Pain Relief Chapter 15


Asher questions Hindy about her prescription, which she emphasizes that she needs for pain. Asher first feels contrite that he has not noticed her difficulty, but then notices that she has changed the subject away from the painkillers.

*   *   *

Hindy spent the rest of the day playing catch-up, sitting with Yochi and trying to get herself organized at the same time. As much as she tried, she realized her heart was no longer in her work. She wondered if it was even worth it to keep it going, but what would she do instead?

Every time she felt another twinge in her back she reached for the bottle of Tylenol Codeine she’d gotten from Dr. Gladstone.

She finished the evening chores, feeling all the time like she was riding on a cloud. She stretched her arms and even swung them over her head and from side to side. To her great joy, there was no pain. Her back felt strong again. All it took to get relief was a tiny pill; it couldn’t be any easier. The directions had said to take one every four hours, but she hadn’t really watched the clock. It had only been a few days and she felt like a different person.

She was standing in the middle of the kitchen with the dish sponge still in her hand when Tzippy came in behind her.

“Hi, Ima,” she said.

Hindy could hear Tzippy talking, but suddenly her tongue was thick in her mouth. Her mouth moved, but no sound came out.

“Ima?” Now Tzippy was standing only inches away, their noses nearly touching. “Should I call Abba? Do you feel all right?”

Hindy shook her head. “No,” she said, much too loudly and more slowly than normal. “Don’t call Abba. He’s working late tonight. I’m fine.”

“Excuse me, Ima, but  you don’t look fine,” said Tzippy.

“I’m tired.”

“Excuse me again, Ima, but you don’t look tired either.”

“Tzippy! Please! There’s nothing wrong!”

“And, Ima, excuse me, but are you talking  in  s – l – o – o – w  m – o – t – i – o – n? She gestured with her hands, large, slow circles in the air.

Suddenly, Tzippy’s hand motions were making Hindy feel dizzy and nauseated. She felt that if she didn’t lie down soon she was going to fall.

“Tzippy, I’m going now. Good-night.” She felt like she was walking at an angle, but there seemed to be nothing she could do about it. She headed ponderously up the stairs, until she finally reached her bed. She crashed down onto it, and the room began to spin. I’ll never get to sleep like this. I better take some more of those pain pills, but before she could, she was more drowsy than dizzy, and then she was asleep.

*   *   *

She hadn’t been asleep more than half an hour when she felt a cool hand on her cheek, lightly patting it. “Hindy, wake up.”

She shook the unknown hand off her face. “What — what —” Then she recognized her mother. “Ma? But? Ma, why are you here?”

“Tzippy called us. She was worried about you, so I rushed right over.”

“I’m just tired, Ma. My back hurts. It really hurts.” She said it like a 10-year-old, as if she were trying to get a day off from school, devising ailments her mother had no way of verifying.

She felt her mother moving away from her, speaking in low tones to her father, who was standing in the doorway. She pushed herself up to a sitting position, though her brain had stayed on the pillow.

“What are you two discussing?” she asked, trying to sound casual.

Hindy’s parents turned to look at her with twin pairs of concerned eyes.

“Please don’t worry about me,” said Hindy.

“If we don’t, who will?” Her father stood a respectful distance away, while her mother had pulled up a chair right next to her.

“I’m sure if something was really wrong I’d have noticed it by now,” Hindy insisted.

“Not necessarily,” said her mother. “These things sneak up on a person. Tzippy said you reminded her of a machine whose batteries had run down.”

Hindy laughed for real this time. “That girl and her imagination.”

Lena didn’t smile in return. “I didn’t know what to think at first,” she said. “But she kept insisting something was wrong, so I came to see for myself. Now that I see you, I agree with her, but I don’t know what is wrong.”

“Ma. It’s nothing. Every time I wake from a deep sleep I’m a little off…”

“You’re asleep at eight o’clock? Since when do you go to bed at eight o’clock?”

“It was a nap.”

“That’s worse! Hindy, I’m taking you to Dr. Newman tomorrow for a check-up and a blood test. Maybe you have low iron, or your blood pressure is high.”

“I can’t go tomorrow. I have too much work to do.” This was not a lie, but it was not exactly true, either. She did have a lot of work scheduled, but it was unlikely she’d get to any of it. Her work held little interest for her any more, and she wondered how it ever had. Tomorrow would be Yochi’s lucky day.

“We’re going, and that’s final.”



To be continued . . .