Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Ferritin Secret Part IV

Towards the beginning of my book I write:

It’s funny, sad, and scary to me what we readily accept as truth.  I didn’t own a pair of flip flops until I was twenty-one because my mom convinced me early on in life that flip flops are dangerous.  She told me I would stub my toe if I wore them; I believed her and didn’t pester her for a pair, but I’ll admit, I was a bit jealous of my friends who owned several pairs.  I especially liked the neat-o flopping noise the shoes made.  All I had was a lousy pair of jelly shoes - which produced no noise - only sweat - and left strange imprints on my feet when I took them off at night.
My senior year of college I got a little wild on Spring Break and picked up a pair of flip flops at an Old Navy in Fort Lauderdale.  I think my mom was more disturbed by the flip flops than she was by the nose ring I also acquired while vacationing in Florida.  But I’ve learned that my mom is wrong about flip flops; I’ve been flopping for over ten years now and I have never stubbed a toe while wearing a pair.  To think, all those years I missed out on as a kid - I might need counseling.  And as I talk to my therapist I’ll tell her not only do I feel cheated by my mom, but by our educational system as well.
You see, when I was in fourth grade I made a model of the solar system for the school science fair.  I included the nine planets I had been learning about in class – Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus (the planet the boys always laugh about), Neptune, and Pluto.  For over 75 years teachers and science books insisted Pluto is the ninth planet in the Solar System.  But suddenly, in 2006, astronomers declared it was no longer a planet, and I was a bit perturbed.  As it turns out, Pluto is nothing more than a “dwarf planet” – whatever that means.  All I know is that the science community has been lying to little kids for years, and I can’t help but wonder how Walt Disney would feel knowing Mickey’s dog – named in honor of the planet’s discovery - is a phony.
The lies I have believed about flips flops and Pluto make me wonder: if my well-intentioned parents sometimes say things that are not true, if science sometimes teaches what is not true, then maybe, just maybe, people who appear to know a bit about Jesus sometimes fall short in presenting what is true. 

* Excerpt from I Hate Books on Christian Dating - A Memoir Journey Towards a Mysterious God

What's fascinating is that as I've wrestled with what I've been told and taught about the Christian faith, I've also been wrestling with what the medical world has been teaching women about their bodies.

The claim by science is that a woman's iron stores (i.e. her ferritin level) isn't all that important.  Yet, iron is needed for transmitting oxygen throughout the body, and women lose iron each month as they menstruate.  Unless a woman's hemoglobin levels drop, she won't be told she is iron deficient.  But I know from personal experience, a woman's hemoglobin levels can read normal and she can still be iron deficient.

The most prominent signs of iron deficiency:

signs of depression

When it gets really bad, like it did with me, iron deficiency also leads to heart palpitations and breathing issues.

As I wrote a friend, "Perhaps all these women going gluten free to feel healthy just need iron pills, rather than a radical change in diet (with the exception of those with celiac disease, of course).  Iron deficiency causes headaches, fatigue, weakness, and signs of depression.  Hmmm... perhaps some women could use more oxygen rather than migraine medicine and anti depressants."

I promised I'd let up on Ferritin posts, but I have one left - the note I shared with my doctor.

No comments: