Pandemic 2020

I feel I need to write a post about this debacle – even tho it’s in the second peak and (hopefully) decline. Covid-19 is a beast and a very nasty strain of flu/SARS. I’m not worried about getting it since I’ve got a VERY robust immune system, however, I might be a carrier. Who knows? There are no tests in this country, which is why 100,000 people are dead with more to come. No tests, no way to track, NOTHING. And things are opening back up. Bad idea.

Since March, we’ve been locked down. It is almost June. It sucks. I get that, but opening up now (as they did in 1918) will cause a huge second wave.

My catering stopped the first week in March. Nick’s job staggered on for a few weeks, then it stopped, too. We were very concerned about money, naturally, since we’d drained our backups for the bankruptcy. (At least the bankruptcy is going through and we are out from under the $60k business debts.)

We got the $1200/ea stimulus ($2400), which would cover us for about a month. The politicians thought this money would cover 10 weeks. LOL of course they did, rich fucks that they are. They think bread is 25¢ a loaf and rent is $150/mo because they’ve not paid a bill themselves in 60 years (they have accountants for that).

Luckily, Nick’s boss filed for his unemployment and he’s been getting that plus the $600/wk pandemic money. It’s all we’ve got. I applied for the “gig workers” PUA (Pandemic Unemployment Assistance), which has still yielded nothing. [UPDATE: as of the end of May, I finally got the back pay for UI and PUA, which was over $7k hitting the bank account. We are happy to have it, because PUA (the $600/wk) is about to end and who knows when our work will come back.]

Since this country is led by a moron and his hillbilly followers all think the pandemic is a hoax, the US has been hit harder than other countries. The MAGAts think that wearing a mask is unconstitutional and infringing on their rights, so the spread of Covid-19 is still going. Opening up businesses and public places is going to ramp up the victim count again, but hey, it’s just us peasants, right? It’s more important to let people do what they want, when they want, in any fashion they want than trying to stem the spread of Covid-19, right? Sure it is. Because 3% is acceptable losses to keep the stock market strong! Just ask the rich fuckers like the illustrious fucknut in chief.

I wear a mask when out to protect others, not myself. I have no idea if I am a carrier or not since there are no tests. I might be? Since I never get sick, I might’ve picked up Covid-19 and not had any symptoms. THAT is the problem with this strain of flu/SARS! It is very sneaky and very virulent if someone wins the shit lottery and gets it just the right way. Plenty of people have had it and survived – even Nick’s brother in law did, and he’s not in particularly excellent health. BUT many younger people who are healthy get it and die just out of shit luck. SO. It’s best to err on the side of caution.

This country is a shit show. It is led by an idiot. And that idiot will get re-elected by his legion of hillbillies. In the meantime, nothing is happening: no cons, no concerts, no movies, no sports, no large gatherings. BUT you can go swimming at the local pool and you can go shopping at Ross and nevermind wearing a mask, only losers do THAT. Yup. Merika.

And that’s all I have to say about the Pandemic. We’ll survive, but this shitty country may not. And I’m OK with that. We got passports and an exit strategy.

Creamy Herbed Feta Dressing

Creamy Herbed Feta Dressing
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Creamy Herbed Feta Dressing

I love homemade dressings and this one is a melange of several different ones I make regularly. It has a creamy base - much like a herbed ranch dressing - with added crumbled feta. You can use this basic recipe for pretty much any combination of herbs, with or without feta. Enjoy!
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Keyword creamy salad dressing, feta salad dressing, herbed salad dressing, salad dressing
Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Author misangela

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup buttermilk Don't have any buttermilk? Use regular milk and add 1 tsp of vinegar to make it curdle. Voila! Buttermilk substitute.
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise more or less to get the thickness you want
  • 1/3 cup sour cream OR full fat plain greek yogurt (or mix both!)
  • 2 Tbl seasoned rice wine vinegar OR lime juice + zest
  • 3 Tbl fresh herbs dill, cilantro, parsley, mint (whatever you've got)
  • 1 scallion, very finely sliced optional
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta No need for pricey feta here, the President crumbled is FINE. Get the herbed kind for more flavour! This is also OPTIONAL.
  • 1 Tbl olive oil
  • 1 tsp pasted fresh garlic (3 cloves) OR Indian garlic paste
  • S/P to taste Go a little saltier than you think it should be so it adequately seasons the salad.

Instructions

  • Mix everything together in a bowl. Do not over mix the feta, you want the crumbles to be intact (if you are using feta). This makes about 1 3/4 cups or so and will keep for a week or so in the fridge.

Notes

This is a really great dressing base. Change it up to suit your tastes! Leave out the feta! Add double the herbs and blend for a Green Goddess dressing. Use lots of lime and cilantro for a Mexican inspired dressing. The sky's the limit! 

PPI Stepdown pt 4

Another update in my ongoing battle with GERD. Sigh.

While I am glad I’ve rid myself of PPI use, I can’t say that it’s been without its issues. I have bouts of GERD every single day, while awake and while asleep. I typically get a flare after eating (doesn’t matter what it is) and occasionally with wine.

I was using Pepcid, an H2 blocker with antacid (10mg famotidine) when GERD was really bad or it was flaring before bed – and it works GREAT! But. As usual, I have the terrible side effects of H2s – even with limited use. H2s give me terrible, debilitating constipation. It really makes me ill. Then, of course, I have to take things for THAT. UGH, it never ends. ::sob::

So, I have to forego all PPIs and H2s. I have aloe juice (gross), alkaline water (dunno if it helps or not? maybe?), TUMS (also has calcium which does not help with the bowel issues), probiotic supplement and some herbal tea to combat the flares.

I alternate what I take and hope for the best. I got some pricey Enzymedica shit from Sprouts today to see if it helps with the flares of GERD. It’d BETTER for $18!! Of course the shelf price was WRONG, as ALWAYS with fucking Sprouts (said $9, actual $18). That place is a scam. I only go there when I need something NOW and don’t want to wait for Vitacost (Kroger) delivery.

So, that’s where I am. Not great, but not dying. Just uncomfortable a lot and cranky even more. Again, not terribly unusual. #getoffmylawn ;)

PPI Stepdown, pt 3

It’s been about 5 days since my last dose of esomeprazole. I got myself a care package of aloe juice, alkaline water, stomach tea (with similar ingredients to the Ibrogast formula that is too pricey) and the Target brand of Pepcid (famotidine 10mg + antacids).

The day I got the supplements, I didn’t use anything at all and made it through the night. The next day was rougher, with more breakthrough GERD and I took the Pepcid before bed. The day after that, fine.

So it’s been very uneven as far as the breakthroughs are concerned, but overall, I’m doing pretty well without the PPI. I think I’m done. I am so relieved!

I take Tums for minor flares, aloe for worse ones and occasional Pepcid at night. I’ve taken a tums before bed a couple of times when I feel that there *might* be a GERD incident. So far, so good.

I’ll update again if there is any change, but I think this is probably where I’ll be from now on. I think I’ll always have some sort of GERD flaring up, simply because of the shape of VSG making the stomach basically a turkey baster that pushes acid up to the esophagus. No particular foods have any effect, nor does alcohol, it’s all very random. I’m hoping the volume of my Lil Tummy™ goes back to about a cup, but if it doesn’t, no big deal. I think the overall inflammation is getting better.

So, I’m living proof that you CAN get off of PPIs. From start to end it took me about 6 weeks. Perhaps 8. With the quarantine of Covid-19, my sense of time is a bit distorted. I think it’s about 8 all together. It was not too bad for the most part, I did lose some sleep here and there, but I have to say, it’s been easier overall than it has ever been in the past to stop the PPI. I think it’s because I did the stepdown slowly this time. The first step was a month or so, then the second and getting off was quicker. I actually feel that the half tab at night made things worse than just not taking it.

I hope this roadmap might help others who want to be off of PPIs before they find out they have kidney damage or other issues.

PPI Stepdown pt 2.5

I went out yesterday and got some things to try for the ongoing PPI stepdown. I picked up:
– aloe juice
– more probiotics (I’ve added these to my daily supplements.)
– alkaline water
– Gaia Gas and Bloating tea with similar herbs as Ibrogast (caraway, fennel, chamomile, star anise, licorice, peppermint)
– Target brand Pepcid Complete (calcium, magnesium and 10mg famotidine)

The Lil Tummy was pretty well behaved yesterday, but I got a little GERD-y in the late afternoon, so I took a Pepcid chew. Worked immediately and I felt fine. I did not drink any wine last night to get a good read on what Lil Tummy was up to. You’re not supposed to drink alcohol with oral famotidine, but there are not as many restrictions for the antacid/famotidine chews. I took another one before bed, since I’d had two nights in a row of horrible GERD.

IT WORKED!!

I slept well and had zero GERD all night. I hope that this will continue to work for me. I’d like to NOT take it daily in any case, because famotidine has its own list of fucking side effects and interactions that I’d like to avoid. But it’s a good start at living a GERD free existence. Even if I have it sometimes, I really don’t want to take any drugs daily other than my supplements.

Here’s to hoping that I’ll be drug free SOON!