verily i vociferate

This morning, after having eaten nothing since Monday evening, and drinking 8.3 oz. of Miralax in every conceivable clear liquid along with 4, count ’em , FOUR Dulcolax tablets yesterday, then nothing at all after midnight and after having spent 2/3 of Tuesday hunched on a toilet bowl praying for death (or Thursday) I arrived at the offices of my two dear gastroenterologists.

rectal2I was instructed to arrive by 8:00 a.m. for “the procedure” at 8:30. When I arrived there was no one at the reception window so my SIL (bless his heart) and I stood there until this squawky voice called from an adjoining room “Be right with ya!”

As the lovely lady (cough*BULLSHIT*cough) made her way towards the window I smiled and said “Good morning!”. I was ignored. She took my paperwork without a word and asked me “So,you’re here for a colonoscopy. Did the stuff work?”

What? “the stuff“? OH!!! “Yes, thank you, it worked.” I said. My SIL took a couple of steps back.

She came around the corner and said “Follow me”. I turned to SIL and said ” Go on. Get out of here, I’ll call you when I’m done” and he scooted out the door! She took me to her little corner cubbie and attached a heart monitor and a blood pressure cuff then proceeded to squint and peck at her computer while the machine attached to my tubes and wires tried its best to cause complete blood loss to that limb.

I watched her silently pecking, looking…pecking…watching, waiting…for what seemed like hours. OK, it was about 15 minutes but it felt longer because my left hand was dead blue in color and my heart rate was jumping all over the place. Finally she asked me the same questions that I had answered on the papers I was told to bring AND the same questions this office had had their PA ask me three weeks ago. No, I do not take any medications. No I am not allergic to anything. No, I am not diabetic!! For God’s sake woman! Can’t any of you read????

Finally she stood and directed me down the hall to the prep area. Five women I assume were nurses ( Nurses are evidently NOT gonna wear white, dammit!)  stopped and watched me enter the room. Not one smiled or said a word to me. I was instructed by my  lovely (cough*BULLSHIT*cough) lady to remove my clothes and put on the handkerchief “with the ties in the back”.

Suddenly I became aware that the nurses had regained their voices. A multitude of sounds approximating the sounds of hens clucking and scratching assaulted my ears and the ears of everyone in the room.

“So I said to her ‘ I am NOT gonna take my day off to drive him to the dentist. He can get Marie to do it!” and ” Oh, you shouldn’t have to!” “Where are the bagels? I know there were half a dozen here this morning!”  “He can just go fly a kite! I am not his little servant girl!” “They want me to fill in AGAIN for Dotty on Friday!” ” Is this coffee fresh?”

Now here’s the part of the blog where I’m supposed to stop and say that I have a tremendous respect for nurses, which I do. I am supposed to say that they soothed my brow and made  me feel cared for and that theirs is a difficult job and so on and so forth.  Well, today I was not impressed. This rant is about me and my experience today so if you are a nurse, or you’re married to a nurse or you have a relative who is a nurse, please don’t go all  ballistic and start the flames, OK?

Finally one of the less hunched of the quintet made her way to my cubicle and began to ask me AGAIN “Are you allergic to anything? Do you have diabetes? Did you eat anything this morning?” She told me about the storm she witnessed last night as if I don’t live in the area and I didn’t experience the same thunderstorm. She rattled on about how she has a chain saw but her nephew says she shouldn’t use it because it’s too dangerous but will he bring his sorry ass over to clean up the branches that fell last night..oh no he won’t! All the while she is poking me with an IV needle. Holy Mother of God! She is jabbing that thing like she’s sewing up a Christmas turkey’s ass! “Sorry. I bruised the vein a little there…wait…oh, good, I think it’s in…oops, nope! Ahh……there we go.”

 I watched the male anesthesiologist roll his eyes while waiting his turn to talk to me. He whispered in my ear after she had gone “I’m sorry about that.”

I didn’t feel great about being a woman in that room of women right then. Hell, I didn’t feel great….period.

When I woke up after the procedure one of the hens…I mean nurses, came over to see if I was alive. I assured her that I was and I said “There’s something wet down here by my butt” and she laughed and said “Don’t worry about it. Everybody says that!” When she left I used my IV hand to reach down to my hip and I felt something on the mattress. Grasping it as well as I could I pulled it out and it was a plastic cup!  I must have made a noise because the nurse came back and said “OH!  That’s an irrigation cup! It spilled all over your bed!”  NO SHIT, SHERLOCK!!!!! story

 Let me tell you, I was never so glad for the doctor to pronounce me fit to go home about ten minutes later. Two polyps removed  and the doctor’s pronouncement that they didn’t appear to be cancerous (but they will be biopsied to make sure) and I was outa there! Two years of freedom from the fear of death- by- colon -cancer for me and a few thousand buckaroos for the doctor! It’s a win/win!

Thank you, Birdpress!

I left the post of Birdpress the other day feeling re-motivated and inspired !

She is so smart about food and health that after reading her article about HAES (Health At Every Size) I decided to get out my trusty cooking class notes and find all those recipes I used to teach whenever I was asked to do a Light Cooking class.  The requests usually started coming in around January, after the gluttony of Christmas and Thanksgiving had passed and we all crawled into sweats because our clothes were too tight!

I would come up with recipes or modify others to create menus that would fill the tummy but leave the waistline unaltered. The trend then was for low-fat so most of them fall into that category. I still use many of these recipes and they’ve become staples at my house so I will share a few of my favorites for those of you looking for good, wholesome, healthy food to make for your families.

One of the most requested is my Spicy Pork and Black Bean Burritos. Not only are they low in fat, but once you make “re-fried” beans this way you’ll never go back to those fat-laden traditional ones again. They’re that good!

blackbeanspork_tenderloin

Spicy Pork and Black Bean Burritos

1 pork tenderloin, trimmed,  cut into bite-sized pieces ( about 1 lb.)

3 tbsp. good quality chili powder (I like Penzey’s Spices!)

2 tsp. vegetable oil

1 small can chopped green chilis

1 small can diced tomatoes

2 cans of black beans, rinsed well and drained

1 can low-fat chicken stock

Flour tortillas ( whole wheat ones  are good but I still like the regular)

Optional but recommended:

grated cheddar cheese

low-fat (not non-fat!) sour cream

Taco sauce

Combine the pork and chili powder and refrigerate (or freeze for future use!) for one hour.

Meanwhile in a medium-sized saucepan combine the drained black beans and chicken stock. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low. Do not cover. Stir occasionally. When the broth is reduced to approximately 1/4  (about 15-20 minutes) mash the beans with a hand-held potato  masher . They should be thick and will continue to thicken as they cool somewhat. Keep warm.

In a skillet, brown the meat in the oil, stirring constantly so the spices do not burn. When browned add the chilis and tomatoes and reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 6-8 minutes. Meat should be coated well with the sauce, not runny.

Warm the tortillas in the oven by wrapping them first in heavy-duty aluminum foil and baking in a 350 degree oven for 5 minutes.

To serve, place a portion of black beans down the middle of the warm tortilla. Add a few spoonsful of the spicy pork, and the optional ingredients as desired. Fold and ENJOY!

This recipe is very adaptable! You may increase or decrease the amounts of the spices and condiments. You can use chicken instead of pork (not as tasty). If you like more beans than this provides,  increase to 3 cans of beans but you can still use only 1 can of broth to do the job.

Let me know if you try this. It is a hit with everyone I serve it to!

Happy Healthy eating! And another round of applause to Birdpress for reminding us to Eat for Health!

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Edit note-

I originally said I couldn’t find whole wheat tortillas but with the help of my readers I found them! 😀

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More Stink

It was bad enough that I had a bad case of flatulence a couple of days ago but then this afternoon I was downstairs in the cellar looking in the spare refrigerator for a bottle of rosé and I almost gagged from the stench emanating from inside. The last time I’d opened that door I smelled something “off” but after taking out the only perishable in there, a box of pie crusts, I figured that the problem was solved.

Oh, no, it was so much worse now! I looked  and looked for the culprit but couldn’t figure out what was causing the foul odor. I was just about ready to give up when I stooped down to check (again) the empty veggie bins and that’s when I saw it: a Ziploc bag of cut up broccoli, carrots sticks, cauliflower, and cucumbers, tucked out of sight on the drawer beneath the wine. I picked it up and the bag was nearly bursting from the build up of gas in there. OMG! The stink of rotting broccoli and cauliflower!

 Case solved! I’d had company over for the weekend a couple of weeks ago and somehow had completely forgotten those veggies were there. Yuck!! So I started wondering what it is about rotten cauliflower that makes it smells so bad. Here’s what I found out over at LiveScience.com:

Fragrant flatulence comes from colonies of bacteria shacked up inside our lower intestinal tract (which is why it can take hours for gas to kick in after a meal). In the process of converting our meals into useful nutrients, these food-munching microbes produce a smelly by-product of hydrogen sulfide gas—the same stench that emanates from rotten eggs.

 The biggest gas-producing generators are sugars and cauliflower contains a sugar called raffinose.

  • Raffinose – The secret gassy ingredient in beans, which is also found in broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, asparagus and other vegetables. Products like Beano, designed to reduce gas production, break down the sugar before it can reach eager intestinal bacteria.
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    Ironically, I also found out that hydrogen sulfide is sometimes released during the drilling for natural gas. See my post about the Marcellus Shale Formation in NE Pennsylvania.

    Weird how things blend one into another, isn’t it? 

    I can tell you that after eating my share of raw veggies that the amount of hydrogen sulfide I produce can be deadly!! Natural gas!! Yeah, that’s right!