Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Cat is Out of The Bag

Here it is, ladies and gentlemen..the list of my many blogs of the past five years.  Having thoughts of dementia, brain tumor, etc. Muscle Cramps

Muscle Fatigue and Weakness

Irregular Heartbeat


Mental Confusion


Abnormally Dry Skin

Insatiable Thirst



Nausea and Vomiting




Low Blood Pressure

Periodic Headaches

Salt Retention


High Cholesterol Levels

Glucose Intolerance

Impaired Growth


Extreme cases, cardiac arrest
And last but not least vertigo!
Ok, ok  I was in hospital again.  I was released Valentine's Day.  My stay amounted to three days of endless tests and thankfully bedrest.  This doc was very determined to find out what was amiss.  I thought just another bunch of tests that proved to be nothing there.  A waste of time and gobs of money.  But I must admit I was getting very tired of hearing it was all in my head, or worse.
While Nasawadox, no less, I flourished with the pints and pints of magnesium and potassium.  I apparently had a severe deficiency.  Hmmmm, you would think five years of giving blood for tests that proved nothing that this would have been a no-brainer.  Also a waste of time and more gobs of money.
The red flag was the vertigo. 
I was just medicated for vertigo but never diagnosed as to why I was on this stuff...In my head I suppose.
The last straw came about two weeks ago....constant asthma ( I usually don't have this) .  I have a little cocktail that fits the bill so this is almost an aside disorder.  But.....when I called in one of the scripts for renewal...the back office decided I no longer needed this.  No refills.  What?  Walmart also made a call or two asking the back office to refill....always getting an answer that had nothing to do with refills.
Finding a new physicians office here is like seeking the golden new patients, or their speciality was something very precise. None of which I qualified for.  Family physicians are like hens've heard of them but can't find them.
I needed an ambulance to get me there in time.  The ride is very long and I didn't think it was a good idea to try.  I had the benefit of oxygen, duo meds and professionals at my side.
The asthma was treated very quickly, it always is for me.  But there were underlying discrepancies.  Thank goodness for this ER stone was left unturned.  "Why do you take this? Why that?"  Led him to believe I was being medicated to death.
Three days later I had scripts in my hot hands, a vague idea of what was amiss and instructions that were simple to follow. 
Was this a Godsend or what?  I'm over my anger regarding my previous doc....serves no purpose.  Got a snappy referral for a Family Physician , whose back office does not prescribe.
I am happy to be able to share this for the purpose of be careful what you get.  I thought I had my health issues covered, I was aware of my condition and looked up most everything on the net.  But, as in all avenues of life....garbage in...garbage out. I can rest easier need to have these deep black thoughts.  I don't have what I thought I did and what I do have is treatable and not worthy of another health related blog.  (clapping in the background)
No doubt...I'm achy breaky now but not for long.  Take care, be aware! RD

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Chicken Soup from Scratch

There are times when you just crave something, you must have it and no amount of time spent making it is wasted.  Or you know in your heart that this is just the best thing you can do for your family at the moment and they too must wait.

Canned or powered soups just don't cut it when prescribing for a cold, scratchy throat, runny eyes,  feverish you know what I'm saying.  You or someone you love feels miserable...what else but chicken soup.

Lately I've been doing quite a bit of remembering my mother's chicken soup, or my aunt's excellent oatmeal..Oatmeal?  I don't know what she did but it was wonderful.  We had a discussion the other evening and it centered around eggs.  Did you know that graduation from a culinary school requires three perfect egg dishes?

I finally fessed up, no, Bob I don't love your scrambled eggs, and Nicci I don't like yours either , too dry.  I only like my mother's scrambled eggs.  I have never been able to duplicate them, but I keep trying. Back to soup.  I didn't like my mother's chicken soup either, she would always sneek cauliflower into the pot and that was a no no.

I did have a fave recipe, and I've misplaced it.  after looking high and low I thought what the heck, be daring and try another.  I settled on Ina Garten's Chicken Soup.  It appears to be the closest to the one I lost.  Here it is.


3 (5-pound) roasting chickens

3 large yellow onions, unpeeled and quartered

6 carrots, unpeeled and halved

4 stalks celery with leaves, cut into thirds

4 parsnips, unpeeled and cut in half (optional)

20 sprigs fresh parsley

15 sprigs fresh thyme

20 sprigs fresh dill

1 head garlic, unpeeled and cut in half crosswise

2 tablespoons kosher salt

2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns

To serve:


4 cups 1/4-inch-diced carrots

4 cups 1/4-inch-diced celery

1/4 cup minced fresh dill

1/4 cup minced fresh parsley

Matzo Balls, (see recipe)


Place the chickens, onions, carrots, celery, parsnips, parsley, thyme, dill, garlic, and seasonings in a 16- to 20-quart stockpot. Add 7 quarts of water and bring to a boil. Simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour. Remove 2 of the chickens and allow to cool slightly. Remove the breast meat from both chickens and set aside. Return the remaining chicken and carcasses to the pot and continue simmering, uncovered, for 3 more hours. Strain the entire contents of the pot through a colander and chill. Remove the surface fat, then reheat the stock as follows, or pack in containers and freeze.

To serve the soup, return the stock to the pot and reheat, adding the diced carrots, celery, dill, and parsley. Shred the reserved chicken breast meat into large pieces and add to the stock. Simmer over low heat for 5 minutes to cook the vegetables and reheat the chicken. Season, to taste, and serve as is, or ladle each serving over 2 warm Matzo Balls.

Tomorrow I will begin to make the stock.  That too is from Ina Garten.  This is a two day affair so I do hope my chilled family will be ready for it.  Oh, I know they will wait. 

Since there are literally hundreds of chicken soup recipes I thought you might like to add your special ingredients  to this recipe.  If I'm not mistaken there isn't a mention of nutmeg in this one...I always like that taste too.

Until then. Keep well. RD