Sunday, May 08, 2005


Again, much time has passed since my last post. Lucia, my beautiful loovely wife, has returned from a ten-day silent meditation retreat. Our son Eldar and I had been managing on our own that whole time. Lucia came back a changed person - changed much for the better. Calmer, more perceptive and patient. We've been getting on well since she's come back. She told me she also thinks I'm somehow changed, better.

As for my health - the state of my esophagus - it seems to have improved. Last week was eventful in a number of ways. From the beginning I had resolved myself to adjust my career: to resume teaching and do more freelance writing and quit the BBJ in a full-time capacity. It also asked my relatives in the US for some help with money. I was going to accupuncture and taking Chinese herbal medicine in addition to the Western histamine inhibitors. But the condition seemed to persist. Early in the week, my friend Adriano and I made plans to go on a day-long hike through the nearby Pilis Hills. I told my BBJ colleagues I had an important interview that Thursday - in a sense I did - and Ace and I headed off at 10, after my morning lesson. We had a great hike, 16 km through the forest and up to Dobogoko, the "heart chakra" at 699m. The wild flowers, the thick of the woods, the absense of cars, advertsing and other people was great. We started off walking through a nearby village, past churches and cemetaries, then along a narrow lane flanked by bushes and vines. The sun was with us. The air was full of life. At the trailhead the dandilions were big balls of white. As we made our ascent, they big disks of yellow. At Dobogoko, they were just starting to blossom.

I told Ace about my accupuncture treatments and he told me with confidence that he thought it should clear my problem up. I showed him the vile of Indian antidepressent herbal supplements I had bought that morning and he decided to take one.

By bedtime that evening - after picking up Eldar from a friend's house where he'd gone after school - I was certainly in better spirits than I'd been in some time. The hike had done me well, I had made a decision to restructure my career as well as my time and energies, and my relatives sent word that money was on its way. I'd also had some good lessons with my students - both insurance executives and friends of mine. This problem in my throat could be dealt with. I had read an account of a guy who'd found accupuncture to be very helpful in treating his reflux problem. But I continued to take the inhibitors.

Friday morning I went to accupuncture, traded my shoes for slippers and went in to chamber 6, where I lay down and snoozed a few moments until Dr. Fu came in and poked me with needles in my chest, stomach and legs. "Jacob, how are you?" he asked. "Maybe a little bette r," was my response.

Saturday morning I made a short Yoga practice and started the day with spinach juice, then Eldar and I went to the organic market as is our custom where we met our German friend Alf, absent now for several weeks, based these days in Germany where he studies "Landmark Education." We went to Alf's place and I turned down some sweet snacks. Later Eldar and I went to a bowling party where I turned down pizza and chocolate cake. I also turned down beer in favor of a gin tonic. The drink did relax me and I had some easier conversation. I had the feeling that my throat and even my chest were in pain, but that this was the pain of being sore and perhaps a secondary infection but perhaps not reflux. That night I went to bed without taking any inhibitors.

I woke this morning after a reasonably sound sleep with little sign of reflux. I had a longish Yoga practice and a fruit and nut salad for breakfast. Today with Lucia I a minestrone soup and a some Turkish desert. This may have been a bit dodgey, but it was a long time before bedtime. It's been the better part of three hours and I don't feel reflux - I think. A bit queasy. I don't think I wish to eat like that again soon. Salad and fruit are better. I'm praying that tonight will be restful and med-free as well.

the two remaining executives (the three others had all quit) told me my unit would be closed but I could remain as a writer and my assistant could work either as a translator with editorial or as an ad coordinator.