Tuesday, October 24, 2006


I’m eating myself into a Halloween chocolate frenzy. I’ve devoured most of my Heath bars and Reeses Miniatures...I have gained weight, which isn’t surprising, seeing as my chocolate stash is significantly depleted.

I’m nervous. I’m agitated. And so I eat...

My friend does have cancer. We just took her to the hospital today and she’ll have a mastectomy tomorrow.

I’m all worn out. It’s been coming for a while...this sleeping-on-the-bus kind of exhaustion, where every day I just want to lock the door and unplug the phone and hide from the world until I stop being so tired...I live by an alarm clock and I still show up a half-hour late to everything.

Anemia is becoming quite the fashion in Manguinhos among the 20-something female population...and I can’t seem to kick it, even with regular doses of vitamins and spinach. Besides bringing a little light to the whole exhaustion thing, anemia is also the best explanation yet for why I am so pockmarked with bruises. Any home remedies I should try???

I have a whole other post to add at this point, but I want to refine it and think through it a little, so you'll have to wait for the deep thoughts from Jenna. Sorry!


Anonymous said...

Jenna - Eat RED MEAT!! Eats LOTS of it for a week and then write and tell how you feel. Do you want me to do the Nan thing and pack frozen steaks in my luggage and bring them with me? Oh wait, that violates international agricultural laws! If you can wait 6 more weeks, I'll load your freezer up for you when I come. Love, Mom

rebecca said...

i keep meaning to tell you this. i read in one of my parenting books (it's this really kooky 100 year old pediatrician who STILL practices medicine!) that drinking too much milk (or other dairy products) can contribute to anemia. oh, yeah, and aren't you supposed to take vitamin c with your iron? steak and oj anybody?!

pamela said...

Just read this and have done a bit of research on the iron thing as I have followed my mom in having low iron from time to time. Red meat makes a huge difference. The type of iron in red meat is more readily absorbed than the type in veggies or chicken or eggs. Liverworst is rather packed with it, so that is a cheap alternative for a sandwich that I often eat if you are advenerous. If you are eating chicken, eggs (if you only eat the egg white, you loose a lot of the iron and other essentials), beans, veggies, or raisins, you need to eat vitamin C at the same time to help your body absorb the iron in these items (though still smaller quantitites of iron than red meat). So, add a tomato or raw green peppers or orange pieces to your spinach, add lemon juice to beans when making humus, OJ or other vitamin C fruit in the morning with whole eggs, etc., and you will absorb more of the iron. Hope that helps a bit.

Ali la Loca said...

Seems my diagnosis was spot on!

I also struggle with the whole cooking for one thing. My diet revolves around smoothies (just got a blender for my birthday), oatmeal, all bran cereal, eggs and whatever I feel like baking.

I am grossed out by meat in general these days, including chicken, so I've been upping the beans and other legumes in my diet. Not at all easy when you don't want to waste food and live in a place with limited selection in shops.

I'm so sorry to hear about your friend's cancer. I hope she heals quickly.