Tag Archives: Dave Ramsey

Ankylosing What?

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I saw the rheumatologist for the first time last week.  It was refreshing to see someone who seemed to know what was going on.  My general practitioner is great but I’m glad she referred me instead of just treating the symptoms.

I don’t have a diagnosis, yet, but the new guy ruled out lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. I told him I can’t afford an MRI, so he is taking a “Dave Ramsey approved” course of action.

The doctor asked me a bunch of family history questions. I told him about my dad. He’s 70 and he claims he can still run like a deer. The doctor laughed and said I’m better off than running around like an effeminate deer. I had never considered it, but deer are kind of effeminate.

I had a few x-rays taken and a few vials of blood drained from me. He sent the blood to the lab and I’m going to start some super-expensive medicine that should be deeply discounted with one of those prescription cards issued by the drug company.

As long as my end is under a hundred bucks I’ll manage. The doctor said this medicine costs about $3000 a month. Before he told me my out of pocket cost would be reasonable, I considered leaving. Who needs a diagnosis if you can’t afford the treatment?

Using medicine as a diagnostic tool reminds me of House M.D., but my physician isn’t giving me hepatitis to treat me. I’m glad.

The doctor says it is possible my issue is mechanical, but if the medicine works, the two ailments that fit my symptoms are psoriatic arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis. The symptoms fit the latter disease better.

I can’t even pronounce it. I just know I’m in pain. I may be near an actual diagnosis, and at this point, I hope it is one of these disorders. It means there is a treatment.

(CC image courtesy of Anagoria on Wikimedia Commons).

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My First Crack at Black Beans

I can’t say I’m a black bean aficionado as I rarely eat them, but I have been craving them lately. Actually, this isn’t my first attempt at black beans. In 2012, I made them in Haiti at Nehemiah Vision Ministries. I spent two weeks there preparing mostly comfort food for Americans on mission.

We are still working our debt snowball.  Dave Ramsey inspired us to eat lots of rice and beans.  And beans and rice.

This is the first time I have made black beans in my home. In my dutch oven. I love that pot. Anyway, I thought I’d start taking down the recipe before I forgot what I did.

Ingredients

1 pound black beans

1 link andouille sausage or smoked sausage

1 bag Pictsweet Seasoning Blend

4 minced garlic cloves

2 bay leaves

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon ground Hatch chile pepper

2 tablespoons chicken base

(Note: I just eyeballed the spices. As always, season to your own taste. Too bad I didn’t have any serranos or I would have minced a couple. Plus, I have to keep it mild enough for my kids’ wuss palates).

 

Method

Soak beans overnight.  Change water periodically.

Split andouille in half lengthwise, then split those two halves in half.  Chop the four lengths of sausage.

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Sausage always tastes better when it begins to get crusty.

Toss sausage into pot to brown.  I know you are going to think I’m some nut carrying on about the Maillard reaction.  I guess I am.

Time to add the seasoning blend.  Normally, I would chop onions, peppers, and celery myself, but when my joints are causing issues I try to stay off of my feet.  Pictsweet came to the rescue.  I almost forgot the garlic. Never forget the garlic.

Saute until onions are translucent.

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This picture came out lousy. My iPhone doesn’t like taking pictures as steam wafts. Actually, all of these photos look lousy. I need to get my guy to take some pics of this dish.

Drain and rinse beans.  Add to pot.  Be sure to add bay leaves, cayenne, black pepper, white pepper, paprika, chicken base and Hatch chile powder.  I order my chile powder from New Mexico.  If you want to rock the McCormick, be my guest.

Fill pot with water and simmer approximately 90 minutes while occasionally stirring.

Enjoy.

(I’m a self admitted hack, but I have not received any promotional consideration. If I ever become a professional hack where companies want me to shill their products, you’ll be the first to know).