Feb 14, 2009

6 years - We Will Not Forget You

6 years ago, on Valentine's day, I was admitted into the hospital. I was 24 weeks pregnant and I was feeling great. But my doctor's appointment showed a blood pressure of 180/100, and my kidneys were spilling a lot of protein - sign that they are not functioning well... I had preeclampsia. It is a disease that could be very dangerous for the mother and the baby. The only known cure is delivery of the baby, and at 24 weeks of pregnancy, this is problematic as the babies cannot live without a lot of interventions and they risk blindness, deafness, cerebral palsy, and all sorts of other issues.

My baby was stillborn on February 17, and my own hospital ride after delivery was quite bumpy: fluid in the lungs, unexplained high fever, high blood pressure... the problems never seemed to end. 

After this, we became involved with the Preeclampsia Foundation and I made a ton of friends there and acquired knowledge about my disease and support for our subsequent pregnancy. I am so grateful that the organization and the forum exists because they were my family for a number of years. If you know anyone having any similar issues, make sure you tell them about the website.

6 years later, I finally feel a bit more detached from the experience. I'm still thinking about it, but the trauma is mostly gone. Of course having a 3 years old that is extremely happy and healthy and normal in any way helps a lot.

This year, for the first time, my 3 yo son could somewhat understand what I'm talking about. He asked if we're lightning a candle for Angel's birthday, and he wanted to sing Happy Birthday and to bake Angel a cake. We will go see the ocean where Angel's ashes were spread. It is comforting to know that anywhere there's a sea or ocean there could be a microscopic cell of our dear son.
The other thing I did for Angel was to plant a little garden of Forget-Me-Nots and Lilly-of-the-Valleys (called little tears - Lacramioare - in Romanian). It is great during the spring and summer, but in the winter, there's nothing there. 

I have a friend, Kitty, that takes great nature pictures and she happened to have the Forget-Me-Not picture above. She got me a beautiful print that I framed and I am now keeping with my family pictures. I love the personal nature of buying stuff made by friends, and to personally know the artist or person that made something. 


Feb 10, 2009

My class graduated

For the last couple of years while I was blogging about social anxiety, I also followed a number of other social-anxiety related blogs. And, happily for all of us, it seems that we all graduated: 

  • S A Dave got a job and he's doing pretty well there and has no spare time to write,
  • "The guy at Successfully Shy" moved on with life (and Congratulations for the recent event!)
  • Matt released his e-book
  • Drew gave away his blog to Vladimir
  • and I keep dreaming about starting to blog about something else.
I keep promising and I always come back. Well, I had a very promising proof of my emotional maturity this week-end and I also will start having a bit more time at work... so I think now it's the time to get this project going. 

It's time for a new generation of socially anxious to take over. The world is so much different these days: you have UTube and communities all over the place. Good luck to you all! 

Feb 1, 2009

Books - Michael Pollan

I heard a few people positively mentioning Michael Pollan's - The Omnivore Dilemma, so I read it and I loved it so much that I had to also read In Defense of Food. 

Finally food and nutrition books that make sense instead of scaring you to death and making you wonder how come other people aren't dead by now with the food they eat. The Omnivore Dilemma starts by  describing the industry of growing corn in America and all its uses, and the drama of both the producer and the consumer in an industrialized agriculture. It continues with a trip to a "post-organic" farm in Virginia, and end with his adventures in hunting and gathering the food for a meal the way our ancestors must have done it. 

In Defense of Food suggests a heathier way of eating that might help avoid the Western diseases. It explains where nutritionism and reductionist studies fail. He suggests that we restart eating the way our ancestors did and keep the food culture alive. We need to know where our food comes from and need to be mindful while eating it.

I especially loved The Omnivore Dilemma... as I read through it, I wanted to go and start a farm myself... 

In the end I have an idea where I want to go and I have a probable explanation for my ulcerative colitis. While this was not mentioned as one of the Western Diseases, I think it fits right in. The books are very well researched, they are shockful of references.

My conclusions: over the next couple of years I will work on restarting to eat the way my parents did, I will start my own garden and will subscribe to a CSA. I will work toward going less often to grocery stores and on eating more plants and more diverse foods. I will also work towards becoming more mindful of our eating and cook more. I will prefer food quality to food quantity.

And I now decided: I do not want to become a vegetarian. I will try to shift the ratio from meat towards plants, but I see no need to give up meat completely. (check meat.org if you want to become a vegetarian)