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My Review of… Rotator Cuff Surgery

18 Jan

I mentioned a few months ago that I was having rotator cuff surgery.  So my surgery was on Dec 5.  I honestly thought I’d have a lot more use of my right arm, but it was completely useless.  Thus, my complete and total absence from this blog for the last 2 months basically.  When they gave me the sling that I’d be wearing for 6 weeks, I was a bit flabergasted.  Honestly, it was not what I was expecting.  This is what mine looked like.

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Keep in mind, I had to wear this when I slept, I was only allowed to take it off to shower and change. In my surgery, this was what all I had done: I had my rotator cuff repaired, my bicep tendon moved, bursitis removed and bone spurs removed.  And with all of that, I have 3 tiny scars that are just a few centimeters each and one scar that is just about an inch long.  All very tiny.  Oh, and a very handsome doctor 🙂  Lucky me.

I was trying to decide if this was worse than being on crutches (which I’ve had to deal with twice in my life).  I thought that crutches would be worse, and it a lot of ways they are, but honestly, both suck.  I was more mobile with the sling obviously, but I could do very little for myself, especially at first.  I don’t know how anyone could possibly go through this without a lot of help.  I thought I’d be left on my own more, but boy am I glad my mom knew better.  She was with me a lot, I could not have changed or showered without her for the first few weeks.  And I still have very limited mobility and have about 3 more months of PT in front of me.  They said that I should be back to normal by the beginning of summer.

You would think that with the inability to be able to do anything, I would have watched a lot of movies.  But I spent most of my time catching up on tv shows that I hadn’t watched all season.  I also spent the first week on painkillers, so that time is pretty much gone from my memory.

So for 6 weeks, no cooking, just watching my mom cook or ordering food in.  We did go to see two movies though, Thor (finally) and American Hustle.  Two very different types of movies, both good in their own way.  American Hustle deserves all of the hype that it is getting during this awards season.  I have to give it to both the ladies (Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams), they had to spend the majority of that movie without bras and still put in amazing performances.  I will say that Christian Bale is an amazing actor.  He is one of those method actors who really gets into character.  I gather when he saw pictures of the person that he would be portraying he insisted on having a comb over.  And honestly, that hair is like another character.

And oddly, I only read one book – Gillian Flynn’s Dark Places.  If you’ve read Gone Girl, it’s just as dark as that with a twisty sort of ending.  She really knows how to write for some emotionally messed-up characters.  If you like darker books, you will like this.

So all in all, it was a rather dull 6 weeks.  The sling was uncomfortable more than anything else and I was super happy when it came off this week.  But I’m glad I had this taken care of now, it’s not something that’s going to get better with time, only worse.  And I spent a year with shoulder pain before I had my surgery.  This was a pain in the butt, so avoid injuring your shoulders people.

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Happy Birthday to me!

6 Oct

I turned 35 today.  It just sounds weird.  I don’t know why, but it does.  I’m not bothered by that, I’m happy with my life and I don’t feel old or anything, but it just sounds strange to me.

Anyway, lots of good birthday stuff!  I, like everyone else on Facebook, got lots of happy birthdays, which just makes one feel validated for absolutely no reason at all.

Last night, I went out to eat with Maura and Kirra to a place called Social in Bakery Square.  Overall, I wasn’t especially impressed with the food.  Maura and I shared these fried cauliflower patties and some buffalo chicken dip.  Those were both fine, nothing to write home about, but they were good.  I also ordered these ahi tuna nachos because they sounded interesting.

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I had the flash off, so you can’t really see the tuna, but it was rare and on top of a little guacamole with some red pepper sauce and wasabi sauce on top as well.  They were good, but honestly, I could barely taste the tuna because there was just too much sauce going on.   That’s my only complaint with these.  As Maura and Kirra pointed out though, the presentation was lovely, so I took a picture.

The one thing I will say about being in my mid-30’s is that I don’t like to stay out too late often because I’m a waste the next day.  So, we called it a night early and I was home a little after 10.  Which was great, because that meant I could wake up early and go to spinning at 8:15!

So I did that today then stopped at Starbucks and got myself a birthday pumpkin spice latte (skim milk, no whip of course).  And while there, I saw the cutest little girl.  She was about 2.5-3 and was with her dad.  She had an orange bow on one side of her hair and a pink headband with a large pink flower on the other side of her head.  I just said that it was obviously a 2 hair-bow kinda day.  Also, I saw a guy walking a cat in my neighborhood.  I kid you not.  My birthday was obviously complete at that point, but it was only 10 am!

I then headed over to my mom’s to make lunch/dinner.  I took a little detour to see miss Sarah at my aunt’s house on my way.  I got my birthday hug and got to feed her and see some smiles.  Again, could my birthday get any better?

My mom had been asking me what I wanted to do for my birthday for weeks and I couldn’t think of anything that I really wanted to do.  I finally decided that I simply wanted her stuffed green peppers.  It’s one of those odd meals that my mom makes much better than I do.  I don’t know why, but when I attempt to make this, it’s never as good as when my mom makes it.  So we cooked together today.

First up, we cooked up a combo of ground turkey breast, lean ground beef, diced onion, diced celery, garlic, salt, pepper and lots of italian seasoning.

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Then we added in about a cup of marinara and another 1.5-2 cups of tomato sauce.

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My mom had the last of her peppers from her garden and we used those to stuff.  My mom used to cut the tops off and stuff them standing up, but she found it was easier to cut them in half and lay them down, so we stuffed them that way and topped them with a little tomato paste.

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Eric’s girlfriend Jamie and her two girls came up to eat with us, bringing me a cute pumpkin lantern and a home-made card.  My mom got a small cake for us and they sang to me.  Nothing like having a 6 and 9 year old there for your birthday… as they were leaving, the youngest goes to me… wait, we didn’t watch you open presents.  I was like, oh, honey, you don’t tend to get a lot of wrapped gifts at my age.  She just was looking at me like that must be the worst thing in the world.  Little does she know just having people who love you is more than enough on your birthday.

Oh, and when I said could my birthday get any better, it could.  The bucco’s won!!!  Seriously, it’s October, I haven’t seen the Pirates play on or around my birthday since 1992.  It’s a glorious day.

Manicotti with Chicken and Spinach… and the arrival of Sarah Faith

27 Jul

Earlier this week my cousin and his wife welcomed this little bundle of joy to the world.

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Sarah is amazing and adorable and I could not be more excited for Shaun and Shannon.

As my friends with children tell me, these first few weeks are both wonderful and exhausting.  Sarah will be growing every day, and likely keeping mom and dad up every night.  So to ease the burden a little bit, I’m making them some food to either cook right away or freeze for later.  This is the first installment, Manicotti stuffed with chicken, spinach and ricotta.  Here is the recipe!

1 box Manicotti

16 oz ricotta

2-3 chicken breast (you want about 1.5-2 cups shredded chicken)

1 1/2 Cups Mozzarella (1/2 cup for the mixture, 1 cup for the top)

1 bag fresh spinach (or 1 box frozen)

2 cloves of garlic

1 egg

Italian seasoning

Marinara of choice

To start this, I cooked the chicken in the crock pot, for me, it’s the easiest way to get the chicken to shred and it’s no fuss.

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I brought a pot of water to boil and added the manicotti.  The box says to cook it for 9-10 minutes, I only cooked it for about 5 minutes.  I under-cooked it a little since the manicotti would be baking as well.

While that was going on…

I steamed the fresh spinach and drained it really well (as spinach has a ton of water)

Then I mixed the chicken, ricotta, spinach, egg, garlic and seasoning together.  You know me by now, I suck at measuring, so I assume it was about a tablespoon of seasoning.  Maybe more.

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I poured a little bit of the marinara on the bottom of the aluminum pan I will be delivering this in.

I then washed my hands really well, because using my hands is the easiest way for me to stuff manicotti.  Some people use pastry bags, or ziploc bags, but they never work well enough for me.  Each was stuffed full and placed in the pan.

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I covered that with the rest of the jar of marinara and then a good bunch of mozzarella. I covered it in foil after the mozzarella was added and forgot to take a picture, so this is just with the sauce.

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I covered this and refrigerated it.  Shaun and Shannon can either cook it when I deliver it tomorrow or freeze it if they like.  It should cook for 60 minutes at 350.  The first 45 minutes  should be covered and the last 15 uncovered.

The only thing with freezing it (and it should freeze fine), is to thaw it out in the fridge at least overnight before cooking.

So I hope that they enjoy this one and that it helps take the load off a little bit.  I think I’m going to make them chicken enchiladas later in the week.

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