A Diagnosis and some Q & A

Well, I finally got to see the nurse practitioner Thursday and she gave me the happy news that my bronchitis is now pneumonia.  She prescribed me something called a Z-Pack – apparently fairly aggressive, broad spectrum antibiotics which I only have to take for 5 days (a good thing, since I suck about remembering to take pills) – and 9 days worth of Prednisone.  *sigh*  Yes, just what I didn’t want to have to take – steroids.  She was quite frank about it; if I don’t take them, I will be in a hospital on a breathing machine in a matter of days.  She also told me what I already knew, of course:  I could experience “some irritability” and “an increase in appetite,” but assured me I would “feel like a new person” within the next 48 hours.

Yeah, a new person who wants to do nothing but eat and shouldn’t be allowed near firearms.

Other than that, though, I appear to be fine – I’m down 9 pounds, my blood pressure was fine, my temperature was fine, my resting heart rate was in the 60s and my oxygen content was at 98%, which astounded me considering I hadn’t taken a deep breath in over a week.  In other words, I’m in pretty good shape for a fat, middle-aged broad with pneumonia.

Unfortunately, now Beloved seems to have come down with the bronchitis.  As soon as he gets home from his business trip tomorrow, I’m installing him in his recliner and dosing him regularly with vitamin D, vitamin C and fermented cod liver oil.  The last thing we need is for both of us to have The Big P.

Anyhoo, because I’ve been feeling so punk, I haven’t been responding to questions in the comments section of Ye Olde Blogge this week (I’ve barely been up to posting, frankly), so I thought I’d take this opportunity to do so.

From the Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Pork Ragu:

Think this would go well under some shortribs, or would they overpower?

Well, I’d said in the recipe that I wouldn’t recommend ground beef for the ragu because I thought it might be too strong, but after eating the leftovers yesterday, I changed my mind – beef would probably be fine.  And the gnocchi should stand up to the richness of the short ribs quite well.  I think it sounds delicious, in fact.

I’m just starting to explore the different flour substitutes. Is there a reason you use potato and tapioca flour with the almond flour? I would really like to try your recipe, but am wondering if it’s worth me going out to buy potato and tapioca flour or if I can just use 1.25 cups of almond flour.

The tapioca flour is to lighten up the dough and help give it an airy texture, while the potato flour helps give it the “chewiness” that would normally come from the gluten in wheat flour.  You can try to use all almond flour, but I fear the gnocchi will come out dense and heavy, and I’m not sure how well they’ll hold together – they may disintegrate in the boiling water; you might have to bake them.

From the Gluten-Free Crab Cakes:

Would you consider making a recommendation on a brand or brands that you prefer for lump crab meat. I am hesitant to just pick up a can. Thanks.

That’s exactly what I did, as a matter of fact – I just picked a can off the shelf.  Now, I did get it at our local organic foods store, but I can’t for the life of me remember what the brand was and I threw the can away.  I do remember it had a white label with a drawing of a blue lighthouse on it (as if that helps any).  I’m sorry – perhaps you could ask someone at the store where you shop, maybe someone who works the meat/seafood counter, what brand they recommend.

From The Foodee Project:

I’m still trying to figure out how to use my dang camera, I don’t use it enough and I’ll never learn if I don’t pick it up more often. I even recently went to a food photography seminar and picked up a few tips, but not how to actually use my camera. Do you use special lighting and reflectors?

I try and use natural lighting as much as possible, which is easier in the summer because it remains light for so long, but that’s not always possible so I have a single studio light with a white matte cover over the bulb to act as a diffuser.  I also use the back from my white cyclorama as a reflector for fill-light, but the whole set-up is rather amateurish .  It works well enough for now, though, until I can afford some better equipment.

And that’s it for this week, folks.  Today’s steroids have kicked in and I’m about to jump out of my skin, so I believe I’ll do some work and clean the house or watch another episode of Downton Abbey (yeah, I’m hooked).  Have a lovely weekend, y’all.

9 thoughts on “A Diagnosis and some Q & A”

    1. Yeah, the Z-Pack – while I’m glad it’s only once a day for five days as opposed to twice a day for 10, a reader on Facebook reminded me what antibiotics do to your gut flora. Fortunately, we still have a little kimchi left, and I was already planning on making a fermented raisin chutney this weekend.

      As for the restful weekend – I am currently restfully watering the lawns and gardens (which need it desperately), restfully making and photographing some gluten-free waffles, restfully bringing 1 pound of goat cheese to room temp for a restful raspberry cheesecake with chocolate ganache I have been planning since before I became ill, and will be making restful trips to the egg farmer, CSA and airport. Then I will finish it all off by giving some restful driving lessons on Sunday to my newly licensed teenager. Oh, and restfully caring for my husband with whom I so generously shared my icky germs.

      I hope YOU get some rest in The Middle of Nowhere, Oregon – and give my regards to your folks.

  1. I was put on that same thing when I was sick with that same crud. I was just going to remind you to take some probioatics or eat things with probiotics in them but you already are doing that. 🙂 I’ve been cleaning away and preparing for all my company…I am seriously embarrassed that I let my house get to this point even though my hubby and others claim it wasn’t that bad. I hope you feel better soon so that you can really enjoy the time you have with your family that are coming home to visit. Take care Jan! Happy weekend! 🙂

    1. Lori, despite the fact I so desperately didn’t want to take any medication – especially the steroids – I already feel somewhat better (although I haven’t slept worth a damn in two nights). I know what you mean about the house; I’ve felt so punk all week I’ve only done the bare necessities and am now looking at some major chores. Ah, well – at least I can do them now.

  2. Take your meds like a good girl so you can feel better quick because it sounds like you are going to be taking care of Beloved and you know how guys are when they are sick!

    Wow! I’m a poet. I so totally did not mean to do that.

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