forged on without a moment’s thought ‎to sit out the family bike trek the next day. There was no way on earth that I was going to ‎miss out!‎


I never had a stiff neck before. Suddenly I was accosted by unfamiliar pains, restlessness, ‎anxiety and dread. As the days went by, the symptoms spread and I found myself sinking fast ‎into a quandary with elevated pain and a host of foreign sensations and unwanted squatters. ‎Pins, needles and burning sensations were popping up at random. It felt as if I was being ‎occupied by yet another assailant on a daily basis. Nothing but a helpless bundle of nerves ‎was I.‎

I had no idea what was happening to me. I was clueless as to the identity of the surely ‎deadly disease nesting within. I did not know where to turn.‎

My family doctor pushed a slew of antidepressants but I refused to play the part….‎

My heavy suit of armor blocked off any supply line of essential support. No compassion, ‎guidance or aid of any sort was forthcoming. Unable to confide, I could not lean on anyone, ‎even my soulmate. Only I was able for the task at hand; I had to solve the mystery.‎‎

One Woman Army

The campaign proceeded, full force ahead: me and my one woman army charging ahead to ‎confront one specialist after another, each an authority in his own microscopic corner. I was ‎unable to find but a one who would look at me from head to toe and see the whole of me.‎

All the while I continued to work, business or business intelligence as usual. I may have been ‎very good at my job as a B.I. (business intelligence) consultant but I was not very smart. Day ‎to day I was with another client, travelling the depth and the breadth of the land. Every day ‎I found myself behind a different desk, on an unfamiliar seat and monitoring business data ‎on yet another computer screen while quietly suffering in anguish.

Not once did I allow ‎myself the luxury of taking a breather to rest or process, digest and find a rational answer to ‎my dilemma. For one who worked with intelligent solutions on a daily basis, I was pretty ‎dunce….‎

I was fighting the battle of my life and nobody, not even me, had the power to stop me.‎

Let Me Off!‎

Diggin' – Ephraim Kishon REMIXED \ חופרים בקישון

'חופרים' – Diggin סרטון המרכיב מחדש קטעים מתוך סרטיו של אפרים קישון: 'סאלח שבתי' (1964) ו'תעלת בלאומילך' (1969). סאלח יצא לשדות הקיבוץ ועיבד את האדמה בעצלתיים, עד שבומבה התחיל לקדוח.. דור לוי 2013 A mash up video of scenes that were taken from the films of Ephraim Kishon: 'Blaumilch Canal' (1969) and 'Salah Shabati' (1964).

A small man with a big jack hammer moved into my head. I am sure that he must have been ‎related to Kasimir Blaumilch (watch video above from famous Israeli film). All day long he ‎would pound away. I could not take it any longer! When an honorable and highly respected ‎neurosurgeon suggested that he could put an end to my suffering, I “bought” the hope lock, ‎stock, and barrel and began preparing in earnest for surgery.

Marge Simpson — "Let Me Off"

Marge Simpson in "Fear of Flying." Copyright Fox Broadcasting Company.

But a few days before the surgery, I met with the surgeon. I was uneasy as nobody had said ‎that I had to have the operation and wanted to understand why he had a different take of ‎the situation. In a matter of minutes I discovered that I had crossed some invisible line…. It ‎seems that I had assaulted his dignity and he ousted me from his office as he let me know ‎that if I did not have faith in him, I was free to go.‎

I found myself at a loss for words, stunned and sitting on the bench with my beloved outside ‎of his office. I did not know how to proceed. As bitter tears streamed down my face, a strong ‎sense of déjà vu shuddered throughout me. My body had sent me an alarming message.‎

What if the summation of everything I had been going through was but my body signaling a ‎symbolic changing of the seasons or perhaps surreal and bizarre allergic reactions???‎

Indeed I had grounds for my suspicions. In the past I had suffered many a medical anomaly. ‎More often than not, it was me, “HBNE” Sherlock Holmes, who found the key to the answer: ‎

I was treated for multiple, reoccurring vaginal infections. Intense itching? I discovered that I ‎was simply allergic to the spermicidal cream that I used with my diaphragm. Imagine this if ‎you will…. I could not stop rubbing myself against things to ease my discomfort. I was all out ‎of my antifungal vaginal cream and hubby suggested using the spermicidal cream to sooth ‎the itch. Whoa, that sure stung deep! At least my husband’s attempt to help led me to find ‎the source of my “vaginal infections”!‎

Continuous headaches? I was unable to get close to our new sofas for about a year and a ‎half. It turns out that I was allergic to the adhesive glue used in the assembly process.‎

‎“Do you notice anything strange about my lips?”‎

‎“No, everything looks as usual.” One moment later… “Oh no! Your lips are puffed and ‎swollen like those of a black African!”‎

That time the culprit was an allergy to medications.‎

Incessant itching and a major body rash that just wouldn’t go away? Once again the culprit ‎was an allergy to medications.‎

A stubborn and persistent heel spur? Despite multiple treatments, I was unable to rid myself ‎of the huge crystal within my foot. It was like walking on nails. In the end I discovered that ‎oxalates in the healthy food I was eating were the source of my pain….‎

Truth or Dare

Disturbing scenarios passed through my mind:‎

1.‎ The surgery was cancelled at the last minute as I discovered a tragic mistake in ‎diagnosis.‎
‎2.‎ The surgery went ahead as scheduled but later discovered to be unnecessary.‎

Each a horrific possibility, each bearing similar poignant lessons to share…. ‎

I already had a generous collection of bizarre stories to share and I had no wish to enhance ‎it. There was a reason why my body had signaled distress. I had to probe and discover the ‎hidden meaning of my body’s message.‎

I had but a couple of weeks to solve the enigma. Although I was able to research most of my ‎agenda, the list remained incomplete. American by birth, for better and for worse, I did not ‎feel comfortable cancelling or postponing the surgery date so close to the wire….‎

I made a promise to myself. Whatever the future should reveal and whatever thoughts and ‎emotions should arise, lamination would not be privy to the party. As per the Hebrew saying: ‎‎“what was was”. There was nothing to be gained by beating myself up. At some level I was ‎preparing myself for the possibility that one of the above scenarios would manifest. I wished ‎to continue from that point on from a position of inspiration born from life’s difficult lessons. ‎

Part Two

But the saga did not end here…. Just a few days since the operation had passed and new ‎unknowns walked in the door. I felt a stranger in my body. Suddenly I became acutely ‎sensitive to just about everything in and around my environment: my clothes, my car, my ‎home and the list went on. Bit by bit, I came to suspect that my heightened sensitivities must ‎be due to allergies to my implants.‎


Do you recall that the doctor said that there is no such thing?!‎

I found myself running yet another campaign. I swore that I would find the means to solve ‎the newest riddle and put an end to my torment. Once again the “bulldozer” went ‎into high gear…. ‎

Much tedious research on my part led me to the top laboratory and specialists in the world. ‎I sent blood samples to the lab in Germany. These samples promptly got caught in a ‎bureaucratic trail: once not reaching their destiny at all and once being detained past their ‎‎48 hour deadline. That was more than enough for me to decide that something was not ‎working. ‎

I quickly found myself in Germany. I was able to undergo the blood tests directly at the lab ‎and was even fortunate to dine with one of the directors who happened to be in town at the ‎moment. ‎


I believe that the end of this story is quite clear. As per the positive test results, I made a ‎courageous decision to once again go under the knife. The second surgery enabled me to rid ‎myself of all metal implants: a plate and four screws. I had to wait six months until the ‎vertebrae had fused through the plastic/carbon implant. Although I was convinced that I was ‎also allergic to the plastic/carbon implant, I decided to leave it in place.

A decision to ‎remove all of my implants, both the plastic/carbon cage and the metal components would ‎have required a much more complicated surgical procedure. It meant going back to square ‎one. I would need a bone graft and a much longer and difficult healing process than the ‎previous operation. I hoped that the removal of the metal would be enough to calm my ‎system down.‎

When it all began I was unable to pause, breathe deep and listen to my body. I wanted to ‎bolt and cry out. I had to act and immediately.‎

I was disconnected from my body on so many different levels….


There was no connection ‎between my thoughts, my feelings and myself. Lost was I in a sea of tears and misery. It was ‎black and oh so cold. I wanted salvation here and now. I could not take time out to listen to ‎the message(s) that my body was signaling. I felt that I had to act immediately, without ‎delay, and begin the pursuit in earnest for the magic pill which would put everything right as ‎it had been.‎

Not For One Moment


Not for one moment did I allow myself to flirt with the notion that, given the right tools, my ‎body, in its infinite wisdom, would know how to heal itself.‎

My limited self-awareness did not allow me an iota of grace. In one of my darkest moments ‎I played with the idea that my beautiful body was too perfect, and a scar would be the ‎perfect payoff for redemption. I even went as far as to secretly initiate an artistic and ‎revealing photo shoot as both a souvenir and a gift for my loved one on our wedding ‎anniversary.‎


In our darkest hours of pain we are visited by the most peculiar thoughts and have the ‎darndest way of expressing ourselves. At the height of my labor contractions with my eldest, ‎I sent my husband to bring milk from the neighbors (of course, this could have definitely ‎been the drugs speaking…). ‎

During the period before my operation I began to go on longer and more strenuous ‎bike ‎rides. I was biking frequently and not getting much rest in-between. At the height of my ‎workouts I began to suffer from burning sensations as well as needles and pins. I felt this in ‎various parts of ‎my body. Because I had never experienced ‎ pain like this, I was alarmed and ‎immediately began to investigate ‎what was wrong with me, another reason to run for help. ‎Little did I know that this was a very well-known ‎phenomenon among athletes.

The Journey Begins

It was here in between the lines, after the most difficult chapter of my life ended that my ‎journey towards the light of healing and empowerment began. The seeds of my blog were ‎surely sown there between the darkness and the light, without a doubt my passion to share ‎was.‎

Like most things in life, I believe that there is no absolute truth….

I will never know exactly ‎what happened. There is no black and white, only multiple shades of gray. Not all that ‎glitters is gold (or silver). I could only wear pure earrings. Gold and silver were fine, even ‎titanium worked for me before the operation. Anytime an inferior metal tried to pierce my ‎ears, my body was quick in rejecting it. Just before the operation I did manage to ‎successfully wear a popular hypoallergenic earring made by a famous Israeli designer. To ‎this day I have not tried to wear it again. Sometimes there are things that we are better off ‎not knowing….‎


C U – Here you have it the true story of C4-C5. Hault! Breathe in deep and take a moment to ‎feel, see and explore up close. See the whole in you and don’t let anyone else, even if she is ‎wearing a white coat, see you any differently.‎
I see you ☺


I would like to send healing vibrations of love to my dear cousin who at this moment is ‎healing from a multiple cervical fusion. She too is healing in an aura of abundant love and ‎gratitude to this beautiful life we have been granted. Go girl go! Love you … ☺‎

I would like to thank you for your patience in reading this post to its end.‎

If you liked what you read and you are not on my mailing list, you can sign up ‎here.‎

Finally I would like to request that you please share my post which precedes the ‎release of my animated clip (soon, I promise). I am so excited! Please share this ‎post…

Thank you and have a great week!‎


You tell your future! The power is ours!


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ChrisSHARI SAMSONHila GozaniJon calvo Recent comment authors
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Great story; I think it just goes to show that WE are the experts of our own bodies; no one else comes close. Follow your beliefs people..


Oy vey, I JUST wrote a note to you, I was so touched by your mention of my way of ‎choosing to help myself.‎ Thank you, Helene, for sharing. I was not aware of your spine story although I know you ‎have suffered quietly a great deal with other vague constitutional symptoms.‎ I believed once leaving the abusive marriage, my aches and pains would disappear, alas this ‎didn't occur. So them yoga was supposed to cure the pains of inflammation that remained ‎from years of misuse, and it helped but didn't cure.‎ Once one doc told me I was headed… Read more »

Jon calvo
Jon calvo

Wow wow wow
I have a dear freind, Ellie, who I'm going to share this with.
Thank you so much for your sharing, along with your gained wisdom and love