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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Hila Gozani
Hila Gozani
8 years ago

A story perhaps but my true story. I agree emphatically! WE are the experts of our own bodies!!!

8 years ago

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..

Hila Gozani
Hila Gozani
8 years ago

Shari ♥ I believe that I finally managed to "translate" your passionate reply to my post (Please let me know if I inadvertently made any mistakes…). Them smart phones, they ain't too smart now are they? You'd think because they are called "smart" that they would know how to "auto correct" our thoughts as they are recorded so clumsily with our fingers. I believe that there are too many superwomen walking within our midst. It is our task to learn from our experiences and prevent other beautiful lost souls from following our paths. Clearly our lives and those of our… Read more »

8 years ago

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 »

Hila Gozani
Hila Gozani
8 years ago

I endeavor to share in hopes that I can help others at their time of need
Share, share and share away

Jon calvo
Jon calvo
8 years ago

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