Ojai22: Lessons Learned

Wellness, Health, Life

Archive for March, 2008


Posted by ojai22 on March 25, 2008

The first article I wrote for this blog was about unfermented soy and why I had to stop using it. At that time I didn’t mention an alternative. I was depending so much on soy for my diet that I wondered what I could replace it with. I settled on fish. I had been Vegan for many years, but had no problem deciding to return to fish, at least temporarily. It was to be more temporary than I suspected.

Blithely, I bought tuna canned in olive oil. Cooked wide noodles, added the flaked, oily fish, some chopped onion and capers, and had a feast. Briefly. The headache came out of nowhere. After a day or so, I tried again. Severe headache again. This sent me to the computer and a search engine. During those years that I spent as a Vegan, something had happened to the fish. They were now full of mercury, among other chemicals that have no place in the oceans of the world. I read about whales and dolphins swallowing plastic bags which suffocated them. But, they said, you can eat Alaskan Salmon, it has no mercury! What a desolate situation….

I tried the salmon and it was fine for awhile. Then I found a smaller can that had no bones and skin and thought to try the noodles and capers again. Not all Alaskan Salmon are from Alaska. An Alaskan Salmon can be grown in other places. I didn’t know that.

I made it for lunch and sat down to watch a TV show that I sometimes watch if I’m not busy. I had been eating about 5 minutes when the show started; something happened to my body at the same time. At first I thought it was severe heart-burn. I had had a mild case of that once many years ago, but this was much worse. I was sure my chest would explode while my heart was thumping and racing. At the same time my stomach felt as though it would be included in the violent explosion that seemed imminent. I loosened my clothes, struggling to breathe, but it didn’t help.

I thought I should lie down till this passes, so headed for the bedroom, leaving the TV running. By the time I got there I was shaking so hard I could hardly stay on my feet, and was suddenly extremely hot, drenched in perspiration; it was actually running into my eyes. I tore my clothes off, trying to hold my stomach with one hand, which didn’t help at all.

I knew it was the fish as I could feel it more in my stomach now. Instantly I realized that it had to come up. If I survived till it hit my digestive tract, it would spread through the blood to the entire body and I would be a lost cause.

I got up and struggled back up the hall. Drank a glass of water as the glass shook in my hand, but nothing happened. I realized I’ll have to do more than drink water, I’ll have to help eject it. I desperately needed to get it out of my stomach, by whatever method I had to use. I jabbed the index finger of my shaking hand into my mouth, but it wouldn’t go far. Holding onto the sink I tried again. It went a little farther that time, but still didn’t work. (How do anorexics manage that?!) Finally gave it a good stabbing and up came the food I had eaten 5 minutes earlier, looking like ground-up baby food. As soon as it was all out – I had eaten more than I realized – I rinsed my mouth and staggered back to bed.

By the time I got to the bedroom, I was still shaking so hard I could barely stand, but the heat was gone. Now I was shivering with cold. Pulling the quilt back I climbed under it and hoped the worst was over. It wasn’t. It felt like a huge vise clamped around my stomach, squeezing and twisting, while a thousand razor blades chopped at the inside of it. It wasn’t easing up, it was getting worse. The pain became so excruciating that I screamed silently to the Universe:



The very next instant I was lying quietly in bed looking around the room – through glass doors the sun was shining in on the puffy marigold-colored quilt, ferns and ivy in hanging white wicker baskets, the multi-colored Croton sparkling in the sun, the ficus tree on the balcony moving gently with the breeze. Of a sudden – Where is the Pain? What happened to the Pain? A moment ago I had experienced the worst Pain of my life. How had it evaporated in mid-air? My stomach was a little queasy, a bit of a headache, and a ‘wiped-out’ feeling but nothing more. I almost felt good.

Then I heard voices from the TV. The show that I was planning to watch as I ate was giving way to the show that followed, a show I never watched – – no, no, that show wasn’t coming on, it was going off. They were both hour-long shows that had come and gone. I had lost 2 hours, but how? And where was I all that time? What happened to the Pain? And how did I survive the torment that was more than a body could bear?

I had passed out, of course. Passed out cold from pain that was unbelievable and unbearable. And stayed out till the pain was gone. I lay there and knew absolutely that if I hadn’t gotten up from that bed and ejected the poison, that I would never have gotten up from that bed. That, and the aid of a user-friendly Universe had helped me survive.

I survived, but what of the oceans? The living home for so many creatures and plants necessary to the health of the earth, so much underwater beauty, so necessary to the lives of mankind. We have used it as a dumping ground for so many years that we are choking out it’s life. As though we can live without the oceans. As though we could do such a dreadful deed and escape the consequences.

UPDATE:  Sept. 4, 2009

The soy article mentioned in the first paragraph of this article has been temporarily removed.


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