Monthly Archives: June 2011

Chicken Over Cornbread and Chorizo

Remember when I blogged about finding fulfillment outside of exercise?

Well, suffice it to say cooking/baking is now my main hobby.

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I still have yet to decide if this is a good hobby for a person with limited exercise capabilities to have. There’s always that issue of an expanding waistline. But you don’t always choose your hobbies, sometimes they choose you!

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Finding my way around the kitchen with the capability of 1.5 working arms certainly poses its challenges. But the good kind of challenges that inspire me to do better, and not the kind that just frustrate me.

Can’t lift a pan into the oven? I’ll show that pan.

Okay, I may have also sustained a few burns in the process, but it’s all burns of love.

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This recipe was featured in the same issue of the Globe and Mail as the Strawberry Rhubarb Galettes. A particularly good food section that day I must say. I’ve never made cornbread before and have been hankering for it ever since my old-roommie Megan made jalapeño cornbread a long, long time ago. I used this “Easy Cornbread” recipe because it looked more on the savoury side. However, while incredibly easy, it wasn’t my favourite.

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After baking, the cornbread is then crumbled and sautéed with chorizo, paprika, fennel and onion. Then baked with chicken on top. If I were to ever make this again, I would double the paprika or make a spicy cheddar cornbread, and add mushrooms and red peppers to the sautéed mix.

Okay, maybe I just want an excuse to make more cornbread. Which is a-okay, seeing as this is my new favourite hobby and all.

Bones

**If you’re not caught up on the never-ending saga that is my broken arm, you can read about what happened in the injury section here, and my most recent updates here and here.

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I spoke to the doctor who operated on my arm over the phone yesterday. The original surgeon in Ottawa who took five hours to piece my shattered elbow back together with screws. He took a look at my most recent x-rays and agreed with the surgeon I’ve been seeing in Moncton:

My bones just aren’t healing.

Mind you, there was very little cartilage left to heal, so this isn’t a surprising development. It was expected from the beginning. The surgeon I spoke to yesterday said the bones he could piece together were probably cut off from oxygen for too long and never had much of a chance.

He agrees the screws should come out. Having three screws sticking in all directions in a joint that’s constantly moving isn’t exactly comfortable. However, he also agrees that my bones will likely fall apart without the screws holding them together.

Which brings us to the big question at hand – should I get that piece of my elbow, the radial head, completely removed?

I’ve been diligently doing my research and even though getting a piece of my skeleton removed gives me the heebeejeebees, I think it’s probably the best choice for me right now.

My Ottawa surgeon said I could wait several more weeks to see where my progress in physiotherapy goes. Unfortunately, it has slowed significantly recently and I’m being cut from three sessions a week to just one. Any more significant progress at this point, four months out of surgery, isn’t that likely.

I’ve read that getting your radial head removed can cause more pain in the long-term, and my Ottawa surgeon couldn’t guarantee that wouldn’t happen. He did say it could give me more wrist rotation back, which is something I’m dying for. But he also said it wouldn’t make weight bearing activities any easier.

Specifically, push-ups are officially out of the picture. Like, officially. Forever.

I can’t say I’m that upset, because who likes push-ups? But that also means no more chaturangas. And more importantly, no more ashtanga yoga, my love.

It’s sad news to hear. I secretly want to defy all odds, but I also don’t want to set myself up for failure, because failure at this point is too depressing to deal with. This is the first time in my life a physical limitation will keep me from ever doing something, no matter how hard I train or try.

It goes beyond fitness too. What about carrying groceries? Moving boxes? Lifting my own children someday?

It’s really strange to feel like a “sick” person all the time. Spending so much time at the hospital for physiotherapy and x-rays doesn’t help. Even though I’m otherwise healthy, spending a large chunk of each week surrounded by sick people makes me feel like one too. After all the time and effort I put into being healthy, it feels so strange to have something so wrong with me. To know that no matter how hard I try, my body just won’t work.

I feel like I’ve gotten pretty good at hiding my “disability” from other people. I do it on purpose, because not having full use of one arm isn’t something common enough that others can understand right away. Just the other day I stuck my left hand out to accept change from a cashier, only to remember too late that I can no longer turn my palm up to get the coins. It’s surprisingly embarrassing for me. With my anxiety, I hate the idea of having people wondering what is wrong with me.

Anyways, I’ve consulted with one more surgeon from Halifax who I will hear from today. But it seems as if this next surgery will happen in the coming weeks. I’ll be losing a piece of my body, but hopefully gaining something in the end.

Riddled With Guilt

My mom and I were talking this weekend about the things we feel guilty about not doing. We are a guilt ridden family. Of course, we are also a family of women.

My mom has a big, beautiful backyard that just screams for a vegetable garden. She really wants to be able to eat fresh vegetables from her backyard, she just doesn’t want to do the work of gardening to get them.

I on the other hand, had just come from a failed running attempt. For the first time in my life, I stopped a run partway through. After 5 minutes of jogging I thought “I don’t really feel like doing this right now,” so I stopped, turned around, and walked home.

We sat there together in our joint feelings of guilt, discussing how silly it is that we feel guilty about not doing things we don’t even want to do!

My mother, being of an age where physicality doesn’t come as easily as it once did, and me with an arm that only “half works,” talked about how we now pick and choose the activities we think are worth the effort.

We both agreed that keeping a clean kitchen and bathroom are 100% necessary and worth the effort. We both agreed that some form of physical activity must be done. But we both also agreed that we shouldn’t waste our time doing the small things we don’t want to do just because we feel like it’s expected of us.

I don’t have to run if I’m not feeling it just because it’s a nice day out. I decide on when I run, not the weatherman.

And just because my mother has a nice backyard, doesn’t mean she needs to plant things if she doesn’t like gardening.

What a waste of emotional energy to feel so guilty about these things.

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In the end, we went for a long walk. I enjoyed the weather walking way more than I would have running. My mom is still on the fence with gardening, but we’ll get that sorted out. Maybe a potted garden that doesn’t require so much physical work? If you’ve got ideas – leave ‘em below!

For such an otherwise uneventful weekend, I feel like I came out of it having learned a lot of lessons.

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