Stress Cooking

So I met with my surgeon yesterday. If you follow me on Twitter, you probably already know it wasn’t the greatest.

You see, I’ve made leaps and bounds in physiotherapy recently. The bone I broke in my elbow is the same bone responsible for twisting my wrist. In the last month, I’ve gained about 60 degrees of rotation. In other words, I’m just a mere 30 degrees from having my palm face the ceiling. Big deal. You don’t realize how much you twist your hand around doing just the slightest things. What I would give to be able to twist my left fingers to my mouth again…

Anyways. Me and my physiotherapist have been all excited about this. My surgeon in Moncton gave me five weeks to progress my movement, and yesterday was the day he would tell me if it was enough to proceed without any further operations.

Well, I guess I misunderstood. Because he took one look at my latest x-ray, saw that my bone still isn’t healing, and said he still wants to take the whole radial head out. Regardless of the progress I’ve made in physio.

The difference between any upcoming surgery and the original surgery, is that this time I have a choice. My last surgery was done in an emergency situation and I had no idea what to expect. This time around I can choose to either stay on my current path of recovery, which may not give me 100% mobility back. Or, I can have a piece of my skeleton removed and possibly get more movement back.

I’m sending my latest x-rays and CT scans to the surgeon who performed the original surgery in Ottawa. He’s a hand and upper-extremity specialist and I value his opinion. Even if the current mess of screws in my elbow are his doing.

In the meantime, I’m going to research the repercussions of living without a radial head. In the past three months since my skating accident, I’ve learned that I can live without being able to fully bend and straighten my elbow. But I can’t live without being able to twist my wrist or hold anything heavier than 5lbs. As things are now, I can’t even close the front door and hold my purse at the same time, because both actions can only be done with my right hand.

So, to sum, it’s all very stressful.

And when I am stressed, I want to do one of two things: drink whiskey, and cook.


This time, I chose Eat Live Run’s Chana Masala. I tried chana masala for the first time a couple weeks ago at an Indian restaurant here in Moncton and fell in love. How have I gone so long without??


I followed her directions exactly, but changed some of the spices with fancy ones I bought in Toronto’s Little India. It turned out divine!! Not quite as “creamy” (for lack of a better word) as the kind I had at the restaurant, but a definite make-again.

And because I am a non-traditionalist, I ate it with quinoa and fiddle heads.


I bought two pounds of Miramichi fiddleheads off the back of a truck last weekend. I just couldn’t help myself. For those of you who are wondering, fiddleheads are a young fern that grow like weeds in the Northeast and are usually in season late-spring to early-summer. They taste like a cross between broccoli and asparagus – the perfect green veggie! I ate them here steamed with just salt and pepper. The best way to have veggies in my opinion!

Now I just need some whiskey.


Posted on May 25, 2011, in Injury, Recipes. Bookmark the permalink. 24 Comments.

  1. The Teenage Taste

    Sorry to hear about the doctors appointment and the decision you have to make. It must be tough.

  2. Oh my goodness, the hits just keep coming. I wish this whole situation was just behind you already. :(

    • Gah!! Me too! It feels like I’m always taking one step forward, two steps back. I’ve started doing research on the radial head removeal operation and some of the reviews are not very uplifting. I think it’s time to come to terms with the fact that this may never be “behind me” :(

  3. While it does sound like a very stressful situation, at least you have a say in this situation. And it sounds like you’re doing your due dilligence to make the best choice you can!
    Fiddleheads sound yummy – I love both brock and asparagus:)

  4. That is such a random combination, Susan, but it sounds awesome! I wish I could find fiddleheads at a grocery store down here!

  5. I’m sorry your appointment didn’t go as well as planned. I can’t imagine how stressful it would be to have a to make a decision on a possible second surgery. :( Thoughts and prayers are with you!

    Something about those fiddlehead things freak me out. Not sure why, I just don’t think I could eat them. lol

  6. I had to make the choice about my knee surgery. I could either leave it and hope for the best, or I could undergo knee reconstruction (i tore my ACL and there was just a little bit hanging on…which sometimes worked and sometimes didn’t). It was a hard decision, but after a few too many close calls where my knee felt like jello and I almost fell down the stairs, I decided to go for it.
    If you had asked me (and someone did) if I had made the right decision 2 or 3 weeks after the surgery, my answer would have been no. But now, years later, I’m very glad I did it.

    All that to say- it will be a tough decision, do the best you can with the information you have, and it may not be obvious right away as to whether you made the right one…

    Good luck Susan! (and I love the random deliciousness of your dinner)

  7. Sorry about the continued problems with your elbow. I know you don’t want surgery, but having a nonunion is something that will be much more problematic down the road with arthritis and the possibility of re-injury. Please do get multiple consults, though – covering all the bases is so important!

  8. The fiddleheads look yummy, never tried those before. Sorry to hear about the discouraging news from the doctor, you are doing a good job keeping a positive outlook in spite of everything.

  9. what the hell are fiddleheads?!? they look straight outa willy wonka!!!

    i’m very sorry to hear about the doctor…thoughts are with you!!!

  10. greensandjeans

    Ay yi yi. If anyone could use a shot or two (or four) of whiskey, it is you my friend. I hope you get some good answers from the other doctor!

  11. Ugh, so sorry to hear about that tough decision :( Stay strong, you’ll figure out what’s best for you, I know it. Meanwhile, enjoy your whiskey! (And cooking) ;)


  12. I’ve never actually seen fiddleheads before! They’re so pretty. I think you’re very smart to get a second opinion. Is there any reason why you’d have to remove the radial head right away? Couldn’t you just wait another month and see how your progress is? Especially since it’s not an emergency situation this time!

    • I didn’t go into all the specifics in my post, but the screws in my arm may pose problems once I get mobility back. And they can’t remove the screws without removing the whole bone because it’s a huge mess in there. Definitely complicates things!

      Sent from my iPhone

  13. Ooooooo I want me some fiddleheads! x x

  14. Man that sucks. I’m so sorry to hear this keeps going on for you!!!!

    I love fiddleheads! My dad got me into them.

    Now get yourself some whiskey stat.

  15. Oh no. I’m so sorry about the appt. I hope that you can find some miracle doc who can wave a magic wand. Or something like that. I’m sure that you’ll get several opinions. This is just too important not to do that.

    I really want to try fiddleheads- I’ve never even seen them!

  16. Ugh. Blarg. Sorry about the doc appt. FRUS-TRA-TING to say the least. If I recall, you said fiddleheads had a pretty decent protein content? I wish I could find them around here. I want to try them out of cuteness alone. The indian-at-home looks like it was delicious. Thank God you cook to relieve stress and don’t smoke ciggs anymore, right? Keep us posted on the elbow updates. I know you will. Love you!

  17. Healthy Party Girl

    I NEED fiddleheads!! DO they exist in Australia!? They almost look like green fossils. SO vibrant, or maybe just your good photography skills.

    Best wishes for future appointments!

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