Medical Issues

So Very Sick

 

So Very Sick
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

So Very Sick

Good gracious, I have been So Very Sick.  What started out with a bladder infection, ended up with a co-vid19 scare (other people scared of that, not so much me).  Honestly, I have never gotten a bladder (or kidney) infection until about 2 years ago.  Since my bladder sling, I’ve had 3 and they suck.

I have discovered that taking Cipro is like eating a tic-tac.  A tic-tac that makes your pee orange.  #GoodTimes  As luck would have it, I have a dear from who is a Physician’s Assistant and when I contacted her, she was ready to help.  Since I knew that Cipro didn’t work, we moved to Macrobid.  Take it 2x a day, with food, for 12 days and it will clear it up.  I did as I was told.  Considering I trust only a handful of humans…she is one that I trust.

Do You Have a Doctor You Can Trust

It is easy, for some people, to trust those in authority, especially when it comes to our health.  Me, however, not so much.  I have an amazing doctor, that I have known for a long long time (think probably 10 years) personally and professionally.  He has heard and seen some really difficult things in my life and the lives of my family.  I have been known to show up at his house LOL.  He’s a good one.  When I can’t see him, his associate is a PA and is as brass and ballsy as I am.  We have a good relationship and I’m sort of honest with him.  The nurses there, I have an amazing friend/professional relationship.

I say all of this to say that I’m perfectly happy with my health care providers.  Yet, there are some things I never ever talk to them about.  They will never get near my girl parts and I will not discuss those parts with these men.  I mentioned it once and I giggled at the beads of sweat forming on his forehead.  He would do whatever I needed…I just wanted to make him squirm.  We both got a good laugh out of it.

Girl Parts Doctor

I did meet a great dr who did my hysterectomy and my bladder sling.  So kind and I used about 80% of my words with him.  He was good and did a great job on my surgeries, but he left that practice.  Then, I remembered my friend who dabbles in a little bit of everything.  One, late night, we were texting about a book I wanted her to read.  I divulged my pain and some other “girly” issues I was having and she was a wealth of knowledge.

She is just who I needed at that moment.  God is good like that.  She fixed me up.  With my bladder infection, she prescribed Macrobid.  She knows my drug allergies and this is not one of them.  We thought it was safe and would take care of the issue.

Here’s the Thing

Since I went to our holistic dr in St. Augustine, my body is different.   I have had more sensitivities to meds then I have EVER had before.  These are meds I have taken for years and now, they make me feel “off”.  Also, my hair falls out, I am lethargic, grouchy, and so on.  The anti-depressant I took made me throw up for about 9 hrs.  This is a med I had been on for several years before going to the holistic dr.  So.  Freaking.  Strange.

Co-Vid19

With this going around, every single time I sneeze or cough people duck for cover.  Listen, I have allergies.  Really bad allergies…to cats…I have 12 cats, so 1 + 1 = 2.  This time was different.  I was down with the bladder infection, but it was manageable.  I took my first dose and I started feeling nauseous.  Almost like morning sickness.  I powered through that moment.  Honestly, I was just thinking that I didn’t take my meds with food.  I was diligent after that.

I took it on a Wednesday night and Thursday morning I was dry heaving for the next 6 hours.  It was awful.  I had nothing on my stomach and couldn’t keep anything down.  There were no other symptoms until my fever hit.  That’s when my mom, other mom, and husband got worried.  I had been nowhere, so I could not have been exposed.  My symptoms were not consistent with Co-Vid19 symptoms and I was too sick to move.

I contacted my EMT friend, who has been treating a ton of these cases and my PA and neither of them had a concern.  Plus, I was fine the next day. Tired, but fine.  Then Saturday, I was great.  I didn’t take the meds on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday morning.  I did take it Saturday night.

Giant Mistake

Come Sunday morning, everything returned.  Dry heaving, stomach ache, and fever.  This time, I added in shortness of breath.  When I inhaled, I whistled.  Once I could keep liquid down, I took a zofran and a breathing treatment.  Also, tylenol every 4 hours.  Sunday was horrible.  Monday I was simply exhausted and by Tuesday, I was fine.  It has taken me time to get my appetite back up.

We checked and I have all the symptoms of having a Macrobid allergic reaction.  So, on a bright note, I had suffered through enough of the meds for my bladder infection to be gone.  Also, I lost about 4 lbs.  On a crappy note, I don’t really know what to do if (when) I get another bladder infection.

Proactive

I’m going to get some cranberry gummies, I have been taking probiotics.  Also, I’m drinking more water with lemon and cutting down on sugar.  I don’t know how helpful that will be but it can’t hurt to try to prevent it.  I’m very thankful it is not Co-Vid19.  I have had friends that have had it and it is no fun.

Wash your hands, wear masks, be mindful of elderly, immuno-compromised, and young people.  Take care of yourself.  I am on the mend and I’m thankful for that.  Still, I’m resting more and really trying to listen to my body.

Hopefully, I can get back into blogging.  Got lots on my mind…just a matter of if I can get it eloquently out my fingertips.

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Shelf-Cooking Co-Vid19 Style

Shelf-Cooking Co-Vid19 Style

Shelf-Cooking Co-Vid19 Style
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Shelf-Cooking Co-Vid19 Style.  With Co-Vid19 rearing its ugly head, I have not been out of the house.  I lied.  Twice.  I have been out twice.  Both of these times has been to take Hunter to treatment in Nashville.  So, grocery shopping is through pick-up, when my son works (at a grocery store), or my husband picks it up.  Also, the school has been bringing food, for the week, for 3 kids.  That helps tremendously.

Yet

There are some things my kids will not eat, by itself.  Now, they are not picky eaters, but they prefer it to be cooked in something.  So, what I’ve been doing is separating out the breakfast foods, lunch foods, snacks, and fruit.  They eat all the breakfast stuff throughout the week.  Also, they eat most of the lunch food throughout the week.  Yet, there are things like raw broccoli and cherry tomatoes that they will not eat unless I use it another way.

I do not waste food.

Plain and simple.  I am not a short order cook and I do not throw things away.  That is how I was raised and that is how I raise my kids.  With all that being said, I stockpile the carrots.  For one, my kids do eat those. Secondly, I can cut those suckers up and put them in any casserole.  Thirdly, carrot bread or carrot cake.  Yes, please.  Fourthly, soup.  Put them in any soup.  Fifthly (I’m starting to giggle now because what do I do when I get up to tenthly?  Is that even a word?), put them in a saute pan with some butter and brown sugar.  It’s a good thing.

Next up, cherry tomatoes.  Once I have a baggie full, I either give them to one of my older daughters who both love them.  Also, I juice them for chili or soup.  I chop them up and saute them in any pasta dish.  You can do a multitude of things with those things.

Now, onto this recipe and broccoli.  My big girls love raw broccoli.  Sadly, my other 5 kids do not.  My son-in-law calls them “the trees of the devil.”  He is a bit extra.  You can make broccoli soup or Chicken and Broccoli Braid.  Also, you can use it to make beef and broccoli stir fry.  Lots of things.

Odds and Ends

Today, however, I had a 1/2 bag of a lot of things.  Noah had brought home some leftover hamburgers and cooked bacon from work.  I had a couple of bags of this and a bag of that.  Then there was a 1/2 a bag of another thing.  I put all those together and I made 2 casseroles.  Honestly, I didn’t think it would make that much.  I’m cooking one casserole for tonight and I’m freezing the other for another night.  We also have leftover breadsticks from the pizza we ordered last night, so that is a side dish.  I think I have a couple of cans of corn.  Voila.  Dinner is served.

Beef, Broccoli, & Extras Casserole

2# ground beef

onion

garlic

seasoning mix

worcestershire sauce

Brown all of this together, drain if needed.

In 13×9 dish, grease it (preheat oven to 350).  On the bottom of the dish, place the meat mixture.

Step 2

**Now, this is what I had, on hand.  Tweak this to what you have.  Just have fun with it.  If it sucks, you will remember what not to add!**

2 c. chopped fresh spinach

carton of fresh mushrooms, chopped

fresh broccoli, chopped

cooked bacon, chopped

Cheddar cheese

Layer each of these components on your meat mixture.

Step 3

In bowl, add 2 cans cream of mushroom (can use chicken or celery) and 16 oz. sour cream.  Once combined, spread over casserole.

Next up, add cheddar cheese (any cheese will do, this is what I had).

Lastly, I had a 1/2 bag of leftover tater tots.  I lined them on top.  Mainly because I wanted to get rid of the bag.  Another reason was because I had no potatoes to cook up.

Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes, covered and then another 12 minutes or so, uncovered.  Really until your tater tots are done.  Now, I did not pre-blanch or steam my broccoli.  I was afraid it would get mushy.

On freezing this dish, I did not cook it first…again, the broccoli issue.

Other Options

Now, you can change up your cheese.  Also, you can add in zucchini, squash, cauliflower, or carrots.  You can change up your soups.  Instead of tater tots, use instant or regular mashed potatoes to put on top.  If you don’t want to do that, on the bottom of the dish, add egg noodles or rice.  The sky really is the limit.

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Adoption

Becoming a CASA Worker

Becoming a CASA Worker

Becoming a CASA Worker

The above graphic on Becoming a CASA Worker might give you an idea of what one does.  This is a volunteer program, for the most part.  Social workers are tired.  They are overloaded with work and laws that really do nothing in the grand scheme of things.  It is sad.  I have known (and know) some amazing social workers.  Then, I have known some “out for blood” people that turns people away from this important work.  Social work is a thankless job.  Honestly, I have such respect for these men and women going in and trying to do their best to help these children.

CASA

A CASA worker, again, is a volunteer job.  When I was a worker, it was about 9 years ago.  We were waiting for Jude’s adoption to go through.  I needed something to feel like I’m doing something to help someone.

There was a lady that I answered too.  We had meetings and classes.  Also, I would go with her to court and observe to see how things were handled within the courtroom.  I have never been one to shy away from a courtroom.  They are actually peaceful to me.  It can be frustrating when you see something so clear and then another decision is made by the judge.  Once done with the classes and following my boss, I was swore in, by the judge.  Then I was able to testify if needed.

What I Did

I was the voice of the child.  That is the whole point of being a CASA worker.  We advocate for the child.  Sometimes you take the stand and sometimes you don’t.  Each person has someone working for them and being their voice.  There are the attorney’s (for both parties and the who represents the state), guardian ad litem (represents the child as their attorney), social worker (works towards reunification and closely with the parent(s), R&C worker (the foster parent’s advocate), and a CASA worker (the child’s advocate).

It sounds intimidating but it really isn’t.

Yet, it is a responsibility that you have to take seriously.  You have to look the part, behave the part, and know your stuff.  There was a situation, where a certain social worker, who didn’t care for me, put me on the spot.  It is no great secret there is no love loss between us but I tried to remain civil.  She had a hard time with that and refused to take the stand.  In fact, she said I “knew it all” and that I would handle it.

Well.  He called me up to the stand.

Guess what?

I handled it in direct opposition that this worker wanted it handled.  This is not a sparring match between two people who can’t play well together.  Honestly, this is about the child(ren) and helping them keep their core family together if we can.

I Loved the Job

For real, I would have done this permanently had Jude not been with me.  When he came home, he was my 100% focus.  Maybe one day I will get back in the groove.  I’m sure things have changed in the last 8 years.  So, it is best that you call your local agency and find out what you need to do in order to be a CASA worker.  It is totally worth it.

Call to Action

We are not all called to adopt BUT we are all called to do something.  Is this your something?  Shadow a worker and see if what they do fits into your idea of what a CASA worker does.  Seeing positive family reunifications is so rewarding.  There are other things that you will see that will hurt your heart, to the core.  Yet, we are placed in that position for a reason.  Spread the love of Jesus in all that you do.

If you have any questions, let me know!

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Foster Care Awareness Month

Foster Care Awareness Month

Foster Care Awareness Month

May is National Foster Care Awareness Month.  Foster Care…scary words, huh?  It was for me and Big Daddy when we started this journey many many years ago.  I have so many thoughts going through my head when I even utter that phrase.

Foster Care.

When we began our journey, we went in SO naive.  I mean googly-eyed and just eager to “fix,” “save,” and “help.”  Oh, my goodness.  We learned, quickly, that that was not the case.

Please remember, this is OUR journey.  These are OUR feelings.  This is OUR story.  Your story will be different.  That’s the beauty of life and different perspectives.  I’m PRO foster care.  I just wish we were better prepared for what we went through.

Before I Begin…Look at These Facts

The Lakes.  These numbers are staggering.  Across the board, staggering.  Every child deserves a home.  Also, every child deserves a last name.  Every child deserves safety and their basic needs met.  Bless…every child deserves love and a chance.  Every.  Single.  Child.  Whether they are fresh from the womb or 40 years old…EVERYONE deserves a family.

My Feels are Feeling

We were so naive.  I think I mentioned that.  We were eager.  First, we had our PS-MAPP classes.  10 weeks, 3 hours a week, sitting through classes re-learning how to parent.  We were not completely welcomed.  Judged, if you will.  There were people there that were older, older couples, younger couples, singletons.  I remember looking across the room and this one couple flat out asked us what we were doing in that class. That we had no business being in there because we already “had” children.  It wasn’t fair for us to take available children when some people in this world “can’t biologically have” children.  Bear in mind, in this class, I was there by myself.  Big Daddy had to work and did one on one classes.  So, I fielded some of the hate all alone.

Punch in the Gut

That statement took the wind right out of my sails.  I have many friends who cannot “biologically” have children.  Some have remained “childless” from society’s perspective.  Yet…they are just as much a parent then I am.  They love, deeply.  Sacrifice for others whether that is for their stepchildren/nieces/nephews/cousins/god-children or animals.  It is beautiful to witness.  There is beauty to be found in the ashes.

I have friends who have chosen to adopt BEFORE they biologically had children.  That is how they wanted it all along.  Some women can easily conceive and then make the choice to “prevent” conception in a permanent manner.  Then, they regret “playing God” and move towards adoption.

However, you come to the cross in how your family is structured…it is YOUR journey.  Yours.  No one should judge another for having no children or 1000 kids.  It is simply none of your business.  Gracious.  There can be so much hate, judgment, and condemnation.

Ways You Can Help

Not everyone is called to adopt, but we are all called to do something!  Here are so tangible ways to help a foster child(ren), foster family, adoptive family, or a child you see that may need a little extra love.

  • Pray.  For the child, their parents and bio family, the foster family and extended family, judges, attorneys, guardians, social workers, counselors.  Can you even imagine, going from the chaos of unsafe home, the only home you know, and leaving with a stranger?  Then, being left with a stranger.  Sleeping in a strange bed with people that you don’t even know their names or where the light switch is.  I cannot even begin to imagine.
  • Respite.  Provide a weekend, afternoon, or just a drive for the foster family with this new child.  Respite is a paid position if you so desire, it is basically babysitting.  Believe me, everyone will welcome a short break.
  • Meal or Errands.  Provide a meal or errands for the foster/adoptive family.  Cook one for now, and have one extra ready for the freezer for later.  What a help.  Running errands helps to contain the chaos.  It is so hard to get out and about sometimes.  There are just moments when we need someone to run to the bank but due to a crisis, we just can’t get there.  Be the hands and feet of Jesus.

Other Ways To Help

  • Help Around the House.  Mow the yard.  Do a load of laundry.  Come clean while people nap.  Oh, if I had that…people to go to the doctor’s appointments with me.  I was wagging 5 kids, by myself.  I had no help.
  • Be a Non-Judgemental Ear.  I never had that either.  Just listen.  Listen to all the words, even if they are un-Scriptural.  Don’t try and fix it.  Just listen and love.  Pray.  Point to Christ.
  • See a Need.  Meet a Need.  No questions asked.
  • Volunteer at a Boys and Girls home.  Big Brothers Big Sisters.  Youth facilities.
  • Become a CASA worker.  Be the voice for the child.  Worth it.
  • Donate to Moses Basket or Bags of Love (these are specific to our area).  You can call your local DCBS office and find out who you can donate items to help children coming into care.
  • Love.  Be Jesus with skin on.  Be His hands and feet.

Tomorrow

I may share the story of our first placement.  It was a hard time, personally, during my life.  Then these children blew life into my life and I was renewed.  Only to be devastated a short time after.  I know what satan’s eyes look like.  Met him, in person.  Still struggle, after all these years.  Today is not that day that I want to revisit that pain.

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Casseroles, Cooking

Tater Tot Casserole with Cheese

Tater Tot Casserole with Cheese

Tater Tot Casserole with Cheese

My OCD dictated my Tater Tot Casserole with Cheese.  On a good day, I’d just sling them on there.  Tonight, they each had a place and frankly, that makes me happy,  I do believe I’m going insane.  Insane, people.  It’s fine.  I am fine.  We are all fine.

Tater Tot Casserole with Cheese

2# ground beef

Lipton onion soup mix

Worcestershire sauce

1 can cream of celery (normally I use cream of mushroom, but that’s what I had)

Sour cream, 1 c.

Seasoning

Cheddar

Spinach

Tater Tots

Directions

Brown beef with seasoning.  Drain if necessary.  Add in some Worcestershire sauce and the Lipton onion soup mix.  **I have a gluten-free, copycat lipton onion soup mix recipe.**  Once that is done, add in your chopped spinach and mix well.

In greased 13×9 dish, place the meat/spinach mixture on the bottom.  Next, in a bowl, mix the sour cream and cream of celery together.  Pour that over the meat.  Then add a layer of cheddar.  End with the tater tots and be sure and season the tots.

Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes.  You might want to add a few minutes if you put frozen tots on there.  Mine were already thawed out.  Again, it was good.  My crew gobbled it up.

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Traditional Pound Cake Recipe

Traditional Pound Cake Recipe

Traditional Pound Cake Recipe

 

 

Traditional Pound Cake Recipe

I am going to weigh a thousand pounds by the time this quarantine is lifted.  Cooking is something I enjoy doing.  It brings me peace.  So, with that being, I haven’t made a pound cake in a month of Sundays.  Here is my Traditional Pound Cake Recipe with a powdered sugar glaze.  Forgive the “angel food cake” look because I couldn’t find my bundt pan.

This is a cake that you have to “baby” but I’m telling you, my KitchenAid mixer, it made all the difference.  You can use your hand mixer, as well.  My mixer died a long long time ago, bless its sweet heart.

Ingredients

1 pound butter, softened

3 c. sugar

6 eggs, room temperature

4 c. all-purpose flour

3/4 c. milk

1 tsp. almond extract

Vanilla extract, 1 tsp.

Directions

In a bowl, place the pound of butter and mix the crap out of it.  It should be a pale yellow, whipped look.  On a medium to high speed.  **Why am I singing the song “Whip It.”**  Good grief, now it won’t leave my head.  Dangit.

Where was I?  Oh…PSA…do not try and “sip” the almond or vanilla extract.  My son-in-law learned a lesson on that one.  Just passing in the kindness to everyone.  God love him.  Him’s a special boy LOL.

Quarantine.  Bunny trail.  I cannot focus.

Cheesecake…no…Pound cake.  I can do this.

Once the butter has been whipped, add an egg in one at a time.  Whip it till the yolks are blended.  Next up, get your milk and flour.  Go in this order:  a bit of milk, whip, a cup of flour, whip, repeat ending with flour.  Mix it until it is smooth.  Lastly, add in the extracts.  You can leave out the almond extract but it was good.

Grease a bundt pan (yes, I used an angel food cake pan).  After you grease it (spray or crisco), then you need to get some flour and swirl it around in there.  Add your batter.  Bake at 300 for about an hour and 40 minutes.  I started checking it at 1:30 but I did up it to 1:40.  It was done.

Icing

Eyeball this….I think I did 2 c. powdered sugar, a tsp of vanilla, and enough heavy cream (you can use 1/2 and 1/2 or milk) to thin it out.  I ended up making WAY too much, so Big Daddy drizzled all the leftovers over each slice that he eats LOL.  My daughter put it on the cake.

For the love…it is good.

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Life or Something Like It

Channeling Karl

Channeling Karl

Channeling Karl

I am going to be Channeling Karl.  If I can’t see the children, then the children can’t see me.  We shall cover our eyes and ignore.  It’s not me…it’s them!  All this “mom, I cut myself or mom, I’m hungry or mom, someone looked at me.”  I don’t hear it because I don’t see it.

I’m going into the weekend with no hopes and/or expectations for any of us to do anything major.  My prayer is that we survive.  Throw food at the wolves and survive.  We will survive….now that song is in my head.

Just Because…Why Not.

I need to make a quick clarification for my 5 viewers.  We have Ted, Lola, and Francis.  They are our inside dogs.  Also inside, we have Karl and Karen.  We also had Karole, but she passed away at the ripe age of about 16.  Also, we had an outside cat, Chip.  He died a month ago and we are heartbroken.

Chip brought along his common-law wife, Inez (she is not my cat).  She was completely feral but with his love, we can now love on her but not hold her.  Chip left her a widow, pregnant.  She had 5 kittens, under my house.  We pulled them out and have them in a safe place.  We have three Russian Blue looking cats, Maureen, Jennifer, and Linda.  Then she has 2 dark tiger striped cats, one is a girl (Chipette) and the other is a boy (Troy).

Lest We Not Forget Joan

Joan started showing up.  Very affectionate (except towards Inez) and we could tell she had been an inside cat.  She was VERY pregnant when she came around.  I named her Joan because, well, she isn’t my cat but I feed her and she needs a name.  She threw identical triplets Russian blue kittens.  Janis, Joplin, and Lloyd

So we went from 4 cats to 3 cats to 4 cats to 3 cats to 12 cats within no time at all.  Actually, 13 because there is a black and white tuxedo male in the mancave.  I named him Jorge.

How did I become the crazy cat lady again?

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Cooking

Copycat Lipton Onion Soup Mix Recipe

Copycat Lipton Onion Soup Mix Recipe

Copycat Lipton Onion Soup Mix Recipe
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I went to make Tater Tot Casserole tonight and realized I had no Lipton Onion Soup Mix. What does one do during quarantine?  I concocted a Copycat Lipton Onion Soup Mix Recipe.  This is enough for 2 packets, so if you are using this, 1/2 it if you just need the equivalent to one packet.

Ingredients

1/2 c. minced onions

4 T. beef bouillon granules

1/2 tsp. onion powder

1 T. parsley

1/4 tsp. paprika

Directions

Put it in an airtight container or a ziploc baggie.  Use immediately or store for up to a month.  You can also double or triple this recipe and keep it in a mason jar.  I don’t use this often.  Always, though, I put it on a roast.  Also, I put it in my Tater Tot Casserole, which I will post that recipe tomorrow.

Anyway…

I’ve been cooking up a storm during quarantine.  Well, who am I kidding…I cook all the time.  Honestly, I feel like that is all I do is cook, clean, or educate.  The highlight of my day is driving down the road to see Kevin the pig.  He is my neighbor’s pet pig that lives in the front yard.  If you want to join in on the fun, I post daily on my quarantine log with my crew over on my Facebook page.  Come on over and “like” my page and join in.  Let us all in on what you are doing during this bizarre time in history.

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Easy White Chicken Chili with Cream Cheese

Easy White Chicken Chili with Cream Cheese

Easy White Chicken Chili with Cream Cheese
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I tried something out of my wheelhouse with this Easy White Chicken Chili with Cream Cheese.  It was a HIT!  Big Daddy loved it and didn’t want me to change a thing, which is huge.  I did this in my Instant Pot but you can just do it on the stovetop.

Ingredients

3 cans of chicken, drained (you can boil and chop chicken breasts)

1 onion

Garlic

Seasoning

Oregano

Cayenne

Paprika

Cumin

Oil

**Coriander (I didn’t have this)

**Cilantro (I did not have this, so I didn’t use it.  I don’t like Cilantro anyway)

1 can green chiles

2 cans white beans, drained

Chicken bouillon

Water

Cream Cheese

Monterey Jack

Directions

In instant pot, I added just a bit of oil to keep it from sticking.  Then, I added the 3 cans of chicken, garlic, and onion.  I sauteed until the onion was tender.  Next, I added the spices, green chiles, white beans, and chicken bouillon (I used the powder and mixed with the water.  You can use chicken stock).  Mixed it well, while it was still in the saute mode.  Next up, I mixed in the cream cheese and let it melt down.  Lastly, about 6 c. water.

I put the lid on and put on “soup” mode for about 15 minutes.  Once that beeps, I do a quick release.  That’s when I add the Monterey jack cheese.  Just stir that up until it is melted.

Now, For the Tricky Part

So, you can put 1 c. of white beans in a food processor, with a bit of the broth to puree it.  Add that to your soup to thicken it up.  Some people may like it more broth-y and just let it be.  What I did, was put both cans of beans in and I added some instant potatoes flakes to thicken the soup up.  You can also put some cornstarch in with cold water, bring the soup to a boil, add the cornstarch mixture and mix till it thickens.

Lots of options.  It was good!

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I Am Not Crying

I Am Not Crying

I Am Not CryingI Am Not Crying

I swear, I Am Not Crying…yet maybe I am.  Maybe I sat in the bathroom (after disinfecting it) and teared up.  I feel like The Rock in the Jumanji movie where they just get to the jungle and he repeats to himself “don’t cry, don’t cry.”  Yet tears began to flow.

This is not normal.

I will never get used to this sight.  Ever.  These “chemo” chairs affect my soul on a deep level.  Seeing all these babies, children, and young adults…it does not get normal.  It is not just “another day, another treatment.”  It’s not.

Today, someone finished their treatment.  The nurses sang and clapped.  You could see their smiling eyes even though everyone has a mask on.  That warms my heart but still, there is a disease that has ravished these children.  Not okay.

Beginning

We started out in a room and then got kicked to a chemo chair.  These chairs suck.  Drapes separate people, yet the floor is packed.  Nurses move, gurneys come in, IVs get clogged, IVs beep, meds flow freely.  Oncology kids are getting tested for Corona.  The screams I hear are piercing.  It is protocol in these uncertain times.  I get that and respect that.  Honestly, I’m glad they are taking precautions but still.  This is hard.

Lost Count

I have lost count at how many pokes, flushes, bp checks, temp checks, weight checks that he has had.  How many drugs have flowed through his little body, yet it still tremors.  Countless questions about why he isn’t in remission and will it ever happen.  Then countless answers of “Brandi, accept this.  This is as good as he will get.”  The uncertainty of what is to come as he gets older.  I am overwhelmed with grief.

Don’t Get Me Wrong

He has come SO far.  I mean, he is no longer in a wheelchair.  He can walk from point A to point B.  I don’t ever want to sound ungrateful.  Yet, if you have never had a child who has a condition and monthly treatments, then you don’t truly understand what we go through.  I can still be humbled and grateful while still mourning his health.  Does that make sense?  It does to me.

There are 2 people, on this Earth, who actually know what we have been through.  Those people are Hunter and me.  No one else has walked this path.  My husband and children have seen a lot.  Other people have seen what I have allowed them to see.  I don’t break often but when I do, I know it is pitiful.  Those who love me want to remind me and comfort me and point me to the cross.  I truly appreciate that.

Yet

There is a deep-seated pain that is always present.  The constant feeling of “what next or when do we have to use the big meds again?” How I watch him move and analyze every single tremor.  Fear that sets in when someone comes in my house that has been sick.  I live in fear.  Yes, I know fear is a liar.  I know that God is bigger.  Also, I know that He has a plan and a purpose.  I know that Hunter is healed due to the stripes on Jesus’ back.

I know.

Sadly, I know that I’m human.  Fallible.  Subject to listening to the lies of satan.  I know the blessings.  The strides he has made.  I am totally aware.  Honestly, I’m just tired.  I am so tired.  This journey, I want to end.  Not necessarily for me but for him.  I don’t want him to tremor, have rages, OCD, treatments, exhaustion, fear, uncertainty.

I Am Not Crying.

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