Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I'm Going to Get Rid of the Knee Pain, Gosh Darn It!

About 8 years ago my left knee started hurting during my high school days of cross country and track. I went to the ortho doc, he told me I have patella tendinitis and gave my a cho-pat strap to wear and do straight leg raises. It didn't help. Five years later I went to another doc...told me I have patella-femoral syndrome sent me to 4 sessions of physical therapy and they gave me a brace to help stabilize my knee. That didn't help. I gave up running 3 years ago, I couldn't walk down stairs afterwards because the pain was so bad. I turned to the elliptical permanently...after 20 minutes I'd get numbness in my leg and knee would still hurt. I went back to the ortho doc (insurance changed, so a different this time). He said my ankles turn inwards and sent me to get orthotics and not to use the former brace. With school I didn't have time to do PT that time... I did notice a little bit of a difference with the orthotics.

Well, where am I know? I haven't gotten new orthotics, so mine are almost two years old. My knee bothers me at rest...after ten minutes of elliptical or biking it's throbbing...I'm way too young for this. I've also noticed my left calf is smaller than my right, so I'm definitely modifying my mechanics to compensate for the pain.

I know I need new orthotics...that's on my to-do list to see a podiatrist the next day I have some time off... I also know ideally I need to do some intensive physical therapy, but as a med student I don't quite have the authority to take time off for PT 3 times a week...

As a product of whatever generation I am...I think it's Y or the millennials, who knows...either way, I turned to the power of Google and found a solution. I kept finding "suggested exercises" but I really wanted a full out exercise program specifically targeting patella-femoral syndrome. Lo and behold, google did not disappoint and I found this e-book. It cost $25 to download, but that's cheaper than 2 co-pays I'd need for the doc appointments. I figured it was a $25 worth spending. I'm really going to dedicate myself to this. I mostly focus my current workouts on cardio to burn calories and I realize this is less cardio. I've come to terms with that. I really hope this works, and I know, I'm not expecting results overnight.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Updated Joe's Desk Photo

My darling husband has a picture of me sitting on his desk. Recently one of our friends saw it and asked when the picture was taken. I had to think about and then my jaw dropped, the picture was taken 10 years ago! It was my class picture from my sophomore year in high school, we started dating the summer after my sophomore year. I replaced it today with one of my trash the dress photos. Joe says he misses my long hair, but fortunately he doesn't expect me to grow it as long as this picture again. Now let's see how long the TTD picture stays on his desk before we update it...another ten years?

Pasta Toss

Here's a pasta toss I made modifying kraft's recipe. I used regular diced tomatoes the first time and I felt it needed more spice, so I added Italian style tomatoes and ground Italian sausage, such a difference and oh so yummy! The spinach scared Joe off from trying it, but I truly believe he'd like it, even if he just picked around the spinach. Oh well, perhaps next time.

What you need:
1 can (14-1/2 oz.) Italian-style diced tomatoes, undrained
2 cups multi-grain penne pasta, uncooked
1 cup water
1 pkg. (9 oz.) baby spinach leaves (7 cups)
I pound of ground Italian Sausage
1 cup KRAFT 2% Milk Shredded Italian* Three Cheese Blend

What I did:

BRING tomatoes, pasta and water to boil in large saucepan; stir. Cover; simmer on medium-low heat 10 min. or just until pasta is tender. In the meantime, brown the sausage in a separate pan.

ADD 1/2 of spinach; simmer, covered, 2 min. or until wilted. Stir. Repeat with remaining spinach. Stir in browned Italian sausage.

SERVE topped with cheese.

Very easy to make and much cheaper than an Italian restaurant =)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

When we get a minivan...

..or an SUV, or whatever we can afford that's large enough to hold our future family, Joe wants to get the "Ass Family" decals. We've yet to decide exactly what "Ass" each of is yet. I'm leaning on smart ass for me since I'm often too sarcastic... Suggestions for Joe?

Jewish Apple Cake Fun

Last weekend I was in quite the cooking mood, I guess that's a decent way to procrastinate at least. I talked Joe into helping me make a Jewish Apple Cake using this recipe. We had a blast! I told Joe when I complain about not spending time together or always doing "his things" we should bake, I think it's a easy fun way to spend time together. I have learned that Joe hasn't done much baking though, but after I explained the difference in abbreviations between a teaspoon and tablespoon, we were all good. To make things a little more ironic, Joe's parents made an Jewish apple cake the same night back in Baltimore.

I must have made quite the impression... the doctor's office last time. Yesterday I went to the doctor's to get a form for school taken care of, yada yada. I've been anemic in the past and more recently I've been extremely tired. My fatigue is likely due to med school, but it doesn't hurt to check my iron levels. Last time I was at the doc's, he wanted to check my iron levels but I passed out on the 3rd stick and said that's enough, no more. Well yesterday the nurse who stuck me once last time didn't even try yesterday, she immediately called in her back-up--the phlebotomist I passed out on last time! I don't think he likes having patients pass out on him...he checked both my arms and both my hands and wasn't satisfied--he proceeded to call in his back up. Well lo and behold, the veteran phlebotomist got me on the first stick and I didn't even bat an eye. She did say my veins are small, a little hard to find, and proceeded to use a butterfly needle...gosh help me and the nurses when I get pregnant and they have to put a larger needle in. Oh well, we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Yummy Coffee!

I'm not the biggest fan of straight coffee flavor and I ran across Folger's Chocolate Silk and it is delicious!! Honestly, it's some of the best coffee ever. You can taste the chocolate but it's not overbearing at least. I definitely recommend it!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Chicken ~N~ Dumplings

Last Sunday was a totally crappy weather day and I really wanted some good ol' warm comfort food. I decided to make chicken and dumplings for the first time and they were much easier than I thought they'd be. I can totally see myself making them again. I basically used this recipe.

First I boiled 3 frozen chicken breasts with some cut onion, a bay leaf, parsley, and garlic for a good 2 hours or so. Next time I'll use 4 chicken breasts and hope I have celery in the house too...

After the chicken finished cooking, I saved the liquid to use as chicken stock to boil the dumplings. I added a little lemon juice and fresh ground pepper. Next time I might use just a little less lemon juice.
I think rolling the dumplings was the most difficult part for me...I have a hard time finding just the amount of flour to prevent the dough from sticking to the pin. Oh well, they still tasted quite yummy.

And here's the final product. Oh, and guess what?! Joe liked them too, gasp! I'm definitely making these again.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sleet in April?

Yes, you read that right... I was definitely not pleased to wake up to a mixture of freezing rain, sleet and snow this morning. Fortunately the roads weren't bad driving into the hospital. Come on weather, I've had enough cold already. Bring back the spring-like days! The weather is definitely another reason I hope I can do my residency somewhere closer to Baltimore and Baltimore's shorter winter. Thinking about the match depresses me though, so I won't think about that just yet...

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Finally the right color (I think)

Now I remember why I went so long before deciding to color my hair again. After the wedding I got highlights, I loved them, but I realized I didn't want to keep spending the money or time to keep getting them done. I tried dying my hair back to my natural color a month ago, but it faded a ton and I noticed my roots yet again. I dyed my hair again today and while I think it looks a little dark, I truly think I finally have it very close to my natural color. I just think it looks dark to me because it's been so light for the past couple of months. We'll see over the next month if I got it right, roots don't lie.

Ghostbusters 3

Joe's day was officially made when they announced they are officially making a Ghostbusters 3. I haven't seen him that excited in a while. I just hope it's as good and he wants it to be.
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