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Mama Deb
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Yom Kippur

These was either the worst or the best Yom Kippur I've ever had. Physically, it was definitely the worst.

I had not sufficiently rehydrated on Friday, nor had I eaten enough. Normally, I spend half the night going to the bathroom because I *over*hydrate. Not this time. I knew that was a probability going in, so I turned off the light in my fridge. I normally don't because we're not going to open it, right?

I was fine for Kol Nidre and the service right afterwards, although I sat when permitted. This is a change for me - I normally stand all I can, especially on Yom Kippur.

But the morning - I was *hungry*, which, well, I usually am, but this was worse. And when I got there, I found myself getting dizzy if I stood too much. I managed to keep standing by leaning on the wall next to me for the Amidah and the confessionals, but otherwise, I sat even when the Aron Kodesh was open. Standard shul practice is stand out of respect when that's open, but I couldn't. Even Yizkor - the memorial prayers for the dead - was odd for me. I stood but said things very quickly. Normally, I have a long talk with my father at this point. I feel very close to him at Yizkor - like he's listening. And this year, with Mom getting remarried and all, I needed that. I had to remind myself to do it. I don't know.

It didn't help that, as usual during the High Holidays, the shul was over-air-conditioned. Correction - to have the correct AC on the men's side, where they're wearing several layers (suits, kittels, tallitot), it was even colder on the women's side. This is the vagueries of our shul AC. I wore a wool shawl, which helped a fair bit, but I was COLD. I found myself huddling under it. Anyway, I got through shacharit and musaf (musaf was blindingly fast, for which I was grateful,although generally speaking I'd wonder what the point of that would be.) And I sat on my chair leaning against the wall huddled in my shawl and everyone asked how I was, and if they should get Jonathan.

And if I wanted water. Or juice. Or even crackers. Yeah. One of the things that kept me more or less upright during service was dreading the reaction and disruption if I weren't. And I couldn't even think and then a friend of mine handed me a cup of water. And I held it and stared at it. Because taking a drink - even though I thought I would when I got home for the break (a *four* hour break, btw) - was extremely hard. My friend sat there to convince me, telling me it was a mitzvah and I took a drink and I cried. In the sixteen years I've been doing this - even last year, when my blood sugar was still so high - I never had to drink. So I got even more attention, and Jonathan, who'd been helping to straighten up, finally showed up, and someone else offered me juice. And I hadn't take my meds for a couple of days, and certainly not that morning, and orange juice is one of the things diabetics give up, except for emergency lows.

I took it,and drank it. And even ate a handful of my wheat crackers.

Now, the reason everyone was still hanging around was that it was raining, and no one was prepared for rain. Umbrellas were out, of course, but no one had raincoats, either. So they were hoping for a break in the weather. So another friend leant me an extra shawl, which was enough to warm me up, and then we went to talk to the rabbi. Who took one look at me and asked if I were all right. :/

Verdict - I should go home and rest and NOT COME BACK. And *if* I really felt the need to eat or drink, I should eat tiny quantities and wait five or six minutes between each mouthful. That is, if I felt I was either in danger or if not eating would put me in danger. I think that had happened and several ounces of liquid and the crackers took care of that already.

So, since the rain had let up, I went home, leaning heavily on Jonathan. And went to bed and went to sleep, waking just about three hours later, when Jonathan was about to go back. He mixed me a bottle of "Hydration", which is the Crystal Light (no sugar) version of Gatorade and put it, at my request, just out of reach. After he left, I put a skirt over my nightgown and said minchah, and then spent the rest of the yom tov alternating between reading Narnia, daydreaming and crying over not being in shul. I *like* being in shul on Y'K. We have a cozy corner and it makes such a difference, plus I missed two confessions because I could only do the silent part at home, and I'd miss the shofar blast. And wondering if my lack of focus made the whole day worthless anyway. Just before nightfall, I said Neilah, and waited until full dark, and broke my fast with the Hydration.

As for the "best" - I've never cried before. I've never been worried about the quality of my tshuva. I never just prayed I was doing the right thing. So maybe,even with the private prayers and the breaking of the fast early, it did the job. I don't know.

This morning, I have a vague headache that coffee will cure, but physically I feel back to normal.


I'm so sorry it was difficult for you.

The past couple YKs have been odd for me too. Last year I was on modified bedrest and under dr's Rabbi's orders to eat and drink shiurim. The only time I made it to shul was for most of Neilah and Ma'ariv. This year I stayed home again with the baby. I didn't even go to shul for Neilah.

I can't imagine how mothers manage it. Being home makes the fast harder just because there is a kitchen full of food *right there*, plus you have to take care of and feed the kids, and if you go to shul, you're constantly interrupted by them, and you still need to feed them.

Plus daavening must be next to impossible. It has to take tremendous strength.

I'm sorry you had to go through all that.

But I do think the quality of the prayers is so important, so your idea that it was the best makes sense too.

I'm glad you're feeling better.

Seconded. I hope your body is back on track soon.

It seems to be. I even helped put out our (admittedly easy to put up) sukkah yesterday.

Thank you! I even managed to help put up the sukkah yesterday.

(no subject) - (Anonymous)

*Hugs back*

*HUGS* It sucks when health problems get in the way of things that mean so much to us.

I've been ill on holidays before - massive sinus headache/mimic migraine one Shavuot when I had company coming - but it's just worse on Y"K. It's the most important day of the year, after all.

I'm glad you're feeling better now, but am awfully sorry this was such a YK for you physically. good to know that everyone was looking out for you, and even though you missed out on shul, it's probably for the best that you stayed home

Oh, it certainly was best I stayed home. I shouldn't even have gone in the morning - if I had stayed home, I'd have probably managed without breaking the fast at all.

But I do love my community so very much. I felt very cared for - I even got phone calls afterwards asking how I was, and everyone asked Jonathan when he went back in the afternoon.

i'm sorry you had such an awkward day when you were looking forward to it. but you still had a chance to talk to your father, and your health is important. i'm glad you're feeling better.

I'll have another chance to talk with Daddy in a couple of weeks - we say yizkor one more time, plus his yarzheit is the next day. He'll understand. And I can talk with him anytime, really, can't I?

I'm so sorry you had to go through that. I'm glad that you have such a caring community to help you, though.

It's a small congregation, which is one of the major pluses (not to mention a kind and learned rabbi.) But, yes, it's also very close and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

I know it's a difficult admission to make to oneself, that one may, at any given moment, be to infirm to fast. But we are commanded to "choose life" and not to jeopardize ourselves through the fast. I'm glad you were in the midst of a caring community that knew that.

I permitted myself my meds and some water to wash them down in the AM. I took my metformin, even though I knew it would be a long way to food, because I actually go high on a fast. My body breaks down fat, and then doesn't know how to cope with the glucose.

I fasted well, but Morgan, who is recovering from knee surgery, fared less well. I wanted her to Hydrate during the day for the sake of her healing cartilage. But she wanted to soldier on. She made it through ne'ilah, but she's the worse for wear.

Off to get ty-raps for the sukkah.

I didn't take any of my meds other than the Zetia. Last Y"K, I tested very frequently and found I never went too low or too high, so I knew I could fast safely. But last year, I was also otherwise healthy.

And, again, we are blessed with our Minyan. (Next year, when Jonathan retires, I'm going to see about joining the board.)

I hope you continue to feel better.

Amen. Thank you.

yashar kochech.

seriously. I think it's incredibly impressive that you managed to take care of your physical health while keeping such focus and kavannah (or, at least, the *desire* for focus and kavannah, which might be more important.)

and may you be inscribed (have been inscribed?) for a wonderful year to come.

Thank you! G'mar tov!

I did the best I could.

My friend sat there to convince me, telling me it was a mitzvah

Bless your friend for her compassion and wisdom.

Yes, I know that fasting is important. It's a tool to help you find spiritual enlightenment. It's hard and challenges are good for the soul.


Hon, you were sick and you tried your hardest. The purpose of a fast is to bring you closer to God, not the grave.

(Glad to hear you are feeling better.)

She's a very learned woman (I know from experience - we used to be study partners.)

Yes, one of the purposes of the fast is to take us out of our physical beings to a state close to that of angels, who do not eat or drink or procreate, but if there is danger, we stop.

And given how I reacted to the juice and water, I think there was some potential danger. But it's so hard to know. I'm glad I spoke to my rabbi.

I'm sorry to hear you were that ill. Glad you're better now.


I'm very glad you had the support you did, and I'm so sorry things were difficult for you.