Sunday, August 24, 2008

CSA Week 10

CSA Week 10 Haul. August, 2008. photo Jenonymous/Group News Blog.
CSA Week 10 Haul. August, 2008. photo Jenonymous/Group News Blog.

Veggies with a side of Gynecology

Hello all! Thanks for your patience this week! As per the headline and prior updates, this week's posting was delayed due to Female Plumbing Stuff. However, by way of make-up, I happen to have EXTRA pictures this week (of the FOOD, people, NOT the gross medical stuff). I will address the former first, and then keep the latter until after we get the food business out of the way.

I'm sitting here now, on a gorgeous Friday afternoon. Half of me is telling myself to take a shower and go outside, but the part of me that has a Demerol headache that would fell a wooly mammoth and the bits of me that feel like they've been forcibly worked over with a series of sharp metal objects (because they were) are telling me to sit here and work on my post. Drinking coffee, which I KNOW is doing jack shit for my headache, but as I had none yesterday I'm really jonesing. Drinking Liberally Queens is having a get-together tonight at the Bohemian Beer Garden in Astoria, and part of me wants to go. However, the idea of being in a place with rock-concert-loud background noise, rush-hour-at-Grand-Central crowds, and talking about politics—while drinking beer—just sounds like a prescription for exhaustion-related complications right now.

OTOH I may just take that shower, shave (so that I don't feel like a fucking Yeti) and go take a nice walk to the park. I could bring one of my two laptops along, but I have been remiss in keeping up my Norton. I have a three-seat license and theoretically CAN download and install the remaining two seats on my two laptops, but that would be a massive bitchfest of updating Windows on both machines (since I got my fullsized tower and am not taking any writing courses right now I have turned on neither deck in months), uninstalling Norton (its own nightmare scenario) and then getting each new download to properly install and update. Overall, I predict at least 3 hours of "sitting around with my thumb up my ass" time for EACH deck, and whilst that may seem like an ideal activity for someone who's not exactly about to get up and run the Boston Marathon just about now, I really think I'd rather do any number of other unpleasant chores (which I am also ignoring just now btw) than do that. So if I do go out for fresh air, I'll just grab a book and my magazines.

Okay, on to the food! First of all, about the photos. Some weeks I know they are a little blurry—my camera is prone to heat failure, which I sometimes get a LOT of—the focus goes south and the whole screen gets purple and streaky. My apartment gets very hot in my absence and sometimes the tech just doesn't want to play along. Yes I'm replacing it eventually but not now. In the meantime, rest assured that I'm taking the best pix that I can with what I have.

Okay, so here's the main shot of the haulage, which was most massive. In addition to getting a fruit, veg, and herb share, the first of my four basil deliveries came. That meant four HUGE bunches of basil.

CSA Week 10 Basil. August, 2008. photo Jenonymous/Group News Blog.
CSA Week 10 Basil. August, 2008. photo Jenonymous/Group News Blog.

The rundown of the haulage:

  • 4 Big Bunches Basil
  • 2 lb. Shiro Plums (like greengages)
  • 6 Nectarines
  • 5 Peaches
  • 2 lb. of local Apples
  • 1 Bunch Dill
  • 1 Bunch Funky Mutant Carrots
  • 1 Bunch Thinnish Leeks
  • 1 Pint Tiny Little Grape Tomato Thingies
  • 3 Green Bell Peppers (very VERY fresh—vine leaves were still crisp)
So, to state the obvious—yes, I made pesto, that very night. Here's the recipe I used, courtesy of Diana's Kitchen:
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup Olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts or walnuts
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
I realize that the instructions said something about when to add the oil and everything, but I pretty much just eyeballed everything, used a LOT more garlic, and used the olive oil to keep everything going in my blender. I would start by adding some of the basil and all of the oil and garlic, let that paste up, and add the rest of the basil little by little and add a bit more oil to keep things loose. Put in the nuts last, with any more oil needed. NOTE that this recipe calls for NO salt or pepper—the pesto will taste a little flat and that's OK; you should be adding the salt and pepper as per whatever recipe you are going to use it for. I made two huge batches of this stuff, while listening to what's considered one of the best recordings of the DreiGroschen Opera.

That night, I made some amazing pasta with basil and had it just as-is, with some amazing burrata cheese on the side, and some fresh figs (no pic, sorry). For lunch the next day I made up a little caprese salad of the baby tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, and a little oil. As a side I had the rest of the basil pasta, cold, and some fresh fruit.

CSA Week 10 Mini Tomatos. August, 2008. photo Jenonymous/Group News Blog.
CSA Week 10 Mini Tomatos. August, 2008. photo Jenonymous/Group News Blog.

The dill went into the freezer for reincarnation as chicken soup.

I continue to just eat up my stuff as fresh salads and fritattas. Right now, I'm going to sauté down some veggies from last week with some of my home-made recaito from last week and make a sort of "New World Fried Rice." The apples are still hanging out OK in the fridge but I have to eat them to make room for other stuff.

CSA Week 10 Japanese plums. August, 2008. photo Jenonymous/Group News Blog.
CSA Week 10 Japanese plums. August, 2008. photo Jenonymous/Group News Blog.

For your viewing pleasure, also grok these additional food pix. I really like how lush the basil is. The plums are also ultra-fresh, as were the very ripe tomatoes. The carrots are starting to grow on me; they are yellow, sweet, and really, really funky looking.

CSA Week 10 Carrots. August, 2008. photo Jenonymous/Group News Blog.
CSA Week 10 Carrots. August, 2008. photo Jenonymous/Group News Blog.

Most of the past two weeks, however, has been consumed by the gyn issues (yes, folks, that does it for the food part of this post, so if you want to, you can stop reading now). Here's how all that has gone down so far:

Before I say anything else, there is one thing I want to get out of the way, RIGHT away. I have heard a lot of anti-choicers—mostly men—rant about how some women "use abortion as a form of birth control" and seem to think that a D&C is like getting your hair done; something you absentmindedly just squeeze in between (I guess) between having unprotected sex and shoplifting Lee Press On Nails or something. To them I say:



Yeah, scheduling at least 2 weeks in advance (unless it's a potential medical emergency—I got lucky; someone cancelled theirs), no food or water for 18 hours before the procedure, getting up at the crack of dawn, getting the shit drugged out of you, having everything hurt like hell ANYWAY, the bleeding afterwards, having to wear those fucking sanitary pads for two weeks because nothing is supposed to be going in there for at least 2 weeks afterwards (wonder how that works out for abused women who can't refuse sex with their partners?), intense, can't move cramping, and feeling like shit for a few days afterwards. REAL fun. REAL walk in the fucking park, man. Don't need cable TV when you have that kind of fun, no siree.

I'm just so, so grateful that at least I don't live in a state where medical procedures need to be reported to the State, and that I live within easy access of a huge selection of healthcare providers.

I am also really, really, REALLY annoyed with self-described "liberals" who still think that there is room for argument that "well, in theory, if we consider a fetus a potential life, why NOT allow some limitations on abortion?" I actually had to listen to this, while drugged out on Demerol and hurting like a mofo on the way back from my not-an-abortion-D&C from the person dispatched to PICK ME UP after the procedure. This man (of course) insists that he's a staunch feminist, and thinks that while "abortion as a debate has been made redundant by technology, at least in the US", there is still "a real argument to be made that a woman should be required to carry a healthy pregnancy to term." He then went on to say that "I really don't have a problem with balancing a woman's freedom of movement/inconvenience with a potential life's—I think there's real room for debate there."

I snapped back at him that he's just in love with the idea of being able to bring a woman's world to a complete, grinding halt with his dick, and that while yes, being able to automatically disqualify most of half the population from the job pool may make his life easier (he's out of work), that doesn't make it right. I am really really getting fed up with people saying "I'm a liberal, BUT…X." That's like me saying I'm a vegetarian, which as those of you who know me, I am NOT.

It's the same kind of tautological sophistry that you can do with any subject. "Well, if vegetarians are truly defined as people who do NOT eat meat, what about people who don't eat meat at every meal? Are they not vegetarian for the duration of that meal? What about micro-organisms that live on vegetables? By cooking said vegetables or even eating them raw, are they not as guilty of taking an animal life as someone who eats a cow? Why can't someone identify as a vegetarian on certain issues? At what point do we define an animal? Why can't I be labeled a vegetarian then?"

It's the same kind of "I know you are but what am I?" schoolyard logic fuck that people who claim to be Dems but are McCain supporters because Hillary isn't on the ticket espouse. Long story short: If they don't feel like their petty academic hairsplitting brainfarts are validated, then to hell with everyone else.

Now, I'm picking an absurd example, but this is what talking to this guy is like. He insists that "it doesn't matter if abortion is outlawed, people can still get them safely" and that "that's not the issue." Also, he rejects out of hand that men shouldn't have a say in the abortion debate 'because just because I'm not a minority doesn't mean I can't have a concern in the outcome of policies aimed at them, for example."

Now, of course, I don't have the strength to argue ad-nauseum with a guy who insists on trying to win even stupid arguments. Also, I can't help but notice that if you Google "pro-choice arguments" all you get is a huge list of bought-for crap by pro-lifers.

So, if anyone wants to let loose with some good ones in the comments, go right ahead.

And I've already informed my ob-gyn that I am taking my own damn self home after any further procedures, period. Keep me there all fucking day if you want but I am NOT relying on anyone else again (they say it's office policy but fuck it—I don't want Mom along for the ride and I certainly am not dealing with this guy again)

Interesting side note—friend in question was a women's study major in college, and given his on-again off-again employment sitch has been the "babysitter/pickup person" for a LOT of his female friends with plumbing issues. It's the one thing about his personality that really, really REALLY bothers me DEEPLY. He totally denies that he's got some kind of a control wish going on—and this is a guy who despite his major, came out with the great line "but wait…tubal ligation prevents ovulation, right?"

Yeah. He also admits that yes, crime in the US dropped since Roe v. Wade, "but still wonders if that's relevant today."

Anyway, I'm getting aggravated just typing this, so I'll jump to the summary: Too much Demerol, not enough painkiller, needed a full extra hour of recovery before I could tell whether my eyes were opened or closed (had this funky hallucination going on—when I opened my eyes I saw the lights, too bright—when I closed them I STILL SAW THE ROOM but normally illuminated. It's like my brain freeze-framed on pause for the visual input. I still responded to verbal questions, and complained when the pain got really bad, but FLAT FREEZE on the visuals), was a beached whale on the table for almost 90 minutes. Normal breathing and heart rate, but NOT THERE. Then, all of a sudden, I felt better all at once. Sat up, yelled for the nurse, who brought me a juice box of apple juice and a Motrin. I asked her to get the bottled water out of my bag and I did—I drank almost a quart of water during recovery and then I just wanted out. I had my tough cab ride home, went upstairs, ate lunch, and slept for 5 hours. Been babysitting the Demerol headache since then (although it's dying down now).

Still, my new ObGyn is FANTASTIC and I love her. We spoke today and we're waiting for the biopsy results—she did a D&C, a full scoping, and spot biopsies. Thank G-d it seems that the one protrusion into the uterus—and it's a smallish one—is probably a fibroid and not Adenomyosis. My ultrasounds seem to confirm this, as did the visual, but she took a biopsy anyway.

Next step is waiting a few months and seeing if the D&C solves the bleeding issue—in my Mom's case, it did, when she was only a few years older than me, and she has very severe fibroids. In the meantime, we're keeping our fingers crossed RE the biopsy and making sure that everything else is kosher. I see her again in two weeks, once we have the pathology report back, and we can discuss next steps. If the D&C doesn't help the bleeding, the next step is probably Endometrial Ablation. My doc uses the hot water version. I have the feeling that I will ultimately wind up doing this. In one third of all cases, it stops your period entirely. I would so SO love that and a tubal ligation—just get the reins back on my girly bits and getting them doing what I want.

Under the category of "support from family and friends," Mom is NOT at all down with most of what's been going on. It's very hard. We have a strained relationship anyway, and this is NOT helping. She pays a shitload of lip service to being OK with me not having kids, while stringently not wanting to deal with the fact that this involves contraception and sex. She can't really openly just come out and say "you're a fucking freak if you hate kids enough not to want them, and a hideous slut if you have sex otherwise," being as my brother is gay (and she was the biggest homophobe until he came out) and can't give the appearance of playing favorites (OTOH I still think that she thinks my bro is in it for the clothing and doesn't actually get fucked in the ass and suck dick—even though him and his BF have a bound copy of the BUTT magazine collection on their coffee table, which does NOT get put away when she's over). Still, I'll never forget that when she was still working, a rather large co-worker of hers had a pregnancy go undiscovered (I still can't believe that happens, but I guess it does) until it was way too late to abort and wound up having a baby by a guy who can at best be described as a looser. My Mom's response to all this was "you know, Jen, if that ever happened to you, I'd be OK with it and help with the kid" (her unfortunate co-worker's family flipped out). Trying to explain to her that I would kill myself before having a baby—and I used those exact words—were a simple, curt, "no you wouldn't." Her attitude towards all that bleeding I did? "I dealt with it, my mother dealt with it, YOU deal with it."

On top of that you get fuckwits like my OLD ob-gyn. She got my ultrasound results also. So, what does she do? Instead of calling me on my cell—I have tried to get her office to stop using my work number for 5 years—she LEAVES A MESSAGE on my office voicemail: "Hi, Jen, this is Doc A., got your ultrasound results; the fibroids look stable, I don't think that's what's causing your bleeding, let's wait and see—feel free to call me back."

Um, lady, been "waiting and seeing" for about 3 years now and it's getting worse not better.

Anyway, I seriously need to do my dishes and take a shower. I'll end this with a food note—I actually did make that New World Fried Rice. Here's what I did:

I cut up one leek, both of my remaining green bell peppers, two smallish carrots from a few weeks ago, and one of the summer squashes (last one from old batch). I sweated the carrots, leek, and peppers down with salt and pepper, and then added about 2 Tablespoons of my home-made recaito (the last I had unfrozen in a baggie). I continued to let it all sweat down. When it got mushy I added a tad of water and the squash. I let the squash simmer, covered, and then tasted for seasoning. I still had some green hot sauce from my Authentic Navajo Green Chili, so I added some of that in. Once the squash was tender I added one more splash of water and about 2 cups of cooked, cold dryish brown Basmati rice. I stirred and folded until the rice absorbed all the liquid. I had some of this with some smoked cheese from a few weeks ago, and tomorrow I may just heat some more up and put a fried egg on it and call it breakfast. It was wonderful.

Now I'm gonna go take a shower. I swear, I hate pads. I feel disgusting. Now I know why babies cry when they're wet. Now, they are a damn sight better now than the ones that I had to use back in school (I started very young)—I remember hideous things with belts, then ones with glue on the bottom to stick to your panties—but they were both essentially cotton with gauze on them. Of course, Mom had issues with the idea of a youngish girl using tampons (which I started using in high school anyway).

Now they have gone totally high-tech, which I can appreciate. Not only are they longer (if you have a deep pelvis you need something long for coverage, especially at night), but the glue is better and you can get ones with flaps that wrap around the bottom of your panties so that they don't slip or leak. Also, I gotta say, that blue gel shit they put in diapers and pads is amazing—it really DOES keep you feeling drier. Still—and this is another entire post—the confusion of options is astonishing. What really IS the difference between, let's say, Overnight, Extra Heavy Overnight, and Maximum Protection? I stood there in the drug store, thinking, well, it's SURGERY for chrissakes, better go with the biggest option available. Still, despite the packaging and a very cutesy little graph-like code on the box, I never did figure out if Maximum Protection was actually better than Extra Heavy Overnight. I figured I'd better have the best coverage for night-time. So I got two different kinds. So far they seem to be working out. It's kind of gross knowing that they're hanging out in my garbage can.

Either way using ANY of em is still pretty icky. Still, I'm glad that I don't have to use those fucking cotton wad things anymore.

Now I'm going to stop typing, before I gross everyone out, and go take my vitamins while I remember. More next week!

Please keep the recipes, good vibes, advice, and rants coming.