Saturday, August 13, 2005

The Question of Anonymity

Until recently "Emmanuel Schiff" was nothing but my blogging persona. I'd only write in this blog and comment here and there on other blogs. But recently I've started participating in discussions on a number of sites as Emmanuel. It's still a fake name. I'm still anonymous.

But for the first time in my two years of blogging, I actually wondered whether or not to write something because it might be embarrassing if people who know me as Emmanuel on all kinds of serious websites suddenly read about my testicles. I started asking myself if the fact that I'm only known by an alias still make me, as Emmanuel Schiff (as opposed to my real name), anonymous?

But then I came to the conclusion that the heck with it. These people don't really know me, they don't know who I really am or what my real name is. Why should I care? There's no reason to change my blogging habits just because I've started using Emmanuel Schiff for non-blogging purposes. It won't hurt my credibility, neither on my blog nor anywhere else.

So the embarrassing stuff is staying, as you can see in my previous post.


Oh Nuts!

A week ago my one year old niece and I were dancing and jumping around, and she was moving her feet as if dancing in the air. She somehow kicked me in the balls, but I didn't think much of it. She's a baby, how much harm can she do? It hurt but I was sure it would go away quickly. But by the next day, not only did the pain not diminish, but one of my testicles was swollen and was higher up than the other one.

It took something like five days till the pain disappeared. Now it isn't swollen and it doesn't hurt, but it is still a bit uncomfortable. The formerly swollen testicle is still higher than the other one and seems to be sticking out more than the other one. I was afraid that maybe some permanent damage might have occurred, and that my balls will be uneven for the rest of my life, or even that it's a symptom of something even worse. So I went online and discovered that it's normal. I guess you could say the testicle is just being defensive. When testicles are hurt or the man attached to them is worried or stressed they rise closer to the body. It might take it a while to go back down, but it will eventually. Relaxing my muscles in the groin area can be helpful, like taking warm baths and just relaxing there for a long time, which I haven't done in years. I'll give it another week or so and if it doesn't seem to be on the way back down, I'll go to my doctor.

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Sunday, August 07, 2005

Some More Thoughts About Autism

I talked to my sister about vaccines again. She said she vaccinated her daughter when she was 4 months old and saw a regression. My niece wasn't in as bad a condition as my nephew was when he was a baby, but my sister says she definitely noticed less eye contact. That's when she decided not to give her more vaccines of the suspicious kind. She claims that even now, her daughter has less eye contact than before she was vaccinated, though she has recuperated and she's totally normal now. My niece also had iron deficiency for a while, but that would have made her less energetic, and would not impair her communication skills, according to my sister.

So I must say I have no idea whether my sister is right or not. My niece is so cute. She's very happy to see me - she starts laughing and reaches out for me to take her. That never happened with my nephew. I don't want to convince my sister to do something that might screw my niece up.

And a slight backtrack on a previous post: I don't entirely agree with the Autistic Pride movement. I do seek a cure, but not for my nephew. He's autistic and that's who he is. Besides, he's doing so well now that there's no point in "curing" him. More than anything I seek a prevention for those very small children who can have a better life as non-autistics. Right, autistic life is not a horror (except for the most extreme cases) but it is so damn hard.


Saturday, August 06, 2005

The Nest

The other day our gardener removed two big bushes from our backyard. My nephew noticed the change, but wasn't bothered by it. Frankly, I wasn't surprised. Changes like that stopped bothering him long ago.

We found a nest that had probably fallen off the bushes. He wanted to throw it in the air and tear it up. I saw no harm in that, since it looked abandoned anyway, and if it had been in the bushes, the birds wouldn't have a place to go back to anyway. As he ripped up the nest I said, "you know, a nest is the birds' home. They'll be sad when they'll come back and see that the bush and nest are no longer there."

"I like it when they feel that way", was my nephew's answer. That sadistic statement startled me. Does he really mean that? Does he enjoy others' suffering? I certainly hope not.

Also, he has a habit of pushing his face into his sister's forehead, not too gently. She gets pissed off when he does this and starts slapping him on the head but he seems to think she's trying to pet him. I told him not to do that three times already, but he keeps doing it anyway. My sister should be the one who tells him not to do that. She'll be more effective, and doesn't she want to protect her daughter's goddamn brain from head-butting?!?

On a more optimistic note - when my nephew heard my mother was leaving the country for a week he seemed sad. That's a good thing. He also waited patiently for her to end a phone conversation until he asked her to play with him. He's a very cute and smart kid, but he's also very exhausting.


Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Say YES to Vaccines, Say NO to Pollution

I read a newspaper article about a study conducted last year in the US that showed 10% of babies born in the United States had high mercury levels at the time of their birth. The article also showed embryos these days are practically swimming in pollutants their mothers get from the air and food.

That makes me ever more skeptical of the "mercury causes autism" scare, at least the version that claims vaccines are the only cause of the disorder. The amount of metals in vaccines is nothing compared to what babies already have in their blood anyway. The "Anti-Vaccinators" will do the next generations much more good if they rerouted all their efforts towards environmental causes. I mean the saner kind - unlike eco-terrorists or crazy tree-huggers, but rather the kind that treats the environment as a human health issue. People are what's important. As I see it, nature is more or less ours to exploit, as long as we don't damage ourselves and our health in the process. I assume most hardline environmentalists would disagree.

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