My mom has been pretty scared to leave the house for the last year. It’s not just because of the fear of catching the virus, but also because of the anti-Asian hate crimes that have gone up over a thousand percent in this country since stupid politicians kept calling the virus the “China virus” or “kung flu.” My parents are the king and queen of keeping up with scary news, so they have heard all of the stories of the elderly Asians who have been punched, beaten, spat on, pushed down. They’ve heard of the Asians who have been stabbed. They’ve also heard of the ones who have been spat on, blamed for the virus, and told to “go back to China.”
My mom was telling me on the phone yesterday, “Don’t leave the house unless you have to. If you go out, only go with Chris because there’s power in numbers. They will beat you for no reason. Be careful!”
She said she doesn’t feel safe leaving the house by herself anymore, even to walk around the block for exercise, so she tries to only leave with my dad or my aunt. When she leaves the house now, she also said she will only take, at most, $10 with her, in fear that someone will rob her. “It doesn’t matter if it’s just $5, but they will stab you and take your five dollars!” she exclaimed. I suggested she get pepper spray. She said she’d have no idea how to use it and would be scared that it would be used against her. Well… okay, good point.
My mom has been through a very hellish life, particularly for her first 20 years. Then, she immigrated to this country hoping for better opportunities and a good future for her soon to be son and daughter, the way most immigrants have hope for a better tomorrow. What she probably never thought about when she was on that plane from Saigon to San Francisco is the racism she’d have to endure here as a person of Asian descent.
It is a sad reality to think about: racism existed then. It exists now. And when you’re Asian in a society that seems to only “get” race as “Black and White,” you’re just invisible. Hate crimes against your people don’t even get labeled “hate crimes.” It’s like your life doesn’t even matter. It’s been a really depressing week.
So what, now anti-Asian hate crimes get national attention finally after a year-plus of what our former President Dipshit called the “China virus” because a stupid white man in Atlanta decides to storm into multiple Asian massage parlors and shoot them dead? This is what it takes to get national attention when you are Asian in the United States of America?
And yet.. the sheriff refuses to call it a “hate crime” because this shooter “was just having a bad day” and claimed he did not harbor hatred of Asians. We’re supposed to believe this murderer???? And we’re also supposed to believe the racist sheriff and his incompetent and racist police unit?
I’ll leave this link here.
An elderly Chinese woman was attacked from behind by a racist white man along Market Street in San Francisco today. But instead of letting him go, she somehow found the strength to take some large stick and beat him so badly that he ended up needing to get hospitalized. Her face is grossly bruised and bloody, and she continues to not be able to see out of one eye, which is still bleeding.
It makes me happy to see that she attacked him back. But to be frank, it would have made me even happier to see her be able to beat him dead. He would have deserved a slow, painful, bloody death.
I recently started reading the book Spillover, which was published in 2012. It’s basically a journalistic book (it reads like a mystery, so it’s fun to read) that documents over time all of the pandemics and viruses that we’ve faced that have originated from animals (it’s the majority of them, if you want to know). While I’ve passively participated in vegan groups, I’ve often read the same sentiment over and over: if we humans stopped eating meat and animal-derived products, pandemics and deadly viruses originating from animals would stop.
If you look to data and science for facts, you would understand that this above belief is simply wrong. One notable example is from the Hendra virus, which began (and ended, ahem, talk about contact tracing and control!!) in Queensland, Australia, in the early 90s. Bats were hanging out at some tree where a horse at a horse ranch liked to rest. One day, the horse got super ill, interacted with all her horse friends, and then she died. Her horse friends who got in proximity to her all died within a week (it was about 40 horses in total). Her closest human care taker died shortly after. Another human, a vet, who interacted with the horse and did her autopsy became ill but survived. These horses were devastating not just for the ranch, but also for the big horse racing business in Australia. With horse racing, you do not eat the horses; you watch them race. So what does this mean: we need to eliminate ANY interaction with EVERY animal on the planet to avoid the next pandemic? How sustainable is that????
Welp. We’re doomed.
Ever since one of my best friends had her first child in November, my mom has been super annoying about it. Every time I talk to her, which is now, once a week, she will ask if I can share pictures of the baby. I sent a few around the time when she was first born, but after that, I haven’t shared anything. One reason for that is that my friend doesn’t really randomly send photos all the time. The second reason is …. why should I be sharing photos of my friend’s baby with my mom, who barely even knows my friend??
My mom even told me she had a dream that she went to visit my friend to see the baby, and when it was time to go, my mom refused to give the baby back!!
It’s been nearly a month since my right elbow flare up. And despite doing daily nerve flossing exercises, stretching, and avoiding certain activities (like carrying too much weight on my right side), the symptoms do not seem to be getting better. Instead, the “funny bone” area right under both elbows is extremely sensitive. Even when I’m lying on the floor doing glute bridges, I can actually feel the funny bone area, which isn’t a great sign.
I was lying on the floor doing glute bridges, acutely aware of my elbow sensitivity and pain, reminiscing on the time when I could do exercise, whether that was glute bridges or push ups, and not feel any pain or sensitivity at all. I’m 35 years old with semi-chronic pain issues that I’d never foreseen before. If you asked me a year ago if I could fathom this, I would have said no. But now, it’s almost like I’m a mini-me of my mom with nerve issues, which is likely one of her nightmares. She’s always warned me not to spend so much time on a computer or phone, and well, look at where I am now. I don’t see the end of this pain in sight, and it is getting to be depressing.
Today, we went to Jackson Heights, one of my favorite neighborhoods on earth, to eat and explore. We hadn’t been back to our go-to spot for dosas, Dosa Delight, since 2019, so Chris wanted us to eat there. We got two dosas and mango lassis and ate inside, where they had some tables blocked off for indoor dining and some reserved for indoor dining given the limited indoor dining laws with the ongoing pandemic. When Chris went to wash his hands after we finished eating and our check was brought to us, the owner, who was actually our server, told me that they were really struggling and not doing well, and that they’d really appreciate it if we could write them good reviews on Yelp and Google if we enjoyed our food and experience.
That just broke my heart. He was so attentive to us throughout our meal, asking us if we were enjoying everything and if the food was up to par. When he said this to me, I could see the hurt in his eyes. It just felt so sad. This restaurant has been in business for over 35 years, and we’ve been regular patrons for over 10. The idea that this restaurant could get decimated by the pandemic would just be so upsetting. I don’t even know what could possibly replace it for us.
I had already taken video footage of the restaurant, planning to make an Instagram video of it, and maybe a TikTok one. Now, I’ve also got to write reviews for them, hoping they will survive this madness.
I stopped seeing my physical therapist at the end of December. We had reached a “steady point” where he wasn’t really teaching me any new exercises or stretches, and my pain/stress was manageable. Other than tweaking parts of my computer setup, trying my best to refrain from doing activities that would stress my ulnar nerve, resting, and continuing my nerve flossing exercises, there wasn’t much for me to do, he said. I also got irritated remembering when he told me that the tightness and weakness I felt in my ring and pinky fingers had nothing to do with my ulnar nerve. A quick Google search reveals that the ulnar nerve originates in your neck, goes all the way down your arm through the inside of your elbow, and then ends in your pinky finger and half your ring finger.
I had a flare up this past Saturday while holding a heavy bag of groceries in my right hand. Prior to that moment of tension in my elbow, I’d never experienced that symptom of pain when carrying anything, which my PT said was unusual. Usually when someone has ulnar nerve issues, they cannot hold beyond a certain weight, but with me up until that point, I was totally fine. And well, now, I’m not. That was a little depressing.
So since Saturday, I’ve been icing nightly, refraining from too much phone use, and trying my best to stay off a computer (other than for work). I also decided to start looking for new exercises and stretches to do, and funnily enough, the exercises I am finding on YouTube made by other physical therapists seem to be helping me more than the ones that my PT taught me.
This only makes me believe less in our stupid medical system and more in YouTube and self-treatment. It’s like no one can help me except myself.
There’s a lot of conflicting information with varied levels of “research studies” behind them on the internet when you search for what you should eat, food and supplement wise, when trying to conceive. A few things are obvious: eat a well-rounded, nutrient dense diet, which means lots of vegetables, fruit, legumes, whole grains. Women need folic acid/folate as well as all the usual vitamins and minerals (A, C, D, etc.) to support a healthy, developing baby. Men should stay away from tight underwear (!!) and hot tubs/jacuzzis when trying to conceive. But what about the difference between CoQ10 vs. ubiquinol? Selenium is known to be a needed mineral for healthy sperm and eggs, and as such, is included in pretty much every pre-conception supplement for both men and women. And somehow, in nature, the densest food source of selenium is Brazil nuts. Should we all eat 1-3 Brazil nuts a day? What the heck are you supposed to do to “help” because again, everyone just wants to feel “in control” of SOMETHING?
I’m not really open to investing money in things like fertility acupuncture or fertility massage because I don’t think I would enjoy it, nor is there really that much evidence that it actually works (both those things are attempting to increase blood flow, and so don’t I exercise and stretch enough to get my blood flowing properly…?!!), but I’d be open to adding certain supplements or eating more of certain foods… just because it would give me some sense of control that I’m at least attempting to do something, anything within my ability to help.
I feel weird saying this, but having a day job is actually a relief to me now. Work is actually a time and place where I can get things on my to-do list done, there’s not that much uncertainty, and I feel like for the most part, I have control over my day and how successful things are. Having control and insight is very empowering…. It’s even more empowering when I know I feel like I have zero control over our fertility situation. Work is like an escape from thinking about the unpredictably and total turmoil that is the TTC (“trying to conceive”) journey. But once the computer turns off, I feel like my mind goes back into the same thought process…. wondering when anything is going to work for us.