Tuesday, March 27, 2018


Fear lies at the root of all human suffering.

And fear drives our actions.

I truly believe that the key to inner peace - and world peace - relies on living life without fear.

If you don't fear your neighbor, you cannot and will not hate your neighbor.

If you refuse fear, death has no sting.

I live each day in fear.

I fear what my body will or won't do to me each day.

I fear the resurgence of antisemitism and what it means for my family.

I fear my inadequacies and flaws will render me unlovable.

I fear all this - human suffering - is for nothing.

But what if I wasn't afraid?

What if my body's malfunctions did not phase me? What if I were able to embrace my decay as beautiful, natural, inevitable, and GOOD?

What if, in the face of threats by those who would have the Jews wiped from the earth, I felt only compassion? Pity? Love?

What if, instead of fearing I'm too flawed to be loved, I chose the peace that comes with knowing I am a human being - and that, just BY being - I am a living testament of love? Of survival of the fittest? Of eons of evolution?

What if all of this human suffering IS for nothing? What's to fear there?

My life, in the grand scheme, may not mean a thing. But I got to touch an elephant. To smell a flower. To put my feet in the Jordan River.

And that is enough.


It is enough.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

I'm frightened

I'm frightened.

One of the many symptoms of my Fluoroquinolone Associated Disability (FQAD) is something many would consider benign - an inconvenience maybe, but not a big deal in the grand scheme.

Many would be wrong.

I completely lost my sense of smell and taste.

During the first year post-"flox" - I lost my sense of smell and taste for 6 months...but after that half-year, it came back.

I was unbelievably grateful for this, and considered it one of the few aspects of my illness to have rectified itself.

But a few months ago, these senses disappeared again.

And they haven't come back.

In addition to being emotionally devastating - I cannot smell the flowers. Or coffee. Or any of the other millions of smells that consistently brought me joy - this is a bad sign.

It's a bad sign for my recovery but - worse - loss of taste and smell is considered an early sign of debilitating neurological diseases including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

My grandfather died of Parkinson's, and watching him waste away was sobering and terrifying.

I remember thinking that, were I to ever develop Parkinson's, I'd rather die than live the life my grandfather had in his later years.

Now that Parkinson's seems like a real possibility...

I'm frightened.


Prior to FQAD, I had an extraordinary sense of smell.

Silly as it sounds, it was a source of pride for me.

That and my 20/20 vision.

FQAD robbed me of that too...

In fact, prior to FQAD I was a wonderful sleeper, had a beautiful head of hair, oily skin, no pain, perfect eyesight, sense of smell, vision...

FQAD took all of this.

All of this and more.

And to my knowledge, medical science isn't even studying FQAD, much less proposing cures.

I'm frightened.

I'm frightened.

I'm frightened.