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Friday, August 25, 2000

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Blood and the Roman Empire

Well, I'm depressed. I went to do one of my few civic duties (ok, my only one!) which is to donate blood every two months. I flunked! They've changed taking the test blood from your ear and now take it from your finger. It seems that they found out that the blood in your ear has more iron in it. Go figure. I always thought blood was blood and circulated throughout your whole body. The poor nurse had to take blood from three fingers because the centrifuge pushed the plug out of the first two and all the blood kept draining out. Go give blood and you'll understand what I'm talking about, ok.

The third one worked and my iron level was too low. Damn. Pricked three times and couldn't even donate. I noticed a few weeks ago that my stomach was upset in the morning, a couple hours after getting up. I started by dropping all my pills except for the estrogen as sometimes the fillers can cause diarrhea. Yep. It stopped, but I also have not been taking my daily multiple, my extra calcium and glucosamine chondritin. I think it's the glucosamine as I only started that a couple months ago and I was planning to start the others again just to check. I guess I really need to now.

I came home to read "The Iron Hand of Mars" by Linsey Davis. This is in Davis' Marcus Didius Falco series that's set in the Roman Empire. In this one Falco ends up in Germany, at Emperor Vespasian's orders, among upset legionnaires, greedy senators (so what's new?), his girlfriend's patrician brother, and, eventually his girlfriend. He and the brother wander through the barbarian woods trying to find a lost legate. I loved it. I had both my historical atlas and my world atlas open trying to figure out where they were.

They went for days to cover what would take less than a day in a car. Falco is a cynical citizen but a loyal friend and lover and Davis presents a very good intimate look at the Roman Empire in which history books too often get me lost with legions moving hither and yon and emperors coming and going, usually going, after not very nice actions.

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(c) Rachel Aschmann 2000.
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