Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Rock star hair! - ロッカーヘア(?!)

Weather: Cloudy, but can see the blue sky, baby; 40°F
Energy Level: 1 out of 10
Mood: 3/10
Health: 1/10
Ah, life is a comedy.

I wish I knew how to use Photoshop enough to take away the shine on my face, make my eyebrows nicer, etc., but I don't, so here, this is what I looked like today when I woke up.

Isn't that a rockin' hair, though? (No aid from styling products.)

The sicker I feel, the more rock star-like my hair becomes when I wake up, from all the tossing and turning. Today my hair was pretty rockin'.

I thought it was just a cold I was trying to get over, starting before Christmas (hey, that's more than a month). My weakened immune system apparently invited sinusitis. (Um, Mr./Ms. sinusitis, I was only joking when I said I'm like a great hotel/host. In the future, no vacancies.) I was getting used to feeling sick, so it was only after I coughed up some blood when I decided to seek further help.

Along with my two other chronic infections that haven't left, it's been kind of harsh to entertain another guest. I'm on my second course of antibiotics now, so hopefully that'll help me get over it. You know when you are really sick, how you feel like screaming for help from mommy? That's how I've been feeling. (I'm lucky I have a mom who's alive, at the other end of phone line -- thanks, mom, for answering the phone when I have a splitting headache in the middle of the night; the 17 hour time difference is sometimes a blessing). Thanks to pain killers, I can write today, ha :-)

I'll talk about all the adventures of alternative healing devices some other time. Today, I just had to share my hair, because that's pretty hilarious.


天候: 曇り、だけど青空もちらほら; 4°C
元気度(勢い): 1/10 
気分: 3/10
体調: 1/10




ヘアとなります。 うぉ~痛い、とかってのた打ちまわるから。

ふざけて言ったんだからね。 次回は空室ないと思ってヨロシク。)


感謝していますです。 お母さん、夜中に頭イテ~っと言う、



Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Return of Aunt Flo - 還ってきたお月様。

Weather: A beautiful sunny day after snow! 40°F
Energy Level: 3 out of 10
Mood: 4/10
Health: 2.5/10

I hesitated to write about this because there are male friends and family members who read my blog, but I figured they're all adults and they can handle it. Also if there are people out there in a similar situation as mine, they might appreciate they're not alone.

I'm not sure of the reason, but for quite a while I didn't get what I could call a "regular" period.

When I was a teenager, I cursed at the fact I was a girl and I had to deal with such a thing once a month. But when it goes away, it's kind of sad. Especially since I'm not at the age to expect to lose it yet, I kind of felt like I was half the woman.

My moon time wasn't completely gone -- it would show inkling of it, like a few rain drops. And it would stop. Then a few more rain drops. Like my body was trying to do it, but couldn't quite bring itself to produce the whole deal.

My body may have been under massive stress because of the celiac disease. I've heard, with undiagnosed celiac disease, many women experience infertility and repeated miscarriages; it would only make sense the effects spread to periods too. My progesterone level, taken last April right after I went on gluten-free diet, was less than that of post-menopausal women.

I took progesterone medication and used a cream, but for the past 10 months or so I've been on gluten-free diet, that still didn't quite do it. Perhaps my body didn't have enough resource.

Then, with the new year came a surprise -- a few days of regular moon time! Yay! I felt like I was beginning to become whole, again. Though it could be the new progesterone medication, maybe I'm beginning to absorb more nutrients!

With older researches, they used to think the atrophied villi (the little fingers in small intestine that absorb nutrition) from celiac disease should come back within months of beginning gluten-free diet. With newer researches, now they say while the most obvious symptoms (stomach cramps, etc.) usually go away within months, the atrophied villi would usually take up to 24 months to recover and some may not completely come back.

So it takes time.

Being gluten-free has become easier over time. Eating out while avoiding cross-contamination is still a challenge, but we feel like we see more and more gluten-free options available even at mainstream grocery stores. I feel quite lucky that I found out when I did, when there is abundant information about celiac disease and gluten-free diet both in print and on the Internet. I can't imagine what it would've been like if there was no Internet!

(Gluten-free diet seems to be even in vogue. I recently found out that a friend of mine went on it to be more health-conscious, not so much for medical reasons.)

I also find it lucky that I found out before I really tried to become pregnant. It could have been really stressful, without knowing the cause, if I had miscarriage after miscarriage (or not become pregnant at all). I do want children someday if I could, so it's good to learn what may be keeping me from being fully nourished. (Even if that doesn't happen, it's good for myself!)

The first real moon time in a long time kind of exhausted me, but it made me giddy and happy (so much so I called my mom in the middle of the night -- daytime in Japan).

I continue to have a slight cold (continuing since before Christmas) with my wimpy immune system, hence fewer blog posts lately, but I'm alive with moon time!

Welcome back, Aunt Flo.


天候: 雪のあときれいな晴れ! 4°C
元気度(勢い): 3/10 
気分: 4/10
体調: 2.5/10



文句を言ったものです。 でもなくなってみるとなんだかさびしい。


溜まったのでしょう。 グルテンフリーの食生活を始める前の
生理に影響するのもうなずけます。 昨年4月、グルテンフリーに


訪ねてきました。 イェイ! 新しいプロゲステロンのお薬のせいかも




どんどん増えてきている感があります。 活字でもインターネットでも
私は、本当にラッキーだと思います。 インターネットがなかったら

みたいです。 友人で、糖尿病ではあるものの病気には関係なく、

診断されたこと。 もしそうでなくって、原因も知らずになぜか
ことでしょう。 将来、できるかはわからないけれど、できたら





Friday, January 4, 2008

Happy New Year 2008! - 謹賀新年

"Night and Day"
by Germaine Arnaktauyok

Happy New Year to everyone out there!

Sorry I've been MIA for a while... for the past couple of weeks I've been under the weather. Chills and slight fevers had dominated my first days of the year. I was wrapped up in the quilt Sandy made us for our wedding, playing our new Wii, sniffling (and icing my hands from Wii soreness).

On the New Year Day I had wanted to go to the local Japanese shrine to make new year wishes, but that would have to wait.

This year, 2008 happens to be a year of rat, which is my year :-) (Those of you who know Chinese zodiacs can figure out my age...) So it's bound to be good, right?

As the calendar turns its page, it's always tempting to summarize and reflect upon the past year (and make resolutions for the new year, which never works). As 2007 was drawing to a close, the words I was thinking were "night and day" (partly because my lovely mom-in-law gave me a gorgeous glass bead pendant aptly so titled).

Night and Day
When people use this phrase, the connotation is that the day would bring light and would be much better than night. I beg to differ. Like yin and yang, one can only exist with the other, and night is needed for day. I thought of 2007 as my night, when I had to rest my body and find out what it needed.

It's much more difficult to realize how good things are when you don't have a night period. Case in point: when I was in high school, I managed to crush my cheekbone into my face in an accident. The ensuing reconstruction surgery, while expertly performed, left my eyelid droopy and the right side of my face paralyzed. For a few years, I'd wondered if I'd ever look normal (the terms I thought at the time were "not freakish"). I couldn't smile on the right side of my face, and you could always see the red flesh under my right eye. (Then my long-distance-ex promptly dumped me, which meant the end of life to a sixteen-year-old.)

Fortunately, the combination of a great plastic surgeon, young cells, and my mother's prayers worked in my favor, and today I can smile on both sides of my face. People say they can barely tell I had plastic surgery. I look in the mirror each day and smile, just to check it still works. And I thank my lucky stars. If I hadn't had that experience, I probably would have dreaded that I have large pores every time I looked at the mirror (which I do) and ended at that.

Dusk and Night
When I think back to all the warning signs my body was emitting (lack of tooth enamel, low energy even in youth, depression, month-long migraines, stomachaches, etc.), I think it was maybe a long dusk. An introduction to my restful period this past year. And I can't thank everyone enough for how supportive they have been in this period.

Excitedly planning a Japanese wedding and having to cancel it could not have been an easy thing to go through for my mom, as well as Daniel's family who planned to fly to Japan to attend. My friends who were planning to attend have been as understanding as my family. Daniel was always at my side, encouraging me to do whatever's best for my body. Then my parents flew to Seattle this past summer instead to check on me. Everyone close to me has been nothing short of amazing, including friends here who read my blog.

(Incidentally, I've learned who are truly nice people -- the absence of my previously held fancy job title and lack of clout in a new town very effectively filter out fair-weather friends.)

I've also made some new friends; friends whom I wouldn't have met otherwise. In short, I've absorbed love from every direction, when my body was feeble. I really look at night as a nurturing period.

Dawn -- before Day?
It seems greedy and far-fetched to expect to one day wake up and feel like Popeye (although I wouldn't mind that). So my hope for 2008 is that it will be a dawn period, when I catch glimpses of tangerine-colored light. Once upon a time, before I was born, my parents thought about naming me Akatsuki, which is Japanese for dawn. It was either Aya or Akatsuki. (Aya is probably easier to say, though Akatsuki would've been a cool name too.) Maybe I'll live up to my second name candidate this year!

In this transition period, I'd like to thank everyone who has supported me when I've been at my weakest. (You’ve been like Death Eaters when Voldemort was just a feeble lump of flesh! I will return to my mission of world domination! Okay, maybe a bad example.) I wish you a wonderful year to come, as wonderful as you all have been to me.




ここ2週間ほど体調を崩してしまい、年末、お正月はプルプル寒気と微熱。 結婚祝いにサンドラさんが作ってくれたキルトに包まれて、グスグスいいながらクリスマスに入手した Wii と戯れていました。 (そしてその後痛い手を冷やすアホな毎日。)

元旦には、近郊にある神社(あるんですよこれが)に行って初詣をしたかったのですが、その元気はありませんでした。 また今度行こうっと。

今年は子年。 年女です。 年女って、いいことあるんですよねきっと?

暦が変わる時期には、過去一年を振り返ってみたり、新年の決意(たいてい続かない)、とか、考えてみたくなるものです。 義母にクリスマスで頂いたガラス細工のペンダントの題名が「夜と昼」だったこともあって、2007年の終わりに 考えていたのは、夜と昼、陰陽、といったことでした。

夜と昼 (Night and Day)
英語で Night and Day と言うとき、昼は明かりがあって夜と比べずっといい、という意味合いが強いのですが、陰陽というように、どちらも必要なのだと考えさせられた一年でした。 2007年は、休んで、体に何が必要なのか覚えて与える、夜でした。

夜、または陰がないと、昼の陽がどれだけ明るくてありがたいものなのか考えずらいものだと思います。 高校生のとき事故で頬骨を骨折・陥没させて手術をしたことがありましたが、その後は顔の右半分が麻痺してしまい、顔半分は笑えませんでした。 右目はいつもアッカンベー状態。 数年間、ジロジロ見られない普通の顔に戻れるのかなあ、と心配したものです。 (そのすぐ後、長距離恋愛をしていた彼にアッサリ振られたのも16歳の自分には死ぬほどショックだった。)

幸運なことに、手術をした外科医の腕が良かったのと、若い細胞、そして母の祈りのお陰で、顔の両側で今は笑えるようになりました。 会う人には、手術したことがあるなんて分からない、と言われます。 毎日鏡を見る度、ニコッと笑ってみて、ああ、まだ両側で笑える、良かった、と幸運に感謝します。 もし若いときの暗い経験がなかったら、鏡を見る度、「ああ毛穴が大きい」(と思うけど)と嘆くだけだったと思います。

ずっと前から体が発信していた警戒信号(歯のエナメル層がなかったこと、若いときから疲れていたこと、鬱、1ヶ月続いた偏頭痛、腹痛など)を考えると、長い夕暮れだったのかな、と思います。 ここ1年休んだ、夜の序曲。 その夜の暗い時期に、支えて下さった皆さんにお礼の言いようもありません。

ひとり駆けずり回って日本での結婚式の準備を色々としてくれた母。 それを私の体調のせいで全部キャンセルするのは簡単なことではなかったと思います(ごめんなさい!)。 それに 日本にみんなで行く準備をしてくれたダニエルの家族。 出席してくれる予定だった友人もみんな、不便より先に心配してくれました。 ダニエルも、私の体調第一と、ここ一年ライフスタイルを変えてくれ、夏には二人で初めて訪ねてくれた両親。 近しい人みんな、ブログを読んで下さる方々も含め、驚くほど良くしていただきました。

(病気をすると、どの人が本当にいい人なのか分かります。 前はあったけれど今はない肩書きや、引っ越して無くなった影響力、それに関わらず良くしてくださる方々と、いい時だけの友達との違いが顕著に現れます。)

病気をしたことで、そうでなかったら会っていなかったであろうお友達にも恵まれました。 体が弱っているときに、あらゆる方向から愛を感じとりました。 ですから、夜(陰)は、養生するとき、心も体も栄養を吸う時期だと思います。

今年ある日突然起きて、ポパイのように元気になるというのはちょっと欲張りだし現実的でもなさそうです(それでも私はいいんだけど)。 2008年は、陽が出てくる前の、うす蜜柑色の光がところどころ見えてくる、暁のような時期になるといいな、と思います。 むかしむかし私が生まれる前、両親は私の名前を暁とつけようかな、と考えたそうです。 英か暁。 (言うのはあやのほうが簡単だけれど、あかつきもオリジナルでいい名前ですね。) 今年は、私の名前の第2候補に似合うように、と願います。

一番弱った過渡期に私を支えてくださった皆さんに、心から御礼申し上げます。 ( ヴォルデモートがパンダの赤ちゃんみたいに無力な肉塊だったときも支えてくれた デス・イーターみたい! そして私は世界征服の道に戻れるのよ〜。 あ、これはちょっと良くない例でした。 失礼。) 素敵なみなさんにとって、同じくらい素敵な年でありますように!