Here on the frontier, There are falling leaves, Although my neighbors are all barbarions…And you? You are a thousand miles away. There are always two cups on my table.

Archive for the ‘surgery’ Category

I Need You Mom. No I Don’t. Yes I do.

Rose. Age 21. Daughter number 3, sixth child.

Fell off a moped during the final afternoon of labor day  beach vacation.

Broke both right forearm bones.

Road Rash” up and down her legs.

Drove her back to Baltimore to Union Memorial Hospital and the best upper extremity surgeons on the East Coast.

Now she has some hardware in her arm. A plate, pins and screws pulling the broken pieces all together. It’s been a long couple of weeks.

Before her surgery, she cried. I spoke softly to her and said the prayers from her childhood to comfort her.

After her surgery I slept by her. Gave her the pain medications, help her with all her needs, took her to the doctor and made repeated calls to him when she had questions.

I wiped her tears as she saw the track surgical scar run down her arm and the new shape of the back of her hand.

I handled the insurance company, her school medical leave letters and hooked her up with a decent physical therapist.

Now it’s 3 weeks post-op and the girl is back to normal.

Offended if I ask her if she wants me to cut a tag off the back of her shirt.

The cuddle-muffin who lay in my bed night after night is angry that I appeared at her PT appointment.

Miss Independent is back and I am left wondering if that momentary bond we shared when she was in pain and scared ever really happened.

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Remembering Jeff: Like A Prayer

This is how I remember it.

This is how it was.

——————————————————–

It’s called a secondary cancer.

A migratory zone.

Where the cells go to garden.

The brain.

We  sat in the waiting room praying for him.  Losing hope as the hours passed,

as the 7 hour surgery turned into 22.

Finally, the surgeon came out and told us what we already knew.

It was not good.

But for now he was in recovery.

My sisters and I stayed at the hospital and waited for a chance to visit him, for the chance to see that he yet existed and was still amongst us.

At some point in the night the nurses removed the breathing tube.

He spoke in a broken record, PeeWee Herman voice not his own.. “tumor tumor tumor”.

“Tumor’s all gone, honey, tumor is gone.”

I didn’t know if he heard or understood me as he continued his senseless mutterings.

Suddenly, he turned towards me and with  eyes unfocused and snapping left-right, left-right said

“Sing sing sing sing”.

So I sang,

to my brother.

““““““““““““““““““““`

Life is a mystery, everyone must stand alone.
I hear you call my name and it feels like
Home.

When you call my name, it’s like a little
Prayer. I’m down on my knees, I wanna take you
there. In the midnight hour, I can feel your
Power. Just like a prayer, you know I’ll take you there

 

The hard part wasn’t his leaving.

The hard part was being left.

He stayed long enough to say goodbye.

This is gmom,

peace out.

Baked Butternut Squash Recipe(Thanksgiving)

The tools to attack the butternut squash.

The big day is coming and cooking ahead makes life so much easier!

The Chef may or may not be frying the turkey ’cause it looks like rain here in B’more.

I may just slow roast it.

But I love nothing better than to sit with the kids and watch the Macy’s Day parade on TV, and then (I know this is so lame…) the International Dog Show.

I’m probably the only person without a competitor watching.

But me and Cujo we just loves it!

So I don’t want to be in kitchen the whole day.

I want my chocolate spoon in my good Ghiardelli hot cocoa and some french toast.

Maybe some caramel popcorn during the day.

But to get that free time and still have a meal for 15 people come late afternoon I have to cook today (and yesterday).

This side dish of baked butternut squash is another seasonal good one that goes nicely with the traditional foods of Thanksgiving.

Just be careful when you are cutting this hard squash up you don’t cut yourself.

You can soften it first by cooking it in the microwave for a few minutes first then proceeding with the recipe.

If you do that be sure to pierce the squash deeply so if pressure builds inside it doesn’t explode all over the place.

Directions:

Peel the butternut squash and cut it into cubes.

After the squash is peeled cut it into cubes. There will be seeds in a center pocket that you can discard.

Dice up 1/2 cup of an onion.

Put the butternut squash into a baking dish.

Toss with 1/2 cup of oil.

Put the onion over the squash pieces and sprinkle on salt, pepper and a teaspoon of sugar.

The squah and onions seasoned and ready to bake.

Cover tightly with aluminum foil.

Into the oven you go covered snugly with aluminum foil

Bake at 350 for 40 minutes.

Take foil off and continue baking until squash is fork tender, about 15 minutes.

If you are making this dish ahead of time don’t do the last 15 minutes of bake time.

When you reheat the dish on Thursday prior to the meal you will finish off the baking then.

That’s it another yum dish to serve on your Thanksgiving table.

The finished dish after baking uncovered the last 15 minutes will have browned edges and be so yummy.

Enjoy WP friends.

Happy Thanksgiving!

From gmom and Hoo and Cujo the dog.

Yogurt Recipe!

When you feed a big family you cut corners where you can.

When you have a bunch that eats strictly organic it’s even more of a challenge to keep the food costs low.

Making your own yogurt is no more expensive than the milk it costs to make it.

It tastes great, can be mixed with honey or agave and fruit.

Hubby eats it everyday mixed with a drop of vanilla.

low-fat milk makes a firmer yogurt.

Higher fat milk makes a creamier yogurt.

The only kitchen tool you will need is a cooking thermometer.

Now eat like Hoo does and make yourself some healthy yogurt!

This is gmom and Hoo, and even Cujo coming to you from chilly B’more.

The leaves are fallin’ here.

It’s beautiful.

Be safe out there.

Heat up milk to 185 degree F. This is just to the point when milk starts to froth. You have to stir it constantly to make sure it doesn't scorch. Some people use a double boiler to avoid burning the milk but if you keep stirring you won't have a problem!

Heat milk to 185 F being careful not to burn it. Stir often and watch carefully.

Let milk cool down to 115 F before adding your starter yogurt.

Once the milk has cooled to 115 F stir in 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt containing active yogurt cultures.

Pour cooled milk now infused with active yogurt cultures into clean containers.

Hoo is helping to put the heating pad into the bottom of the cooler and covering that with a dishtowel. Hoo loves his organic homemade yogurt!

Put your covered yugurt into the cooler to set on top of a heating pad set on low. The yogurt must be kept warm at a temperature at about 110 F.

Once the yogurt containers are in the cooler turn the heating pad on low. It will take 7 hours for the yogurt to culture and set.

Leave the yogurt to set for at least 7 hours. It will be custard like. The longer you leave it beyond 7 hours the more tangy it becomes. You may notice a slightly greenish fluid on top. That's normal and safe. You can pour it off or stir it into your yogurt before eating.

Mulligatawny Soup From The Soup Nazi

Woke up this morning feeling the Fall in the air.
Cold outside.
Cujo didn’t stay out long.
Did his business and came back inside.
Still recovering from hand surgery so no work for me,
Just another day to play with Hoo and Cujo on the floor.

How about some soup?????

Mulligatawny Soup

Remember on Seinfeld?

The Soup Nazi???

If you have ever wondered what Mulligatawny soup was….

well then here you go!


Mulligatawny Soup
———————

1/2 cup chopped onion

2 stalks celery, chopped

1 carrot, diced

1/4 cup butter

1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder

4 cups chicken broth

1/2 apple, cored and chopped

1/4 cup white rice

1 skinless, boneless chicken breast half – cut into cubes

salt to taste

ground black pepper to taste

1 pinch dried thyme

1/2 cup heavy cream, heated

Directions:
————–
1.Saute onions, celery, carrot, and butter in a large soup pot.

Add flour and curry, and cook 5 more minutes.

Add chicken stock, mix well, and bring to a boil.

Simmer about 1/2 hour.

2.Add apple, rice, chicken, salt, pepper, and thyme.

Simmer 15-20 minutes, or until rice is done.

3.When serving, add hot cream.

If you keep a kosher kitchen as I do you can substitute Margarine for the butter and leave out the cream altogether.

Enjoy WP kids.

Cujo and gmom and Hoo are playing inside on this cloudy Baltimore day.

Hoo working on a mango pit

Carpal Tunnel and Trigger Finger Surgery:Not Bad at All!

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After a year of waking up with my right hand numb I finally went ahead and had a hand surgeon correct the carpal tunnel syndrome I have been living with for years.

So what is carpal tunnel syndrome?

It is a compression of a nerve in the carpal space of the wrist charactorized by pain, tingling, weakness or numbness.

Quite the catch-all of fun.

Often it arises as a result of repetitive motion, ie:typing, wrist work of some sort, hand work.
(I am a massage therapist,practicing now more then 20 years)

I had my left hand done last summer with good results so went ahead with the right.

It’s quite a simple procedure not taking more then 20 minutes.
Intravenous sedation is given and once you are asleep the doctor numbs the area and does the work.
I looked at a clock as I was being covered by a friendly nurse in the o.r. and it was 9:15.
Next thing I knew ,and remember I also had a trigger finger release done, I checked another clock and it was 9:50.
Pretty cool.

The precedure itself is as follows.
A tiny incision is made in the wrist and a flexible tube is inserted to cross up into the palm area a tiny scissor emerges and excises the transverse carpal ligament,thus the palm bruising.

The procedure (along with the recovery) is not bad depending on how you do with pain.

The post surgical pain is negligable really but the doctor did send me off with a script for hydrocodone.

It’s the nerve pain across the heel of the hand which can take a few months to completely dissipate that is a little more challenging.
It’s not horrible pain just persistent and uncomfortable.
If I weren’t a massage therapist and needing to lean on my palm it would not be a problem at all.

Last surgery the palm pain was quite intense at this time 5 days post-operative.

Today the pain is really okay so I am hoping this surgery and recovery will go much faster!

At the same time the doctor did the carpal tunnel he also corrected a “trigger finger”.

My middle finger was continually getting stuck to my palm. I was unable to straighten it out.

Trigger finger is caused by a narrowing of the myelin sheath that surrounds the tendon that flexes a finger.
The doctor makes a palm incision and cuts the sheath that the tendon slides through thus freeing it. Voila! Finger now works.

If anyone is considering either of these procedures I would be happy to answer any questions.

If you are in Maryland I have a great doctor to send you to.

Take care WP friends.

Here’s to good health and

Happy New Year and Labor Day!

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