Posted in surgery

Another Surgery

IMG_0566Well, tomorrow morning I am having surgery on my left hand, another carpal tunnel repair. I had the right hand done last December. Right now my right wrist really hurts. I’m not sure what is causing it. I had thought it was driving the school bus. But nearly a month and a half on vacation, it still hurts. Maybe is the motorcycle riding. But I’m not giving that up.

I am still having issues eating right. I am trying to limit my carb intake. My doctor wants me to eat more proteins. I still try to consume more fats (the healthy stuff). What can I say? The high fat, low carb thing was working.

On a positive note, the results of my blood work looked better they have in the past. I still have some work to do yet. Of course, I will continue to fight. I won’t ever give up. Sometimes I just have to give it a break.

So, the surgery on the left hand should go off without a hitch and hopefully heal as well as the right hand did. The Doc said he believes the pain in my wrist could be tendonitis. Whatever it is, it hurts.

Well, I’m off to bed.

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Posted in life

Motorcycle Update

2018 Lowrider

A few posts ago I was saying how I wanted a Harley-Davidson Lowrider. However, after going down to the HD dealership I found that the bike was not a good fit. I felt very cramped. The foot controls put my legs in more than a 90°. I am used to my feet being much more forward. On the new Harley, I really felt unstable as I rode, like I could maybe fall off. I don’t actually think that was possible though.

2018 Softail Heritage

So now I’m still searching bikes; other Harley-Davidsons actually. There are several that I like. One, in particular, is the 2018 Softail Heritage. It is on the same Softail frame as the Lowrider, but the foot controls are more forward fitting. It does have an option of a bigger engine, which I would probably get. It also comes with saddle bags and a windshield which make it look like a bigger bike. So the bike will probably be more comfortable for me and have much more power.

If I find that I don’t like this one I guess the search goes on. I’m not ready to make a purchase just yet anyway. It will probably be around 8 months from now, at least I hope so. For now, my current bike (2007 Suzuki Boulevard M-50) will do.

Posted in Favorite Recipes

Sausage and Kale Soup

I will be making this tonight. It is one of my favorites. I think you will like it too.

Sausage and Kale Soup:

1 lb. ground sweet Italian sausage
1 Tbsp. butter
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried rubbed sage
¼ to ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
½ medium head cauliflower, cut into small florets
3 cups kale, chopped
½ to 1 tsp. sea salt, or to taste
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Heat a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add ground sausage, breaking up the meat. Cook, stirring occasionally until browned and cooked through about 5 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, remove cooked sausage and allow to drain on a plate covered with paper towels. Discard drippings, but do not wash pan.

Melt butter over medium heat. When bubbling subsides, add onion and carrot. Cook until onion begins to brown on the edges and becomes somewhat translucent.

Stir garlic into onion and carrot mixture. Cook one minute. Add red wine vinegar and cook until syrupy, scraping up browned bits-about 1 minute.

Stir in oregano, basil, sage and red pepper flakes. Pour in stock and heavy cream. Increase heat to medium-high.

When soup reaches a simmer, add cauliflower and turn heat down to medium-low. Simmer uncovered until cauliflower is fork-tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in kale and cooked sausage. Cook 1 to 2 minutes longer, or until kale wilts and the sausage is reheated.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. The amount of salt needed may vary due to variation in brands of broth.

Posted in Fitness

I Hate Moving! & Not Just Furniture

Today I spent my Saturday moving my son’s and daughter’s belongings to a storage facility. Next year will be my son’s last semester for his undergrad degree. He finishes in December. And my daughter will be in her second year. Their schools are not far apart, so they, well, their mom decided they are going to live together to save money.

So we took my daughter’s things, which she brought from her dorm room, and my son’s things from his current apartment, to a storage unit. And then later, when school starts, we will move their things to their new apartment. What fun.

I have never been so tired. My son had a 3rd floor unit. And there was no elevator. There was only three of us. Gabe, myself, and their step-dad, Robert. And for some reason, the new apartment is on the 3rd floor also. Why?

Toward the end of a very long day, I could not climb those stairs another time. I haven’t moved that much since the last time I was in the gym. Sadly, that was three years ago. I stayed downstairs and loaded the stuff as they brought it down.

We did take a break for lunch at Applebee’s and afterward it seemed twice as hard to do the work. I can’t believe how out of shape I am at this point. Three summers ago, I was pretty strong; going to the gym weight training, walking, biking. My how times have changed.

So now my knees, lower back, and hips are pretty stiff. I will be pretty sore tomorrow. I will definitely be sleeping in. I should probably go to the gym on Monday since I had such a long hard workout today. It would be a good opportunity to get started again.

Well, time for bed.

Posted in Health, surgery

Doctors, Doctors, Doctors

Yesterday I had a CT Scan with a contrasting agent.  Doctors are trying to figure out why I am having pain in my left ear with no infection. The pain has been excruciating. Sometimes I can’t close my teeth together. My ears ring really loudly.

Today however, I am headed to the hospital with my daughter, who is having surgery on her right hand. She got hit with the college level fast pitch of a softball one too many times last season in the same exact spot. Her wrist has been swollen most of summer so far. She has been in pain since the last time she was hit back in April.

The doctors seemed to think it would heal on its own eventually. But Kat wanted it taken care of through surgery. I hope that it is an issue that can be solved surgically.

Personally, I hate surgery. For me it has never worked out the way it should. My lower back surgery, though deemed a success by the surgeon who performed it, has caused me nothing  but pain since 2010. I had surgery on my neck two summer ago but my neck still hurts, though I think the pain I now feel is a new issue. I had carpal tunnel repair this past December on my right hand and my wrist still hurts.

So, I’m not a fan of surgery. Perhaps it will be different for my daughter. She is younger and stronger. And did I mention she is younger and stronger? Yea. Hopefully, she won’t be out of commission too far into the next school year, and will be ready for softball season. That is what she is shooting for.

Posted in Favorite Recipes

Curry Chicken

Curry chicken is a nice recipe for busy weeknights, with chicken breasts, onion, potatoes, and carrots all cooked together in one dish. Feel free to use chicken thighs instead of breasts, and to replace the curry paste with 1 1/2 – 2 tablespoons curry powder if needed.

Serves 2 – 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 – 1 pound chicken breasts, boneless, skinless, cut into chunks about 1 1/2 inches
  • 2 potatoes, peeled, chopped into chunks
  • 1 red onion, peeled and chopped
  • 10 baby carrots, washed, drained, cut in half
  • 2 tablespoons oil for stir-frying
  • 2 tablespoons curry paste (traditional Indian yellow curry paste is best)
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • Freshly ground black or white pepper, to taste
  • Ground coriander, optional

Preparation:

Heat a wok or deep-sided frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil to the heated wok. When the oil is hot, add the onion. Stir-fry until the onion is softened and translucent. Add the curry paste and stir-fry until fragrant. (If using curry powder instead, add a small amount of water to form a paste).

Add the chicken and stir-fry for about 5 minutes so that the chicken is browned and coated with the curry paste.

Add the carrots and potatoes. Stir for a minute and add the chicken broth, sugar, salt, and pepper. Cover and simmer over low heat for about 15 – 20 minutes, making sure the chicken is cooked.

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Posted in Health

Time for a Checkup

I am headed to the doctor’s office this morning. I have had somewhat of a relapse with my right hand. I had carpal tunnel corrective surgery in December. It was doing fine until a few weeks ago. I believe pulling the parking brake lever on the school bus re-injured my hand. When pulled out, the lever sends a shock wave through my hand. After three months of that my dominant hand is becoming my weaker hand because of the new pain in my wrist.

So today I am basically going to my doctor to be referred to the doctor who did the surgery. And not only for my right hand, but, my left also, which is showing the symptoms I had in the right before surgery. I also have an ear infection which has been with me since the beginning of April. I have gone through two rounds anti-biotics yet it persists.

Also, the pain in my neck has increased to a level I can’t even describe. Sometimes it feels like there is a knife in my neck (or what I imagine a knife in the neck feels like). And sometimes it feels like really hot water is being poured down my back starting at my neck.

So I’m hoping to see both the surgeons who operated on my hand and my neck. Sometimes I feel like I’m falling apart. I will also be giving some blood for my annual checkup. I’m not looking forward to that.

 

Posted in Favorite Recipes

Carolina Red Rice

I just realized I have not been posting recipes!!!

I’m still eating, right? So, I had never heard of Carolina red rice until I moved to South Carolina and began taking culinary classes. We made this one in class. I don’t know what I expected to taste, but I did not think I would like it. To my surprise this is a very tasty dish. It is considered a comfort food here in South Carolina. If you like southern cooking you should give this one a try.

Makes one hotel pan (25 Portions)

3 T. Oil (I used canola)
1 C. Medium Diced Bacon
3 C. White Converted Rice
2 C. Diced Onion
3 T. Chopped Garlic
1 C. Chopped Green Peppers
3 C Tomato Paste
1.5 Qts Chicken stock
1 T Salt
1 t Fresh Ground Black Pepper
2 C Small Diced Smoked Ham
2 C Sliced Smoked Sausage

Rondeau

In a rondo sauté (a round saucepan) the bacon in the oil until the fat is rendered.

Sauté the rice for about 5 minutes, add the onions, green peppers and garlic.

Sauté for 5 more minutes on low heat.

Add the tomato paste and half the water and mix together well.

Add the last of the water, the salt and the black pepper.

Hotel Pan

Transfer to a hotel pan and bake at 325° F for about 30 minutes, checking every 10 minutes and stirring gently whenever necessary. Gently stir in the smoked ham and sausage during the last 10 minutes of baking time.

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Posted in Happiness, Sporting

I Want A Harley-Davidson Lowrider!

It turns out that this is the blog where I not only write about my diet and health challenges, but also the things in life that excite me or disappoint me. Looks like it is my everything blog, kinda.

So, I am excited because I went down to the Harley-Davidson dealer (nearest me) and saw the next bike I want to buy. It is their soft tail Lowrider. Yep! That’s it on the right. It looks great in pictures, but, it is mind-blowing up close and personal. The only thing that bothered me a little was how high the mid-controls pushed up my knees. I am hoping Harley-Davidson will put out a modification for a more forward set of foot controls.

Other than that it is one of the most beautiful machines I’ve ever seen on two wheels. It’s no wonder HD is a favorite of Motorcycle riders all over the world.

My old bike to the left is a 2007 Suzuki Boulevard M-50. I have had it 11 years. My Son has asked me for it because he wants to learn to ride. This bike has been a good one. I had one issue where the gear oil leak out, or wasn’t replaced during a service call and ended up having to replace the drive shaft. And I’ve had to replace one gasket to stop an oil leak. That’s a pretty good ROI for this bike. And I’ve had a blast riding it. I think it would be a great start for my Son. Of course, I will make sure it is in tip-top condition before that.

I purposely made the newer bike photo bigger here because that’s exactly what it felt like to ride my bike to the Harley-Davidson dealer and see the LowRider in person. Other than the one issue I’ve already mentioned this bike is freaking awesome. The feel as I sat on it made me feel powerful somehow. It’s hard for me to describe it. I can’t wait until I get to test ride it.

The new Milwaukee 8 engine powering the Lowrider dwarfs the 805 cc of my Suzuki. It is 107 cubic inches in displacement. That’s about 1753 cc. The size difference is massive. The Suzuki is shaft driven. The HD is belt driven (which I like because it’s probably easier to keep up than a drive shaft). Out of everything I have heard people say about this Lowrider the thing that sticks out is, “this thing has massive power and torque.” I get excited just thinking about it.

Anyway, that’s what happening in my life today. I probably won’t buy this motorcycle for a while. I have some other things to do financially first.

As for diet and weight loss, I am still eating crap (fried chicken is awesome!). And where I thought I had gained about 8 pounds, it turns out I had lost about 2. Go figure.

Posted in Diet

I’m Tired

Well, WordPress notifications tell me that I haven’t posted in the last 22 days. So here is an update. I have continued to eat whatever I want whenever I want and I am paying the price. I have gained about 8 pounds I think. And I can feel the affects of it. My back and knees hurt. Of course, the thing with the knees could be because of the bus driving.

I really do need to try to get back on track. I have let my schedule at work dictate how I eat. My excuse is that I don’t have the energy to prepare my meals, or plan my meals as I should. Enough with the excuses though. I need to get my crap together. I don’t even want to know what this is doing to my inner workings.

My battle feels like an uphill endeavor. My energy is sapped by my physical pain, which is increased the more I eat the wrong things. Inflammation, low energy, and just not feeling quite right is the worst.

In the beginning, the busy work schedule seemed to be helping me. But then I let my sweet tooth take over. A little ice cream here and there became ice cream for lunch. The more sweets I ate the more fried foods I wanted, and the more fried food I had.

So now, I am at that place where I have to fight to get started again. I have to fight to make myself eat the right stuff and get rid of things I don’t need. I am truly living yo-yo diet life style. I like how eating the right stuff makes me feel, but I also love the immediate feeling the wrong foods give me.

I will keep updating and reporting the good and the bad. I really wish my first eating habit had been a better one. Maybe all of this would be easier.

What can I do about it? The best I can. That’s all I know to do. I’m tired.