Sunday, September 12, 2010

It All Began When....

After the last two posts I've been thinking quite a bit about my interest in health and nutrition and natural healing methods. This morning, as I was scraping away at the window, I started searching back to find the earliest known seed for all this.  The first one I can be certain about happened while I lived in Germany, from ages 16 to 18, more or less.  For two years, anyway, one of which was my senior year in high school.

I remember reading a news item about using hypnosis for childbirth, as opposed to drugs.  This was somewhere around 1960, before Lamaze came along and when women were routinely knocked out during the final stages of childbirth and missed the whole process.  It was a lengthy article, discussing how it was better for both the mother and child since neither had the drugs in their system.  Right then, I decided I was going to use this method when I had a child.

I married in 1961, had my first child about 11 months later.  Right off, I sought and found a doctor in San Jose, California, where we lived at the time, who used this method, and began the lengthy process of learning how to make this happen.  At first, he hypnotized me himself, but he then taught me self-hypnosis and made me practice it at home, since I'd have to do it myself during most of labor, since he couldn't reasonably be by my side the whole time. In the end I couldn't do it by myself. It worked great while he was with me, but I couldn't do it alone.  I didn't have any drugs, however, other than a tad of ether or some anesthesia at the final moments when somebody clapped a mask over my face.  I begged for drugs, certainly, but through some bit of evil that lurked in his head the doc wouldn't approve them, since I'd said I didn't want them and, I guess, I wasn't allowed to change my mind. I never quite forgave him for that.

This same doc became my kid's doc, and I learned a few things from him that have stayed with me during all the intervening years.  First of all, he told me not to worry too much about sterility around the baby (sterility was the trend back then), because the child needed to be exposed to some bugs so he could build an immunity.  Cleanliness, certainly, but not sterility.  I used that method for both kids and have never ceased using it for myself.  One of the basics of good health is a strong, healthy immune system that can fight off nasty bugs that attack, and to do that it needs exposure to bugs of all kinds.  My body does a pretty good job of that, for the most part, and I don't use any anti-bacterial products, shun them religiously.  I've worked in banks and other places handling money (filthy stuff) and interacting closely with people, but never got sick.

The only exception I made to that was last year when I had MERSA.  Once the first round of antibiotics was over, the bug came back in a slightly different location.  At that point, as much to protect my co-workers as myself, I bought, carried and used all kinds of hand-cleaning anti-bacterial products.  Yes, I also took all the strong sulphur antibiotics they would give me, happily.  MERSA kills, especially the elderly and like it or not, I'm in that category.  Sort of. Not sure exactly where or how I got the MERSA, but it manifested right after I returned from a 4-5 day trip to Cedartown to check things out.  It could have been present anywhere -- airplanes, airports, but I think it more likely that it was in the hotel I stayed in for those days.

The other thing I learned from him was using food for medicine.  I frankly admit that it irritated me at the time, because I'd call with a cranky infant with some kind of tummy ailment, and the doc would tell me to scrape a raw apple, let it brown, then feed that to the baby.  Well, as you might imagine feeding anything to a screaming baby doesn't work very well, plus I didn't always have an apple on hand.  There was something about the chemical process of turning it brown that worked for tummy issues, although any further details have long since fled.  And in case you wonder, this man was an MD, not a quack of any kind.

When I moved to San Francisco in 1968 a co-worker introduced me to Adele Davis.  I bought and devoured her book "Let's Eat Right to Keep Fit", changed my dietary habits, took supplements as needed, and in general became a devoted disciple, reading the book over and over and letting all that info soak into my head and way of life.  I may still have that book, although it was falling apart from use and I may have decided to let it go.  So that's the genesis of how I feel about health and nutrition and natural medicine.  Goes back a loooong way!

OK -- enough of the soapbox for today.  In case any of you are wondering, work does continue on the windows, albeit very slowly.  The Citristrip people told me to use oil-based Kilz for that particular problem, and everybody says to let it dry out really well before I do so.  I have the Kilz, but have decided to wait until maybe Tuesday to use it.  The other window, above, is coming along, too.  I didn't show a 'before' photo, but you can see that the amount of brown is growing larger.  It's really hard for me to scrape the paint, and sometimes the scraper just doesn't do any good anyway, but I do use it a little bit almost daily.  Once I've decided I can't scrape any more off, I'm going to cover everything up in the room and break out the power sander again. I want to be able to do it all at once, since it makes such a mess. The side trim pieces have to come off and I'll do those outside, eventually.

In recent days (weeks?) I've been concentrating on the detail trim of the upper pane, where there are grooves and such that have to be done by hand. Much of this paint is literally fused into the wood and to get it off I have to remove some of the wood.  Good thing it's not a veneer!  Most of it is cleaned and sanded, although I'm still having issues with the part along the top, shown here.  It's really awkward and hard to reach but like the rest of it, I'll get it done one small step at a time.  I spent an hour or two this morning on it -- all standing on the ladder, which is really  uncomfortable.  My body doesn't twist and turn that way as well as it once did.  Yeah, I guess I'm whining, but so be it.

I think I've done about all I'm going to do with this today.  I took yesterday off completely, my body just needed rest.  Refer back to the 'elderly' part, above.

I have some Rancho Gordo Yellow Eye Beans soaking for some Senate Bean Soup -- yummy!

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