Friday, June 17, 2011

Good Bugs, Bad Bugs, Luck

Marty and I suffered a little G.I. distress last week. He was fine in a couple of days. My system is still screwed up.

I made the decision to stop taking the exjade, which makes me feel like a helium balloon and keeps me tethered to the loo. Since I've already off-loaded 6500 units of ferritin from my liver, and am fairly close to "normal," I thought I'd give myself a break. My doctor agreed. I thought this would help my digestive track. There is no change.

I think the good bugs in my digestive track are all on vacation. I remembered that Dr. Antin suggested probiotics for this issue last summer. I went into the local health food store in RI and asked for advice on which one to get, since there was a dizzying array of choices. I had no idea this was such a big problem. The woman launched into an epic description of all the probiotics they carried. My eyes glazed over. I perked up when I heard how expensive these pills are. So I went to CVS and found something much cheaper. I still have some. It's called FloraSmart and has 6 billion organisms per caplet. I plan to go to the local pharmacy here in the country and see what the pharmacist thinks I should take. I hope this works because I have enough gvh-related problems.

For those of you who haven't fallen asleep, I offer this tidbit of information I gleaned from Steven Pinker in an essay he wrote about the human genome and personality. Genetics are almost everything; environment, including culture, how your parents raised you has a small impact, but not as much as most people think; luck plays a small but important role, maybe 1%. Take my son Mark. Genetics made him a great runner. His ancestors include some very good runners. I encouraged Mark to run a 5k when he was 9 and he won for his age group. He ran the race every year and got better and better. Luck brought him to Rhode Island where he didn't make the soccer team so joined cross-country. Had he not moved from Costa Rica, where soccer is king and running isn't a school sport, he'd be a different person. He lives to run. It defines him in so many ways.

Wishing you good bugs and good luck.

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