“So a month later I had surgery; they crushed the boulder and removed it. I went home in hope and patiently waited for my situation to improve, vis a vis the pain.
“Two months went by with my still having horrible pain. I went back to the doctors and new tests were done. Now they found a non-malignant tumor in my stomach, resting on my adrenal gland (which explained the perspiration and hormonal imbalance and nervous system issues – beyond the paralysis).”
At this point, reading the anguish on my face, Chaim K. tells me not to worry – the story has a happy ending.
“On the day they told me about the tumor I thought: ‘What a miserable human being I must be to that so much punishment meted on me, is this what I deserve?’
“After I finally recovered from the first surgery I went into the second one.
“When I returned home, Baruch Hashem, my medical/pain situation began to improve. Two years of pain and suffering later, I had almost given up on being my normal again – and then I had my first pain free minute! Well, that feeling was short-lived and I realized that Hashem put a new challenge in front of me. I had to overcome the addictions to all the pain medications and heavy narcotics that had been prescribed (one way or another) and learn to live with the pain.
“As if I needed a new challenge.
“At the beginning I tried to go ‘cold turkey’ reducing the amount of narcotic pills and patches I was using. I very quickly discovered that this was an impossible task on my own. One night I saw a television program about a group of people who were addicted to pain medicine and lo and behold, the medication I had been taking was on the top of the list. They talked about a new procedure that a Dr. Weizman had developed to wean patients off of medications without having to go through the harrowing pain of withdrawal. It was an absolutely brilliant and simple idea. The addict was anaesthetized and injected with a formula that would clean out the opiates. The procedure was reported to cost $20,000 in the United States.
“The next day I did some research and was surprised to learn that Dr. Weizman was an Israeli who works HERE in Barzilai hospital in Ashkelon!
“I was so happy and felt that it was hashgacha pratit, Hashem had answered my prayers.
“To make a very long story shorter, I scheduled a meeting with the doctor. He was, and is, a very good person; actually I call him my angel. He offered to do the procedure completely pro-bono, allowing my insurance to cover all expenses and not taking a penny (agura) for himself! His standard fee is over $15,000 not including hospital fees.
“He set up everything for me in lightning speed. In a few days, (you can imagine how quick that is here), I was checked in at Barzilai as a patient of Dr. Weizman’s.
“Well, really it came after two to three weeks of withdrawal, but I came out of the tunnel seeing the world as if for the first time. No pain and a renewed and revised attitude to life.
You have to thank Hashem for every second of goodness, health and happiness in your life, and remember that it can always be worse. Even in my darkest hours there was a glimmer of that axiom, It Can Always Be Worse.
“So when you are in a bad place, and you feel it can’t get worse, remember my story and me, and know that you should always be thankful for what you do have.”