One Link Leads To Another

I am a self-admitted hypochondriac but at the same time, I won’t go to a doctor.  At least not for everything.   If I have a few symptoms…I seek out WebMD or, worse yet, I simply “goggle” the symptoms.  One thing I do see a doctor for are my annual checkups.  Religiously.

This year’s annual “lube, oil and filter” came with additional symptoms that when mentioned to the doctor caused her to take an immediate biopsy, blood tests and a very invasive ultrasound.  Scary as hell despite 4 out of 5 of my female friends telling me they all went through a similar “nightmare”.  Regardless, having lost my mother to cancer, I’m frightened of what they are testing for.  (As of this writing not ALL of the tests are back, but the ones that are do not show anything too alarming, alhamdulillah!)

But back to the reason for this blog.   As someone who likes to research, I took the ultrasound report and blood tests and promptly researched words, phrases and symptoms.   One such phrase in the ultrasound report was ” no fluid in the cul-de-sac”.   I don’t know if I’m the only one, but I never heard the term “cul-de-sac” in relation to anything other than real estate.   I decided to investigate and clicked on a link describing a cul-de-sac in relation to female anatomy.   The cul-de-sac is an area behind the uterus and near the rectum and is also known as the “Douglas pouch”.  It led me to wonder who Douglas was and how obscure female body part came to be named after him.   I found a wiki link connecting the “Douglas pouch” to an 18th century anatomist by the name of James Douglas living in the UK.   There are several rectum/uterine parts bearing his name.  What an honor?

Mr. Douglas was a well known man-midwife and anatomist and I spent a few minutes reading about him on the wiki page.   He was best known for uncovering the hoax of Mary Toft who allegedly gave birth to rabbits.   There was a link.  I clicked it.  I was then treated to the horrendous and crazy case of a woman who, so as to not “want” for anything, after the tragic loss of her near-term child, decided to get attention by shoving animal parts into her uterus and birthing them.  😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱

Needless to say, although this particular round of medical self research didn’t cause me to panic on the off chance I might give birth to a bunny, I was left wondering “WTH just happened.”  

My family did not find the results on my one-click-leads-to-another tale of the crazy woman who shoved little furry bunnies in places they really don’t belong at all as funny as I did, but I had to share.   I have a habit of getting so deep into research (not just medical) that occasionally the outcome has me wondering how I got there.   One link at a time.

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A Food Blog

I am quite fond of collecting recipes and cooking/baking different dishes.   My husband is an old-school meat-n-potatoes kinda guy but, to his credit, he will try new things.  My stepson, the one who lives at home, will eat almost anything I make.  Ok…”eat” is a bit of an exaggeration, but he will TRY anything I make.   Now both of my girls are grown and living on their own.   My eldest is very experimental with cooking and quite the talented baker.  I think her meticulous attention to detail and presentation of her dishes are what impress me the most.

The focus of this blog is my younger daughter, a wife and mother.  She is unafraid to try cooking different dishes.  She will often call me though for “what can I do with…” and being the recipe collector that I am, I promptly send suggestions.   If the recipe calls for ingredients she doesn’t have, she is unafraid to substitute.   But last week was a challenge for both of us.  Her father-in-law brought her beef melt.   B-E-E-F M-E-L-T.   That is…spleen.  I get the text:  “Momma, baba brought us spleen.  I heard it can be stuffed so I have some feta cheese.   Can you find a recipe for it?”

I gagged.  I gagged again.   I searched for “stuffed spleen”.  Surprisingly, I found some-actually had a choice between lamb or beef.  I tried to read them.  I gagged.  (I’m not an organ meat person although I have made dishes with chicken hearts before.)  The recipes I found for her were very lengthy and after discussing the removal of a membrane (shudder), my daughter decided just to “simmer the hell out of it” with “about 10 beef bullion cubes”.  Needless to say it took quite some time to simmer and despite my plea NOT to provide me with step by step photos, she was kind enough to text me a play by play and ultimately a video where she tried to cut into it.  I’m not going to go into too much detail here, but a few lines from the Eagles’ Hotel California come to mind.

To be honest, it is not my nature to turn my nose up at any food.   It is a blessing to have food and I applaud my daughter for being ambitious, but I hope I never have to resort to making (or eating) spleen.

So on that lovely vision I shall away to MY kitchen where honey hot wings and homemade pizza are on the menu for my household tonight.

My Morning:  Routine, cats and cooking

It is funny that this blog was originally supposed to be about my adventures in cooking.  I love to cook.  I’m particularly fond of baking.  I like to try unique and ethnic dishes and pastries.  I rarely make the same dish twice, although I do have a cookbook I am writing that keeps the successful recipes in chapters created for the family member that loved the dish.  The plan is to eventually give the kids that book of dishes they liked.  But it seems that nothing exciting (or humorous) has happened in my world of cooking lately.  Oh there is the introduction of homemade ice cream to the husband and stepson, but their reaction was not too unusual…other than the backhanded compliment that it was “as good as store bought”; to which I replied “at least you can pronounce the ingredients in homemade ice cream”.

But today’s blog is about another cat story.  I suffer from anxiety to which my “mild” OCD behavior acts as a protection against.   Much of everything I do is routine because impulsiveness lends to anxiety.  Today, my normal routine was disrupted.   My early morning grocery shopping trip had to be delayed until the pharmacy opened.   So what to do.   I pace.   I cleaned a bit.  I stared at Facebook willing new and exciting statuses to appear.  I waited for my sister to play her scrabble turn.  I took a shower.

Ajax has issues with closed doors.   The fact that he has had to face closed doors in his 14(ish) years of life on a daily basis has not altered his hatred for them.   He whines…louder and louder…he lunges his body against the door…scratches at the door…and worst of all, he knows about a doorknob and will try over and over to open the door.   He has, on occasion, been successful.   Today, while I was in the shower he succeeded in coming into the forbidden zone (my bedroom).  I heard a very large slamming sound and assumed that Ajax had been loudly protesting outside my stepson’s bedroom door (also always closed) and he chased him away before slamming back into his room.  (He is 16 and it was 7 a.m….need I say more.).  Anyway, I finish the shower and walk out of the bathroom and who should greet me, but Ajax.   The look on his face was priceless.  He knew he was in the forbidden zone.   Big eyes, tail down.   Leo, the other cat, was sitting just outside the open door where I am sure he was telepathically telling his brother to GET OUT OF THERE.  In the few minutes between my shower and Ajax’s entry into the forbidden zone, he managed to make his way through the bedroom, through the bathroom and into the room over the garage where he promptly knocked over a very large mirror (the slamming sound).  It didn’t break fortunately and was stopped by the heavy winter comforter I had bagged up for the season and placed against the wall.

It’s all because my routine changed….I’m sure of it.

My Furry Family

I thought I would take a moment to introduce the world to my furry family.   As previously blogged, I am quite fond of cats.   I have had five in my home at one time and am now down to my two boys.  

AJAX


This cat.   What can I say?  I have been Ajax’s guardian for 12 years.   Ajax and his brother, Alex (RIP), were adopted as pets for my then 12 and 8 year old daughters.  Cat lovers can tell you that you simply don’t tell a cat who he or she belongs to and it was not long before everyone became aware that Ajax was the boss of me.   He is my constant companion.  His likes are anything food…although he is not particularly fond of broccoli having carefully picked through a bowl of cooling steamed veggies to find the cauliflower and knocking the broccoli to the floor.   He likes spankings and butt scritches.  He sleeps at my head or on my chest.   He loves cat nip, cat treats, lying outside on the patio in the sun.  He loves staring at you with that look that makes your hair stand on end.

Ajax is not the most graceful of kitties and has, more than once, found himself hanging off a door between the counter and the window sill as he tried to leap from one to another.  His brother was the nimble one…gracefully leaping to the highest ledges…Ajax, well…Ajax was just not the athletic sort.

His dislikes…closed doors, exuberant kittens, sharing me with my husband.  He speaks to me and has a lot to say…especially when I am cooking.  He is loving to the other cats up to a point.  Then he lets them know who is alpha-cat.  He is afraid of no one and will march up to anyone who comes here and demand to test their petting skill.

Since moving in with my husband, Ajax has made it his lifetime goal to prove to my husband that he is the boss of this house.   He talks over my husband and despite a very active water bottle, meows loudly at the closed bedroom door…daily.  Ajax has plenty of opportunities to get to his perch on the back of the couch but without fail he leaps in the face of my husband and over his shoulder.  That being said, there also is rarely a night that goes by that Ajax is not curled up on my husband’s lap at some point and my husband dozing off scratching Ajax’s ears.   

LEO

Leo beeo Bo-beeo.  My Leo.  Leo is a long hair tuxedo tabby.  He is terribly shy but extremely persistent when he wants something.  Leo runs from everyone (even me) and despite living with us for about 4 or 5 years, still acts like we are demons.

However, Leo has moments (that can expand into hours) of playfulness.   There is a special brush I used for him.   When I get it out, you would think I lit up a crack pipe for the reaction he has.  I don’t have to brush him…he rubs against the brush and purrs with delight.  When he wants to be loved you had better stop what you are doing to love him.   

So Leo’s likes…he likes that brush.   He likes to knead – mostly on my bladder…when it is full.  Leo loves the backyard and loves…loves…loves bringing in snakes.   He is particularly fond of letting the snakes free in the laundry room.  He once brought me a lizard.   I did not care for that.  Leo likes liking stuff by rubbing his face all over it until it is covered in fur.   If it is you he is rubbing, and you do not immediately stop to pet him, he will nip.  I always thought that was cute until he nipped my eyebrow.  That was unpleasant.  And he is fond of curling up in odd places.

Leo’s dislikes outnumber his likes it seems.   Leo does not like closed doors either only instead for throwing his body against the door and huffing like Ajax, Leo simply digs at the corner and whines. Leo is not fond of cat treats, cat nip or any special “people” food except for turkey lunch meat.   For whatever reason he senses that from far away and will prance around the kitchen until you give him a bit.  Leo doesn’t like people.   He likes me.  As a matter of fact, Leo is making writing this blog difficult because he is insisting on loving me.  Kneading my side, head butting and bumping my hand to be petted and nipping.   He purrs louder than any cat I know.

In Memory

As my husband was moving me home, his son’s cat, Buddy, passed away.   I was looking forward to being part of Buddy’s family and, as with the passing of any family member, was quite sad that he would not be with us.

Happy Birthday to me

I celebrated a <choke> milestone birthday this year.  I’m not one to count the years because you are as young (or old) as you mentally tell yourself you are and I’m NOT as old as the number on my birth certificate.  But anyway, whether I choose to count the actual number or not, apparently my doctor does.  I went in to see my GP to clarify a cholesterol reading (I may as well be a spokesperson for someone my age…) and to ask about ongoing shoulder pain (ok maybe I need to stretch more before boxing) but instead I left there with the Happy Birthday Colonoscopy order.  WTH.   Wouldn’t a small edible arrangement or even a coupon for the salad bar at Hoss’ have been nicer?  Yeah yeah I have heard “it’s not that bad” and “the prep is the worst part” but for someone who really only sees a doctor once a year, this is a huge inconvenience.   Part of me figures I should skip it until my mental age catches up to my physical age in about 25 years, but anxiety-ridden neurotic part of me hears cancer, Cancer, CANCER.  So here I am…waiting to have my consultation hoping they will laugh and tell me I’m too young at heart to need a colonoscopy.  A girl can hope…