Sunday night was a long one. I shared the bed with either stomach flu or food poisoning. Whichever came to visit it was less than a pleasant guest. I hate that “ah ha moment”, when you open your eyes, your stomach cramps, and you know immediately you are in for a fun couple of hours. Rick came in numerous times dressed in full hazmat gear to check on me. I’ve noticed your popularity quotient drops considerably when you’re hanging over the toilet praying for your intestines to put up the good fight. Even Boo the Cat bailed on me, choosing the more hospitable environment of one the living room chair cushions. Fine.
This is our second bout with stomach ailments in the same amount of weeks, both after eating chicken. I’m hoping the Foster Farm tainted chicken isn’t the culprit. I’ve always called this type of illness, the Weight Watcher Instant Program. No weighing of food, counting of calories, or exchanges. Well, there is the exchange between you and the toilet bowl, but other than that. Not my favorite type of bug for sure. It certainly brings your relationship down to the basics. Do you love me? If you can hold my head and wipe my face through a night of stomach flu and still find me attractive, I need not ask that question again.
Flu season is approaching, so this week I’m all about locating a flu shot. Apparently you have to search for a particular type covering four strains, three being the standard, if you want the best protection. It was suggested I call each of the local pharmacies when I get up in the morning to determine if they have any of the four virus shots, as supplies are short. When I locate the vaccine, I’m to grab my keys, make numerous unsafe lane changes on the freeway, put blinders on while passing Starbucks, and get to the pharmacy holding the goods before their limited supplies are gone. Really? It may not seem like it to the lay observer, but I actually do have a life.
It is also time for us to locate a physician in our area, since winter is often the time of year where people are in need their services. This is not a prospect I relish. I’m looking for a plain old G.P. My body has already donated most of its organs to several stressful relationships, so a specialist at this point might be perceived as overkill. Oddly, GP’s are not easy to find anymore. Many physicians have gone into specialties, where the big money is. If you have an in-grown toe nail, you have to look under toe nail in the yellow pages, and further define it by in-grown to actually find a doctor who specializes in diseases of the toe, specifically toe nail. When your general practitioner or family doctor finds something requiring further exploration, a referral to a physician specializing in the effected part of the body usually far more expensive than he, is likely on the horizon. Several doctors I contacted here charge $250 for the first visit. The high cost is attributed to necessary paper work to process new patients. I don’t know where they’re purchasing their office supplies, but I’d be happy to provide my own file folder, label, paper and stapler if this would help out.
I’ve mentioned before, I grew up in a medical family. With three doctors and one R.N. hovering about, if I so much as twitched my nose I was poked and prodded like a cantaloupe in the produce department. My grandmother, a retired R.N., felt a dosing of cod liver oil was in order to cure everything from the hiccups to brain tumors. When ill, regardless of the symptoms, I was instructed to hold my nose and swallow. Chinese torture couldn’t have produced better results. I would have sold out the pastor at our church to get out of a dose of the deadly tasting liquid. I don’t know if the gelatinous goo actually had any healing advantages, but it certainly did encourage me to remain in the best of health.
I had all the prescribed childhood diseases as did my children. All their inoculations were given at the appropriate times and we still welcomed measles, mumps, whooping-cough, and chicken pox with my son going the extra mile and actually getting the only case of scarlet fever the doctor on call at the ER had ever treated. Once diagnosed, we were quarantined. Like lepers our food was left on the porch and a big yellow sign warning people of our contagious nature was posted boldly on our front door. I didn’t get any mail for a week. Thankfully with the medicines available a successful treatment plan had us back among the healthy in no time.
My daughter who runs a day care was telling me a lot of parents are opting out of vaccinating their children of late. Some parents believe the shots have links to the epidemic of autism or even the highly publicized cases of peanut allergies, and the vaccinations are actually doing their children more harm than good. Medical experts feel unimmunized children open the door to epidemics of childhood diseases and that they are a danger to others. I must admit I cannot remember one single incident up until a few years ago where I heard of a child dying from a peanut allergy. Now, it seems a new case pops up regularly. Maybe it’s all the added “goodies” in our processed foods, or the pesticides they spray on food prior to processing. Hard to tell.
When raising my children parents got them their shots when advised, unless you had a religious objection or lived in a country where they weren’t available or beyond your reach financially. As I remember you had to provide proof of immunization prior to them stepping foot in a classroom. I don’t have any answers as usual, but I’m loaded with questions this week. Maybe we should all hold our nose and swallow and be done with it. Smile.
Last week when visiting my daughter we had Cajun food for lunch. Perfectly cooked shrimp arrived on a bed of mouth watering butter beans. I decided I had to have them again, as I’ve cooked and eaten them many times while living in the south. Either with shrimp, over rice or standing on their own, they’re yummy.
Slow Cooker Cajun Butter Beans
1 pkg. dried northern beans
4 cups chicken stock
1 onion, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1 large stalk celery, diced
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 Tbsp. parsley flakes
1 14 1/2 oz. can diced tomatoes with jalapenos
1 Andouille sausage, halved lengthwise and cut in 1/2″ slices
Sort and rinse beans. Put in large pot and cover with water adding enough to cover beans plus another 3″. Cover pot and refrigerate overnight.
Spray a 6 quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Rinse soaked beans and discard water. Place beans in crockpot. Add all the following ingredients. Cook on high for 2 hours. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking for 9 hours, opening once to stir.