Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting. The story begins a year ago, when I started feeling numbness in my feet and tingling in my arms. I saw my doctor, who ordered an MRI of my neck, then sent me to a neurosurgeon. The surgeon informed me that I had bone spurs in my cervical vertebrae that were compressing my spinal cord, causing all kinds of problems. The best approach, he said, was to operate, take off a piece of my vertebrae, scrape off the bone spurs, then stabilize my neck with a metal plate and screws. I stopped listening when he said "screws." I thought about a second opinion but found one unexpectedly, when I spoke to the husband of a woman whose conversion I was supervising. He was also a neurologist and agreed with the first doctor's plan of attack. He even told me his wife had had the surgery and was doing just fine. So I contacted the neurosurgeon for a surgery date. Frankly, at this point I'm looking forward to it. I am having trouble walking - my balance is off because my leg and foot muscles don't always cooperate, and my right leg feels like it's losing its strength. The date is approaching. I visit Kaiser on Sunset in Los Angeles for pre-op prep on Dec. 20, and the surgery is set for Jan. 4. The doctor foresees 4-6 days in the hospital, followed by rehab if I have trouble walking, or straight home if I'm good. Physical therapy comes to visit me in the beginning, after which I can go to my local Kaiser for PT. I will not be able to drive for two months, but if someone drives me, I am allowed to get out of house arrest. I will be wearing a soft collar most of the time. Conversation piece. I'm really not worried about the outcome of the surgery. At my first visit, the neurosurgeon said I was in good shape - "most people don't come to me til they're in a wheel chair." I have no intention of attending my granddaughter's bat mitzvah in two years in a wheel chair. I do worry about pain. I don't enjoy pain. But it will pass, with good drugs, and I will return to my life. I do expect to chafe under inactivity, the inability to jump in my car when I want to (I do after all live in Los Angeles), because I so hate to be dependent on others. Hate it hate it hate it. But this too shall pass. Until then, either I or my son Scott or my cousin Marcia will keep this page up to date with my progress. Once I'm past the pain stage, I hope to record my thoughts on this first surgery in my life (how did I make it this far without going under a knife???). For those of you so inclined, prayers may be said for Ravdina bat Miriam.