While we are on the subject of booze

The ABA has just released a new information leaflet about alcohol and breastmilk. Contrary to most of the information that is available to mothers (and often funded by formula companies that want to scare women into artificial feeding), this leaflet acknowledges that Australian women do like a drink, and gives guidelines for how to do it without harming your baby. For example, if you are a 75 Kg woman (I wish!), it takes 3hrs and 16 mins for two standard drinks to leave your bloodstream.

Not that I would ever encourage a woman to drink and feed – but you’re often better off doing that than drinking and giving artificail milk, and this information has been hidden for so long, this publication is a bit of a victory for common sense.


*That is a virtual cheers from me – self imposed booze ban will be lifted over Christmas and New Year. Then we’ll check in with the liver and see how it’s coping!

Heavy thoughts

So. The vegetarian/iron deficient thing.

I’m vegetarian because I think that in our society (and most of the industrialised world – and growing parts of the developing world), factory farming and the cruelty that is inherent in them is not something I can conscience. I always thought that if I was marooned on a desert island with nothing to eat but a cow, I’d totally be apologising to the cow, and then eating it.

It basically came down to the fact that I have the luxury of choosing what I eat, and I have the luxury of being able to provide healthy alternatives for my family. I also had the luxury of good health.

Since being anemic, I’ve actually been concerned about my ability to care for Inigo properly. And today, I had a real scare. We were in a park, about 200m from the car park. I was sitting down chatting with some mums from playgroup (playgroup has ended for the year, so we are catching up informally just for something to do). Inigo was playing happily close by for quite a while, but after an hour or so, he started to wander further and further afield. I was comfortable that he wouldn’t go too far, but of course, eventually, he did. I got up to grab him, and he started running. I sped up, but felt like I was likely to collapse at every step. I literally could not run. I couldn’t run to save my child, who was running headlong into a carpark. I went as fast as I could, and I caught him in a disabled parking spot, just inside the carpark. Thank goodness there were no moving cars at the time, but that did nothing to calm me down. It was all I could do just to carry him back to the picnic blanket without crying hysterically.

So yes, I am feeling better. Much, much better than I was at my worst. But I’ve decided that right now I can’t afford the luxury of refusing to eat meat. I can still make ethical choices, and next Tuesday, I am going here, and I am going to eat a steak. Anyone want to join me? Fe, I am looking at you!

But I’m still going to think of myself as a vegetarian. And when my iron levels normalise, I will be again. But for now, I need to protect my family, and apologise to the cow later.

And one more thing. I read this today, and am reminded of how special the ability to give blood is. What a difference it can make to a life, to someone you’ll probably never know. And what I found out last time I gave blood, that makes my blood extra special.

The big and heavy question – should I eat animals so I can save lives? Or do I think too much? Or is it just normal to think about the big picture just after a cancer scare?

So, readers, lurkers especially, what do you think? Self indulgent pap, or good sense?

Oh – and P.S. Fe asked if this meant that I will become “a meat eater” again, and I thought about it. But my touchstone is Inigo. I wouldn’t want him to see me eating meat, and I wouldn’t want him eating meat until he is old enough to make the choice for himself. So no, this is just for now, until my iron levels normalise.

Guts wrap up

I don’t have coeliac disease, gastric ulcers, Helicobacter Pylori, or intestinal parasites. Nor do I have bowel or esophageal cancer.

I did have a polyp in the bowel, which would probably eventually grow into a cancer, which as been removed. But considering my age, that is a bit of a worry, and a good thing we found it sooner rather than later. It also means that I will have to go through this whole process again every three years. Joy.

So, the summary. Gastritis is pretty normal. Polyps happen to people with a family history of bowel cancer (which I do, but it’s not a strong one), and I have a “mild” case of reflux (doesn’t seem mild to me, but who’s to argue with the expert?). The current theory is that as a vegetarian I had good iron in my bloodstream, but relatively low iron stores, and giving 2 litres of blood in a year probably made my iron levels critical. And that last donation was enough to tip me over the edge into anemia.

And I have fatty liver disease, so I have to reduce my body weight by 10%, and give up the turps. I wonder which will be harder?

Dear ING Direct

My name is Lara. On my birth certificate, it’s Larissa. Lara/Larissa. Matt/Matthew. Rob/Robert. Ed/Edward/Ted.

It’s not fucking brain surgery.

So why does it take 2 years, a marriage certificate, endless phone calls, and various paperwork, only to be told that I now need a birth certificate, certified by god, and a Statutory Declaration saying that I am who I say I am, and always have been?

And why, why, why, why, do I have to speak to a supervisor, and practically beg to be sent this information in writing. I don’t think it’s unreasonable, if you make a process unnecessarily impossible, for a customer to ask for specific instructions in writing.

And lastly. Why does it take 3-4 weeks for a letter to be put in the post? Are the typing monkeys on sabbatical in Switzerland? Do the legal people need to check it for possible litigation? Does the office junior only go to the post office every fifth Tuesday?

What the fuck people?

I am taking my $3.50, and putting it with a bank I can actually visit, and shout at in person.


The Guts Man found a polyp and gastritis, and took a few biopsies, the results of which I will get on Saturday.

In the meantime, I get to go back on the iron tabs, and stop eating wheat – one of which was making me feel heaps better, but I had to revert so that the tests wouldn’t be a waste of time.

Oh, and I have gastric reflux, which I have known for about 4 years, but now I can see a picture of it.

And the worst part? A toss up between the foul liquids you have to drink before hand (and the fasting for nearly 2 days), and the horrible, violent liquid diarrhoea, which I still have, despite being allowed to eat this afternoon.

The best bit? Apparently I’ve lost 6 kilos since I’ve been ill. No idea where I left them, but having no appetite might have something to do with it!

So. Now to play happy and nice until Saturday without freaking out.