Categories
Cooking diet food health lactose free recipes

BBQ Beef Burgers

I originally wrote about making pork burgers waaaay back when I lived in Korea. Ground pork was significantly cheaper than ground beef so we made do with the pork and adapted a lot of recipes to suit. This was also back before I discovered I was gluten and lactose intolerant so I refer to my love of cheese a lot in my original post. I miss you cheese. 

But alas, life moves on and now that I’ve been in Canada five years, we tend to buy more ground beef than ground pork nowadays. 

Also our summers here are awesome…when they eventually arrive #isthissecondwinter…and we have a deck and a BBQ and a liquor store within walking distance. It would almost be illegal if we didn’t fire up some burgers every now and then! 

BBQ Beef Burgers (can sub pork if you want) 

Makes 4 burgers

500g Ground Beef

1/2tsp salt

1/2tsp pepper 

2-3tbls Tomato Ketchup (we use No-Sugar Tomato Ketchup) 

3/4 cup breadcrumbs – can be gluten free

2tbs BBQ Seasoning (we like Sharples Ranch Smoky Barbeque Rub or Barbeque Belt Chicken & Rib Rub – but for real, you can use any. Experiment.) 

1. With wet hands, mix together all ingredients until they come together nicely

2. Form into four balls and flatten into burger shapes or use a burger press to make them all uniform. 

3. Grill to your liking. 

These freezer sooooo well! Once you’ve formed them into the patty shape, simply place them, uncooked, in a Ziploc baggie, separating each patty with some parchment paper. Label and freeze. I like to make 8-10 burgers at a time and freeze them all. They make easy weekday dinners such as the classic burger and fries or Loco Moco. 

Click for more recipes!

Categories
Canada funny health humor leep

That time I almost had surgery, then didn’t….and then did….

So remember a few months back I told you about how I was convinced my foo was trying to kill me and the doctors thought they were wrong but I was going back for a retest anyway…you know, because doctors like to make sure everything is cool?

Well. 

They weren’t wrong. 

Everything is not cool. 

F*ck. 

So now instead of being the friend who got the dreaded-bad-results-PAP only for it to turn out to be incorrect and perfectly fine, I’m the friend who had the dreaded-bad-results-PAP was told actually you’re fine and then told not quite and then…oh people, it’s a story. 

Bring wine. 

The day after this post was published, I went back for my retest biopsy. Same routine. Vinegar on foo, sting sting sting because I shaved the night before – don’t do that – then snip snip snip, then wait wait wait. It was during this waiting period, I ended up at a walk-in clinic for an unrelated reason and SAW my results on the computer. It said HSIL and the word ‘sarcoma’…

I mentioned the results to the doctor. She turned and said ‘Oh, they are going to need to talk to you.’ – referring to the colposcopy clinic. 

Now, if you ever have results you are unsure of and your walk-in doctor advises you to call your actual doctor, you should do that and not do what I did.

Which was Google it.

And then cry.

And drink vodka.

And cry some more. 

There are no oat cookies in this story. Just vodka. 

The biopsy was on November 8th and after what seemed like an entire lifetime – like we literally decided to buy a house, bought a house, went to Disneyland on vacation and then moved into said house by the time they called on November 30th. It was a weird month. After some minor chitchat about results, they quickly scheduled me for LEEP surgery a week later Dec 8th.

Ugh. 

Like….

Ugh. 

I get a pre-surgery call from the nurse to talk me through things. 

Her: ‘And then they will inject you with numbing agent, just like at the dentist.” 

Me: ‘That’s not where they inject me at the dentist….’ 

And

Her: ‘Do you have your pamphlet?’ 

Me: ‘The yellow pamphlet?’ 

Her: ‘Yeah! The yellow pamphlet.’ 

ME: ‘No…I lost the yellow pamphlet.’ 

My nurse was done with me before I even went to the hospital! 

Skip forward to a week later, The Canadian One takes the day off work and we both head into the hospital for the ol’ LEEP. I get there, sign the consent forms, quickly decline The Canadian One viewing the surgery because, again, NO ONE needs to see their foo on the ‘big screen’, and I’m whisked into the room with the stirrups. 

The nurse had shown me several pictures of what will happen – cartoon style. The last picture had the woman’s cervix looking completely normal. 

Me: ‘Oh, it grows back? I didn’t know that. That’s cool.” 

Her: ‘Oh, no. It doesn’t. That’s…just a picture.’ 

Me: ‘That’s misleading.’ 

Nurse: ‘You’re not the first person to say that….’ 

She hates me. 

I get into my gown, my phone starts to ring, I accidentally answer it and then hang up. I found out later it was my family doctor trying to call another Jennifer and called me by accident. I shake like a leaf as I get up on the table and have some kinda grounding sticker stuck to my ass. Another nurse tries to talk to me. She’s all soothing and nice until….

Her: ‘You know sometimes, we work ourselves up and it’s really not that bad.’ 

Me: ‘Or you Google it.” 

Her, dead serious: ‘Yeah, that was stupid.’ 

I laughed so hard I almost peed. 

The doctor comes in, stirrups, vinegar, iodine, looks around inside the foo-dome and THEN TURNS the big screen towards me. 

What? 

No. 

Why? 

What are we…Why is…WOW, I missed a lot of areas when I shaved…is that…hmmm, so that’s what it looks like in there…that’s….why are we looking at this? 

Doctor: ‘You see this area?’ – pointing at an area of my cervix…I assume. God, it was all so pink and…pink…but there was a largish area of white. I assume that’s the bit that’s actively trying to kill me. 

Me: ‘..yes?’ 

Doctor: ‘It is too large to be removed. We need to refer you to the cancer ward for general anesthetic.’ 

Me: ‘The….What?’ 

Head. Desk. Now. 

Turns out the area that was mistakenly diagnosed as bad then fine then bad now needed more extensive surgery than me being awake would allow. 

Someone will call you in around 8-10 weeks to schedule the appointment, they said. If they don’t, call us back. 

Yep. 

Like….

Yep.

Ugh. 

F*ck. 

Although, having not had surgery, we decided to go Christmas shopping at the mall. As soon as we got there, I realized I would have rathered have the surgery.

Daisy, our new puppy!

#alltheregrets

So Christmas comes and goes. We got a puppy, I got a new job – a promotion, it’s awesome – and life kinda meanders along, me waiting for the phone, the 7 month old lab retriever thinking 2am on a work night is party time. 

Smash cut to Monday of this week – today is Thursday for anyone reading this not on the day it’s published. I call the clinic to find out if there’s any updates on my surgery. I have a new job, I want to give plenty of notice that I will betaking a few days off. I call and leave a voicemail and they call me back. 

And here’s where my full-on complaint to AHS kicks in. I spoke to the rudest woman I have ever spoken to in my life. She started off telling me she doesn’t know who I am despite me leaving my full name, spelling of my name and phone number and reason for calling on the voicemail – I explain again and she says ‘well, I don’t have your chart and I don’t know where it is’. I’ve been to this clinic 5 times for biopsies and once for an aborted LEEP, this clinic has a file on me. She said doesn’t know why I would call her, I should call my surgeon for my OR time. MY. SURGEON. Like…ugh. I explain I don’t have a surgeon – cos who does – and that her clinic was supposed to give me my OR date and if they didn’t I was to call in 8-10 weeks. It had been 10 weeks. She said I was a ‘non-priority’, she, again, ‘didn’t understand why I was even calling’ and that she thought ‘LEEP in the OR shouldn’t even be an option for people’. I explained it wasn’t really MY choice to have this done and I initially had been scheduled for being awake…you know, writing this is just making me mad again. Basically she didn’t have my chart, didn’t know who I was and made me sit on the phone and defend a diagnosis she didn’t agree with that a doctor at her clinic made. I cried after that phone call. It was awful. 

She also spend a lot of time on the phone repeatedly asking why I was calling her. BECAUSE. YOUR. CLINIC. TOLD. ME. TO. 

Also who chooses to have a LEEP?!

Who? 

Like you know what would be fun to do today, a LEEP?! YES, OMG YAY, LET’S DO THAT. 

Bitch.

I wrote a complaint to AHS because no adult should be made to feel bad about their diagnosis and for following a clinic’s instructions. 

I await their response. 

As it turns out, she didn’t have my chart because I was already transferred to the cancer centre so I called them instead. The nurse wasn’t available until Tuesday so I waited until the next day. 

9am, she calls. I’m scheduled for the next day. Valentine’s day. 

No, really. 

The. Very. Next. Day.

Like, yesterday. 

Yesterday, I had a LEEP, cone biopsy and LASER surgery in the OR.

Yesterday. 

With less than 24 hours notice. 

No wait, that’s a lie, I had 26hrs and 20mins of notice. Which is fine, my work was cool about it and 26hrs is enough time to shave your legs but still…

It was all very simple. Check in. Meet some very nice nurses. Befriended the girl waiting next to me. Both wallow in the fact that it was 2:20pm and, having fasted since midnight, we were both starving. I was promised a sandwich after by my nurse. 

I got into my gown and booties and was sent back out into the waiting area to The Canadian One. I ran back out to him: “LOOK AT MY BOOTIES!!!! Gimme your phone!!!” They had taken my phone from me. 

My super sexy surgery booties!

Eventually, after 4 hours of waiting and convincing myself I was going to die from starvation – and messing up parking so we ended up paying $29 – I got called into the OR for my surgery. I chitchatted with the nurse about my puppy, she showed me pictures of her puppy and poof, I was in recovery. 

I was dizzy and confused. It was like falling asleep during a movie and waking up during the end credits like…wait…what happened. I still don’t know what happened at the end of American Made. I should really just Google it. 

I was soon offered my sandwich but couldn’t eat it as ya know, the gluten and dairy thing but the nurses found me an apple juice. After peeing, going through one and half baggies of liquid in my IV and then getting the IV out, I was free to go home. 

Nurse: ‘How’s your pain?’

Me: ‘My hand hurts.’

Nurse: ‘That doesn’t count.’ 

Me: ‘Then it’s ok.’

Nurse: ‘Do you want a barf bag for the ride home?’

Me: ‘No. I am starving. I don’t think I’ll be throwing up.’

Me, post surgery and lookin’ slightly more than regular-Irish-girl pale

I made The Canadian One drive me straight to Five Guys from the hospital for an after-surgery burger in a lettuce wrap and fries. It was glorious. Then he picked up the puppy from daycare and we binge watched Shameless US for the night. 

Six more months until my follow-up biopsy and the all-clear….

Back to #waiting for me.

And vodka. 

Waiting and vodka. 

And cramping. 

Waiting and vodka and cramping. 

Quick poll: It’s almost 3pm in the afternoon, can one sustain themselves post-surgery on gummy bears and vodka?

#askingforafriend

Categories
Canada comedy funny health humor

You know how I’m convinced my foo is trying to kill me…

So I talk a lot about how I am convinced my foo is trying to kill me. Every month, my period rolls ’round and I tell this website, Facebook, Twitter, my friends, my cats, The Canadian One, anyone who’ll listen that I am convinced that my foo and all it’s connecting parts including but not limited to the main foo-dome (or uterus if you’re a doctor) is actively trying to kill me.

Sure, I dull it with heat pads and vodka and painkillers and, did I mention Vodka, but yet still, it downs me each month and costs me a valuable sick day I could be using as vacation time.

It tries to kill me. Snuff me out. Steal my energy and make me eat all the oat cookies.

THEN it makes me cry because there are no more oat cookies.

And then I feel sick because you’re not supposed to bake and eat 12 oat cookies in 30 minutes.

To sum up, I was/am/will forever be convinced my foo wants me dead.

So imagine my surprise when I found out that that might actually be true.

I’m not nuts.

It IS trying to kill me.

Ok, lemme back up.

So about 3 years ago, I had a serious of failed PAP tests – always a fun time – and I was sent off to the colposcopy clinic where I had a series of biopsies. These fun lil let’s-rinse-you-out-with-vinegar-and-cut-off-slivers-of-your-skin tests resulted in a ‘low grade changes’ result. Other than ‘You’re 100% healthy’, one would assume that’s the next best thing.

I was sent home and told to return in 6 months.

I returned.

We vinegared up the foo and got to snipping. THIS time I remembered to take Motrin before the test so it went muuuuuch better than the first one. The results were the same as the first so I waited another 6 months.

Again, I returned. Motrined up. We biopsied. We got the same results. However as it was my third visit, I was offered the chance to watch the foo biopsy on the big screen.

I politely declined.

No one wants to see their foo magnified up on the big screen.

No. One.

This time, since there were no changes in results from the first time, I was released back to my family doctor.

FREEDOM!

I was told I needed 3 more all-clear PAPs in 18 months to be considered fine.

Over the next year, I collected 2 fully fledged perfectly healthy PAP tests (and a yeast infection from some ear infection medicine because….ugh…life).

And then came the third.

‘You have HSIL. You need to return to colposcopy.’ 

Like…COME ON!! #soclose

I was told what this meant. There was a possibility of ‘pre-cancer’ and a LEEP. I would need time off work. I had a wedding coming up in the USA. This was seriously going to interfere with all this. I cried on the train and began to miss my sunglasses. My face seriously puffs up when I cry. I can’t watch puppy videos at work. Ever.

Now here is where I went wrong.

I Googled.

I literally cannot stress this enough: DO. NOT. GOOGLE. LEEP. SURGERY. And then hit images. Don’t. Just…don’t.

The Canadian One threatened to confiscate my phone. He, at regular intervals, would send me gifs of Michael Scott yelling NOOOOOO.

The only thing that calmed me down was a Reddit thread where people explained it actually wasn’t that bad and that you shouldn’t Google it.

Reddit.

Reddit, the place I turned to last year when there was a Red Bull shortage in Calgary. (That’s true, you can probably still find my question. I have no idea how to log into Reddit so it must still be there)

Two weeks later, I find myself in the colposcopy clinic again. Feet cold in the stirrups, happy I remembered a pad and took the Motrin, staring at the ceiling, the big screen, declining the offer to watch, chitchatting with the nurse about summer plans (it was my fourth, I knew the drill).

The doctor said she saw some HSIL, we talked about my trip to the USA, when my LEEP would be, when the biopsy results would be back to see how deep the abnormal cells go.

Two weeks later I get the call.

Results are in.

That was quick. The last time I had to call them.

‘Oh my God, it’s bad.’ I say.

‘You don’t know that. We said we would call either way.’ said the nurse, no air of emotion in her voice. I had no idea if she was calling with good or bad news.

She confirmed I am who I say I am and then said it.

All the biopsies were perfectly normal. The PAP was wrong.

What the sh*t?! – Actual Quote

After swearing at her a few more times and then apologizing several times and making her explain again…and again what she meant by ‘all clear’…I thanked her, arranged my 6 month follow up to check that the biopsy results were consistent and hung up.

So now I’m left in this position: Either my PAP was wrong and I’m that friend you get to tell all your other friends about who’s PAP was wrong and she was fine.

Or I’m not fine, the biopsy was wrong and I am f*cked.

My 6 month follow up is tomorrow…

Ugh, I need an oat cookie.