Daily Archives: April 24, 2011

Scraping out an Ovarian Cyst

In just a few more days, I’ll have an opportunity to experience the joys of a laparoscopic ovarian cystectomy. And let me tell you, after six months of pain, I was soooooooo looking forward to it.  Or at least I was until I watched a video on what the procedure actually looks like.
 
I really didn’t put much thought into the actual process involved until that stupid video.  Now I realize that they’ll be ripping the ovary open and then SCRAPING and BURNING that cyst out. How lovely (if you’re a guy, imagine that those round things in the video are testicles and then try not to cringe).

Yummy!

Sometimes I regret not having my ovaries yanked during my hysterectomy a few years ago.  But that’s generally when the pain has me struggling not to reach through my monitor at work and strangle the idiot on the other side of the support chat. When I’m thinking rationally, I’d rather not have to balance all my hormones manually, although my sister is insisting that I’m already hormonally challenged.
 
My doctor says that if I need to, I can go back to work after a few days since I sit at a desk all day, but my manager isn’t quite so sure that letting me provide support solutions while cranked is such a good idea.  I’d like to take a short medical leave instead of just two days of sick time and my regular two days off; however, my company now only covers 50% of pay during medical leave and I really need that full paycheck to cover my newly increased medical deductible (bye-bye new iPad that I finally finished saving up for).
 
All in all, I’m glad I live in the time where trying to figure out how to pay for the procedure is all that I have to worry about.
 
I’ve been following The Mother’s weekly installment on “The Nefarious History of Motherhood“, which covers the role of motherhood and the practice of obstetrics and gynecology throughout history (she also provides an incredibly detailed bibliography for those who wish to verify or follow up on her research – some of it is amusing, while much of it is absolutely terrifying).  My ovarian cyst? Having it taken care of in the early 1800′s was dangerous, and that was just draining the cyst–not removing it.

Up until that time, ovarian cysts were generally tapped with a sharp trochar, draining off as much fluid as possible and as necessary for the sufferer to lead a fairly normal life. Unfortunately, there were a large number of complications and deaths just from tapping; plus, in the absence of removal of the cyst-causing tumor, the fluid kept reaccumulating. The record was held by a Dr. Heidrich, who tapped one woman 299 times for a total of 9,867 pounds of fluid. Ouch.”

Yeah, ouch is right. And it gets worse.
 
During the mid-1800′s, doctors noticed that ovaries influenced the uterus somehow, and by 1872, they started experimenting with their removal to fix gynecological AND non-gynecological problems (from ovarian cysts and epilepsy to hysteria, mania and other emotional problems).
 
Out of curiosity, I actually started doing some of my own research on all this, but stopped after reading a copy of the Boston Medical and Surgical Journal (February 12, 1885) when it started talking about treating a woman with ovarian cysts by applying a leech to the cervix a few days before each menstrual cycle.
 
I think I’m finally ready to stop reading up on this and just let my doctor do his thing.  In fact, I’m going to get up, right now, and make a huge batch of snickerdoodles so that I have something sweet to snack on while I’m home recovering.  That and lots of bran muffins to prepare for one of the side effects of surgery.
 
Mmmmmmm…. snickerdoodles and bran muffins filled with chocolate covered raisins….

Happy Easter. Let’s all eat Rabbit!

Tasty, tasty rabbit.

Elena Ferretti wrote an article titled “How to Cook an Easter Bunny”,  giving some great examples of why we should eat more rabbit.  First of all:

Rabbit is leaner than chicken, veal or turkey, with less fat and cholesterol. It has half the calories per pound compared to beef and pork and is the most easily digestible protein around. Since it’s both abundant and ubiquitous, low consumption has little to do with availability and lots to do with Thumper (a Cottontail) and Bugs (probably a Lop-Eared Gray.)”

See, that’s the problem.  Mention eating rabbit to my nieces, a coworker (hello Jenn), or even one of my baking instructors, and they’re appalled that you’re munching on cute, little fluffy bunnies.

Me? I love rabbit. I was even lucky enough to have rabbit as one of my ingredients in my Black Box final in culinary school (it’s a final with mystery ingredients, no recipes or cookbooks, and you have to use all your ingredients plus whatever random ones you find when you walk into class to make an appetizer, soup, main course, and dessert.  I made braised rabbit with a mustard sauce and it was AWESOME!).

And rabbit is healthy for other reasons as well.

Because rabbits mature fast they spend less time on earth than cows or pigs and have no time to accumulate toxins. They reproduce quickly and are grown without hormones or antibiotics. They can be entirely raised on alfalfa, clover or grass, making them a non-competitive species with humans – i.e. they don’t eat what we eat. Simply put, they’re very clean meat.

Rabbit is also delicious and no, it doesn’t taste like chicken. “It’s very delicate. I’d say the taste is closer to veal,” says Chef Emily Peterson who teaches at Astor Center in New York City….”

Unless you overcook it.  Then it tastes kinda like overcooked chicken that’s been sitting in the fridge for two weeks.

Braising is probably the easiest way to successfully prepare rabbit.  The article also links to a recipe for Rabbit Cacciatore, but there are so many more recipes out there. Many are from companies that sell rabbit meat, but there are quite few from people who raise their own rabbits, as well as the standard recipe sites.

http://www.mybunnyfarm.com/Rabbitrecipes/

http://www.raisingrabbitsformeat.com/tag/rabbit-recipes/

http://www.bigoven.com/recipes/search?any_kw=Rabbit+Meat

http://www.rabbitrecipes.net/

http://www.showbunny.com/recipes_using_rabbit.html (scroll down for the actual recipes)

This is an individual recipe from the Reluctant Gourmet’s site.  I’m including him in my list because he has some great recipes.  Here’s the link to his recipe for Pan Roasted Rabbit.

Finally, because I’m a Texan, and we Texans have to cook our meat outside, here’s a recipe for Grilled Rabbit – coniglio marinato alla griglia (even though it’s from a Brit).

Now I need to go find me a rabbit.