Equal Partners
by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners

By Roland Ezri

"Women are the backbone of all societies. They do a substantial part of the work, and play a major role in raising the future generation yet they are largely powerless. The decisions that count are made by men and foisted upon women."

Writings by Roland Ezri

The Second Exodus – Egypt – LX. My Years at 12A Rue Khantaret Ghamra – Sickness (4 of 6)


I was 9 when my mother realized that I had never been inoculated against typhoid. Therefore, I was taken to the doctor to get vaccinated. Within days, I was sick – with typhoid fever. There was little doubt that something was wrong with the serum; most probably, it contained bacteria that have not been properly killed.

Typhoid proved the hardest childhood disease I had. Unfortunately, I came down with it shortly before antibiotics became available. (Antibiotics existed but had not yet reached Egypt. The only drugs that could be used were the Sulpha drugs). For one month, I was very ill; it was a touch and go situation. But my mother was determined to have the last word. She, together with my father and grandmother, labored day and night to keep the flame of life burning. And it paid dividends.

A month later, Dr. El Masry declared that I was out of danger, but that I would require a long convalescence. Bed rest was ordered for one month. The following month, I started walking around the house, and eventually went out for short periods.

My muscles were aching since they have not been used for 2 months. I was also depressed. Finally, I returned to school after an absence of 3 months. Repeating my grade was a near certainty. But at the end, it didn’t happen. Nevertheless, the typhoid left me with a permanent problem: I became myopic! What is the connection between typhoid and myopia? For years I searched for an answer.  Today I finally have one:  it has nothing to do with typhoid, rather, it was the Sulpha drugs that caused the myopia.  I suppose, it was a small price to pay since the Sulpha drugs saved my life!

We were in Italy when I came down with the measles. I was 20, and at such an age, it’s a dangerous sickness. Mercifully, I eventually pulled through.

At 24, when I was living in Israel, I was diagnosed with an enlarged prostate. “It’s an old man condition,” the doctor kept repeating. Perhaps. But it hounded me for the rest of my life!

Four times I went under the knife. Three of them were urgent surgeries; in other words, I went from the emergency room to the operating theater.

I had a strangulated hernia. I had a perforated bowel, followed by another operation to reconnect the two ends (the only so called optional surgery; had I turned it down, I would have been left holding the bag for the rest of my life!) The last one (I hope) became necessary after I broke my hip.

If you ever meet me and hear me muttering to myself: “Life in the flesh is not easy,” you will know why!

But all that was nothing but a walk in the woods! The worse ailment was the depression that plagued Norma (my wife) and myself for years.

By the mid-’70s, Norma fell into a deep depression. By the end of the ’70s, it was my turn. On and off, I had bouts of depression, and it went on for 14 years! Only in 1993, after being hospitalized, and put on SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor) did I get better. If only this class of drugs had existed before, I would not have spent so many years of my life in the wilderness.

Mind you, those years were not a complete write-off. I held on to my job. I discovered classical music and the magical world of opera. I listened to some 50 operas and attended most of them. My family expanded its horizons; we taught our children to love knowledge for its own sake. I read the Urantia Book from cover to cover. Never again would I look at my planet first, and the rest of the universe next, in the same way.

But always, always, the black cloud of depression hovered over our family. It was no easy matter for our two children to interact with 2 depressed parents.

No, life in the flesh is not easy!

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