Monday, October 10, 2011

Lunch Box Chronicles: Day One-Hundred Forty-Four (On the Meaning of Life-Blood and One Incredible Banana Bread)

So I have been stressing a bit lately.  What’s new?  Most of it is a self-imposed choice of wanting to climb very high mountains, forge new territories, and occasionally get some sleep. 

Sometimes, however, genetics just get in the way.   This time, it is not only personality traits, but also blood clotting traits.  No one really wants to talk about this stuff.   Blood.  It is kind of taboo.  But, blood has become the focus of my life.   Recently, I was diagnosed with two different blood-clotting disorders – Von Willebrand Disease and Factor XI deficiency.  Factor XI is also known as hemophilia C.   At first the “H” word made me shutter, but now it has transformed me into the guardian of my blood-line – the entire tangle of my family emanating from my father’s side.   My children, my siblings, their children, my cousins, their children.  It is all genetics.   It is like unraveling a mystery.

These newly discovered diagnoses explain years of mystery.   Like why, during certain times of my life, I was so drained, I felt I did not have one more speck of energy to move on.  Or, why I chose to have all of my babies 5 years apart.  Or, why I ended up in the ER hemorrhaging after a simple tooth extraction.  Or, why my father never healed after surgery, which led to his demise a year later.  Or, why my aunt died within hours of surgery.  Or, why my oldest sister is always covered with bruises.

All of us were literally drained of our life-blood.   It is all genetics, but no one knew.   Until, now, that is. 

I recently have been told that I have been very lucky.   But, it’s also taboo to talk too much about luck.  So, I will leave it at that.  (But, I will mention briefly that I am lucky to live in Southern Maine, home to not only lobsters and great coastlines, but also a phenomenal Hemophilia Treatment Center at Maine Med.)

But, now that I am the guardian of this information, I have a responsibility to carry the torch, lead the way, make new discoveries and help those within my blood-line, especially, my youngest, who carries on the tradition of my lineage.   She’s only 9, and wishes to disclaim this inheritance, but unfortunately, she can’t.  Fortunately, though, she also has me, with the knowledge, no shame, and the ability to keep her out of harm’s way.  

So not only will I continue to teach this fierce 9 year old how to be strong, and to care for herself, and to look for signs, I am also teaching her how to be self-sufficient and climb her own mountains.

Spelt Banana Bread Made By One Strong 9 Year Old
During this recent tumultuous time, my littlest tyke really wanted to bake one day, but this baker entrepreneur mother was quite worn out.  So, with my encouragement, she and her big brother baked all on their own and made some incredible banana bread.

It was the perfect snack for a mom who was feeling slightly tired, but no longer drained of her life-blood.

Incredible Spelt Banana Bread

1/2 cup soft butter
1 cup organic sugar
2TBL organic black strap molasses
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups whole grain VITA SPELT flour
1 teaspoon aluminum free baking soda
1/4 cup orange juice
2-3 ripe bananas
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream butter and sugar, beat in eggs.  Add dry ingredients, and then mix in mashed bananas, applesauce and orange juice.   Mix well.  Bake in 9 x 12 well butter glass pan, or in loaf pan.  Bake for 30-40 minutes in glass pan or 45 min-1hr in loaf pan.    ENJOY every life-filled moment!

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