Thursday, January 6

Flashback 2010

I believe that the illnesses I've had in the past year were somehow brought about by the insidious effects of internal stress, something that I keep inside myself and have chosen to ignore because there were many things, outside of myself, to worry about. First off, there are my kids. They are good kids by anyone's standards, but the mere logistics of having to prepare them for school everyday, to look after their needs, to make sure they are safe while my husband and I are away at simply takes its toll on me. As a result, I seem to neglect my own needs. I always tell myself that I don't need that much caring about, that I can roll with the punches and still stand strong---well strong yes, but not always healthy.

Around July, I started having episodes of severe stomach pains, which radiated to my back. I thought it was one of those cases when I've had too much acid on my food. I've heard about GERD, and all symptoms seem to point to that direction. I am a sucker for all things acidic, including softdrinks, iced tea and coffee. The frequent migraines and shoulder pains that I've had to endure did not alarm me enough to seek some medical intervention. I am sometimes unforgivably lazy. Not until the night that I could not move my body an inch without wincing from a kind of stabbing sensation.Oliver wheeled me into the emergency room of a nearby hospital, as I was capitulating on the terrible pain attack, and almost giving myself up for dead. But after I was given a shot of omeprazole, I felt a bit of reprieve and came back to my senses. I wasn't going to just die there after all. I had to face the truth that my imminent case wasn't to be taken lightly. I had to see a doctor, pronto.

It was a full-on medical checkup afterwards, and true enough, bless the existence of technology, I've had those little stones inside my gall bladder silently lurking for probably years and years. They had happily mutated and grown in number each time I salivated on that delectable cinnamon pretzel, glazed with a slab of the most luscious butter (aka cholesterol) at Aunt Annie's. It crossed my mind after my laparoscopic surgery that I had loved butter so much when I was a kid. It was long ago when I would secretly sneak into my aunt's kitchen in La Castellana that I felt my happiest. Food--good or bad-- has a way of etching themselves into one's memory. And, and blurring the lines of indulgence and practicality, it is how food makes one happy that would still make the difference. However, as adults we'd have to suffer the price. And how costly it could be indeed---physically, mentally, financially.

Now, I can see myself in my little girl. By golly, how she loves to dip her finger into that soft creamy stuff. I have to watch her like a hawk and caution her about food. I don't worry too much about the boy, he is a good eater. Unlike my daughter who can be very picky with food, and yet is infatuated with sweets, Gabby prefers leafy vegetables and just plain no-nonsense meals. He loves tofu and string beans. He is conscious about his acid and sugar intake, and always reminds himself of a line in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, that candies "can be stuck between the braces, and are really cavities on a stick". It's admirable how he can purposefully stop himself from giving in to such temptations, while my daughter and I would compulsively reach out our guilty fingers when we see a box of chocolates.

This is a bit long-winded now, so I will break this down to another entry, hopefully very soon. A promise is a promise is a promise....
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