Saturday, March 31, 2012

Granola Bars

Hungry for Change

Hey folks,
Check out this movie if you get a spare hour and a half, it's free to stream online for a little while longer and definitely worth the time.


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Bar Ombra

David Tamarkin recently wrote a TimeOut review criticizing Bar Ombra for some issue or other that only he would think matters. As usual, he also revealed in that piece the constraints facing a writer with poor work ethic and mediocre ability. I considered doing a whole post tearing apart his review, but then I remembered that Fuckerberg readers have great taste. As people with great taste, you already know that Tamarkin has little, so I need not bore you with details. Instead, this post will be a review of what you should eat when you go to Bar Ombra, a unique and fun place with delicious food.

At its core, Bar Ombra is a cicchetti bar. You do not want to make a Tamarkin-like mistake and miss what might be the 2 most iconic items in the cicchetti universe: baccala mantecato and sarde in saor. Having prepared these things more than once, I can tell you that as simple as they seem when you eat them, they are not easy to get right. Baccala mantecato is what some people call Italian brandade, but unlike brandade, this Venetian version has no cream or potato to ease the emulsification process. A proper baccala mantecato is made from little more than good cod and good olive oil, whipped together in a highly controlled frenzy to form a smooth emulsification where the taste of the fish and the taste of the oil shine. Bar Ombra gets it right, producing a luscious, uncomplicated and delicious spread that sits atop simple polenta squares or triangles. It’s adorned with, well, nothing.

Bar Ombra’s sarde in saor is not as true to tradition as versions throughout Venice, but I may have liked it even more. Traditionally, this preparation was used to preserve the bounty from Venetian waters; when people couldn’t eat the catch quickly enough to avoid spoilage, they’d preserve it in a vinegar and onion based marinade after giving it a quick fry. At every place I tried this dish in Venice, it was served after several days in that marinade, in various stages of pickling. At Bar Ombra, the fish seemed to have been lightly fried just that day, so while it absorbed plenty of the marinade in whatever time they had to meld, it also retained much of it’s fresh-from-the-sea quality. It was easy to tell that these were terrific, oily sardines, still crisp from frying and balanced wonderfully by a sweet and sour marinade that had raisins and, thankfully, a lesser bounty of onions than most of the Venetian versions.

I enjoyed many more dishes, but three were clear favorites. Arancini neri - risotto balls with crispiness on the outside and creaminess on the inside, had a black-as-night interior color that housed the pure flavor of squid ink. Perfectly hard-boiled eggs with tonnato sauce were great too, and had the kind of tongue-tingling acid, balanced by richness, that you want to whet your palate at the start of a long meal. Simple fried smelts with fried, thin slices of lemon were wonderful too, adding Bar Ombra to a growing list of places, including The Purple Pig, that do wonderful versions of Italian-style fish fry. I was less impressed by the calamari neri, which seemed too salty and a little flat – surprising in light of how good the arancini were. The only mild disappointment of the night.

Bar Ombra has a massive menu. My ordering strategy was, for the most part, to let the owner – whom I’ve gotten to know through visits to Anteprima over the years– choose our dishes. It’s possible that there are some relative duds somewhere on the menu, but from my seat at the expansive counter, Bar Ombra was one heck of a place that I look forward to frequenting.

Bar Ombra
5310 N. Clark

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Cabbage + Kale Asian Salad with Peanut Sauce Tofu

Visit at the GYN

 Onward, Week 4

Well, I just wasted a morning at the doctor's office.  I waited 45 minutes to see the doctor who spent less than 5 minutes with me.  Nothing was recommended unless the endometriosis becomes a "problem."  No way or need to tell where it is or where it may go, it's a wait and see thing.  Of course if I wanted to I could go on the pill or get an IUD or a couple other things but if it's not a problem then wait it out.  So I guess we are waiting it out.


My yearly appointment isn't until September so I'll bring it up again but I don't know what I was expecting, it's not like he should just come out and say get a hysterectomy and all this goes away (though hysterectomy won't 100% cure the problem).

The thing is this is a 2 fold problem.

One: Possible endometriosis on my uterus.  Ok, well I've been dealing with these impossibly painful periods since I was 12 so dealing with it isn't the worst thing.  It's not like I want a hysterectomy so I'll stop having painful periods.  Really, the uterus isn't the issue, which brings part 2.

Two: Possible endometriosis just floating around in my torso waiting for the opportunity to attack another organ, like one I need or don't have extra of.  There's a fear there that I guess I just have to let go of.  Or talk to the doctor in September about.  He was just well if it becomes a problem then we go in and remove it.  How do you know when it's a problem, I ruptured my appendix and didn't know it!  I'm not the best judge here.

I'm having trouble with my appetite.  It seems starving myself for so long due to being so sick has left me pretty ravenous.  I was counting calories and I was in the 1600-1800 range and gaining about a pound a day.  I really don't see how that's possible but I gained about 4 or 5 pounds.  Now I'm just trying to regroup and get back on my January program.  It's so HARD TO DO.

Also, I'm getting antsy to do stuff.  Lots of stuff in the yard and in the house when it gets too hot outside.  I feel pretty good in week four, sleeping is still a bit of an issue, it's hard to get comfortable with my scar pain.  I get some deeper pain that feels like hip pain too.  My drain scar is still the ugliest one and I just want it to heal up so bad.  

Friday, March 23, 2012

Cauliflower Crust Pizza


A poor meal at Balena left me thinking that either the chef’s idea of what tastes good is widely different from mine, or the kitchen is having quality control problems in these opening weeks.

Pastas were the worst of the lot. Canestri - small, hanging-basket-shaped ridged pasta that I was excited to see - were served with what the menu called a duck liver ragu. I disagree with that nomenclature, as what ended up in the bowl were too-large pieces of dried out liver, not anything resembling pasta sauce. The beauty of canestri lies in their great ability to absorb and hold sauces, making every bite a delicious balance of whatever the dish contains. That beauty was completely lost by serving these shapes with big chunks instead of a cohesive ragu. Taglioline nero – flat, black noodles – were served with what the menu advertised as sea urchin, crab and chile. What the menu didn’t say was that the tastes of those things would be completely obliterated by a crazy-heavy hand with lemon juice. I like acidic food, but this was pucker-worthy sour. A major failure.

Our pizza fared slightly better on account of very good tomato sauce, but the crust was something of a disaster. It was way overcooked and dry, with the sturdy texture of cardboard packing material. As one of my dining companions pointed out, there was also a thick layer of raw flour that must have been used to line the peel, creating an unpleasant, chalky eating experience.

The one main-course-like thing we tried - a couple of wet-roasted duck legs served with dried figs and amaro – was decent but uninteresting. The duck supposedly had some kind of glaze, though I didn’t notice anything particularly tasty about the skin. The dried figs were fine, though probably bitter enough on their own that they did not benefit from the splash of barely reduced, amaro-infused thin liquid saucing the plate. Ultimately, this was little more than a nicely cooked duck leg that most people can do pretty easily at home.

Best of the evening were two selections from the appetizer section. Seafood salad had a variety of cold shellfish that were fresh and tasty, if not particularly unique or exciting. They had just a bit of grit. The smoked mackerel dish – with nice smoke penetration and a very luscious texture – was my favorite of the night. It had crunchy breadcrumbs and a soft-cooked egg. Very tasty, though it would have benefitted from some capers or lemon or sour cream – something with acid. I should have stolen a tiny spoonful of sauce from that crazy taglioline.

Because I’ve usually liked the food at The Bristol, I’m inclined to think that Chef Pandel, now at Balena, will work some of these problems out soon. Then again, Balena is a much bigger place and perhaps his forte does not lie in the quality-control measures required to serve dinner to these kinds of masses. Time will tell.

(note - photos all courtesy of Charlotte Tan)

1633 N. Halsted Street
Chicago, IL 60614
Tel 312.867.3888

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Diet & Exercise

Week 3
Seems a bit weird to admit I've been watching my weight through this whole thing.  I weighed myself on February 26 the day of the Oscar party and I was 214 pounds.  I waited to weigh myself when I got home because all I've heard about is how fluids from IVs make you bloated.  This past Sunday I weighed 205 pounds.  Holy cow, I'm so close to wonderland!  That said I didn't even care anymore dealing with this nausea.  I really felt like something was wrong and then slowly it went away.  Saturday morning I had a little bit and we took a short walk after breakfast.  For dinner I had a Filet we bought on sale at the grocery store and ever since then I've been really great.  Sunday morning I even craved breakfast!  I feel perfectly normal now and I'm so grateful.  Oh my god, am I grateful.  My appetite has come back for the first time in I don't even know how long so I've had to be really careful with calories.  I've actually gone over the past couple of days but I'll find a new rhythm.
I'm also totally off any pain killers of any kind.  I still have some soreness but I'm over the pills, I'm just done with them.  First my cold and then my period and then my surgery and then my stupid period again.  The toughest part is sleeping.  I'm a tummy sleeper and I bit of a readjuster (I move around a lot) and being on my stomach and/or moving around makes my big scar sore.  But other than that I've been doing great.  I even vacuumed yesterday (it's a canister so it's lighter than a regular vacuum).

I have an appointment next week with my gynecologist to discuss the endometriosis.  I don't even know if there's anything to say or what can be done but I thought it was important, especially considering I think my nausea was period related.  My periods seem to get more and more difficult to deal with.  It's not even my doctor, I don't really have a doctor anymore.  My doctor retired and then I had a new doctor who I really liked and then she moved.  I saw another doctor that I liked for my last visit but when I called they booked me with someone else.

I've been having nightmares.  I think it's a combination of all that I've been going through healthwise and being scared and lost about it and then having the break in the day before I came home from the hospital.  I dream about weather a lot, hurricanes and tornadoes, and then I throw in serial killers and other criminals.  They did an article in our newspaper about theft and how they don't really prosecute strongly because the focus is on violent crime.  So there's examples of criminal thieves who have robbed people like 30 times and they never get any jail time.  I understand violent crime being the focus but this feels like it's out of control.  I don't feel safe anymore, I'm constantly afraid someone going to jump the fence and come after me.  Who jumps an 8 foot fence to steal a 52 inch television?  It just doesn't make any sense to me.  I keep finding weird things.  Like they unplugged the outdoor fairy lights I have on the deck railing.  Not just from the source but where the 2 lights connect.  That just seems so odd to me.  Are the fairy lights going to give you away?  Also our grill was partly disconnected.  I went to cook the steak and turned on the gas and gas started pouring out very loudly and scared the crap out of me.  Brian had to come out and tighten it, I was so afraid of a spark and the thing exploding (did you know I'm super afraid of fire?).  Now I don't want to use the grill because I'm not sure it's safe anymore.

I just feel like having your home broken into is a big deal, a really big deal and you should get mandatory jail time.  Not that we have any leads or anything on the guys who broke into our house.  We had a neighbor who saw 2 guys running with our television and they dropped it, shattering it.  It's not even that our stuff was stolen that upsets me, though your stuff should be your stuff.  It's not feeling safe.  It's having an 8 foot privacy fence that does nothing for security.  It's that at any moment any time someone feels like it they could get to me.  They just have to want to.  And how different is that FEELING from being a victim of a violent crime?

Friday, March 16, 2012

Thursday, March 15, 2012


I had my drain taken out last week and received the pathology report.  It appears that endometriosis attacked my appendix (and colon).  This is rare.  The whole thing is so rare but even rare things have to happen to someone.

I had my myomectomy six years ago and I do remember the doctor saying I had mild endometriosis.  I have never heard of anything like this from endometriosis.

I was so happy to get my drain out.  I felt that about 90% of my pain was from that stupid drain.  The pain did not go away immediately though the freedom was awesome.  It's really my ugliest scar, like someone burned me with a cigarette.

I've been dealing with some nausea that doesn't feel normal.  I ended up calling the nurse who talked to the doctor and he thought I had a bug and prescribed some anti-nausea medication.  I used it for 2 days, it didn't seem to really work, and then I started my period.  The nausea could be from my period.  I'm waiting until after my period is past the painful stage to reassess the nausea.  Should I talk about my poop?  You don't want to hear about my poop, I can tell.  But my poop is worrisome too.  I think I'm just a little freaked out because I was sick for about 1 1/2 weeks and thought it was gas and a doctor thought it was a bug and then it turns out endometriosis had its way with my appendix so now I'm down about 10 cm of bowels because my periods attack me and when I don't feel normal still my doctor thinks it's a bug.

And yet if there is a problem, do you know what the procedure is??? They stick a tube down my nose into my stomach.  I'm not doing that.  Over some nausea, no freaking way.  I hate you Dr Google.

I went back over my myomectomy entries and I was way more patient with myself.  I was 5 weeks into recovery and thinking oh maybe I could go back to work if I had a desk job (I was remodeling the yellow and blue house at the time).  Now, I'm like why can't I find the strength to vacuum the house, what is wrong with me!  Everything is so dirty.  Man, I really want to paint the interior doors.  Oh, oh, and the fence, I want to paint the fence, and plant grass seed.  I wish I could rake.  I think I'll clean out the refrigerator (which I actually did last night).  Wow, there's so much to do and I'm so tired.  I think I will lay on this cat hair covered sofa and watch more Friends.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Burgers in Oklahoma City, Pizza in Wausau

Perhaps to distance myself from the attitude that underlies my NYC roots, I try hard not to think in a narrowly provincial way about where one might find the best restaurants. Sure, NY and Chicago have some of my favorites, but so do St. Louis, Indianapolis and Greensboro. That said, it was with relatively little hope that I started researching what to eat on my recent travels to Oklahoma City, OK and Wausau, WI. After these trips, I realized that I still have work to do to widen my NY-mindedness.

As skyfullofbacon, who knows a thing or two about both meat and Oklahoma, twitted during my trip planning, Oklahoma City is “the burger capital of the galaxy”. As I drove around the expansive city it indeed seemed hard to go far without seeing a sign for “Onion Burgers” that dozens of places have been cooking for decades. Onion burgers in OKC apparently started as a way to make meat go further when times were tough –onions were smashed into beef patties to extend their volume. As with many great classic dishes, this is an example of humble, necessity-based cooking that ends up producing something downright fantastic in its own right.

I tried a couple of the old time places that have been doing onion burgers for generations, including one popular and delicious stand that’s located in a gunshop, but I could not resist the appeal a recently-opened place called Tucker’s.

These guys are preparing things the classic way, but unlike their counterparts, Tucker’s is sourcing local, grass-fed beef, artisanal buns made down the street, and other quality, local ingredients whenever possible. The setting is hardly fancy though, and Tucker’s fits in well among the “real” old school places.

More importantly, the Tucker’s double onion burger was fantastic. Onion burgers are pressed with a heavy spatula on a flat grill, and cooks have differing opinions about how hard and how long to press. This is one of the things that makes going from place to place to try these things an interesting adventure. Hard, long pressing leads to super-crispy, tasty lacing on the exterior of the patty (this was the way of the gun shop cook), while lighter pressing logically keeps more juices inside. Tucker’s falls into the relatively-light-pressing camp – there’s still good, crispy lacing on the outside, but most of the meat is juicy and loose. It probably doesn’t hurt that they use a slightly larger patty than most places – about 4.5 ounces vs. the more typical 3-4 ounce patty. Also at Tucker’s, the onions took on a darker, more naturally sweet caramelization than at the other places. I think this was because they kept the grill at a slightly lower temperature, leading to a slower cook. The double was a delicious monstrosity; I polished off the whole thing, but on my next visit I’ll go with a single, which should be big enough to stand up to the super-fresh, local potato bun.

Burgers in Oklahoma are one thing. In retrospect it’s not hard to understand why that’s a thing. But what about pizza in Wausau, Wisconsin? Is there really anything better than the Papa Rococco or Papa Milano or Papa Napoli or whatever other middle of the road chain and chain imitator that’s all over the place. It turns out there is, and it’s located in a place that also serves something less surprising to find in the parts: great beer. Redeye Brewing Company is a snazzy looking place that’s hopping every night of the week. I had to wait 20 minutes for a seat at 5:30 on a school night!

The best beers here are the hop heavy American-style IPA’s, and they’re very good indeed, but the star of the Redeye Brewery show is what comes out of the pure-wood-fired 850 degree oven that’s the center of an open kitchen. The crust has great chew to it, and they use very high quality toppings, including a peppery fennel sausage that was among the best I’ve tasted.

Tucker's Onion Burgers
324 Northwest 23rd Street Oklahoma City, OK 73118
(405) 609-2333

Redeye Brewing
612 Washington Street Wausau, WI 54403
(715) 843-7334

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

OH That Appedectomy Diet I've Heard About Since I Was a Kid

Recovery rooms are a personal issue with me.  My last surgery was a myomectomy, my first major surgery ever and I was so scared.  When I woke up I could tell I was in a room with like 20 other beds.  Most people were sleeping or quiet but you could hear some  moaners as well.  When I asked for pain medication the nurse gave me something that did nothing.  I asked for more.  She told me in her quick southern accent, "You're gonna feel some pain." forever cementing my fear of operations, thanks kind lady.  I just remember laying there, taking it and crying.  Eventually I feel asleep, but the seed of fear was planted.

This time I woke up with the usual, "Lori breath deep, Lori, come on breath deep," that even in my haze feels worrisome.  So I breath, even though I just want to sleep some more, here I am, I am breathing.  When they ask me how I'm feeling I must be okay  I felt no pain.  I was comfortable and warm and felt very cozy and did not hurt.  My nurse was sitting right next to me tinkering on a computer, I hear her call Craigslist at one point looking for a washer.  I looked over and there was another person and he had his own nurse with him as well.  I was there for a long time. Obviously my sense of time is lacking but about an hour or so later I did ask for pain medication and she was right there with it.  She asked me if I wanted something to drink and she gave me a sip of water.  Finally 100 years later they found a room for me.

Turns out this entire hospital is undergoing renovations to turn all the rooms into single occupancy rooms.  They happened to have this one room that was a single room but in event of emergencies could be turned into a double room.  I was told later this has happened only twice in a few years.  I was the second time.  It took forever for him to get my bed into the tiny room and then my roomie had a difficult time getting around my bed to get to the bathroom, the door barely had room to open when a bed was there.  Brian came in an they were trying to get a chair in there, a regular chair and it was nearly impossible.  I live in a 900 square foot home, I should be used to things like this but this room make ME feel claustrophobic.  And as my normal luck would have it, every one who came before or after me got their own room, it was only me, it was just my luck.

Finally Brian could sit down and he could explain what had happened to me.  When the surgeon went in to remove my appendix it had been completely obliterated, there was no appendix to be found.  So they had to remove this mass of stuff that used to be my appendix and part of my colon.  I was going to be in the hospital for a while.

Later that day I had red jello and it was the best thing I have ever tasted in years.  Then the diet started getting to me.

Vegatable broth
apple juice
italian ice, usually lemon (sweetest thing you have ever tasted)
jello, usually orange

Since I don't like vegatable brother or coffee I sipped apple juice, not my favorite and had some crazy sweet italian ice and a couple bites of jello.

Chicken broth
Sweet tea
italian ice (orange)
jello (orange)
popsicle (orange)  ... everything wasn't orange but it began to feel like it.  I couldn't figure out how to eat the soup when I can't sit over the tray, the nurse suggested with a straw so I tried that.  Very salty, strong soup,  I couldn't eat much of it.  Still, I think I was getting in some calories.

About the same with beef broth.  I was really enjoying the tea most of all, I'd alternate sips of tea and water because even the tea was too sweet.

So that was Monday.  Tuesday morning they took out my catheter and I had to go for a walk.  It would be a couple hours before I could pee even though I felt the urge.  Wednesday my diet changed from clear liquid diet to full liquid diet.  I celebrated by ordering a milkshake from the caffeteria that turned out to be pretty chalky.  The chocolate pudding and yogurt was a welcome addition.  Wednesday night I had a teeny tiny bowel movement.  Still this made everyone happy and they decided they wanted to discharge me on Thursday.

Pain was an issue for me.  I had (actually still have) a drain and it feels like the bulk of my pain.  It's so uncomfortable and tugs and various other aches to it.  I had trouble sleeping on Wednesday night so I was surprised that I was going to go home but that's how these things work.  The whole time I had been working towards Friday and getting this drain out but now they were telling me I'd be going home with it and not only that but I'd have it until my doctor's appointment, a week away.  I was devastated, just devastated.

I spent most of Thursday trying to get a hold of Brian to tell him what was going on.  I could not reach him anywhere.  Finally I called his cell again and he answered and told me what had happened.

On Wednesday night while Brian was visiting me in the hospital out house had been broken into.  Although our back fence was unlocked, they didn't come in that way, oh no, they went over the 8 foot privacy fence in the back of the house.  I can't even picture it but there were lawn chairs piled on the other side from our neighbor's yard.  Then you are probably thinking they came in through the sliding glass doors.  No, they broke out all the bottom panes in the bedroom window, it doesn't open and they never opened it.  My mom uses screws to hold her windows down thinking that was a genius solution.  Not in my case, they never opened the window.  They went though almost everything in our bedroom, all my personal items, clothes and underwear pulled out of drawers and cabinets, my night stand gone through, my vanity gone though.  I don't know why but they didn't take my jewelry box.  I must have some cheap ass looking jewelry in there.

My rings were untouched as well.  I had washed my hands to prepare for the Oscar party and put my rings in the kitchen window sill in a little dish.  If I had remembered during the Oscar party to put them back on and wore them to the emergency room Brian would have taken them home and most likely put them in a place where they would have been found.  Happy accident.

What was taken was our 3 televisions, my digital camera, and Brian's iphone.  I appears Brian got home pretty quickly to the time when they left because he called the police right away who found the 3 televisions and my camera in different spots about a block away.  Everything works except our large television.  We are missing the power cord for one of the smaller televisions.  They work fine and my camera does as well.  Brian's iphone was not located.  At one point in the hospital on Thursday, I don't do this often at all, but I used "Find My Phone" so I could get an idea maybe where he was but it didn't work for his phone.  I'm not sure how all that gadgetry works but I always thought hey if my phone is stolen I can search it via "Find my iPhone."  I guess this isn't really the case.

I luckily had the ipad at the hospital with me along with my cell phone.  We are not sure where my purse was, it might have been IN THE HOUSE.  Nothing was missing from it.  No remotes were taken and no chargers.  They did take the HDMI cables.  One came back busted. Also those little fuckers left behind an Anthopologie gift card worth $75, holla!

So the handyman came by on Thursday morning to board up the window.  Brian spent over 2 hours at AT&T trying to replace his phone.  Everything was still in complete disarray and I was coming home.

**More later.

Emergency Room

Ok, I'm going to attempt to recount what's been going on since last Sunday (Oscar party night).

As I think I mentioned I was having some very weird stomach pains.  These pains did not feel localized and seemed to move around and cover a wide area of my abdomen.  I'd spend countless hours googling and figured I was very much a lost case with IBS.  After some prodding by family about a week into my stomach pains I went to the urgent care.  He felt around my abdomen and did routine vitals and talked to me.  He thought it was some sort of virus even though it was odd that it has lasted so long, viruses like this last about 2 maybe 3 days.  But perhaps my immunity system was down in the dumps from the very bad cold I had just gotten over that lasted about 3 weeks, maybe longer.  He gave me a prescription for Imodium and told me if it didn't go away come back in a few days and he would refer me to a gastroenterologist.  That was Wednesday the 22nd.  Like everything I had been trying and I had been trying everything, the Imodium did not work.  On Saturday I decided I would call a gastroenterologist on Monday after the weekend.  This was the weekend of our Oscar's party.  On Saturday we went grocery shopping.  On Sunday I wanted to cancel but we decided to modify the menu so Brian could prepare everything.  I did very little for the party.  Actually, I took a huge nap and arranged some fruit kabobs, that was about it.  During the party I sat very still and didn't eat anything.  I was drinking water.  Around 10, like I usually do I start convincing myself my stomach hurts because I haven't eaten anything so I had a banana, no relief, surprise, surprise.  Around 10:30 I felt like I had been still too long so I got up and went into the bedroom.  The idea was I could do my stretching exercises on the bed and maybe that would be enough so I could go back out and watch the rest of the show.  Funnily, everyone at the party was staying, this never happens!  Everyone is always leaving around 10 but everyone was having a great time and talking about best movie and who was going to win the ballot and so forth, it was great.

However I was in the bedroom trying to stretch but nothing was happening, it was like suddenly I got worse, if that was even possible.  I could not stop twisting around and everything was so painful.  I was really really hurting and going back to the party wasn't going to happen.  A few minutes later Brian came into check on me and I twisting around on the bed, crying and said, "I feel like I'm dying and I don't know why."  He asked me if everyone should go home and we should go to the emergency room.  All I could think about was that it costs $150 with copay to go to the emergency room.  And I was still so worried that they would tell me nothing was wrong but I was in such pain I said yes.

Brian went out to ask everyone to leave and we both got dressed in more casual clothes.  Brian had to help me with my shoes.  We got out to the car and Brian was running stop signs and stop lights (luckily this was very late at night and you could really see there was no one coming), finally we got to the emergency room.  Things would get better now.  Brian asked me to go in and sit down and he would sign me in.   The entire emergency room was full.  This was very very bad.  I sat in my chair hunched over crying.  After about 20 minutes someone came out and said they couldn't find me in the computer, oops she wrote down my wrong birthdate.  Another 10 minutes I had a id bracelet thing.  Another 20 minutes a triage nurse came to get me.  She took my vitals and asked me questions.  When I got up to leave I couldn't stand up they brought over a wheel chair and put me back in the waiting room.  About another 40 minutes or so, a nurse came out to bring back 4 groups of people to beds in the emergency room.  Finally.

My bed was in the hall with 3 others.  This is when it got really weird.  Over time, I'm guessing the next hour. All three other people who had come back were seen and left.  I had yet to speak with or see a doctor.  Time kept going.  About another hour or so they wheeled me out of the hall and into a pod room with 4 other beds.  Another 45 minutes or so the doctor came, oh yay, the doctor.  He pressed on my stomach and oh man did that hurt, especially on my right side.  For the past few days it had been on my left side but it was definitely in my right side now.  He ordered an exray.  But wait, there's more  First I had to drink this radioactive stuff and I couldn't drink it fast or I would throw it up.  They said up to an hour to drink it.  Then I had to wait and hour after drinking the stuff.  Then I could have my exray.  Blood was drawn and they put in an IV but I was not attached to fluids, turns out it was for the exray.

So I got to drinking.  I drank it in 40 minutes.  Brian was about to pass out.  I wish I knew the time, I'm guessing somewhere between 3 and 4am.  I told him to go home I would wait the hour, have the exray, wait for the results and call him.  So he went home and I waited.

An hour finally had past and I was wheeled down to exray.  The guys there were very nice.  My IV was attached to the dye and I held my hands back over my head while the machine moved me back and forth.  They helped me back in my bed and I waited in the hall for someone to get me, which they did and brought me back to my pod.  Not too much longer later the doctor came in and said it was my appendix.  My appendix!  Totally not on my google radar because the pain was not localized to my right side.  I would need to have surgery that day, in fact in hours from now.  He told me most appendectomies are about 20 minute surgeries and you go home later in the day.  I was really in shock, wow, surgery, I can't believe it.  I called Brian poor guy and he came back to the hospital to wait for the surgeon to show up and talk to us.

Things surprisingly went pretty quick from there, I can't remember if there was talk about rupturing, I'm sure that's what it was.  But pretty soon I was moved to the OR prep area where the anesthesiologist comes to talk to you and everyone asks a lot of questions.  When she gives me the IV pain meds my pain went almost completely away, I mean just from that, whatever that is.  They wheeled me into the OR and then people started asking about a pregnancy test, was I given one, I was not, no one ever asked me in the ER or at Urgent Care either.  However I was not pregnant.  I would have to be one of those I didn't know I was pregnant and be about 3 months pregnant.  We did not have sex when I was sick with my cold last month and  I was just about to ovulate and obviously that wasn't going to happen.  But they were insistent.  They asked me to pee into a bedpan with 20 people including guys milling around.  I had just used the bathroom in the ER after my CT and I don't pee under pressure very well at all.  Finally they decided to use anesthesia they would use if I were pregnant because obviously I had to have my appendix removed.  Finally the bustle was over and I could breath into the mask, and I was out.

**next up, recovery room**