Every 4 or 5 weeks they have a food or beverage tasting or cooking lessons here on my Continuum Care Campus---well, at least here in the independent living building. I shouldn’t be starting a new post now since I just returned from a wine tasting which I did on a practically empty stomach. All I had to eat today was a bowl of cream of chicken soup at lunch time---and the tasting was a 3:00---and I feel a little tipsy. You would not believe all the spelling errors I’m making and I just got started. I’m not going to show them to you because I’m vain about my writing. ‘Self-conscious’ might be a better word/s than ‘vain’ but at the moment I don’t care enough to cipher out the difference.
We tasted five red wines today and I could feel myself talking louder and sharing more freely than I usually do. I didn’t do that with the white wine or beer tastings or the ice cream tasting and certainly not at the salsa or tea tastings or the pickling demonstration. Ya, I know. Why would they teach a class on pickling veggies to a group of elderly women who probably all did some canning if not a lot of canning in their younger years include me, the Queen of Never Cook When You Can Eat Out. We all asked that same question and I came up with they just want to let us get to know the chef better. One time he taught us how to make a flaming banana dessert. It tasted fabulous but half the women living here won't use their stoves for fear of setting off our super sensitive fire alarms which brings the fire department to our doorsteps, so the idea of us using a blowtorch in our kitchens is laughable.
Anyway, back to Red wine. Red wine and I go back a long time. My mom and dad gave my brother and me a shot glass full of Mogen David Red wine on special occasions starting at age ten. I still have the shot glass that was mine. (Can I hear an "awe, isn't that sweet?") My dad was the son of Italian immigrants and in his formative years he lived surrounded by Italian immigrants in a coal mining community. Even after moving to Michigan before his teens he was tight with his Italian uncles and aunts who also moved here for better jobs in the furniture factories. I barely remember them, except for the stories my dad told, since most of them died before I old enough to pay attention to great aunts and uncles. Hey! Maybe that’s why I’m so obsessed about leaving something behind for my great nieces and nephews to remember me by?
I did this wine taste on an empty stomach because I'm running out of money in my food allowance and I only have $4 to last from now to the end of the month which is three days away as I type this. Don’t feel bad for me, though. I do have TV dinners in my freezer, cereal and soup and sardines in my pantry and if I really wanted to, I could go over my allotted $320 food allowance and they’ll bill my overage on my monthly service fee statement. I could even let it be known that I ran out of money and someone would invite me to dinner if their food allowance was more than they can use up before the 31th. It’s just a point of pride and discipline that I try to stay on a budget so I can break even at the end of the month. That’s getting harder and harder to do because food prices have gone up but not our allowance. My budget allows me two, half price happy hour drinks ($7) and one dessert ($5) per month and I may have to stop that soon.
Most people here either go wildly over or woefully under budget. The ones who have nightly drinks and/or desserts with dinner are in the former group---They don’t care what they spend. The people who don’t like eating on campus are always flush with food allowance money this time of the month. Over the next few days they’ll come down and raid the cafe of all its soft drinks, chips and ice cream bars. Or they’ll make reservations for their entire family and blow all their food allowance at one time.
A few days later: After re-reading the above paragraphs I was pleased that I can still use them in my blog and I only had to make a dozen corrections. Tipsy typing was actually fun. I should do it more often.
Enough silliness: I’ve been using the search feature on my blog, trying to find out if I’ve written a ‘health report’ recently. I was using the search words ultrasound, ultra-sound and full bladder. The first two brought up old posts and the ‘full bladder’ search brought up a surprising number of posts where I was writing about urinary tract issues. But nothing turned up about the pelvic ultrasound I had recently where they looked at my bladder then stuck a camera up inside me to look for cancer in my female parts. Nope, don’t have any. They thought if I did that might explain why my leg has been swelling up since the Fourth of July. I did find it interesting that I can hold 32 ounces of water in my bladder for two hours. I practiced for three days before the test just to make sure I could do it. As a result I’m now on a medication to suppress bladder urges at night and I’ve gone from getting up 6 to 10 times a night to 3-4 times. I can live with that, but they say you don’t get the full effect of the medication for a couple of months so it could improve even more.
The search for why one of my legs is swelling up started, as I said, on the Fourth of July when I got an ultrasound on my leg looking for a blood clot at ER but that was only the beginning. A followup appointment at my primary doctor’s office with one of his associates put me in a line up of tests like I am a Domino ready to take down the rest of the tiles. Blood tests, urine tests and the pelvis ultrasound are done and coming up this fall is an electrocardiogram, a colonoscopy and endoscopy. The doctor doesn’t think the heart thing will turn anything up but with the later two tests they’ll be looking for something that has been causing the mild anemia I've had for the past three years. I know they’ll find something with the endoscopy but I haven’t confessed that to my doctor, yet. I’ve had some mild swallowing issues for a couple of years now that have gotten worse in the past few weeks. I self-diagnosed that I had a TIA at one point in time and why have an endoscopy and brain scan just to confirm that when there is no treatment other than, "Go forth and eat slower."
The frosting on the cake is that I have a wide-spread rash that gets red and itchy on the leg that swells up. I have to see a dermatologist about since the standard cream my primary gave me isn’t working. It’s the same leg where I had the Mohl surgery for skin cancer. I can’t help thinking that the swelling, the rash and my skin cancer are connected but the four doctors I've seen---ones at UC and ER and two at my primary doc's office---all say words to the effect, “Nope, put your medical license back in the Cracker Jack box where your found it.” Do you hate these medical 'fishing trips' as much as I do?
Oh, and have I mentioned the dentist wants to replace two of my crowns because the rent on his boat slip is probably due? I told him I have bigger fish to fry right now. He wants a $1,000 above what insurance pays and the crowns I have aren't that old. I miss my old dentist who was a personal friend and never over-sold us stuff we didn't need. Covid caused him to retire early as did my eye doctor and they've both been replaced by kid-doctors who don't look old enough to buy beer.
Until Next Wednesday…. ©