Yesterday our very helpful neighbor and friend, 'Farmer Joe', came by with his tractor-sized rototiller and enlarged my veggie garden plot. He also kindly tilled the pathway to the garden, so I could properly lay down the flat rocks that I was given last year, care of one of my parents' neighbors. I've had a picture in my head of how cute a rock pathway would be, with herbs growing on the side and maybe some hardy thyme or other ground cover plants in between the rocks. I actually had the energy to lay all these rocks out and dig them in, just the way I've been wanting to. They still need some adjustment, but I was able to get enough accomplished yesterday to be able to visualize my new path.
Which brings me to a story about another fairly new 'path' of mine: being a vegetarian. I've been vegetarian for about 3 years or so. While I have eaten meat about four or five times in that time frame (it was served to me and I hadn't made other arrangements in advance), my intention was and still is not to eat anything that can move about on its own. Making this choice necessitates paying attention to a few things, to ensure my nutrition is complete. Well, it turns out I've been a 'bad vegetarian' and haven't been paying attention to everything I needed to, specifically getting enough iron. This was made very clear to me when my doctor (also new) called earlier this week and said I needed an "urgent" blood transfusion, because my hemoglobin level was so low. I was mildly reprimanded by the doctor, and when at the hospital itself two days ago, I was told by the nurse I was "lucky" to be getting the transfusion. I certainly did feel somewhat guilty for taking two units of blood that should have been left available for car accident victims, or the like. It was a strange, strange day. I have since begun taking an iron supplement liquid, and I will be more diligent in taking my other vitamins as well.
I do feel better after having the transfusion - I can go up the stairs without running out of breath with a pounding heart, and yesterday I could do a morning's worth of dirt-shifting and rock-lifting without feeling drained. (It's amazing what having enough cells to carry oxygen to your heart can do!) In fact there are a lot of symptoms of iron deficiency I'm looking forward to not having any more. And there was no way I tied all these things together as being related to something like anemia - I just figured I was wimpy and had to suck it up. So, if there are any other new-ish vegetarians out there, you may want to have your iron levels checked at your next doctor's appointment!
New path, or not-so-new path, there is always, always something to learn.