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Posts Tagged ‘anemia’

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Happy 79th Birthday to my mom!

As her memory goes, I wonder what I am responsible for. Am I the holder and keeper of her memories and secrets? When can I tell them? What does my brother know? What does she remember? Is what I know true?

I do wish my mother happiness, but it seems an elusive wish. She says she has always been lucky, lucky to have come to the United States and to have found the life she did. But her childhood tells a story, not of luck, but of trauma. I wonder how this fits into her definition of luck; but I will never ask her.

I titled this selfish because I am not using my post today only for a birthday wish for my mother. I don’t really think I’m selfish, because it’s my blog and I want to use it just for that—for myself. But I do feel guilty a tiny bit. I think being a mother, a daughter, a wife, means I always have a tiny lingering guilt. I am sure not all women are like this. I wish I could shake it, but apparently I am not yet evolved to that point. Perhaps this could be my Christmas wish for myself or my New Year’s resolution.

I have snippets of writing lately, nothing coming out whole cloth like I used to have. I know, honestly, most of that needed heavy editing anyway.

What do I wish for? Better poems, more poems, dream poems, publishable poems, poems that will make you swoon, will make you weep, make you laugh, make you buy my books (what books, twinkly? oh, right), fruit poems, frozen bud poems, bloody blue poems, pink poems, feather poems, leaf-and-snow poems, mom poems, wife poems, marriage poems, sex poems, fuck poems, love poems, fucking poems, magical poems, clear poems, anatomical parts poems, important poems, a-political poems, no-more-guns poems, deep poems, no-murky-bits poems. Enough! This kind of thinking is so anti-Alexander Technique that I can hardly continue to allow myself its luxurious indulgence.

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Here are 2 recent poem snippets:

(SNIPPET ONE)

When Shall I Be Delivered

I begged for more from the world

It started inside
a pinprick
where I was once attached

You have not delivered me

With each bout
of bleeding
my density increases
alongside my insatiable hunger

My marrow
pumping erythrocytes
for every drop
that falls

Not much
they always say
a few tablespoons

If men bled
they would find
a more poetic measure
than cups and spoons
(a woman’s place is in the kitchen)

But I know the feeling
of the soldier
draining into the muddy earth
the sand with its greed
taking more than its share
pints and quarts and gallons for drenching

I am ready for the firing squad
or operating theater

I am ready for my uterus
to be yanked out by
its mooring ligaments

No scars
only
a virginal torso
left

I didn’t need you any more
anyway

But thanks
for the ride

(SNIPPET 2)

December 17

My mother is a husk
a Christmas walnut
cracked open

The meat of her
gone

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La Jolla

harbor seals

didn’t I write about vibrissae here before?

Latin is cool because of the –a ending singular and –ae ending plural

that is really about as much as I know about Latin

how, how, how could the mammals have come onto the land and have gone back into the water? it boggles the mind, but Hubby is right, it’s just what they did, they must have needed to. food? rising oceans? do you actually think I’ll read this and find out the truth? hell no! but you can.

pinnipeds

we decided to rent bikes, only a 2-mile-ish walk to the rental place, so we walked. noonday sun, so cal style, not a cloud. me? sunscreen, gott sei dank. enough water, apparently not. definitely slightly dehydrated from the 10 hours of travel yesterday, you know how dry the air in airports and airplanes is, you know how much dryer it is here than in New England.

got to the rental place and I already had a headache, but then riding the bike uphill, uphill, me with not enough air in my lungs (still), I pooped out. but I still got back to our place alright. there is a really nice bike lane on the main drag (Torrey Pines Road) outside of town (although there’s no where to cross the street on your bike if you are facing one way and need to get the other way, very few traffic lights where this would be possible and safe, wtf?) but no bike lanes in the town of La Jolla per se and rather terrifyingly huge SUVs, around which one can hardly see or be seen, parked up and down every street. it seems like mostly people are driving slowly in town and are acclimated to lots of crosswalks and pedestrians. I was not a very good cyclist today, alternating between the sidewalk and the road and even riding without my helmet on the second trip. I just wish I had more dang air already and I promise to wear my helmet at all times tomorrow.

after our first ride, I had to pop some ibuprofin, drink a slew of water, rest, and I was pretty well recovered. when we rode back to the rental place later to pick up a lock, the air had cooled rather beautifully and I felt much stronger. even the hills (there are really only a couple) seemed easier and my breath was better. La Jolla, not bad, I tell you, not bad at all.

writing about biking and anemia is pretty boring, I admit, but I still haven’t told you the whole sordid story of why I have been bleeding so much in the last year. I finally found out last month but I won’t go into it right now.

it’s nice to be in a Mediterranean/maritime (I looked it up) climate. the flowers and plants all smell so good. the jade hedges go on and on, they are HUGE, the rosemary is abundant as well, the trees are fascinating, exotic, and beautiful. I forgot how it all looks out here, though I’ve never been this far south in California, I just mean the Pacific Coast tout entire. god the flowers, god the plants, god the birds. the seals, the ocean. the fruit and vegetables taste pretty darn good, too.

the Mission architecture, the Spanish tile roofs, the colorful buildings, the windows, the wealth. the racism that you know is just under the surface, is not that long-gone (if at all).

St. James Church, across the street from our b and b, with the most amazing dragon tree, as you can see

not the Republicans, though, no, not them. Romney has a house here as does McCain, but I did see 2 Obama bumper stickers in a row today. gott sei dank.

I can’t wait ’til the whole obscene mess is over. the money, the waste. if Romney makes it in, I’d like to leave. Quebec isn’t far from me when I’m home, but they want Obama in the WH up there as much as I do and are subject to the influence of the POTUS same as everyone.

I am sorry my anemia is making me fatter and older. it’s unfair, really. every time I go through this, I gain about 8 pounds and lose about 2 years in my face. I try not to talk about my weight and body image, because, well, I have the same issues any American woman does, but I find it boring and demeaning. but today, I gave myself permission because I’ve about had it.

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Fuck you, Lance Armstrong.

I never got one of those bright yellow bracelets because frankly, it seemed very trendy. It even smacked of wrong. Everyone with a buck seemed to have one or more. Children of privilege. Grown-ups. The more, the better. And what were they made of? Junky plastic? Yes, silicone. Thanks, LANCE, for adding to plastic in the environment. Did you make sure that the poor people in factories in poor countries were paid a living wage to make a buncha [mostly] white Westerners feel good about donating to cancer research? Pretty soon everyone had a different bracelet of a different color and pattern for every different charity under the sun. Can’t Westerners just do the right thing without pointing out that they’ve done the right thing? Can’t you donate some time or money without getting a fucking medal? Fuck you.

Look, I know you are my friends and peers. I know you mean well. But you need to question the need for this kind of thing in the future. You need to examine the impact of your little trendy bangles and baubles and “gifts” to charity. Fuck yes. Yes fuck. Fuck. Yes.

I don’t really care if Armstrong was doping. I’m not a big follower of sports. I do appreciate athleticism. I remember reading a New Yorker article many years ago about Lance Armstrong. It was impressive. He was impressive. He IS impressive, doping or no doping. I remember that he was the most studied athlete in all history. On the one hand, it makes me puke, because FUCK YOU, what about women giving birth for centuries without drugs and all that people have had to endure with no accolades? What about war and poverty? Poor people in horrible conditions. The slaves in the hulls of ships. Slaves, period. The Holocaust. But no, we have to study the length of Lance Armstrong’s femurs and throw a buttload of money all over the place to show we care. The culture is so twisted and obsessed with celebrity and sports.

Now, what I’d really like is some dope for my fucking anemia. I can’t breathe my full breath, Lance Armstrong. I was riding today and I never got my breath. Fuck you.

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When I was a kid, I had a book about a tiny woodland family that a little girl finds and brings home. She makes them a little house and uses a little wooden spool for a table for them and all sorts of things. I still have the book. It’s all banged up, a small paperback without acid-free pages, obviously. When I found the book a few years ago and read it to my daughters, the story was not as good as I remembered. I loved that book so much. Probably because of all the cuteness of the tiny objects the girl uses to welcome the tiny family. I think that is the name. The Tiny Family. It is by the same guy who wrote the Clifford books, Norman Birdswell. Okay. I did not look any of that up to check for accuracy. I will though because you know how compulsive I am about accuracy.

I am so glad I looked that up. I’m leaving all of my inaccuracies up there, though. Aren’t you proud of me? I got the last name wrong, as you can see. 50 cents, can you believe it? That is how old I am. Why doesn’t my computer have a cent symbol? You don’t like pennies Steve Jobs (RIP)? Oh, crap. I found it. Here: ¢. You want me to do that again? Here: ¢. I could do this all night. Look: ¢. WordPress, all is forgiven. twinkly forgives you for all of your faults. At least for now.

My point is that I haven’t had a period in 5 or 6 months. Mostly because of my fabulous, life-saving, bleeding-stopping acupuncturist. The ONLY person who had a real solution last winter when I was suffering from anemia and wouldn’t stop bleeding for ever and ever. Not the standard medical approach which just kept me bleeding and bleeding and losing more and more blood by the minute the minute I went off of progesterone (You’ll get a period, only it will probably be lighter and won’t last as long MY ASS!).

Well, yours truly started bleeding 11 days ago and I haven’t stopped yet. I’m starting to get anemic. I can feel it. It’s been a few days coming on now. Headaches, dizziness, sore throat, weakness, breathlessness (not the good kind). Yes, of course I take extra iron. But now I have to start eating red meat and more kale (I eat kale about 2ce a week year ’round anyway). Now I have to cook in a cast iron pan (Wait. I already do that regularly too). Now I have to ? See? I have been without my period for so long, I forgot what to do. Wait! I know something….¢

My tiny visitor is back. She is red. She does not wear a tiny flower for a hat. She does not sit on a thimble when she eats her breakfast. She is the same one who visited last year for 67 days out of 90. She is the one I love but who should only be here for a couple of days and then leave me the fuck alone.

Needless to say, I started taking my Yunnan Baiyao TODAY. 11 days is enough. But I’m not in menopause so there’s always that gift. You should see my boobs. LIKE A TEENAGER, I tell you! I will miss them when all of this stops. I really haven’t had boobs like this since my 20s. I won’t miss my other plumpness, though. Fuck you, you midsection bloat.

Sigh Sigh, Tiny Visitor. Sew and Flow, beautiful red flower in my underpants. I hope not to see you for a while. But thanks for the boobs. It was fun (and somewhat painful fer chrissakes! these babies hurt!) while it lasted. One day I’ll kiss you good-bye for good, I just won’t know it until a whole fucking year goes by. Haven’t gotten there yet.

This chart is bullshit. Fuck this chart. It is totally inaccurate. It’s not even red or bloody.

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Before the birth of my first daughter, my midwife gave me a recipe for LABOR AID, a concoction that was supposed to help keep me hydrated and energized during the whole of labor and childbirth. Paul must have made the batch of it up at some point, I don’t really remember, but it is one of the best things I can think of from an otherwise long and exhausting birth (I still haven’t told you my birth stories. Some day maybe).

I have been trying to find an adequate recipe for a home-made energy drink since I’ve started biking again. I tend to be more dehydrated than most people, not sure why; add to that the intense heat this spring and I often find myself thirsty and head-achy even on days I’m not working out. I know I need support in the form of fluids and minerals. I feel it deep down in myself and high up in my light-headed brain. It’s a familiar place which seems to go hand-in-hand somehow with sleep-deprivation, depression, and anemia.

Here’s the rough labor aid recipe I’ve been making of late. My youngest kid, the baker, has the job of helping to make this when I call for it. She pulls out the funnel, strainer, lemons, maple syrup, and sea salt, as well as the old green glass Sunsweet Prune Juice jar from my childhood. And away we go….

Labor Aid or Sports Drink Recipe:

juice of 3 lemons

1/4 C maple syrup (you already know we use local, because, well, we can)

1/2 tsp sea salt (I use whatever we have in the cupboard, but I am partial to pink varieties)

4-5 C water

Put it all in an appropriate refrigerator jar or pitcher, whatever you’ve got. My old green glass jar, from my childhood, is my favorite. It holds 40 oz. of liquid, it’s skinny to fit better in our crammed fridge; it rocks. Shake. Refrigerate. Shake again and drink at will. Enjoy. Make more.

Notes:

Recently, someone told me that Celtic sea salt has the highest concentration of minerals of all sea salts. I haven’t heeded the advice yet, so fuck me. That’s how one gets to be in labor (eventually) in the first place.

When I searched on teh internets, I found that many recipes call for adding 1 or 2 crushed Ca-Mg tablets. You make your stuff, I’ll make mine. They also said you can just drink some Emergen-C as a substitute for Gatorade. So fuck me again.

Sometimes I strain the lemon juice, sometimes not. I like pulp, but running the juice through a sieve makes the process of getting rid of the abundant seeds a lot easier.

I have used this for taking my Fe supplements when I’m anemic. Fe is better absorbed when taken with something acidic, so this drink is a good way of getting that synergistic Vitamin C at the same time.

Here’s a photo I lifted off of google images because it was so much easier than taking a photo of my own bottle. When Hubby and I used to go on road trips, I’d make up a big batch of raspberry iced tea and put it in one of these jars, oh god, that was good stuff! I used to have a clear glass bottle and a brown one, too. I think my mom still has another green one like this. You can find them at antique malls and junk shops. Of course, the lid on mine has been replaced, the old ones are usually rusted. I think baby food jar lids fit. My current bottle has a lid from maraschino cherries which makes a mind-blowing combination of childhood glass memories.

I could tell a story about how one of my green glass bottles broke one winter. It involves hot coffee, about 8 inches of snow on the back porch, my eager scientific mind, and my desire for my frozen-blended coffee drink double-fast.

Anyway, let me know what you think and feel free to share your own recipes. I’ll be waiting! Love, twinkly

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You probably don’t remember that February is birthday month around here. When you have 4 core family members and half of them have birthdays in February, right after Valentine’s Day, no less, it’s a big deal. Makes for scrambling and excitement and extra cake.

As far as other things I’m grateful for, I’ve been feeling mostly better for almost 2 weeks. After a 7-week hiatus I got to go to Shape Note singing on Tuesday night, took Vi with me, sang for about an hour. It was fabulous. I had enough breath and I was using my best Alexander thinking due to having been around one of my colleagues on Saturday night (nothing to get good psycho-physical unification functioning like being around another Alexander teacher!).

In the 7-and-a-half years that I’ve been singing Sacred Harp on Tuesday nights in Northampton, Mass, I have never missed as many weeks in a row as I did over this extended period of ill health.

I also returned to yoga this week. This was the longest period in which I’ve missed yoga classes in over 3 years. Seven weeks. I was much stronger than I imagined, not so much was lost. I’ve still got muscles–even my abs (who knew?) and I’m regaining my breath very nicely.

Today is Hubby’s birthday and also marks the 25th anniversary of our first date. I don’t have a photo to share (I should get out the scanner) and I’m tired of google images, but I think some color is needed to break up the monotony of all these words.

I have now passed the point in my life after which I will now have known Paul for longer than I haven’t. I love to mark time in this way.

Time lengthening, time speeding up.

On Tuesday, I got to lead one of my favorite songs from The Sacred Harp:

#230 Converting Grace

As pants the hart for cooling streams, When heated in the chase;

So longs my soul, O God, for Thee, and Thy refreshing grace.

Oh, for converting grace, and oh, for sanctifying pow’r; Lord, we ask in Jesus’ name, A sweet, refreshing show’r.

For Thee, my God, the living God, My thirsty soul doth pine;

Oh, when shall I behold Thy face, Thy majesty divine?

Why restless, why cast down, my soul?  Hope still; and thou shalt sing

Praise of Him who is thy God, Thy heath’s eternal spring.

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I’ve only got the energy to post a video today. However, it’s a good one, a family favorite, and if you’ve never heard of the series “Look Around You,” you are in for a treat! If you went to public school in the US in the ’60s and ’70s, you’ll relate even more….did those cheesy filmstrips exist even in the ’50s? One supposes the answer is yes–you are right, yes.

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