Be Cool

The end of the term has arrived, so why am I in such a funky mood?

Last evening, I felt some painful pressure on my lower jaw, near the point of my chin.  It feels like an abscess, but I’m not certain.  I’ve got some pain in my lower lip and I can’t tell if the two are related or simply aggravating each other, because goodness knows that I need yet another painful ailment.  Of course, I’m in semi-panic mode, as I had an abscess develop not too far from this spot about six or seven years ago.  Like this one, it just happened – no warning, no issues – other than the fact that I’d scratched that area a day or two earlier.  Not the “I hit something that left a minor laceration” scratch; more of a “Hey, this itches,” scratch.  Several hours later – boom.

The last time this happened, I ended up with a welt that was about an inch-and-a-half in diameter, and was large enough that you could actually see it extend from my face.  It wasn’t huge, per se, but compared to my face, it was Mons Olympus.  My then-physician (a fantastic woman who was probably the best doctor I’ve ever had) couldn’t figure it out, and wrote it off as an “unknown skin issue,” or something like that.  She prescribed an antibiotic, and within a week, that thing was gone – but it did not slip off silently into the night.  No, it wanted to fight.

I’ll spare you the bloody (literally) details, but the antibiotics turned the abscess in on itself, and at least three times a day, I had to drain the excess fluids that had built up in the injury.  It was not particularly painful, but it certainly wasn’t pretty.

Yes, I know that you wanted to hear about this as you eat your breakfast.  No need to thank me.

We never did figure out what caused the abscess, but if there was a good thing in all of this, it’s that the thing didn’t appear until after the term had ended – so I didn’t have to face students while wearing my Mummy starter-kit.  And while I’m put off by last night’s developments – again, no idea what caused this – I’m happy that my contact with students this week will be far less than normal.  My only real concern is whether or not I should wait and see if this thing will decrease and go away (meaning that any medical attention will not happen until next week), or if I should sound the alarms now, try to wiggle into an appointment, and start-up an antibiotic regimen again.

But – and where would I be without the ominous ‘but’? – I spent a month on antibiotics for that bad tooth, meaning they might not work this time.  I might be told to wait anyway.

Grrr.  Every day sees new pains, discomforts, and problems in new areas.  It’s hard to stay positive, but I’m trying.  It’s hard to avoid falling back into that pit, but I know that I can’t.  Gotta keep looking up, or so I tell myself.  There are people who have things a hundred times worse than me, yet they persevere.  Be cool – that’s the only way to get through issues like this.

But it’s hard.

Ended up making hamburgers last night, but they were not the greasy mess that I’ve long wanted.  Over the weekend, I came across some marked down ground beef.  Say what you will, but when basic ground beef is ordinarily $5.98/lb., and you find it for $4.25/lb., you don’t ask questions – you grab and run.

Which is what I did.

Truthfully, I know what the issue was: It was up against its “sell by” date, and the store wanted to unload it fast.  No problem; there’s no such thing as having too much ground beef.  It’s just not possible.

My initial plan was to grill it, so I spent part of the weekend cleaning the grill that hadn’t been touched in at least eight to ten years.  Yes, that was fun – scrapping off residue and filth that should have been removed before the kettle was stored away.  Or navigating through the maze of cobwebs and abandoned spider egg pouches – just hilarious!  Who knew that a Weber grill could double as one’s own personal “Indiana Jones Theme Park?”  The only thing missing were the snakes.

I can’t believe that I left that thing in that condition, but it makes sense – I’m not much of a griller, I have no place to dispose of used coals, and my guess is that at the time, I’d planned to clean it an hour after I’d taken in the last of the food.

Hours became days; days became months.  The filth in Weber went from history to legend to myth.

So, yeah – I cleaned it.  But I didn’t get to use it.  Fearing that my ground beef would also enter the realm of legend, I instead decided to make traditional burgers on the stove.  They were decent, despite lacking real flavor.  I’ve been trying to cut back on some of the more sodium-intense seasonings, but I may have taken things too far last night.  No matter; I toasted the buns diner-style, and that made up the difference.

Why no grill after all of that work?  Well, Memorial Day is my “cooking” holiday.  Some cook a big spread on Independence Day, while others hit up Labor Day.  My father used to grill for all of the summer holidays, while my mother took care of the winter ones.  Me – I limit myself to Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Thanksgiving.  Two grill dates and a turkey.

So with Memorial Day around the corner, I may use the grill then.  I had been using an indoor grill, but now with the Weber cleaned and ready for service, I may take the festivities back outside.  I’ve been working on a plan when it comes to grilling ribs, so it’ll be interesting to see if I can make this “plan” work for me.

Yeah, it may be hard, but I’m going to try equally as hard to not let my troubles hold me back.

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