Down With The Sickness

Ginger Root

It started last week Wednesday while I was at work.  That tickle in the back of my throat.  Then, the sudden migraine.  Not normal.  Usually migraines build up when I get them, not hit me suddenly with such force that I feel like someone is ripping into my head.  I took it easy when I got home and I was feeling somewhat better by the time I went to bed.

The next day was a different story.  The cloud entered my head.  The pre-feverish delirium descended.  The coughing fits took over.   I somehow managed to make it through the night at work.  I’m pretty sure I was a lunatic by the end of the night because things my co-workers were saying weren’t really processing and my responses didn’t make sense even to me.  The only thing that rang through was the call through the walkie, “Let’s go home.”  Thank God!

I spent my Friday off doing nothing but watching action movies and sleeping while laid out on the sofa.  The sad part of all that is texting Chaz to tell him that going out for sushi wouldn’t be a good idea for me that night after feeling the feverishness settle in.  I was looking forward to sushi, but there was no way I felt up to going out.

 

Ginger Water

 

Chaz was planning on going Louisville to his sister’s reception on Saturday and then see his grandfather.  He asked if I was going to call in to work the next day.  I said it would depend on how I feel.  He then asked if I wanted to go with him if I called in.  I imagine I gave him quite the incredulous look.  I said plainly, “If I don’t feel good enough to go to work, I won’t feel good enough to go anywhere.”

Sure enough, I called in to work when I woke up Saturday.  My throat was on fire from all the coughing I was doing and I was losing my voice.  I still felt the feverishness going on.  My nose wouldn’t stop running and sinus pressure hit.  That’s when I knew I wasn’t dealing with a cold or flu.  Sinus pressure always indicates sinus infection for me.  I also lost my sense of taste and smell.

Chaz went off to Louisville around 1pm and I was feeling hungry.  I made myself some egg drop soup.  That’s one of the things I crave when sick.  I’m not sure why, but I really want egg drop soup.  Could be the connection to chicken noodle soup.  I spent the rest of the day falling asleep while watching movies.   I awoke later that night craving a 3 Way Potato from Skyline Chili.  I’m not sure why since I couldn’t taste or smell.  I was pretty hungry, so I dragged my sick, sorry ass out to the nearest Skyline, which happens to be a block away.  I get there and order.  They are out of potatoes.  I could have ordered a Coney Bowl or even just a bowl of chili.  No, I had to have the potato.

 

"Ginger Tea" - Green Tea made with boiled Ginger Water and raw local honey. My go to because of the anti-inflammatory properties of all the ingredients.

 

Thankfully, Chaz called and was about half an hour from home.  I told him I was trying to figure out dinner.  “Do you want me to pick something up?”  “Only if you don’t go to the Skyline by us.”  Chaz brought me a 3 Way Potato.  I love my man.

The next day was more sleeping, movies, and sofa laziness.  This time, Chaz was home all day with me.  He brought me water, made me tea, looked up gluten-free over-the-counter meds online, brought me Nyquil & Dayquil, and made homemade gluten-free chicken noodle soup.

I called in again on Monday.  I was only scheduled for 4 1/2 hours, but I was still feeling feverish.  After more sleeping, movies, and sofa laziness I felt like the fever lifted.  Only now, my right ear was blocked.  Plus, I was worrying about the infection turning respiratory.

I went to work Tuesday and made it through thanks to not having to do a lot of heavy lifting.

Wednesday was a kicker.  I had stopped to blow my nose before setting some t-shirts out on a table and while blowing, I felt and heard my right ear pop.  Then it felt and looked as if the entire world was spinning out from under me.  I remember throwing my arms out to my side, yelling something (I can’t remember what), and trying to focus on something while trying to sit on the floor before I actually keeled over from the vertigo.  Luckily, one of my co-workers was working across the aisle, heard me, and came over to check on me.  Once the spinning sensation stopped, I took a break and bought some Similisan ear drops to help unblock the ear.  It was helping within 30 minutes.

The same thing happened again when I went to bed and was blowing my nose.  I was already down in bed, so I was safe if I happened to fall.  It’s kinda hard to focus on something in the dark.  Ya know?

 

Egg Drop Soup that was whisked too hard and too much. It still felt good!

 

Yesterday, I spent most of the day in an off-kilter fog.  I wasn’t quite dizzy or light-headed.  Just off.  I probably should’ve asked to leave work early, but I toughed it out knowing I had a doctor’s appointment today.

This afternoon, I had the pleasure to meet with an integrative doctor for the first time.  The focus was whole body, mind, spirit health and not just body health.  I was having some misgivings before I got there simply because I knew I was going to be paying a lot out of pocket just for this initial visit.  I mean, what if I got there and she was a total quack?

Turns out she was rather pleasant, very easy to talk to, and smiled a lot.  What really put me at ease was when she told me some of the practitioners at the Alliance Institute for Integrative Medicine studied at Bastyr.  If you haven’t heard of Bastyr, I’d say it’s like the Johns Hopkins of Natural Medicine.  In fact, if I were living in Seattle, I’d enroll there in a heartbeat.

We spent a lot of time on my medical history, work history, emotional history.  You name it, we covered it.  When she checked my systems, my kidney, spleen, and lung systems were depleted.  I wasn’t surprised as sick as I have been.  My pelvis was torqued.  Again, not a surprise for me.  She was able to get one of the chiropractors to come in and give me an adjustment and I got a little aromatherapy, as well.  As bad as my neck was messed up, the chiropractor said he was surprised I wasn’t having migraines more often that I was.  It made him feel better when I told him about having them daily about 12 years ago.  He also did a little work on my jaw for my TMJ and my ears to help clear up the blockage.

My new integrative doctor (yes, I am definitely going back) then gave me an acupuncture session to help balance my chakras, as well as help open my sinuses and relax my jaw.  She also had a blood draw done (most painless one I ever had) to check my thyroid, vitamin deficiencies and for Celiac.  Yes, we did cover the possibility that I could have Celiac and that I’m unwilling to go through any tests in which I’d need to consume gluten.  She wants me to do more yoga.  I mean how much better can it get?  No, you don’t leave with a prescription for drugs but to do YOGA.  She also wants me to work on building my energy in my abdomen.  I have a habit of holding my chin out and up.  Maybe because I’m always looking up to talk to people.  Okay, maybe not.  But, she said working on building my energy there would help my body self-correct and I’d sit with the right posture.

All in all, I spent 3 hours there and it was worth every penny.  How often do you actually leave a doctor’s office feeling better than when you walked in?

 

 

A Home With A View

View from our lanai

We’ve lived in several apartments.  Our first apartment had a nice view of a rather long parking lot where we could look out and see either drug deals or domestic violence.  Okay, so I never actually saw a drug deal in the parking lot, but we knew it was going on in the complex.  I called 911 more than once because of screaming going on out there.  Once, the dispatcher asked me to tell me what I saw.  Well, I couldn’t see anything because it was dark and there was no way in hell I was going out there just to look.  The dispatcher kept asking me what I saw.  NOTHING!  I had to keep telling him I couldn’t see anything, I could only hear the woman repeatedly screaming for help.

Not a very good neighborhood, but it was pretty much right across the street from work.  I walked in in the afternoon, then Chaz dropped off the car at night and walked back home so I didn’t have to walk home in the dark.  Not like walking from the car to the door of our place wasn’t dangerous.

Sunset

Our second apartment was a big step up.  We had an enclose lanai, so we couldn’t see the parking lot from it, but we had a nice view of the parking lot, street, and tennis court from the bedroom.  Barnes & Noble and Graeter’s were across the other street.  Many walking trips were taken to both places.  However, the poor handling of our blown out water heater sent us packing as soon as our lease was up.

The Winter view

Our last apartment gave us another nice view of a parking lot and other buildings in the complex.  When we first moved in, we had Bradford Pear trees in front of the windows which gave us a lot of privacy and the cats an up close view of the birds.  They spent a lot of time enraptured at the windows.  After one bad storm when a rather large branch came off one of the trees, the management company decided to remove the trees.

Now we have a place with a real front and back.  Our master bedroom and Chaz’s “man cave” both face the parking lot.  Our living room, dining room, and guest room/craft room all face the back.  The view.  I love looking out there.  It makes me feel immediately less stressed.  I spent a lot of time on the lanai before Winter set in.  Reading, writing, eating, enjoying the view.  Enjoying the quiet.

What a mess!

I feel like I’m not in the city when I look out on the view.  Unless I look more to the left and see the Motel 6 on the other side of the young tree line or I listen to the sounds of cars moving along on the freeway or the train coming through.  I was looking out on the view before taking the snow-covered picture thinking of one word to describe it.  The word I thought of – idyllic.  So simple.  So peaceful.

Inside is another matter.  I am still in a world of mess from the move.  Take the guest/craft room as an example.  This is supposed to be my space for my creative endeavors.  A place where I can lay things out on the table and not worry about cleaning up because it’s cluttering the dining room table or coffee table.  I’ve been able to get in there a few times to clean up.  Every time I do get it looking close to decent, I go and muck it up by putting a bunch of stuff in there I cleaned out from another part of the apartment.  I just need a decent amount of time to devote to really getting the apartment together, which would mean taking time off from work.

View from my table. The window on the left is one of the dining room windows.

I know once I’m done I’ll still have my own work space.  A place to park my laptop and write in solitude while looking out on our view.  A place to create jewelry, scrapbooks, and anything else I visualize (that doesn’t require a kitchen).  An idyllic space to match the idyllic view.

Amazing how such a simple thing can melt away stress.  If only it were an ocean view of the Pacific.  Now that view wouldn’t just relieve my stress.  I’d be in a state of bliss.

Breaking The Fast

Leftover Rice, Kabocha, & Gluten-free Chicken Mushroom Marsala Gravy with a Fried Egg for Breakfast

When I’m not busy on my days off, I always remember to eat breakfast.  If I don’t, my body rebels.  I love breakfast.  Not just the typical breakfast foods, but taking leftovers and putting an egg over it.  I’ve done it with many a leftover.  Soup.  Chili.  Curried beans and veggies.  Yes.  A runny egg makes it all better.

Last week I was thinking about breakfasts and I was remembering when Dr. Cuz graduated from college with her undergrad degree.  Chaz and I trekked up in the car from Louisville to Minneapolis.  I remember not letting Chaz pull in to a hotel because I wanted every minute possible with my family.  Granny & Papa came in from California.  Auntie J and Uncle J came in from Hawai`i with my other cousin, Dr. Cuz’s sister.  Yes, we made the long haul straight through.  Wouldn’t you if you were seeing family?

The morning of her graduation, she took us to her favorite place for breakfast near the school.  I’m a pancake fiend.  At least I was.  I adored buttermilk pancakes from scratch.  I could tell when I had pancakes from scratch and when I had them from a mix, too.  My determination of a restaurant’s breakfast worthiness was based on if their pancakes were from scratch or a mix.  Now, it’s how good is their most well-rounded healthiest breakfast?

So, I ordered pancakes.  Granny ordered this massive french toast concoction.  It was several pieces of french toast with tons of blueberries, bananas & walnuts.  She talked about how good it was the entire breakfast.  For years after until she passed away, she still talked about it.  With me at least.

Gluten-free French Toast with Blueberries, Bananas, Walnuts, & Pure Maple Syrup Drizzle

I started thinking about that french toast last week.  I even made an extra run to the grocery for the ingredients I needed.  That’s a rare occasion.  I hate going back to the store after I’ve done my weekly trip.  I really wanted that french toast.

I opted to use Whole Foods’ gluten-free Prairie Bread for this.  I love that the bread is full of seeds, meaning extra nutrients.  Let’s face it.  Sometimes it’s been at least 12 or more hours since we last ate when breakfast comes around.  We need all the nutrients we can get when we break our fast.  The more nutrient dense your breakfast, the less likely you’ll be snacking all day long.  I don’t care what those cereal commercials say.  A bowl of cereal is not enough.  I used to love cereal, too, but it never made me full enough.  Besides, anything that needs to be fortified to give you vitamins and minerals your body needs can’t be good for you.

Gluten-free French Toast with Blueberries, Bananas, Walnuts & Pure Maple Syrup Drizzle

Gluten-free bread

2 eggs

2 tablespoons Coconut Creamer

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Grapeseed oil

Handful of blueberries

Handful of walnuts

1 banana, sliced

Pure maple syrup

Whisk eggs, coconut cream, & cinnamon in a flat bottomed dish.  Heat pan over medium heat and add a drizzle of oil, enough to barely coat the bottom.  Coat both sides of each piece of bread in the egg mixture and place in the pan.  Cook on each side until the egg mixture is fully cooked.  My original batch yielded 8 pieces of french toast.  Place french toast on a place and add blueberries, bananas, & walnuts.  Slowly drizzle a small amount of pure maple syrup over the french toast.  You just want a tiny bit to slightly enhance the sweetness of the fruit.

If you don’t eat gluten-free, just use your regular bread.  Feel free to experiment with different fruits and nuts.  So many possibilities.  So many breakfasts!

This post is linked to Seasonal Sunday at Real Sustenance.

This post is linked to Friday Foodie Fix at The WHOLE Gang.