By Barbara Leonhard | Featured Contributor Dear Friends, most of us would agree that this past year has been extremely challenging if not tragic. Many of you have documented your pain and grief in poetry, fiction, and essays. St. Patrick’s Day is today and Easter is coming up, so it’s a good time for us to transmute…
Phoebe, MD: Medicine + Poetry published my article on hypoglycemia and depression. Have you ever felt “hangry” (so suddenly hungry that you could push other diners away just to get to the head of the line at the buffet)? If so, you may have Hypoglycemia. Your blood sugar has spiked and dropped below normal levels. Here is my story.
The final section of my article on infertility is up on Phoebe,MD: Medicine + Poetry. Links to the other sections are provided. I am grateful to Phoebe and her beautiful site for being a major part of my journey with memoir writing.
The bandage torn From new flesh Releases wails The wound still Imbibes air The scab hides deep repair Let it rest. Wait In time the scar Records a fate
I learned that healing is a deep process. We may heal a physical wound, but to become whole, we need to heal emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. We need to dig into the old grout of our deep being. Moreover, we must trust help is available.
Depression developed and flourished because I grieved so much over loss of fertility.
Women who are childless miss out on a great deal. They never feel what it is like to have a life growing, kicking and wiggling inside of them; to cry out during the birth of a baby (a rite of passage to celebrate with girlfriends); to watch over and even to grow with a child through sickness and health, all the milestones of birthdays, graduations, marriage, and the births of grandchildren. I have even grieved not being able to be the tooth fairy, help my kids find Easter eggs, read them bedtime stories, take them to the zoo.
Feeling apart from and not a part of the tribe still saddens me. I find I am left out of conversations about all those life passages women…
Phoebe, MD:Medicine + Poetry Has just published the first part of an article I wrote on my infertility caused by Diethylstilbestrol, or DES. Although this drug is no longer prescribed to pregnant women to prevent miscarriages, it has been shown that this drug affected not only daughters and sons born between 1941 and 1971 but also their children. This is my story as a DES Daughter.
As we grow and develop, we learn how to identify with many labels or roles, such as daughter/son, aunt/uncle, mother/father, and grandmother/grandfather, to name a few. It seems as though our stories are written before we are born to conform to these labels. In a way, these roles become rituals that comfort us as we agree to them and even expect our lives to go “as planned” based on our social codes and blueprints for survival.
I know I certainly expected my life to unfold much like my mother’s life did with marriage and family. She had seven children, and being the second oldest and oldest girl, I was able to help with all the babies she had. It never occurred to me that I would never be able to have my own children. Little did I know that my helping her at…
Back in 1957, the year I almost died from the measles, my parents—unlike the parents of today—did not have to face the choice of vaccination, because there was no vaccine in existence (it wasn’t introduced until several years later, in 1963).
Therefore, it was important for me to share my experience with this condition because of the great controversy that currently exists over vaccines in general, and particularly the measles vaccine. Far too many children are not getting vaccinated against measles and other diseases owing to perceived risks, so now measles has returned as a virulent threat worldwide.
Phoebemd.com published the second part of my article on recovering fully from measles encephalitis. The link to Part 1 is provided. The article is based on one of my poetry podcasts on Poetry: The Memoir of the Soul found at meelosmom.podbean.com.
My experience with measles encephalitis taught me a great deal. The greatest realization was that I could change my destiny. I had every reason to remain in the wheelchair because of the attention, sympathy, and love that not only I but also my parents received because of their poor little girl. But the attention from others could not offset the loneliness, the feelings of being diminutive and helpless, and the boredom.
Phoebemd.com is publishing a series of articles based on another poetry podcast I did on Podbean. You have seen this story of mine before, and I will tell it until I am blue in the face if it saves lives. Kids need protection – we all do – from the measles.
In this article, I would like to share my story of how an illness I suffered as a child affected me. Particularly with the climate of today, I hope this will help inform people of the consequences that can develop in young children who are at risk of getting certain illnesses.
It was the summer of 1957, and it seemed to have happened all at once, where I turned from an active six-year-old girl to a helpless baby overnight. At that time, my family was living in Lewistown, Montana, where my dad was a Presbyterian minister. Mom was at home with three children, aged seven to four. That summer, all three of us contracted measles. But while my siblings’ illnesses took a more benign course, I developed a life-threatening complication: measles encephalitis—a serious and potentially fatal inflammation of the brain…