More thoughts about Mitzvah

I have been thinking about all of the little things I do in a day that may help to make other people’s lives better. I have been processing this NaBloPoMo theme for a couple of days now and I have come to the conclusion that it just does not sit right for me. I am all for doing nice things for other people. For me, the motivation behind the act is more important than the act itself. It was not good enough for me to do something nice and run to my blog and put it there. By their very nature, acts of kindness are best left undiscussed.  Once they become fodder for a blog posting they seem to lose their value. One of the values I live my life by is kindness. I try to notice when people need a hand and if there is something I can do  I will do it. Sometimes though our kindness is hemmed in because of personal or professional boundaries. These are some of the hardest waters to navigate – you want to do something for nice for someone but at the same time you know that to do so would breach boundaries and change a relationship forever.

Another major part of kindness/mitzvah lies in the not taking credit for it. If I do something and then go on and on about what a great person I am because I did “X” for someone what does that really mean? Did I do it because I wanted to do it or did I do it so that I could brag about it. Acts of kindness are best kept small and quiet. It need only be known between the giver and the receiver.

I also believe that those who receive something kind need only pass on something equally kind to someone else in the future. I remember when I was about 12 years old and I was being tormented by a group of older kids everyday. They would chase me home and beat me up if they got to me. Then one day a neighbour came out and told them to go away. She told me I only needed to make it as far as her house every day and that she would let me come in and hang out until they got bored and went away. As an overweight child I did not run as well as the others, so knowing that this neighbour was looking out for me made all the difference in school that year. I used to thank her all the time but she told me to stop because one day I would be in a position to help someone out and she hoped that I would do it. I assured her I would. In fact, this has been a life lesson I have taken with me and shared with others.

I think I have decided to turn the NaBloPoMo concept of mitzvah on its head. I am not going to talk about what I have done for others, I am going to be thankful for what others have done for me. I have never been one to follow the beat of another drummer. I have my own beat and I like to lead.

I didn’t blog yesterday as I was getting a blood transfusion. I did not have time before and I was completely exhausted when we got home. I had the transfusion because my hemoglobin is way low – 81. Hopefully the transfusion will give me a bump up 91. My hematologist also did a bunch of other tests on my blood and iron levels. I am hoping I am going to be able to get iron infusions rather than having to take it orally. Taking iron orally is wreaking havoc with my bowel and it is slow. Right now, I have a need for speed. All of my other counts are back up in normal range except for my hemoglobin. Ironically, the one that has not come back is the one that affects you the most in terms of energy level etc. Low white blood cells means you may get an infection easier (ok, I know, not so good). I just want to get back to work and back to my life.

Today, I am so thankful to the person who gave blood so that I could have some of it in my veins. The idea of a blood transfusions always freaked me out. I was not sure how I was going to feel with another person’s blood cells in my body. I have to say, I don’t feel any different. I hope to have a bump in energy but I have not felt that yet today. I am going to take it so easy over the next couple of days. I intend to watch tv and sleep. Hopefully after 2 days of complete and utter relaxation my body will feel better.

The bag of blood

Me geting the blood

One thing I have noticed through my 2 transfusions is that I am very tired and cold during transfusions. I am not sure why this is happens. I may be tired because of the 2 ativan I needed to relax enough for the IV to go in. I am ridiculously difficult to put an IV into. The coldness, I am not sure about but I ended up buried under 3 blankets trying to get warm.  I was tired when I got home I kept falling asleep while trying to eat dinner. I am hoping with some more sleep and relaxation I will get a good hit from this transfusion. Oh and don’t forget the iron!

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Published in: on December 5, 2009 at 11:55 am  Comments (7)  
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  1. I’m glad to hear you got the transfusion you needed and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that you feel that energy boost soon! Iron is definitely hard on the gut, even for people who don’t have gut problems, so hopefully they will give you iron infusions too!

    And I’m totally with you on the whole mitzvah theme. I have a hard time posting about my “acts of kindness” for the same reasons as you – it makes it feel fake if I’m bragging that I did something nice for someone. I want to do nice things for people simply because it’s the right thing to do, and bragging about makes it feel like I’m doing it to talk about how great I think I am!

    • So, let’s flip it on its head and post what acts of kindness we receive! I like that much better. Then maybe we can say thank you in a small way and celebrate the kindness of others.

      • Sounds like a plan!

  2. Glad to hear you got another transfusion. I have some idea what it’s like to have hemoglobin in the 80s… going up 10 steps to my front door winded me every time.

    I feel cold when I’m stressed out. No matter how many times you’ve been there or how many needles you’ve had, nobody’s 100% relaxed in the hospital getting a transfusion…

    Have you looked into eating more wild game to get more iron? Venison has a lot more than beef per serving… Seal is pretty much the best animal for iron, as far as I know, but the only place I know you can buy it is the parliament restaurant in Ottawa!

    • This prompted me to check some of my nutrition texts for good sources of iron – in addition to venison, oysters & clams contain a lot of iron (and, to a lesser extent and more in line with venison, so does octopus). Another food that gives you a little hit of iron that is often looked – molasses.

      • Beth – is seafood like prawns high in iron? I guess I wil be seeing if Deb will make me molasses cookies.

        Lisa – It is pretty wicked having hemoglobin in the 80s. When it was in the 60s I don’t even really remember much of what was going on. I am starting to feel a little better now. Unfortunately I am not a big fan of venison!

        Thank you both for the suggestions.

  3. Prawns don’t seem to be a good source – e.g., 4 prawns contain only 0.7 mg of iron, while 6 oysters contain 5 mg of iron and 15 clams contain a whopping 24.7 mg! 3 oz of ground beef contains 2.1 mg of iron and 3oz of deer venison contains 3.8 mg. (To put these numbers in context, the recommended intake for women aged 19-50 is 18 mg, but that’s for women who aren’t iron deficient – those with iron deficiency need more).


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