It’s been an eventful week. I should have guessed that by how it started when I got locked out of the house on Monday.
So to recap at week’s end, I ended up in the A&E. Nothing life threatening just a matter of trying to navigate the health care in another country.
I had been feeling sick for a couple of days and with the weekend approaching didn’t want to be caught out in a bad way. So I went to the local physicians group not far from the house, walked in and asked for an appointment. The receptionist said, “Are you registered with us?” Ah no! Didn’t know I had to be. Apparently there are streams of paperwork and approvals and all sorts over here. I let her know how sick I was and that though I wasn’t registered, since I had just moved here, could I still get an appointment today. Negative! I had to fill out the paperwork, then once that was processed they would call me to set up a time to see a nurse. The soonest that would happen was the end of next week. Then the nurse would be the one to book the doctor for sometime thereafter, likely a couple more weeks. Dear God! It made me miss the great medical coverage and care I had in the U.S. through my union Screen Actors Guild. However, I have been living away now for seven years and have heard personal stories that it’s not all that it was cracked up to be. But we won’t go into that!
Anyway, our ‘friendly’ receptionist suggested I go to the urgent care or an A&E. Since I would be driving (which is a rarity over here with all the public transport) I opted for the easiest to get to, which was Queen’s Hospital in Greenwich. When I walked in I realized why A&E is not a good place to hang out. But I eventually got seen by a no nonsense African doctor and was prescribed antibiotics, so thankfully I will be on the mend in no time!
No matter how sick I get, from a mini sniffle to the ‘run over by a bus’ variety, two things happen. One it makes me miss my family back home in America. Two, it also gives me a greater appreciation for those soldiers in the medical profession taking care of others who are at their worst! Such a calling right? But no time EVER were these two things more apparent than when I got really sick back in the autumn of 2011.
I spent 2 ½ weeks in a hospital in Dublin and it wasn’t pretty! I was desperate for my family but it wasn’t possible for any of them to come. Side note.. I find it awfully unfair that some people online and in social media gloss over the messy parts of life (leaving their viewers to pine away for a virtual reality that isn’t obtainable). This, as you have already guessed, isn’t that kind of blog! On Yankee Doodle Paddy we’re keepin’ it real!
Only for the love and support of my hubby who visited everyday, the kindness and care of the hospital staff, and the many prayers, cards and visits from my adopted Irish family I wouldn’t have made it.
During our recent move and the packing and unpacking of our things, I did some of what I call “time travel” thinking back on that period of my life. While I revisited the beautiful cards from some of my cookery students, my co-workers and the lovely ladies from the American Women’s Club it made me feel very grateful. So you see, “hoarding” these keepsakes allows me to relive a moment that, at the time was a challenge, but in hindsight was made precious through all the love I received.
My famous chicken soup is a miracle “heal all” for the soul and when anyone is sick I like to whip up a batch for liquid comfort! But what about when I’m sick? Well, I have a quick version that I will share with you, so that even if you are by yourself, feeling poorly (as the Irish say) you can easily make a batch to satisfy your own soul!
Repurposing is the key to this gem. It is quicker the more bits and pieces you have on hand in the fridge. If you still have some of the milk roasted chicken you made from yesterday’s post then you are luckier still. Have any left over cooked veg? What about some steamed rice from last night’s take away? Super! The more you have, the more you can repurpose. No waste! And you can tweak it to your liking…allergic to garlic, no bother just leave it out. Not a fan of peas? Then substitute corn..etc etc.. I’ll post the longer version of my chicken soup another day, but here is the one for not only quick cooking but also for a speedy recovery.
You need a couple of cups of Chicken stock/broth (this can cause confusion in this part of the world as some think it is a creamy version which it is not. It is the clear one). You can use a stock cube if you don’t happen to have any homemade chicken stock frozen. The cubes usually make 500ml which is grand
Some chopped onion (about a ¼ to half an onion depending on the size)
1 clove of garlic minced
A carrot, peeled and sliced
A stalk of celery sliced
A handful of frozen peas
1 handful of shredded cooked chicken
A handful of cooked rice (follow your package instructions) or you can use some cooked noodles.
Literally, you just pop the stock in the saucepan/pot on the stove top (the hob) and put in the chopped up veg (except the peas) and bring to the boil. At this juncture if you are so inclined you can put in a small amount of freshly grated ginger (loaded with great healing properties). Cook until the veg is tender, about 10 mins. Then add the chicken, rice and peas. Cook for another couple of minutes until the chicken and rice are heated through and the peas are cooked. Season with freshly ground pepper and salt if desired. If you have any on hand, you can sprinkle some chopped parsley on top like I did. It is practically like a stew as opposed to a soup. Totally nourishing!
After you’ve enjoyed your delicious self soothing soup, get back into bed under the duvet! That’s what I’m gonna do!
Here’s to good health,
Good news… since I shared the story of rainbows on here the other day, I saw my first London rainbow practically outside our door!