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Birth Balance Blog

A series of topics related to preconception, pregnancy, labor, birth, bonding, and post partum issues. Feel free to make suggestions for future topics.

Archive for October, 2009

Requesting a Break – Part IV

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

I hobble and stand on the curb outside the clinic, awaiting the arrival of my chariot and driver, Mary. There is a young man nervously pacing off to my left, looking both directions for something or someone that either exits or is a figment of his imagination. I’ve recognized him from the waiting area in the clinic. He reminds me of the ‘methadone’ population on the Upper West Side in New York City.

I’m quietly wallow in my pain, looking down saying, “Please don’t come and talk to me, please don’t come and talk to me…” and all of a sudden I look up and there he is in my face, off to the left.

“Do you know what time it is?” He impatiently queries.

“Ahhhhhhh… “ I look at my watch remembering, I TOO am on a time schedule. “…2:10,” I report quickly and curtly in my New York fashion.

“Huh, thanks,” as he continues to ponder my answer while desperately gazing at me.

I look off to the right, my eyes widen and I bite the bottom of my lip. I shout to myself, “Sheez, I hope he doesn’t think we are going to offer him a ride, somewhere, someplace, that either does or doesn’t exist.”

Before I turned 50, I would have been sucked into his field of ‘neediness’ and fell prey to helping him out, even at the expense of compromising my integrity. After 50, there’s a chemical produced in people’s brain- body called, “I don’t care.” It comes up at the most opportune times. If someone says, “I like your hair.” I say, “Thank you, I don’t care.” If someone says, “What in the world did you do with your hair?? Yuck!” I say, “Thank you very much, I don’t care.” It’s the ‘unattached hormone.’ Well, it kicked in here…in fact, with a little extra pain in the body to get the point across.

“Where is Mary with that car!!!” I  scream in my mind. “Ah, here she comes.” As I see the arrival of the familiar silver van.

As Mary drives up, the stranger to the left seems to have wandered off toward the main road. I stumble into the van and feel the welcome relief of sitting down. We strap in and off we go.

Being that everything in Cedar Rapids is fairly close together, the  ride to the airport is complete within a matter of minutes.

Mary drops me off at the curb, runs around to get the  suitcases. A young man comes over when he spots the crutches and asks if he can help.

I respond quickly, “Absolutely.”

Mary leans into me and says, “He’s going to expect a tip!”

“Why should this be any different than New York,” I say to Mary.

I wave my hand, roll my eyes and respond, “Whatever!”

Mary jumps back into the van and rides off to find a parking spot.

Off I go, hip pity-hop through the electronic doors as they part the way for my entrance to the check-in counter. Thank GOD, there isn’t a line of people. I crutch my way past the few waiting in line and ask what the procedure is for someone in my condition? Within minutes there is a wheel chair at my side and the ‘man who expects a tip’ is prompt with my luggage.

Mary has joined us and is helping out with the check in. I slip the man a $10 bill and off Mary and I go with my purse, crutches, and bulky, heavy, computer bag on my lap. She steers the operation as I painstakingly keep everything on my lap, ON my lap. The crutches keep falling off either dragging on the floor or poking people as we go by.

“Sorry, excuse me, oops!” Seem to be my mantras.

Mary, who is type A personality and the mother of all ‘controllers’, seems the perfect candidate for assisting me on this escapade. We efficiently weave in and out of stragglers, waiting for their families, friends or flights. When we get to the scanning area, I wonder how this is going to work. Even though Mary doesn’t have a boarding ticket, she is allowed to proceed through and wheel me to the boarding gate.

After I place all my bags, the computer, my shoes and  jacket in  the  plastic containers on the scanning platform, I’m wheeled to a  very  public area off to the side of the machines. A female airport  officer  is assigned to ‘check me out’.

I see Mary about 15 feet away, already through the line, collecting and organizing our things. She stands patiently watching out of ear shot while I go participate in the ritual of ‘padding down the crippled traveler’ and micro scanning the wheel chair. (Why are they are so interested in the chair? It’s airport property.)

The woman seems very official and stiff. She begins to tell me what she is going to do. She adds, “If you would prefer me to do this in a more ‘private place’ I can arrange for that to be done.”

I jokingly respond, “Listen, you can do what you like, but if you are going to do a vaginal exam, I probably would like to go to someplace more private.”

She looks at me shockingly, I laugh out loud, Mary wonders what’s going on. I wave and smile at Mary letting her know nonverbally all is well. Of course she know better.

The woman lightens up and realizes it was a joke. We clumsily begin the routine of her probing and patting my body.

She starts at my head, and I ponder, “How do they think, something could be hidden in my hair?” Oh, well, down the body she goes. At one point she is patting the front and back of my chest. Before she gets to the front, I comment, “Ah, I have a padded bra on, so, ah…”

“Oh, honey, we all do what we have to do!” She comes right back at me with a smile.

We start laughing and yucking it up and I see Mary out of the corner of my eye shaking her head and smiling.

The female officer needs to check my hips and butt. She asks me if I would like to stand. With athletic fortitude, I press off the arms of the wheelchair with my hands with my upper body strength leaving my derriere and legs suspended in air, awaiting her search.

“Oh, OK then…that works I guess,” she acts surprised with this alternative position.

She’s patting away, systematically and rhythmically until she comes to the left area under my thigh. She keeps patting this area with a confused look on her face. “Oh great…” I am wondering what in the world she thinks she is feeling. I’m wearing a light summer dress with tight leggings underneath.

I blurt out, “Oh that’s just my extra pocket of cellulite on that side!”

She bursts out laughing, has to stop the exam, and cover her mouth. My upper body strength gives out as I begin to giggle. The guards and general public are staring at us. Mary of course now realizes it’s beyond all hope. I pass the screening.

“That was one of the most memorable experiences I’ve had in a long time!” the officer shares as she finishes.

I’m wheeled past all the inquiring looks and Mary, embarrassingly receives the wheel chair and me in it. We pile on all the luggage and off we go to the next experience. I have been having such a grand time I have lost all track of time. I look at my watch and it is, 2:30 pm, 10 full minutes before the plane boards. PLENTY of time to spare, but then, I don’t know how far the boarding gate is from the scanning gate. Ah yes, this is Iowa, not very far.

Mary gets me to the boarding gate area. As I approach the tall, over powering reception desk at the gate entrance, my body as a surreal viseral response. How do people who have been handicapped all their lives adapt to a world where not everything is so handicapped friendly? My new-found empathy will be tested many times over the next number of weeks.

“Hello, Hello, anybody there?” I pleadingly call from my wheel chair.

A poised steward, leans over the desk, peering through his glasses, “Yes?”

“I just broke my ankle, about 3 and a half hours ago, and well, I’m not really sure what I’m suppose to be doing here. Can you give me a clue?”

I’m instructed I will board first so I am to stay close to the doorway. I will not be able to bring the wheelchair onto the plane, so I will need to use the crutches and an attendant will carry my luggage to the seat. When I arrive at the next City, I will be asked to exit the plane last and there will be an attendant present with another wheel chair to transport me to my connecting flight. This is great!  First class service without the extra fee, except the extra PAIN!

It’s almost time to board the plane. From my trusty, temporary,  wheelchair, I give my sister Mary a big hug and kiss. I know from  my heart of hearts, if this had to happen in the scheme of life’s  unfolding, I was blessed to have such a wonderful guardian angel  be here helping me. Love you girl, more than you will ever know.

More to come in Part V…

Flu-Free Pregnancy With Alternative Preventative Measures + Flu and Breastfeeding

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

Whether you are pregnant, a birth medical or non medical caregiver, post partum doula, baby nurse or teacher, during the winter months, immune systems are compromised and there are concerns with flu pandemics. Pregnant women are more vulnerable because their immune systems are suppressed during thepregnancy so that their bodies don’t reject the baby.

The following piece is from Midwife: Gloria Lemay with her research on the H1N1 vaccine as well as preventative suggestions:

The publicity for the H1N1 vaccine is pervasive.  Pregnant women are being focused on as a group  that should be first in line to receive the vaccine.  The fact that the vaccine is highly experimental and  contains mercury (thimerosol preservative) has not escaped pregnant women and childbirth workers. (I, Judith, coordinator of this blog, have read on some sites one can request to have the vaccine WITHOUT the thimerosol preservatve in it.  They may not have it at your clinic or doctor’s office.)

When the public is polled about who will take the H1N1 vaccine, almost half the population say they  will refuse it.  Thanks to the internet and other people-centered media, the experts who disagree with  this mass population vaccine program have gotten the message out that the vaccine is far more dangerous than the disease.

What can a pregnant woman do to protect herself from H1N1 if she refuses the vaccine program?

Again, the media suggestions of sneezing into your sleeve and washing your hands with toxic sanitizers don’t get to the heart of the issue.  We all need to take charge of having the best immune response possible so these suggestions, although directed at pregnant women in the fall of 2009, are good lifestyle advice for everyone.

1. Go to bed at 10 p.m.  or earlier in a very dark room.  Healthy sleep is important.  Get rid of lighting in the bedroom (nightlights, electronic clocks, etc.)

2. Change your bedding and towels once a week.

3. Eat foods high in Vitamin C.  Grapefruit, oranges, kiwi fruit and red peppers.  Get used to these fruits as dessert.

4. Eliminate white sugar and flour from your diet.

5. Eliminate caffeine (coffee, tea, colas, chocolate).

6. Buy a wool scarf and mittens and be sure to bundle up warmly when you go out into the cold.  Scarves help maintain your body heat and can be unwrapped and stuffed into your pocket when you go into a store or office building to adjust your warmth level.

7. If you feel the first tickle of a cold or sore throat, cancel everything and go straight to bed with hot herbal tea and a bag of grapefruit.  Nip it in the bud with rest, Vitamin C and inner warmth.

8. Here’s a link to herbs that are safe in pregnancy.  Learn to love your herb teas.

9. Slow down and enjoy your pregnancy.  This is a special time in your life.  Say “no” to overbooking yourself and consider quitting work earlier than you planned.

10. Keep your partner healthy, too.

Your baby will thank you for adopting these measures and you’ll have more energy, too.  The first 3 days are the hardest and, then, you’ll love this routine.  I’m sure the comments will have lots more tips, too, read on.                                                                                                ____________________________

One woman who works alot with twins says this, “I work with a lot of twins who are usually preemies and so the parents tend to be extremely concerned about germs and have had the vaccine pushed on them by their doctors. I have had a bad vaccine reaction in the past as an adult and so don’t get vaccinations but what I do is to take the homeopathic version of the vaccine which is called Influenzinum. It changes every year according to the new strain of the virus and this year also includes the homeopathic version of the H1N1 vaccine. I take it once a week october through june and am rarely sick even though I do not get good sleep. (I work mostly nights.) To get it just call your local homeopath (you won’t need a consultation) or you can order it online at which is where I get mine from. When I tell my clients I am doing this they have all been fine with it. I think they just want to know I am being proactive about my and therefore their children’s health.”

Influenzium: Winter Tonic is a homeopathic combination of flu types from 1918 to  the present. The combination of flu types is then combined with ingredients that  help strengthen the immune system during the cold and flu season.  Winter Tonic  (4 pellets) can be taken once a week during the cold and flu season.  For children a  and adults.  Contains: Influenzinum; Otitis; Sinusitisitum; Grippe;  (All 6C)  4 dram  bottle, 400 pellets  Produced by NHP

Check out Dr Feder’s website at: in general for his information on alternative immune booster suggestions.  He also has an interesting article on H1N1 (Swine)  Flu:

Three things that can’t hurt and may well help: Vitamin D-*3*, up to 10,000 IUs a day if the flu is coming on. Otherwise, 2,000 – 4,000 daily as a preventative. Vitamin D is not given in milligrams, but in IUs, which is a much smaller dosage. 250mcg or micrograms is equal to 50 IUs or international units. A microgram is 1/1000 of a milligram. The normal dosage of Vitamin D is about 2000 IUs.

Vitamin C, which most people are already taking in their prenatal vitamins, but maybe a  larger dose of 2,000-5,000 mgs. per day.  Vitamin C is water soluable so you will pee  out whatever is too much for the system.  Also, if you are taking too much your body  will let you know through loose stools.  Do not take anymore that day if this happens.  Or, give your body a break and take some later during the day or night.

Resveratrol (that’s the good stuff in red wine) at about 250 a day.

THere is also another vital vitamin to take a look at and integrate into your supplements this season: Vitamin D Theory  (Taken from

“…Cannell has reported on Sept 16 in his newsletter that two physicians, one in Wisconsin and the other in Georgia, suggested that vitamin D supplementation can be the key to H1N1 flu prevention.

“Norris Glick, M.D. of Central Wisconsin Center in Madison told Cannell in his email that 274 residents at his health care facility took vitamin D supplements and were monitored regularly for their plasma vitamin D levels; as a result, only two residents developed influenza-like illness and had positive tests for H1N1 during a period of observation. This compares to 103 of 800 staff members during the same period who were not required for the supplementation. This huge difference may be due likely to use of vitamin D

“Dr. Ellie Campbell, who also responded to Cannell’s vitamin D theory, told Dr. Cannell in an email of a similar observation.   She said she told her patients to take 2,000 to 5,000 IU of vitamin D regularly and monitored their serum levels to make sure her patients had sufficient Vitamin D in their blood.  Campbell shared office with another physician. Her office mate did not do the same thing to his patients.  When H1N1 hit George, none of her patients came to see her for H1N1 virus infection while the other physician was seeing one to 10 cases per week of influenza-like illness.”

Not to be too obsessive about this, there’s also hand sanitizer, which is a really good idea. A little bottle in your purse, and then use it whenever you’ve been out anywhere. Most drug stores have the little bottles right by the check-out counter.

Another thing to do that can help to keep you healthy is nasal gavage.  Use a Neti Pot  once  a day – every day.  If you are around someone ill  go home and use it.  Many  doctor’s  particularly ENT’s for eye, ear, nose surgery comment, if all their patients  used this  every day they would be out of business.  It helps to rinse all the allergens  and germs  out of your nasal passage. Learn about it at a local health food store or here online: or It works great!  But one caution – you need to use 1/4 t. of sea salt and 1/4 t. baking soda.  If you don’t use the baking soda it burns like crazy – the baking soda acts as a buffer. Clean your nostrils at least once every day with warm salt water. Not everybody may be good at Jala Neti or Sutra Neti (very good Yoga asanas to clean nasal cavities), but blowing the nose hard once a day and swabbing both nostrils with cotton buds dipped in warm salt water is very effective in bringing down viral population.  Other ‘nasal washes’ you might look into are:  NeiMed Sinus Rinse which one of my pregnant woman says is inexpensive and she uses it in the shower.  Get it at a local drug store or online at:
Another, more sophisticated way to keep one’s nasal passages irrigated:  Naväge Nasal Hygiene System,  the world’s only nasal rinser using controlled light suction to gently wash the nasal passages.  Devices like the neti pot and squeeze bottle push saline through the nose. Doctor recommended Naväge makes the innovative leap to light, powered suction and gently pulls saline through
the nasal cavity. The result is an elegant new way to keep your nose clean. It’s easy to use, convenient, comfortable and safe.  And it doesn’t make a mess!  Please join us on the road to better nasal health starting today, and begin to enjoyimmediate sinus relief along with the lifelong benefits of superior nasal hygiene.

Other suggestions to help prevent the spread of infection:
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue if you sneeze or cough.
  • If you eat pork, cook your it thoroughly
  • Avoid travel. If you have any symptoms, stay home.
  • If your symptoms are severe, immediately contact your healthcare  professional.
  • The following is a piece on You Tube entitled:  “Doctor Admits Vaccine Is More Deadly Than Swine Flue Itself and Will Not Give It To His Kids”:
This is another email to read for futher research on the subject, extensively backed up by studies and research:  “The Deadly Flu! The Vaccination Game!  A Users Guide”  October 2009:
This is a link to Dr. Oz and his feedback on the flu vaccine, “The Dr. Oz Bait for Vaccines: Why Did He Do It,” Posted by: Dr. Mercola October 13, 2009:  2009.
“Woman Says Flue Shot Triggered Rare Disorder,”  (
“The H1N1 Primer for Pregnant Women”    by Maryl Smith
© 2009 Midwifery Today, Inc. All rights reserved.
Advice regarding breastfeeding for mothers with possible H1N1 infection

Ruth A. Lawrence, M.D., FAAP and John S. Bradley, M.D., FAAP  Published on October 13, 2009 AAP News 2009, doi:aapnews.20091012-1 © 2009 American Academy of Pediatrics

Neonates and infants younger than 6 months of age are at risk for complications from seasonal influenza and presumably 2009 H1N1 influenza (swine flu), although the morbidity and mortality from this new virus have not yet been described.

While the advantages of breastfeeding are well-known, this close interaction of mother and newborn also can facilitate transmission of influenza virus. The benefits and the risks of close contact must be considered carefully.

To protect the infant from possible serious infection while allowing essential and encouraged mother-infant bonding to occur, a compromise is required until more data are available. The following precautions are suggested to minimize the risk of infection to the infant, particularly while still in the hospital and while the mother is symptomatic with fever and coryza:

•  Pay careful attention to handwashing prior to any contact.

•  Prior to breastfeeding, wash the breast with mild soap and water; rinse well

•  The mother should wear a surgical mask to prevent nasal secretions and the spontaneous cough or sneeze from inoculating the infant.

•  Use clean blankets and burp cloths for each contact.

•  Monitor the maternal-infant interaction on perinatal floors for compliance with the above precautions.

•  Gargle twice a day with warm salt water (use Listerine if you don’t trust salt). *H1N1 takes 2-3 days after initial infection in the throat/ nasal cavity to proliferate and show characteristic symptoms. Simple gargling prevents proliferation. In a way, gargling with salt water has the same effect on a healthy individual that Tamiflu has on an infected one. Don’t underestimate this simple, inexpensive and powerful preventative method.

•  Drink as much of warm liquids (tea, coffee, etc) as you can. *Drinking warm liquids has the same effect as gargling, but in the reverse direction. They wash off proliferating viruses from the throat into the stomach where they cannot survive, proliferate or do any harm.

These precautions are designed to minimize the risk of transmission until mother’s immune response to H1N1 influenza is established, and increased, specific immune protection may be provided by breast milk. Note that influenza virus does not pass through breast milk.

Although the most effective way to prevent influenza transmission is complete separation from her infant when a mother is receiving antiviral treatment, separation may create more long-term problems inbreastfeeding success and mother-infant bonding than any potential benefit achieved from avoiding infection in the newborn infant.

For any mother with H1N1 influenza infection who presents in labor to a health care institution, testing and empirically starting therapy for influenza with an antiviral is suggested. Oseltamivir (Tamiflu) or zanamivir (Relenza) will hasten resolution of symptoms and infectivity, particularly if treatment is started within 48 hours of onset of illness. Neonatal exposure to oseltamivir (Tamiflu) excreted in breast milk is extremely low.

Immediately following delivery, the precautions listed above should be instituted as the newborn infant is first placed into mother’s arms. These precautions should be followed until mother’s illness is resolved, i.e., no fever, as measured without antipyretics, for 24 hours.

While no data exist to support these suggestions, it is believed that these represent an appropriate balance between the benefits of mother-infant interaction and the risks of serious neonatal infection. Institutions may wish to modify of these suggestions to address their needs and medical practices.

Dr. Lawrence is chair of the AAP Section on Breastfeeding executive committee. Dr. Bradley is a member of the AAP Committee on Infectious Diseases.


It is very important that you do your OWN research.  Don’t let anyone tell you what to do.  This is your body, your life, your children and it is important what ever you choose to do, not to judge someone else for their choice.  We are here to learn to agree to disagree.  Everyone’s level of development, fear, trust and preventative abilities is different.  Don’t just do something bacause someone says it’s the best thing to do. Assume your power by gathering knowledge, going inside and making an informed choice.

Know the Difference between Cold and H1N1 Flu Symptoms



H1N1 Flu


Fever is rare with a cold.

Fever is usually present with the flu in up to 80% of all flu cases. A temperature of 100°F or higher for 3 to 4 days is associated with the flu.


A hacking, productive (mucus- producing) cough is often present with a cold.

A non-productive (non-mucus producing) cough is usually present with the flu (sometimes referred to as dry cough).


Slight body aches and pains can be part of a cold.

Severe aches and pains are common with the flu.

Stuffy Nose

Stuffy nose is commonly present with a cold and typically resolves spontaneously within a week.

Stuffy nose is not commonly present with the flu.


Chills are uncommon with a cold.

60% of people who have the flu experience chills.


Tiredness is fairly mild with a cold.

Tiredness is moderate to severe with the flu.


Sneezing is commonly present with a cold.

Sneezing is not common with the flu.

Sudden Symptoms

Cold symptoms tend to develop over a few days.

The flu has a rapid onset within 3-6 hours. The flu hits hard and includes sudden symptoms like high fever, aches and pains.


A headache is fairly uncommon with a cold.

A headache is very common with the flu, present in 80% of flu cases.

Sore Throat

Sore throat is commonly present with a cold.

Sore throat is not commonly present with the flu.

Chest Discomfort

Chest discomfort is mild to moderate with a cold.

Chest discomfort is often severe with the flu.

Requesting a Break – Part III

Monday, October 5th, 2009

“Well, there you are!” Ms. Radiology comments as she limps back into the room. I’m wondering where she thinks I would have gone since, I can’t walk and the crutches are way the hell over on the other side of the room!

“Do I get to go somewhere else? “ I impatiently prod.

“Oh, yes,” as she hands me the crutches, “I’m going to bring you back to your examination room,” she cheerfully retorts.

“Great.” I squeeze out under my breath, gritting my teeth while breathing out at the same time. I muster up my strength; pull it together and crutch/hop my way down the various hallways, back to the exam room. I look as if I have all the balance and ability to do this, knowing I am being fueled by high doses of adrenaline and a deep desire to get to the airport on time.

I’m surprise I arrive safely and rather quickly back to the room. My eldest sibling, Mary, is patently awaiting my return. I plop up on the exam table, dangle right leg down and bend left leg up and supported over my right knee.

We wait. While biding our time until someone walks in and can tell me if it is broken or not, Mary asks a few questions about the ‘radiology’ experience.

As I am in the middle of the yarn, a small framed, blonde woman walks into the room. She’s wearing the traditional white jacket and carries a file. She seems neat, clean, serious, quiet and could benefit by courses on laugh therapy.

Mary and I exchange glances as my animated story comes to an abrupt halt and the room becomes quiet.

She sits at a small desk in a swivel doctor chair and coolly reports with a deadpan face, “It seems you have a non-displaced, distal, fibula fracture. I would like you to see someone in 2-3 weeks for a follow up on…”

My brain is a bit mushy at this point and I have NO idea what she just said other than the word, FRACTURE.

“Wait, wait, wait, wait..” I impatiently interject, then lightly continue with a smile on my face, “…you’d think I fell on my HEAD because I have no idea what you just said…could you please write everything you are saying on a piece of paper? I will never remember it.”

With an expressionless look, the doctor gazes at me for a pregnant moment, says nothing, then looks down at a piece of paper on the desk and responds, “Of course.” She proceeds to legibly write down on a piece of prescription paper what she just said.

Mary and I share eye-popping glances, smiling and shrugging our shoulders as we cover our mouths from giggles. The doctor’s conversation continues with the practicalities and firming up my ‘next steps’. (No pun intended).

Pain meds are a big topic. It’s all about covering up the pain in life, right?Take a pill; cover it up particularly in a Country with more legal prescription drug addictions than, marijuana, cocaine and alcohol combined. I am about to be prescribed one of the most popular: vicodin. (House, look out.  Here I come.)

I explain to the doctor, I generally don’t take allopathic medicines, so I don’t really need something that strong or very many pills. (I have NO IDEA what I am in for with the kind of pain I am going to experience in the next couple of weeks. I ‘m still in shock, so I don’t even feel the full extent of this fracture, yet.) She fills out another piece of paper containing the prescription and hands it to me.

I graciously thank and shake her hand, and she slips out of the room as quietly as she came in.

“Well, she certainly could stand a few lessons in ‘patient relations’,” my sister comments.

“Yah, I don’t think they very many courses like that in medical school, do they Ms. Nurse Practitioner?” I ask my sister smiling as I jump/hop off the examination table and sit on a chair, next to her.

Another, more pleasant woman enters the room. I assume she’s the nurse, lighter energy and a pleasant smile. She fits me for a walking boot cast and upon my request, pleasantly inserts an ice panel, which helps cool the swollen, fire laden ankle.

I notice it takes extra focus on my part to correctly remember the instructions regarding the ‘mechanics’ of the boot cast. Left leg needs to be 90 degrees at the knee, slip in the foot slowly and make sure the heel is flush with the back of the boot. Fold and strap the foot pieces first and then along the calf.  Make sure the velcro straps are secure but not too tight.  My eyes periodically check my watch. It’s 1:35 pm. The flight is 2:40 pm. ‘I’ll be OK,’ I reassure myself by focusing on what I do want instead of do not want: an integral point for the law of attraction.

At one point the nurse jokingly exclaims, “…and the boot matches your outfit! How perfect!”  I peer at Mary out of the corner of my eye, smiling, reminding her of my comment earlier in the car, “It DOES matter how fabulous one looks!” We have a good laugh. I am soooo ready to get out of this room.

Next instruction;  hop to the payment window. While propped on one foot, dropping a crutch as I search for my credit card, I finally find the card and hand it to the woman behind the window sitting at a desk. She processes my records effortlessly and easily with a smile and midwest, “Thank you very much,” hands me back my card and bill.

WOW!  The full fee, no insurance, emergency visit, walking boot cast, 3 x-rays, the doctor’s consultation: $245! In New York City, I couldn’t walk into an emergency room for under $500 and that is just to walk through the door! PLUS, I would have never been able to make my flight because I would have had to wait 5-10 hours to see someone. There are certain advantages to being in the Midwest. Yet, sorry, family…the Big Apple calls me.

Next, I tunnel through a few more hallways and doors and make it to the original waiting area. I see my sister standing in line for my prescription to be magically filled out, all in the same building! As I stand waiting, simulating a ballet dancer, I prop my leg and foot on top of the horizonal support railing, easing the pressure of the blood and fluids pooling in the ankle. I hand my credit card over to Mary and within a few minutes, my drugs are in hand at a reasonable, $24! Wow, the Midwest, at least in Iowa, has quite a health care system.

We are out of there, on to the airport. It’s 2:05 pm. 40 minutes before my plane departs.

More to come in Part IV…

Pica – Chalk Craving in Pregnant Women

Saturday, October 3rd, 2009

When a woman, pregnant or NOT desires or craves chalk, for taste or the sensation of crunching, there is an iron  deficiency in the woman and she is  anemic. (more tired, need energy building foods). Once she gets the iron balanced in her system, she will NO LONGER have the craving for the chalk.

When one supplement’s their diet with iron pills, it is important to take the iron pills with something acidic, like orange juice, BECAUSE it helps to ENHANCE the absorption of iron in your body.

When one takes rolaids, it is COUNTER PRODUCTIVE to the absorption of the iron in the body. Rolaids is an ANTACID, (not acidic) and you NEED acid to absorb the iron in your body. So, you are just canceling out the iron supplement each time a rolaid is taken.  It doesn’t matter if one takes one or ten…IT IS NOT GOOD!  Research shows if a pregnant woman has to choose between chalk and rolaids, the more favorable choice is the chalk.  It doesn’t have the antacid element to it.  STOP rolaids immediately if your doctor has suggested this as a solution away from the chalk.

Eating iron rich foods is imperative.  If one needs to find foods that will satisfy a need to CRUNCH try something like ALMONDS or other kinds of seeds or nuts rich in iron. Leafy green veggies are high in iron and so are dried apricots which are ALSO high in Vitamin C, ( an acidic source )


Floradix is a liquid formula that will help to enhance the iron absorbtion in one’s body when eating iron rich foods.

Floradix Formula Iron (250mL) Brand: Flora Uses: Energy, Anemia etc.. The absorption rate of Floradix (liquid iron gluconate) is twenty-five per cent compared solid iron tablets that have an absorption rate of two to ten per cent. Floradix provides maximum absorption by using the most highly absorbable form of iron, iron gluconate. Floradix also contains B vitamins and vitamin C to enhance absorption, herbal extracts to increase digestion, and fruit juices to ensure proper stomach acidity. A twenty milligram dose of Floradix satisfies the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of fifteen milligrams of iron for women of child-bearing age.


Homeopathic remedies to help get your minerals balanced in one’s body are:

1.  Ferrous Phosphate:  6X or 12X strength, take 1-4 times per day, 4 pellets. This very useful cell salt is known as the “oxygen carrier”. It has the ability to carry oxygen to all the cells of the body for use in conversion to energy.

2,  Bio-chemic Tissue Salts:  take 5/6 of these COMBINATION  3-4X’s per day. The 12 Tissue/Cell Salt Combination As the name implies, this is a combination of all 12 salts in a single tablet. This combination can be used daily in much the same way as you would take a vitamin or supplement. To treat specific conditions, however, select one of the single salts listed above. RECOMMENDED POTENCY – 6X is the most widely used potency These are all the different MINERALS combined into the 12 Tissue/Cell Salts. Calcarea Fluoricum Calcarea Phosphoricum Calcarea Sulphuricum Ferrum Phosphoricum Kali Muriaticum Kali Phosphoricum Kali Sulphuricum Magnesia Phosphoricum Natrum Muriaticum Natrum Phosphoricum Natrum Sulphuricum Silicea (Silica)


How Much Iron?
The recommendation increases to 27 mg for pregnant women.
Iron Rich Foods containing Heme Iron (Iron found in animal protein)
Excellent Sources               Good Sources
Clams                                       Beef
Pork Liver                                Shrimp
Oysters                                     Sardines
Chicken Liver                           Turkey
Beef Liver

Iron Rich Foods containing Non-Heme Iron
Excellent Sources Good Source

Enriched breakfast cereals Canned beans
Cooked beans and lentils                 Baked potato with skin
Pumpkin seeds                               Enriched pasta
Blackstrap Molasses                         Canned asparagus

Warning: Pregnant women should not eat liver because of its very high Vitamin A content. Large amounts of Vitamin A can be harmful to the baby.

The absorption of Non-heme iron can be improved when a source of heme iron is consumed in the same meal. In addition, the iron absorption-enhancing foods can also increase the absorption of non-heme iron. While some food items can enhance iron absorption, some can inhibit or interfere iron absorption. Avoid eating them with the iron-rich foods to maximize iron absorption.

Iron Absorption Enhancers  (GOOD to eat)
Fruits: Orange, Orange Juice, cantaloupe, strawberries, grapefruit etc
Vegetables: Broccoli, brussels sprouts, tomato, tomato juice, potato, green & red peppers
White wine

Iron Absorption Inhibitors  (BAD to eat)
Red Wine, Coffee & Tea
Vegetables: Spinach, chard, beet greens, rhubarb and sweet potato
Whole grains and bran
Soy products

Is Spinach a good source of Iron? Written by Gloria Tsang, RD
Published in May 2006 (

Spinach and Iron has been a highly discussed topic in our free nutrition forum. Many readers know that spinach is a source of iron. However they are confused that spinach is said to contain an iron absorption inhibitor as mentioned in our Iron Rich Foods article.

Spinach – a source of Iron
Spinach is a source of non-heme iron, which is usually found in vegetable sources. Unlike heme iron found in animal products, non-heme iron is not as bioavailable to the body.

According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, one cup of cooked spinach provides ~3.5mg of iron whereas a cup of raw spinach only contains 1 mg of iron.

Spinach – also inhibits(stops) iron absorption
Spinach also contains oxalic acid (sometimes referred as oxalate). Oxalic acid binds with iron, hence inhibiting its absorption.

Spinach is not the only food containing high levels of oxalic acid. Whole grains such as buckwheat and amaranth, other vegetables such as chard and rhubarb, as well as beans and nuts all contain significant levels of oxalic acid.

So Should you or Should you not eat Spinach?
You do not need to give it up if you are a spinach lover! Simply eat spinach with any foods containing iron absorption enhancers. Here are some examples:

Iron Absorption Enhancers  (Good to eat)
Meat, fish, or poultry
Fruits: Orange, Orange Juice, cantaloupe, strawberries, grapefruit and other Vitamin-C rich fruits
Vegetables: Broccoli, brussels sprouts, tomato, tomato juice, potato, green & red peppers
White wine

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