Friday, June 26, 2009

My own contractions

I know now the harsh taste of a garlic bulb freshly chewed and swallowed for its medicinal purposes. This is one of the things I have done to help cure my own belly which has caused me to be ill in bed for two days. Somehow I caught a bug or a bacterial infection that has attacked my intestinal tract. I went reluctantly to the doctors, worried that there might be some other more severe condition at work. I believe I have lost faith in western medicine completely or maybe it is just the state of our healthcare system which operates mainly on a wait and see type of prognosis rather than taking any proactive measure towards restoring the body to health. I went through the gammit of tests, being blood work, urine sample and radiology, which took several hours of waiting and relocating from lab to lab. At the end of the day the doctor tells me that all my lab results are normal and so that leaves me with an unnamed ailment which is still throbbing in my belly and no suggestion about what to do other than, call us back if it doesn't get better in a week. I just find it so interesting that doctors will only ask you what your systems are but not take the time to learn anything about the patient. Only by my own ruminating can I contribute to a more accurate diagnosis. Whereas eastern or Chinese medicine more specifically, in my experience asks a gamut of questions about a patients habits as well as other physical symptoms. Incidently, when I lived in New York City many years ago, I was suffering from fevers and severe headaches on a daily basis with dizziness and hot flashes as well. I went to my doctor and he ran a bunch of tests, but nothing could be found. After weeks of this, I called my doctor and almost frenzied I demanded treatment. The doctor told me that he could not give me antibiotics if he didn't know what the ailment was, that it "wasn't good medicine." So he sent me to an Infectious Disease Specialist who had me give a pint and several viles of blood to do more tests. Again,,, nothing but I was still sick and I knew that it wasn't a simple flu. I talked to my mother about this to ask her advice as I did several times, except this time I mentioned to her that I noticed that a cat scratch I had received on my hand many weeks ago was not healing. I relayed to her an event which took place in Philadelphia where I had gotten scratched by a feral young cat. Instantly, my mom knew what it was,, I had contracted Cat Scratch fever! I thought she was joking but as it turns out, that is exactly what I had. I was elated in a sense, but alas there is no treatment for Cat Scratch, which goes through ones body in stages and leaves in about a months time. Anyway, I suppose that I have learned that both eastern and western perspectives in medicine can be most advantagous to a person who seeks both of them. My intestinal bug has been clearing up and I am back on track for feeling right as rain again. I was really concerned that I would be sick if Sam should go into labor.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

No Baby yet

After all expectations, our baby has not shown any signs of being ready yet and remains snug in Sam's womb. We are now entering into week 41 with few if any contractions at all. Sam will occasionally make note of a lower womb pain or lower back ache but dismisses these as something other than contractions. We both agree that getting induced into labor in the hospital is not something we want and we have read many horror stories of the trail of complications that can arise by doing so, not to mention the intensity of the pain. So, being as proactive as we can be, we are finding our own ways to help to get things started. First, we are taking long walks almost everyday in the parks and beaches in and around the bay area. The walking has helped Sam not to feel stiff and she describes herself as feeling 'loose' and more energetic. In addition Sam has eaten the black licorice, drank throughout the day glasses of water with drops of black cohosh, eaten spicy food, driven on bumpy roads and been given nipple stimulation for several hours but all to no avail. In the meantime we are all staying close to home and sort of at a loss as to how to spend our time each day. Today we went to see the movie Up at the Grand Lake theater in 3D and we loved it, which was a big surprise because I really didn't expect to like it at all.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Henna Tattoo on a pregnant belly

Last night while Sam was in the tub she pondered over getting her belly a henna tattoo again after our failed attempt last time. I immediately sat down and got to work. It took a bit getting used to rolling a perfect cone out of a hearty square of plastic but after a few tries I was able to make two decent cones with very narrow tips. I used the henna already mixed from before out of the fridge to fill the cones and taped up the ends. After which I ventured out to the backyard to pick a lemon or two from the lemon tree growing along the fence next store. The lemons were to be used as a sealer after the henna is applied to keep the henna moist so that it doesn't dry out. Making this sealer is just composed of sugar, water and lemon juice in equal portions. So, Sam sat in a wooden kitchen table chair and I immediately got to work. I felt so much more comfortable putting down the henna this time and decided that I just needed to use my intuition as an artist and allow myself to see the big picture altogether rather than focus simply on each line put down. I incorporated many floral elements and a variety of marks that swirled around the central point of Sam's belly button. The end of the cone which held the henna was cut so narrow that the henna often found its way out of the top and all over my hands. In the end my hands were properly hennaed as well as my shirt and several hand towels. We juiced up Sam's belly frequently with the lemon juice solution which we put in a spray bottle. Sam kept herself reclined in a way that kept her belly in a safe position to let the henna dry which takes hours and hours for the dye to really make a stain. Unfortuately the design came out very light which may have something to do with the preparation of the henna or the age of the henna powder. So I took some pictures of the henna belly to share before the henna dried and I am glad I did.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Events Passed





I am writing just to journal about some recent events that I have not yet noted in my blog. Last Tuesday I was invited to an Adams Point counsel neighborhood watch meeting to receive a commendation for the Oakland Police Department. We went into a historic building where the meeting was to take place and got a chance to sneak around in a couple of rooms including a swimming pool area that dated back to the World War II era, and some fancy ballrooms adorned with exotic antique furniture. I was surprised to see about 8-10 police officers there along with about 14-16 residents. I was given a well framed award that was encased in glass after a well detailed introduction accounting the event of apprehending the thief. It was surely a surreal experience to be such a guest of honor with my neighbors clapping for me. A woman whom I've never met presented me with a check and an officer took down my telephone number to later deliver to us some Oakland Police memorabilia (tee shirt, mug, teddy bear). I was then greeted by the victim who I had witnessed in the attack and mugging. She was still appeared shaken up but she looked healthy and unbruised. Overall, I think of how protected I felt when I tackled the man to the ground and though I noticed he was cut in various places from our scuffle I was left with not a scratch on me. I feel very fortunate indeed.
Sam, Isabella and I went to the Oakland Zoo before all this and I was eager to get some good photographs of the animals. One of the most interesting animals there was the gibbon which with its lengthy and stringy arms could swing in great strides through the branches of a tree. I also got some nice picks of a chimp lazily reclining with her stuffed bunny.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Watermelon and Cucumber

The sun has made its appearance on our outside patio as we rapidly approach noon. I have just 4 days of teaching until the summer break and still I am not content with this as I wish school to be done with already. I suppose these feelings come from the anticipation of the baby which has not shown himself to be ready just yet. My prediction that Jude would be born on the full moon of this month is not looking very likely but each day, each hour, each minute brings us a step closer. My heart and my head has not been on teaching when I am at school but rather towards home where I wish to be and feel I am most needed. Yesterday we took a drive up north for several hours to the town and beaches of Jenner along route 1. We stopped by a local hamburger and milkshake dive in the country along the way and then happened across a live rodeo show which we only caught the tail end of. Later we reached our destination of Goat Head beach in Jenner, where the Russian River empties out into the Pacific Ocean. Sam rested on a blanket on the sandy beach while Isabella and I walked along the River with our shoes off, feeling the mud between our toes and the warmth of the slowly ebbing water. We passed many quaint little towns along the way but due to lack of time we could only promise ourselves to go back to them later when time is more available. This morning, I got up to complete all my report card comments and after that Sam made us a nice lunch of grilled cheese sandwiches, watermelon and cucumber. We will spend the rest of the day running errands in preparation for the baby to come.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

In the now

I am so excited for the baby to come but the days continue and Sam shows no definite sign that the moment is near. With only a few more school days left, I am wondering how the year may indeed finish out. I haven't written for a bit because last week, my computer just up and went kaputz and I couldn't get passed an error screen. As it turned out I had to completely wipe the hard drive clean and manually install the operating systems and drives which caused me to lose all my files and such but nothing was lost that I couldn't do without. Now my computer is running as it first did when I bought it new and I am delighted. I suppose I am just writing this little blog to keep things current. Yesterday, I received a call in which I was asked to attend a meeting where I am to be given a commendation of some sort for catching a man for hitting a woman in the face in an attempt to steal her car and her purse. I chased the guy down and tackled him to the ground. The story is told more clearly in the previous blog entries. Anyway, things are good as they are. I did a jog around the lake, worked on some report cards and now Sam and I are going to watch a movie at home for this evening.