Melt-downs, Fall-Aparts, and Other Unique Recipes

Pattye Snyder Health Guide
  • I love to cook and have at least a kazillion recipes that I use often although I live alone (well, not really—I have my dog Mandy).  I thoroughly enjoy making a wide variety of jams, yeast breads, main dishes, candies, and cookies to share with friends and family. After 937 days (at least) of dreary icy, snowy, windy, rainy weather, I honestly was “losing it!”  I am normally an extremely active person who NEEDS to work out daily—swimming, free-weights, or a wide variety of machine and floor exercises—in order to maintain a semblance of sanity and also to prevent being mistakenly identified as the Goodyear blimp.  
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    Four looooong months ago, I received hip replacement #2.  I wasn’t apprehensive at all going into the hospital because the first hip surgery had been a textbook case—surgery, recovery, therapy, back to working out, and then climbing a mountain in Africa seven months later!  Life went on as usual.  Then came hip replacement surgery #2.  As previously noted in another SharePost, I was “gifted” with a series of mishaps and somewhat incompetent medical staff.  When I was finally allowed to escape the hospital, I gave a major sigh of relief, and innocently thought I was “good to go!”  After two months post-op, my surgeon released me with his blessing and an OK to begin working out.  My friends inform me that I don’t seem to understand the concepts of “take it easy,” and “go slow.”

    So, after about four weeks of “doing my own thing” while working out, I managed to strain my knee on the newly-operated side.  I was ordered to stay off my feet—no exercise—and rest my knee for four weeks (I’d rather give up potato chips!).  So I began an arduous month of not being allowed to do much of anything—I found I could only knit so many sweaters for my grandkids, read so many books before I needed Braille, and sneak into my kitchen so many times to bake enough cookies and breads to not only fill my freezer, but to feed at least a small country!  To add to my joy (you know—boredom, pain, inactivity, and impending obesity), I received an entire galaxy of those traumatic “surprise” repair bills.  I’m sure you all have, at some time, had the same thing happen—the plumbing died in the kitchen sink and had to be replaced AGAIN; my computer had a nervous breakdown; I broke a tooth and had to get a crown, high vet bills, income tax problems, ad infinitum!

    I suppose, therefore, that it’s no wonder that those “catastrophes” piled up on me mentally, and I became a royal nutcase.  Well, not actually—I just spent a couple of days on the verge of tears (and actually did cry when a couple of my friends were NICE to me)!  No, I really wasn’t feeling sorry for myself; I just felt totally overwhelmed finally.  Maybe I was just being human, but it was scary!

    I found that it’s really hard to put things into perspective when I’m in the middle of the proverbial heap.  Out of desperation, and because I’ve followed the doctor’s orders for a month (well, pretty close to compliance), I ventured out to my workout place yesterday for the first time (again).  We’re incredibly lucky to have a huge recreation complex that also has a medical component.  I carefully picked my way over icy sidewalk patches and had a young employee fly by me, screeching his car into a handicapped parking spot and vaulting into work.  I realize that mentally I was somewhat on edge at the time, but I lost my temper and complained at the front desk that I had two artificial hips, had trouble walking, and couldn’t understand why a young healthy guy received “preferential” parking!  

  • They were amazed that I didn’t have a “medical” sticker (for special parking), and told me to go upstairs to talk to the head nurse.  Suzie has known me since my stroke eight years ago, and she calmly listened to my barrage as tears streamed down my face.  She asked where my walker was, my cane, my braces, and when I replied each time that I didn’t need them anymore, she grinned, gave me a hug, and said I needed to go for a swim.  I really didn’t qualify—I’m not handicapped!  I firmly believe that there’s no such thing as a coincidence—people appear, situations change for a reason (and definitely at the right time)!  I was slowly walking alone in the therapy pool when a woman joined me.  Her first name is the same as mine and ironically she has had two knee replacements—one had even been done by the same surgeon I’d had!  We chatted for quite awhile, comparing recoveries and she even talked about having the same struggles (mentally and physically) in recovery!
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    As I left the complex (far less stressed, by the way), I saw a young smiling woman in her wheelchair.  I’ve talked with her before; she’s only 35 and was in a motorcycle accident 10 years before, sustaining several broken vertebrae.  I’ve watched as she struggles to pull her body from the therapy pool back into her chair, smiling and friendly much of the time.  I’m REALLY NOT HANDICAPPED!

    Today is definitely a new day for me.  I’m in full recovery from my doldrums and returning to SLOWLY regaining my strength.  I’m returning to my world of baking hot cinnamon rolls and cheddar cheese soufflés, cuddling my new grandson, paying my bills, and, most importantly, being good to me!

    I’m definitely going to throw away those recipes for Meltdowns and Fall-Aparts—they’re just too painful to do!

Published On: March 05, 2007