Monday, April 1, 2024

What a 62 year old bachelor makes for Sunday Easter dinner, and a big setback

This is what I had for dinner Easter Sunday:  2 deviled eggs with smoked paprika, some “Tavern Ham” from my local deli (it’s fatty, in a good way), cheesy scalloped potatoes and oven roasted broccoli.

By the way, I used a box mix to make those potatoes; but if you want to make them taste homemade, add 1 whole cup of milk (the directions say to use 2/3) and toss in half a chopped onion.  If you cook them a little extra slow, the chopped onion will ‘meld’ and thicken the sauce in a really delicious way. 

My sister Shawn said I was welcome to tag along with her & Jim to his son Michael and daughter-in-law Jessica’s for Easter dinner, and I love Jessica.  But the facial pain makes things too uncomfortable to do much smiling, let alone socializing. 

But believe me, I would’ve loved to go—since February 21, I’ve only been out of my apartment 5-6 times to go to the grocery store.  And that trip on March 22 to Mercy Hospital.

Like I wrote in my previous post (with that big smiling photo of myself which was a little premature) much of the weird “long covid cranial pressure” has been reduced in my head, which initially gave me some real hope.  But it seems to have traveled down into my face and neck, they’re in bad shape.  I’m trying to reduce the pain and inflammation with hot and cold compresses, and avoiding more pills unless it’s absolutely necessary. 

But it’s becoming too much for me.  I think as soon as I hit publish on this thing, I’m going to get some aspirin or something.

I’m sorry for continuing to share all this, I’m just in disbelief I’ve been dealing with this for the last 3 months.  It’s creepy how much it reminds me of TMJ, maybe it’s becoming that.   

I only ate a portion of the meal I made above, then gave up and wrapped some ice in a towel to put on my face and laid back down the rest of the day.

Again, I’m sorry for sharing all of this and I hope everyone reading this had a nice Easter.  I’m just angry, depressed, worried how long this is going to continue.

A few days ago my sister Shawn wrote and said she’s hoping by May, things will be better on both our ends and I can come down and just hang out.  It was such a nice letter on her part, I miss seeing her and her husband Jim.  I sure hope things are better by May and I can visit with them and be my old self again.

And get back to the senior center and back to blogging about happier things. 

Thanks for reading, you guys have been great.

54 comments:

  1. I'll need to catch up with your blog. I certainly hope the pain lessens and disappears. I had intense pain in my back and one leg for about two days and was absolutely miserable. I am saying a prayer for you.

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    1. I'm sorry about own pain dealings Ann. Thank you for this nice comment.

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  2. Dang! I thought you were on the mend. Share away, we all have problems and it makes them a little easier to bear if we can just talk about them with someone else. Consider us readers your therapists! lol
    Our Easter dinner was similar to yours. We had a small ham, broccoli and we tried those Vermont cheddar Idahoan mashed potatoes you reviewed. We enjoyed them. I've used the plain ones for years but probably wouldn't have tried the flavors without your suggestion, so thanks!

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    1. Thanks very much Bobi, much appreciated. And I sure enjoyed reading about your trying those potatoes, how awesome. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  3. Hope you get to feeling better soon and can enjoy normal life. I have discovered that getting old is no fun at all :)

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    1. Thank you ladybug. And I have to agree with you about getting old.

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  4. For me the anxiety of a physical illness , living alone and having no one there to help or reassure , makes it harder. And pain is unrelenting and exhausting. I am so sorry this is happening to you . Maybe check in with your Doctors again ? Do you have a balcony where you could sit in the sun ? I wish you better days, and soon
    Siobhan x
    And well done for cooking when you feel so ill !

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    1. This was such a kind message (and a very true one) thanks Siobhan. To be honest, I don't believe doctors can do much at this point besides prescribe drugs. I think it just needs time. But thank you again and I very much hope you’re in good spirits.

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  5. Well, your meal looked great! Too bad you didn't eat all of it. Aren't you glad you don't have to care for another person in addition to yourself? The stress of being a caregiver has made my BP shoot up (160/100) and the doc had doubled my Telmisarten.

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    1. Gigi, thank you and my gosh yes I am fortunate I don't have anyone relying on me right now. I didn't realize things with you were so stressful right now, glad you're monitoring your blood pressure. We need our Queen Gigi for a long time to come.

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  6. Your Easter meal looked delicious. Sorry you couldn't eat it all, sorrier for your pain. I hope this situation leaves you soon. It can be rough being home alone with a misery, Hope the universe sends you relief soon, now, yesterday. Hugs,

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  7. Hi Doug. It must be so discouraging. You've battled this for so long, and still not out of the woods. The social isolation that comes with an illness that hangs on is especially hard to deal with.

    But we are all here, rooting for you. So glad you have this blogging community to
    help you feel a little less lonely (hopefully!). Thanks for letting us all know how you are doing. Sending healing thoughts your way.

    Carole

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    1. Carole this was so nice of you to say, thanks so much.

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  8. Oh dear, I'm so sorry to hear of this set back; and the not knowing how long it will last is terribly anxiety producing I'm sure. I'd be back on the phone to that nice doctor - maybe adjusting the drugs could help!

    Ceci

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    1. Thanks Ceci. Well, the drug he prescribed did reduce the inflammation in my brain, but I guess it had to go somewhere. I think this just needs time. Most people with this affliction deal with it fir 6 months or longer.

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  9. Seeing your box of potatoes reminded me that I have been wanting to let you know how much we have enjoyed the Idahoan Scalloped Potatoes that I found at our grocer.

    I had bought Betty Crocker in the past, when I did buy a potato product, but was never too impressed. Your high recommendation of Idahoan made me stop and take notice and now I have bought the scalloped potatoes twice and we love them.

    I took your hint and used a cup of milk, and I also upped the butter to a half cube (1/4 cup) which I melted in the water I boiled for the mix. I cut the water back since I was using more butter and milk. I put it all in the oven and baked until the top was browned. We find these potatoes are even better reheated the second time around. Delicious. Thank you for suggesting Idahoan. They should pay you.

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    1. Well, this just made my day! Thank you so much for sharing dkzody and YES I like these so much better than Betty Crocker too! I would love to do an Idahoan commercial, it'd certainly be an honest one ๐Ÿ˜„

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  10. Dear Doug, So sorry to hear the sturggle with pain and coping continues. Even though you say it just needs time, I'm sure you keep wondering - how much time?! Not apologies need, as others have said. All of us out here in the blog reading and/or writing world are concerned and appreciate that you feel comfortable sharing the good and the bad. Some of us even say a prayer. Take care and may you soon be sitting in the sun and visiting with Shawn and Jim. Kim in PA

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    1. This was so nice to read, thank you Kim. It does give me anxiety as a few years ago I had something very similar, TMJ. Many of the same facial Pain symptoms, unable to chew, Etc. It lasted a long time, I'm just not anxious to relive all that. But your words here very nice and much appreciated.

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  11. Doug, I am so sorry this post Covid cr%p is continuing for you. Don’t worry about sharing what is your life now. We all care about you and hate feeling so helpless in helping you deal with it. Fingers crossed you and Shawn can spend some time together next month. Chuck and I spent Saturday with my two siblings and their spouses and my Mum at an Easter/Mum’s 90th birthday party. It was great to see everyone. Everyone there has had Covid in the last year or so. My sister has never regained her ability to taste anything. I keep forgetting to look for your brand of instant potatoes! Your dinner looks fabulous, sorry you couldn’t finish it all.
    Take care Doug and know we all are thinking of you.❤️
    Robin

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    1. Well this was certainly nice to read, thank you Robin. I'm so glad you and Chuck got to spend time with family, and that is so awesome about your Mom. I am sorry to read that about your sister though, I know that's a real thing that a lot of people struggle with. I certainly hope she gets hers back in time. Thank you again for the kind thoughts, I appreciate what you said here very much.

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  12. That dinner looks delicious, Doug! I'm sorry you could only eat part of it. But I'm especially frustrated for you that the pain continues and that your life is so horribly disrupted. I want you to get your activities back!! Thinking of you, my friend. xoxo

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    1. Thanks so much Margaret, I appreciate that food compliment as unlike your John or older daughter, I am no cook. But I appreciate your frustration too, as I know you mean it. I think it's just a matter of time. I hope you had a nice Easter, I need to check out your blog. Thank you again my friend.

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  13. Sorry your recovery is taking so long, Doug. Have heard so many stories of COVID overstaying it's unwelcome. Anyway you have plenty of well-wishers including yours truly. And thanks for reminding me to look for those instant scalloped potatoes on my grocery run tomorrow! I would have loved your Easter dinner (minus the ham). I think I had beans on toast. Ha! Thanks for the update. Better days ahead!!

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    1. Florence, your comments always cheer me up--thanks very much my dear friend. To be honest, beans on toast sounds pretty good right now. :^)

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  14. I’m sorry your problems are taking so long to fix, or even to ease somewhat. More thoughts beaming your way.

    This 78 year old bachelor had an Easter lunch that was quite different. I had gravlax on potatoes Anna (thinly sliced and arranged in a floret pattern on a cast iron pan. Cooked in a really hot oven for half an hour or so). A little dob of sour cream on top with some dill snipped over it.
    With that a fine chardonnay from the Yarra Valley (just outside of Melbourne).

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    1. Thanks very much Maestro, I'm sure I'll be good by May. This has gone on long enough. And your potatoes sounded positively wonderful. You make me feel like a hillbilly! :^)

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  15. Darn it, Doug. I was really hoping that the pain was lessening. Don't try to tough it out, if you need pain meds, take them. Debilitating pain often causes depression as you've indicated you are experiencing.
    Fingers crossed this is gone well before May arrives. Take care of yourself.
    P.S. Easter dinner here was grilled cheese sandwiches and French Fries. I'm definitely not a traditionalist.

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    1. Thank you Maebeme, appreciate the advice. And your Easter dinner gave me a big smile too. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  16. My heart aches for you. I know a woman who contracted covid before the vaccine, who became a victim of long covid. The Cleveland Clinic has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on treatments for her resulting problems. And my twenty something granddaughter who caught covid from her has wound up short of breath and using an inhaler. In short, it's uglier than sin.

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    1. My gosh, I sure am sorry to hear that Joanne. Your poor granddaughter! Thank you fir the kind thoughts.

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  17. Every time I see a new post, I come here hoping to see that you're getting pass this. I'm sorry that you're not. I hope that you can continue to get treatment from the doctor who will listen.

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    1. Debby, that was an ER doc... but I doubt I'm chasing anymore doctors for this. I did that 5 years ago for something similar TMJ and they couldn't do anything then either.

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  18. I am so sorry that you couldn't eat all of that delicious meal. On the other hand, you now have delicious leftovers, so there's that. I really wish whatever is going on with you would just go away overnight and stay away. You've been through so much, it seems unfair.

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    1. Thanks very much River, it's just some awful waiting game.

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  19. I am surprised that it's hanging on so long. I do hope you will be giving your fans better news in the near future, dear friend. You don't deserve this.

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    1. Thank you DJan. From what I've read these long covid afflictions can hang on for a year. Right now I don’t know what to think.

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  20. Doug, you just keep posting, and know all your readers out here are hoping and wishing you could get past this extended painful illness. The body is supposed to heal itself; we all hope it will do so soon!
    Mike

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    1. Thanks very much Mike, I really needed to hear this. I agree, as long as it's not "the big C" then I know I'll get past this. Thanks again.

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  21. So sorry to hear of the continued pain. It sounds relentless. Your meal looks yummy. Hoping symptoms start easing SOON. Sending good thoughts, Olivia.

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  22. Since I'm late reading this and commenting I imagine my comment may go to spam, but I'm posting anyway, Dug, just to let you know I'm thinking about you and continue to pray for this long covid of yours to heal. My cousin caught it back in the beginning of the pandemic and still has to use oxygen (but he is in his 70's). You mentioned aspirin in your blog... be sure to check as to whether aspirin or Tylenol might be best (when combined with your meds). Take care, my friend and keep us updated. I too look for your posts.

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    1. Thanks very much Rian, you're very sweet and I'm glad we're friends. ๐Ÿ˜Š

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  23. Wow that really looks delicious!

    The lady in charge of all the luncheons at my church would always use those exact potatoes. She passed away suddenly in August.

    Happy eating!

    Beth

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    1. Very sorry about your luncheon lady, Beth. She had good taste.

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  24. Living with this ongoing pain with no end in sight seems totally wrong and unacceptable. The docs need to do something. What is the plan? If plan A does not work they need to do something else. Do they just not know what to do? My "Economist" magazine is publishing articles about AI and the medical field. They state AI will analyze medical data unlike we've seen before and the diagnostic capability will improve care for everybody. I've got to believe somebody out there knows how to solve your problem. Currently, finding the solution it is like finding a needle in the haystack. Your dinner looks terrific...now if you could only be pain-free.

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    1. Thanks very much Susan. I wish someone could do something, but this just takes me back to 2018 when I developed TMJ. Saw lots of specialists, no one could do a thing. It just takes time. I'm sure 50 years from now stuff like this will be far easier to manage, but for now I don't see a lot of Hope. All I can do is wait it out.

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  25. Your meal looks great! Sadly, there are some things that don’t have an easy answer. You know I have Trigeminal neuralgia ( controlled) , well I also have another cranial nerve problem, hemi facial spasms. I get medical Botox every three months. It slows most of the spasms but freezes my face so I can’t smile right and when it’s fresh my eyelid doesn’t close all the way causing dry eye and watering. It is extremely frustrating. The time before last I told the neurologist not to inject my cheek and I was able to smile and got a couple of good pictures with my grandchildren. But the spasms aggravated my TN, ugh! The thought of getting these injections forever makes me sick. The only other option is a brain surgery, which is out of the question for me. So I know where you are coming from. Do what you can, as you can and accept that you may have to live with it, then be thankful when it goes away. ☺️. Joyce

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    1. Thank you Joyce, I was hoping to hear from you as I know you suffer with trigeminal neuralgia and I begun to wonder if mine was developing into that. I sure am sorry you have that condition, just dreadful. I'd be interested to hear more about it sometime. I appreciate your advice and I will take it to heart.

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    2. Another thing you can try is meditation. It takes you away for a while. I like the YouTube channel The Mindful Movement. They have playlists for pain, sleep, anxiety, etc. I’m happy if I can help a little. Joyce

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    3. Thanks Joyce I will definitely check that out tonight. It sounds intriguing.

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  26. Hope this Thursday finds you feeling better - just a thought ( which you can happily ignore - no pressure ! ) I find using essential oils really helpful - I use a brand called Doterra , specifically an oil called Serenity - you can use it in a diffuser , burner on applied direct to your skin ( in small amounts ) I like the smell
    And if it doesn’t always make me feel better I can luxuriate in the knowledge that I smell wonderful
    Might be worth a try ?
    Siobhan x

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    1. Thank you Siobhan, I've actually been meaning to look into essential oils for awhile, I appreciate the suggestion and your examples. It sounds good to me. ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope you’re doing well.

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