I am the wan one

So much for my plan of posting once a week! I’ve been keeping myself oddly busy with convalescence and cleaning up some admin work I need to get out of the way before I do some real work.

Here’s a breakdown of what’s been going on and what’s in the works:

general energy levels:
Frustratingly low. I have moments of feeling almost “normal” but have a tendency to wear myself out in those moments. Things like walking up and down stairs or doing a few small errands with Dr. Amy (personal chauffeur and Naturopath extraordinaire) really tire me out and then I need to lay down for an hour or so, or else do my still very supported yoga practice. I am not used to my body and brain giving out on me like this, but am trying to remain calm and take advantage of the situation, giving my meditation, yoga, and journalling practices prime importance. I do get somewhat depressed at times, but also realize I’ve only been out of the hospital for a month and am actually doing quite well.

I saw the specialist at the hospital a couple weeks ago and he and his intern kept commenting on how much healthier I looked. He is passing me over to a gastroenterologist, which is a sign that I am getting better. The biopsy he did was inconclusive, meaning that they don’t know if it is true ulcerative colitis or if it is “self-limited” colitis, which means that it would have been caused by that infection and with treatment will work itself out and not be chronic. I’m hoping for the latter!

My digestion has been quite good aside from a little bit of borborygmi. I’m still eating well and my weight seems to have levelled off at 120 pounds for the moment. I’ve added a more things to my diet and so feel like I am eating almost normally except for the lack of dairy, raw foods, nuts, dairy and citrus.

Related to the energy levels and partially my digestion are my iron levels. At the appointment with the specialist he tested my hemoglobin and it was 83! (normal for an adult female is 120-160). My family doctor got the results and called me right away, telling me to take three times the normal amount of iron supplements and that if I had any bleeding to go to emergency. She retested my hemoglobin five days later and it was 85, which means it is stable but not going up very fast. From the test results she thinks that the iron I’m taking is getting into my system but that my iron stores are totally depleted. I am most definitely wan.

Because of this I have started eating red meat again. I’m eating mostly bison, which is about the same price as lean ground beef here but healthier. Though last night Ed bought a roast and cut it into thin strips which I marinated with ginger, honey, and soy sauce and stir-fried. mmmmmm. I enjoyed it immensely, which is a little scary since I used to hate beef. The bison has a nicer taste and smell, but we haven’t sourced any cuts of bison, just ground bison and bison breakfast sausages so it is nice to have some variety. I’m planning on trying some Japanese recipes like gyudon and such now that I’ve remembered how to cook again!

I’ve still been seeing Dr. Li regularly and he gave me some herbs to help with iron absorption, which made an immediate difference! One of the issues with such a low hemoglobin level is that it puts a strain on the cardiovascular system, which is why stairs and walking make me so tired. I took one dose of the herbs and within 2 hours my heart rate had gone down from 90 to 80 and the next morning was 70, which is normalish.

The pills themselves entertain me immensely, which is good because I have been getting a bit depressed with not being able to do much. They are “Tablet of Angelicae Sinenisi and Cool Asini for Tonifying Blood” and look like red smarties, complete with the red dye on damp hands effect. The most entertaining part is the oddly translated English inside the packaging. Here’s an excerpt:

These tablets have been proved remarkably effective in tonifying blood and energy, regulating Chong and Ren channels nourishing the liver and kidney moislenny dryness and nourishny the faec. They are recommended for the management of menorrhalgia, deficiency of blood and energy, anaemia in convalescnece (that’s me!), shrivelled complexion (hence the nourishny the faec) and neurasthenia in woman.

Oh yes, it is good to moislenny the dryness and nourishny the faec. If something makes me feel better and makes me laugh then it’s got to be good stuff!

in the works:
– The house. It is improving but slowly. I now have a small desk to work at in the living room (yes! I have the energy to sit at a desk now!) and a few boxes have been opened and sorted. This is going to be a long arduous process, but worthwhile in that we will likely downsize before our next move.

– I have been dealing with apple computers over my replacement battery which does not fit properly in my computer. To make a long saga short, they’re not going to do anything about it and I am unimpressed because it is a problem on their end with a lot of replacement batteries for 12″ Powerbook G4s. I am writing them a letter of complaint.

– There is a conference in Toronto in May called subtle technologies that is on the theme of art/body/medicine and hence suits splanchnologies–my final MA piece–perfectly! I am submitting a proposal for it.

– I just finished a grant report which I am in the process of turning into a series of blog posts about my MA experience at Dartington, so all of you who have been asking about it, you’ll finally have details and hopefully a few photos as well.

– Xmas plans involve doing the family rounds for the first time in three years, enjoying our quirky tree decorated with gashapon, and hopefully seeing a number of friends we haven’t seen for awhile who are either still living here or visiting family.

– Oh. And I turn thirty-five on the 21st…