Bilateral Lymphoedema Returns…

On Wednesday morning, the nurse was horrified by the state of my legs, and phoned the GP surgery to tell them I needed an urgent home visit.

I didn’t get one – I got a phone call instead.

In three years none of my GPs have ever seen my legs – they refuse to look at them because, to quote one of them “They’re horrible!” – I wonder what they think it’s like to have to live with them? With the blood, the pain, the suppuration and the stink? They have no real idea of how horrendous that is. And they sure as hell can’t comprehend the pain.

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Caldo Verde, Tweaked…

Caldo Verde is a peasant dish from Portugal, a soup primarily of potatoes and a species of giant cabbage, traditionally served with a scrap of chouriço sausage and cornbread. This is my high-protein take on it, with a great deal more sausage, soya beans, and served with Tesco sourdough bread. OK, so it bears more of a resemblance to ciabatta than sourdough but it’s good bread for dunking in soup as it doesn’t fall to pieces. Goes well with cheese too.

I don’t think the Portuguese would approve of my less than Spartan version of Caldo Verde, but it was timely, made just hours before the return, on a massive scale, of my Lymphoedema, accompanied by pain at a level that totally overwhelms my morphine, despite the recent doubling of the Oramorph dose.  Part of the treatment for that is a high-protein diet, hence the soup.

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Doctors are Dangerous – Addendum – They are out to get us…

Having just read this post The lies of IDS to his own party… a thought has occurred to me regarding the scurrilous attempts to downgrade and trivialise my lifetime of serious illness as described here.

Am I seeing a deliberate Tory doc attempt to rubbish my benefit claims?

Paranoid? Damn right I’m paranoid – anyone who is chronically ill should be, because they are out to get us, make no mistake about that.

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Doctors are Dangerous…

And yes, I really do mean that.

Every time I’m admitted to hospital – which is likely to happen quite a lot in the future – whichever consultant I’m assigned to puts his or her own spin on what’s wrong with me.

The latest one to do that announced that I don’t have COPD. Yes I bloody well do. COPD was diagnosed in 1996, and that diagnosis has been confirmed and re-confirmed many times since then. Now we have this bloody doctor attempting to re-write history, and change my meds radically, to boot.

I have one policy and one only regarding my meds – if they do their job, do not mess with them! She changed them. I objected on the grounds that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. She ignored me. My GP has pushed through the changes without consulting me. That will not stand.

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Getting my life back – Part 637…

Dateline Good Friday 2015… Still offline.

As you might know, I eat just one meal a day, in the evening. The reason for this is that if I eat breakfast and/or lunch I can’t stay awake. No-one can tell me why so I long ago opted for the one meal a day solution – until now.

A few days ago I woke with a craving for Heinz tomato soup for breakfast. As I had a few cans in my emergency soup stash I indulged the whim and had a very productive day without once nodding off. Even created a new recipe (which, if early tastings are accurate,** is remarkably good).

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I haz a new toy – Part 3,786…

The perceptive among you might have spotted that I’m something of a gadget hound. Trapped in hospital recently, without my electronic armoury for the second time, I vowed it would never happen again.

Then, when I got home, I turned on my router to reconnect with the world – which promptly expired with a bang. The router, that is, not the world, though I have little doubt that’s coming.

Now, I have a bunch of tablet computers, but all rely on the router as none have 3G, for example. Only my smartphone (Samsung Galaxy S3), has that and while it works well enough, typing on such a small virtual keyboard, and reading on such a small screen drives me bananas. I do have a wi-fi plus 3G Kindle, but the implementation of 3G is (deliberately?), clunky – Amazon’s Kindle store and little else** – I needed something better while I waited for my replacement router to arrive (for which, of course, Easter got in the way).

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Taking Stock…

I’m re-reading Tom Vernon’s book Fat Man in the Kitchen, in which he rather takes against stock cubes, suggesting that we are committing some sort of culinary crime by not making our own stock. Which, of course, completely ignores the fact that such a labour-intensive and time-consuming task is generally delegated to a team of minimum-wage-slaves in professional kitchens – a luxury that I, for one, do not have. Nor, I venture to suggest, do you.

So, let me reiterate what I’ve said many times before – there is nothing wrong with stock cubes, stock concentrates or stock powders. The important thing is not to let any single component dominate. And yes, I can hear you thinking “But he always starts with Kallo cubes!”. Which is true, but they are very mild cubes (for example one cube makes roughly half the amount of stock as Knorr cubes), which enhance rather than overwhelm the flavours of whatever you put them with.

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A Small Casserole of Cumberland Sausage and Bacon…

… with Date Purée, Apricots, Peas, Carrots, and Onion Gravy spiced with Garlic, Ginger, and Chilli.


This recipe is rather good. I’m leaving it as written, but I find that the Lingham’s sauce, while very tasty as a condiment doesn’t really work as an ingredient as it loses everything but the chilli heat. I suggest stirring in a little in the bowl when serving – that works well. There’s also a reminder footnote.

It’s small because my big pot still held some rather good, old-fashioned, vegetable soup (old fashioned in the sense that it’s based on beef stock, not the ubiquitous tomato a la Heinz).

Talking of soup, I haven’t eaten breakfast for about 25 years but, yesterday, I had a craving for Heinz tomato soup – so I indulged it and had a very good, productive, day (it produced the following recipe for a start). So, in the hope that it wasn’t just coincidence, I had another can this morning and, you know, I really enjoyed it. If I have another good day I might have to think about making my own** (I have loads of passata), and freezing it in mug-sized portions.

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I’m back…

For those of you who don’t follow me on Twitter and who might be wondering where I’ve got to, I’ve been in hospital again. Then, when I got out, my broadband router self-destructed. Between that, getting a replacement, and recovering I’ve only just got back online this afternoon.

I managed to stay on Twitter by splashing out on a tablet that runs 3G (none of my other computers do, just my phone, and typing on that is a pain).

Publishing blog posts on 3G just doesn’t work for me. No idea why – it should work.

Anyway, bear with me a little longer – normal service will be resumed shortly.