Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A busy day

It's another grey, dreary day, but it's been a good one. I am still feeling relatively strong and my mood is good. This morning I went back to my usual breakfast of whole wheat cinnamon raisin toast with my tea. When I woke up I could feel a lot of mucus in my chest that just wasn't moving, but once I took my cough medicine stuff started coming up relatively easily, without a lot of excess coughing, and I got all of it out in an hour or so.

Kathy arrived in mid-morning to check me out. Because I wasn't doing a lot of coughing I forgot that I was going to talk to her about the coughing fits, so I'll have to remember to do that next time she's here.

Anne came at noon to give me my acupuncture treatment, which as always I found relaxing, drifting off into a reverie while the needles were in and feeling quite energized afterwards. I got a call from my case manager at United Health Care (a new one, not the one I've been dealing with for months), and I tried hard to make the case to her that I needed hospice care or I would end up back in the hospital. There was just enough time for a quick lunch of a chicken salad sandwich on whole wheat before the Boston Globe reporter arrived.

I went to sit in the living room, and the reporter, Florence, Julie, Marty, and I all talked for well over an hour about my situation and how the insurance company was trying to prevent me from getting the care I need. She was extremely sympathetic and knowledgeable, asking good questions that showed she was familiar with the absurdities of the health care payment system. After awhile the photographer showed up and took a number of pictures; by this time I was pretty tired and he took pictures of me being helped back to my room and getting settled in bed. He's supposed to come back tomorrow to shoot some video (for background material that will be used on boston.com).

Once I was back in bed Susan arrived and she helped to get a lot of stuff organized and kept me company for awhile. I'm alone now (Florence is out with her cousin for a movie and dinner), but I feel comfortable. In a little while I will put some more of my potato casserole in the microwave.


  1. You have spoken so highly of your potato casserole, would you be interested in posting the recipe for us?

    A food groupie, I am.

    And soon you'll be famous all over Boston! How about that?!

  2. Here's the recipe, which I got from the Boston Globe and immediately knew I wanted to eat:

    Butter (for the dish)
    2 cups heavy cream
    1 cup milk
    1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
    2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    Pinch of nutmeg
    3 large russet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8-inch thick
    1 large Spanish onion, thinly sliced
    Salt and pepper, to taste
    1 pound baked ham, sliced 1/4-inch thick, and diced
    8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
    1. Set the oven at 375 degrees. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
    2. In a large flameproof casserole, bring the cream, milk, thyme, garlic, and nutmeg to a boil. Add the potatoes and onions and cook over medium-high heat, stirring gently, for 3 minutes. Cover the pan, turn down the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.

    3. Spoon half the potato, onion, and cream mixture into the baking dish in an even layer. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Add the ham, sprinkling it evenly, then half of the cheese. Cover with the remaining potato, onion, and cream mixture, then salt and pepper. Top with the remaining cheese.

    4. Cover with foil and bake the casserole for 45 minutes or until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife. Remove the foil and bake for 10 to 12 minutes more or until the top is browned.

  3. that sounds pretty good Judi!

  4. Thanks for the recipe Judi. It sounds wonderful and looks simple to make. I typically don't eat meat, but I can see myself buying a little ham steak and making enough just for me! Take that!-vegetarian husband!!

  5. For the ham, I usually buy two slices of baked ham from the deli counter, cut 1/4 inch thick. Incidentally, I make a more balanced meal by adding some cooked broccoli or green beans whenn I heat up a portion.