In My Own Words - Personal venting by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Writer’s note: Having a bad week? Then maybe you should skip this column. After all, do you really need to have me kvetch about my problems when you’re having problems of your own? Or, maybe my kvetching will make you laugh or feel better about what is happening in your life. Either way, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Most of the time my hearing impairment doesn’t cause too many problems, but it was one of those weeks that everything seemed to go wrong. My hearing-aid mold broke (meaning I couldn’t use the aid) when I was trying to leave the house due to a family emergency. Then my captioned phone started acting weird – making strange noises and recording calls that had not occurred – and then finally died when I needed it to handle the aftermath of the emergency. To add insult to injury, some calls came to my cell phone because I needed to be reached outside the house. Unfortunately, not everyone could text me so I had to ask the nurses for help when it was too difficult to understand people. That meant they had to listen to the phone, tell me what the person said and then give me the phone to answer the question, before repeating the process. Thank goodness for the cochlear implant because, if I’d been trying to handle this with only one hearing aid, life would have been more difficult.
Of course, not all the problems have to do with my hearing. My back has been bothering me, I’m having trouble connecting with someone who might be our new snow removal person (after having back surgery years ago, shoveling heavy snow is not a great idea) and the hallway light at home broke. (And no, it’s not just the bulb: I checked that in another lamp.) 
Of course, everything is complicated by the holidays, and the fact that there are certain things I won’t do on them. What this means in practical terms is that there is less time to accomplish everything that needs to be done. I wish the holidays fell on the weekend this year because that would really have made life easier. While they do so next year, it doesn’t help me now. (By the way, while I love when six of the seven days we’re closed fall on a weekend, The Reporter’s non-Jewish staff is not as thrilled because they love the extra time off.)
In addition to all of the above, I’m coming down with a cold. Yes, I tried to get enough sleep and eat right during the emergency, but stress has a way of taking a toll. One of the advantages of being older, however, is that I know this all will pass. As I write this (before Rosh Hashanah), I just made an appointment to get my ear mold fixed (if possible) or to get a new one. The electrician and the snow removal person can be reached next week. I just have to find the phone number for the company that supplies the captioned phone and call to find out when they can send someone to fix the phone or give me a new one. And if I manage to get enough rest (which I plan to do), the cold should get better, rather than worse.
As for all the people who gave support during this emergency, thank you. The staff of The Reporter did such a great job proving how well they can handle the office without me (even though they keep saying they need me). Here’s hoping by the time you read this after Yom Kippur, things are back to relatively normal.