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Just another Weird, Weird Day

“My MS is not your MS and your MS is weird.”

Brilliant, semi-famous quote written by me

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Your MS is weird.  And sometimes, I suppose, mine is too.  Life with MS is certainly weird.  And then there are weird people and weird circumstances.  Recently, all this weirdness converged on what should have been a relatively normal, unweird day.

I dropped my mom off for a doctor’s appointment and then left to run an errand.  When I returned to the office and she wasn’t ready I made myself comfortable with an engrossing book. As I sat my throat grew dry and I noticed a water cooler in the corner of the waiting room. I kept meaning to drink some but just couldn’t leave my compelling read.  After this sentence, no, after this paragraph, definitely after this chapter, I will get up and get some water.ID-10056064

But my mom poked her head into the room and nodded at me, which caused the nurse behind her to motion me to follow them.

This was concerning. My mom is very private and hates medical stuff.  If I was needed in her appointment it could be a bad sign.  Turns out, it was simple miscommunication.  Her wave was meant to tell me that she wasn’t quite done but the nurse took it as an invite and insisted I join them.

“Well, you’re here now so you might as well stay,” my mom said.

I sat in a chair opposite the doctor’s desk and my mom sat on the table.  The doctor entered and my mom introduced us. I was surprised by his strong Greek accent as my mother had never mentioned it before.  I could barely understand him but it didn’t matter- it wasn’t my appointment.

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Since I was stuck there I thought I would listen even if I only understood one out of twenty words he said.  I managed to grasp that he was talking about sodium; ie salt, ie the stuff that makes fast food taste good.  He wanted my mom to cut down on sodium.  He wanted this so much that he kept talking about it, a lot.

At least I think that’s what he was talking about.

But he seemed to address most of his talking to me.  So what if I happened to be munching on potato chips- again, it wasn’t my appointment.

(Kidding.  I wasn’t munching on anything but was completely regretting not grabbing that water when I had the chance.)

He told my mom he had something for us.  He left and came back holding a loaf of bread.  He manipulated the plastic bag the bread came in so that a slice was near the opening and he insisted I take it and split it with my mom.  It was an order and I guess the reasoning was to suggest we now eat this particular brand of low sodium bread.ID-100151613

I gave my mom half the slice but didn’t know what to do with my half.  I nibbled on it because that’s what the doctor seemed to want but it was like sawdust in my mouth.  I was trying not to choke.

There was a trash bin in his office but throwing my half away seemed rude.  Without salt it didn’t seem very crumbly. Should I scrunch it up and shove it into my pocketbook?

The whole thing seemed odd.  I’d never had a doctor, even one of my own, offer me a snack before.   I thought of how when I go to church and my priest offers me bread he’s polite enough to also offer some wine to accompany it.  Could I ask this doctor for wine?  What’s the sodium level in wine?

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He then said that we should only get 150 mg of sodium a day.  While he was stating this he was also pointing to a chart that recommended 1500 mg a day.  I was more confused than ever and was now super afraid of salt and hoped he knew the Heimlich as I tried desperately to finish my half slice of bread.   This seemed like major medical weirdness to me.

Outside his office, it was past lunchtime and despite the snack my mom and I were both hungry.  But I couldn’t think of a single place to go for lunch that wasn’t a salt trap designed to suck us in.  My mom suggested a place and I agreed to go there but was firm.

“Mom, we can go there but I’m going to tell the waitress that we don’t need menus as we will have water and plain lettuce for lunch, no dressing.”ID-100182547

“Good for you,” she said.  “I’m getting a menu.”

I stopped in front of the placard that said “Please wait to be seated” and read the specials board looking for anything that wasn’t filled with evil sodium.

My mom made her way into the restaurant and chose a table.  What was she doing?  We were supposed to wait to be seated as the sign clearly stated when I read it again.  I scolded her and she came back.  She also read the sign which in her reading said, “Please seat yourself.”

How did the sign change its wording in the seconds between my reading it twice and my mom reading it?    Since I’ve been able to read since 1st grade, I decided that the sign changing itself was a clear case of multiple sclerosis weirdness.

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After errands I dropped my mom off and headed home.  Thinking about health issues and my MS lack of reading skill issues had me wiped.  But I just had to go to the post office before I rested.  Who knows what was waiting for me in my mailbox- the Publisher’s Clearing House notice of my one million dollar winnings?

An invitation from Bradley Cooper to be his date at the premiere of his new movie?

Free tickets to the dream vacation of my choice?

Fatigue was not going to keep me from missing such important mail!

I collected my exciting mail- the water bill- and then got back into my car which refused to start.  Try as I might, I absolutely could not turn the key in the ignition.

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I struggled.

I forced.

I whined.

I took deep breaths and tried again.

And again.

There were many strong looking males in the parking lot, the type that looked like they might know a lot about cars, but I was too tired, too shy, too independent, too WIMPY to ask for help.  I preferred to sulk instead.

After about 20 minutes of this I called AAA.  I answered all the nice agent’s questions.

“Did you make sure the car is in park?”

Of course I did.

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“Did you jiggle the steering wheel?”

Of course I didn’t.

I jiggled and turned the key and the car started.  It was then that I remembered this same thing had happened to me twice before and jiggling the steering wheel was the mysterious answer.  But I had forgotten this trick.  Automotive weirdness.

Back at home I figured I had earned myself a snack, something crunchy.  I was proud that I had recently purchased something from Trader Joes that was sure to satisfy AND be healthy.  It was a bag called Crunchy Curls– a potato and lentil snack.ID-100132490

I checked the sodium, just to be sure.  And the nutrition label said that while this snack had no sugar, it had 380 mgs of sodium!  That’s more than regular potato chips.

But it’s made from potatoes and lentils?  How can this be?ID-100180475

And that, my friends, is unfortunately called life weirdness.

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What was the book that had me so involved I couldn’t even break to get some water?  It was the newly released Something on Our Minds, Volume 3– an anthology of writings by people living with multiple sclerosis.   The works are as varied as the writers and MS itself. Best of all, all proceeds from the sale of this edition will be given to the Accelerated Cure Project, an excellent non-profit determined to cure the MS beast.

Something on Our Minds, Volume 3 is available on Amazon and is totally worth checking out!

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And the Winner is…….

Multiple Sclerosis and the 50 Shades of Green/Doing It Veggie Style Contest

 Something strange is going on around here. I just looked in my icebox and I must have been transported to a parallel universe. In my freezer there is a half consumed bag of frozen spinach, a half consumed bag of frozen mangos, a HUGE and unopened bag of frozen broccoli, and vanilla frozen yogurt.

In the fridge itself, there are light green ping pong ball looking things. What the heck are they and where did they come from? The bag they are in says they are called brussel sprouts but they can’t be mine. I have never been to Brussels.

The pantry has a bag of lightly salted crunchy green beans, cinnamon apple snack sticks and a package of brown rice. Where are my cookie dough ice cream and my Cheetos? How about my macaroni and cheese? Where are my chocolate chip cookies?

It is quite the brain fog day so the confusion of where I am and how I got here is overwhelming me. Oh wait, here is something normal- a chocolate bar from Trader Joes. Chocolate is chocolate and so that seems familiar. And, if it is from Trader Joes, it must be healthy. They only sell healthy stuff right?

After resting a bit, the brain fog settles and I remember the steps I have taken to eat better as part of my ‘get fit’ plan. These steps lead me to Trader Joes (where I was looking for a grain called Farro which they did not have. I was directed to Job Lot, the place where I buy my socks and t-shirts cheap and they had it! Go figure. This is all just too weird.) And many of the above ingredients are things I needed to make the top three entries in the 50 Shades of Green/Doing It Veggie Style Contest.

And so follows a healthier diet. I received so many wonderful recipes and I thank everyone who contributed. I am very grateful and am getting there in my ‘get fit’ plan as evidenced by the rather abnormal items in my kitchen. Even if your recipe didn’t make it into the top three, don’t worry, I will still be making it as I need all the help I can get.

FYI- the frozen yogurt and mangos are not part of a green recipe- they are from Montel Williams Tropical Smoothie that I made to bid farewell to summer.

The contest recipes I chose to make were a Spinach Feta dip from Caroline, a broccoli casserole from Shannon where she swears the extra stuff hides the taste of the broccoli and Aunt Jan’s Roasted Veggie Concoction. There is no favoritism involved here. Aunt Jan is not my Aunt Jan. It is just what the recipe is called. I don’t actually have an Aunt Jan.

The spinach dip was delicious and I took it to a small social gathering, an occasion where I normally would have brought brownies. Who would have thought you could hang with your friends while you get your veggies in. Excuse me friend, do I have any spinach stuck in my teeth?

Since I am always looking for ways to eat veggies without tasting veggies, I decided to take Shannon’s ‘can’t taste the broccoli’ challenge and try her broccoli casserole. I was prepared to tell you that she lied. But to my surprise, she didn’t! I really couldn’t taste the broccoli. I wouldn’t call it super duper delicious but it was pretty good.

Finally, I chose Aunt Jan’s Veggie Concoction because I think the word concoction is fun. And I felt I owed her. When her recipe first came in I thought she didn’t follow the contest rules as she sent me a recipe without any green veggies in it. Turns out, brussel sprouts are green and you don’t have to go to Brussels to get them. Who knew?

Plus, the recipe said to roast the veggies until the onions caramelized which made me think of a candy bar. Well, my onions didn’t caramelize at all which was a bummer. But I have to say, the recipe was really good. It had an autumn taste to it which gave it an edge with fall being my favorite time of year. Plus, in addition to the brussel sprouts, it also had sweet potatoes and onions and so I was doubling up on veggies on this one.

So, all things considered, the winner of the 50 Shades of Green/Doing It Veggie Style Contest is Aunt Jan’s Veggie Concoction!

Thank you to all!!!!!!

If you would like to try any of the above, please arrow back to the 50 Shades of Green Blog post and you will find all three recipes listed there, plus some other great recipe ideas. The other entries came in through the contact section of the website and as I make them in the future, I may share them. That way friends, you can ‘get fit’ too!

 

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