*My Scary 24 Hours: Today, I am especially thankful to be alive and well. We survived the beautiful snow and ice storm and awoke to the most beautiful winter scene here at home today. It was still snowing and the trees were covered with ice and snow...it was truly picture perfect. I haven't posted the last few days because of a scary situation I experienced Tuesday. I worked a little late on Tuesday to get everything done in anticipation of what they were calling a "catastrophic winter storm" that was due to begin late that night, and in the event I wouldn't be able to get to work Wednesday. Well, I didn't make it into work on Wednesday...but not because of the snow and ice. Shortly after I got home from work Tuesday night, I began experiencing chest pain. Of course, I tried to ignore it because I still had things to do to prepare for the storm. Hubby and I went out to the grocery store to pick up a few more groceries, "just in case". My pain continued and I continued to ignore it. We got home and I actually began fixing dinner. I made dinner but had to stop and sit down because of the pain and difficulty breathing and finally told my husband what was going on. I continued to wait a couple more hours torn about what to do. I didn't want to overreact and go to the ER only hours before this catastrophic storm and in the event we had to wait long, I didn't want to get stuck and not be able to return home in the middle of this storm. So, I waited and finally got to the point where I feared that once the storm began I may no longer be able to make it to the hospital safely and that an ambulance might not be able to get to me either. So, I did what every stupid person experiencing chest pain would do...I began to pack the car for the possibility of getting trapped like so many did a couple weeks ago here in Atlanta. I packed food, water, coats, etc....hoping that somehow I would feel better before leaving the house. I was worried about leaving Spike and our bird behind without food, water, etc. in the event we got stuck. The long and short of this was that we reached the hospital, I was whisked back promptly with my symptoms and as they hooked me to monitors, inserted a port in my arm, took my history and tried to give me an aspirin to chew...I reminded them I was allergic to aspirin. They asked if I had ever had nitroglycerin and I said no. They assured me it was safe and the worst side effect I would experience was a headache and that how I responded to it would help them rule out certain things. So, I placed it under my tongue. When they asked me if I noticed any difference and I said "maybe a little less pain and no headache" and then immediately told them I didn't feel well and thought I was going to pass out. When I regained consciousness and could understand what was going on (I was extremely disoriented), they told me that my heart had stopped for 16 seconds. They had called a code and had the crash cart and were getting ready to shock me. It all happened so fast. They informed me that I had a serious adverse reaction to the nitroglycerin and that I could never have it again. Is it really possible that this drug that saves so many lives almost took mine? The saddest part is that my husband was there to watch all of this. The good news is that after every kind of test imaginable; echo, CT scan, MRI, nuclear testing; stress testing, x-rays, so much blood drawn that I'm surprised I have any left...I was told that I did not have a heart attack. I was released from the hospital a few hours short of 24 hours and sent home with a "pleurisy-like" diagnosis (breathing and inflating my lungs hurts and causes me to breathe shallow). I have had pleurisy before and this feels much like that, only I didn't have jaw pain, shoulder pain and neck pain with it the first time. I am to follow up with a cardiologist next week. So, I am home resting today and going a bit nuts with nothing to do. I can't stand to have nothing to do...so that is why I am posting this recipe. I had already taken the pictures this past weekend and it gives me something else to focus on other than breathing! :-) So, in case you were wondering, that's why you haven't heard from me these last few days. It's been a long 24 hours. I am so very thankful that the first (and only) time I was given nitroglycerin that I was in the emergency room setting I was in, and not at home. It is really great to be back! P.S. -- while anticipating the storm earlier in the week, I took a pot roast out of the freezer and had planned to cook it yesterday (before my fiasco). I have it going in the crock pot today...a good roast is a terrible thing to waste! ;-)
|Trees in my backyard this morning
|This is not a common scene from my kitchen windows...but it's beautiful!
Decadent Chocolate Espresso Pot de Crème
3 oz. Ghirardelli 100% Cacao Unsweetened Chocolate Premium Baking Bar
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup confectioners Swerve sweetener (or equivalent sweetener to 1/2 cup sugar)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 large egg yolks
1/4 cup very strong espresso coffee (I made by using instant espresso and water)
Break chocolate baking bar into small pieces. Bring the cream, Swerve, and vanilla to a boil in a saucepan. Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl.
Add about 1/3 of the boiling cream into the yolks and whisk constantly (you don't want to cook or scramble the yolks). Return the remaining cream to a boil and whisk in the yolk/cream mixture. Continue to cook, whisking constantly, for about 20 seconds or so, until slightly thickened.
Strain the cream mixture through a mesh net strainer into a bowl and add the chocolate, whisking until smooth. Once chocolate is melted and incorporated, whisk in the espresso coffee.
Pour into three or four small custard cups or ramekins. Refrigerate until cooled. Top with toasted nuts, whipping cream or berries, if desired.
*Note: If a sweeter confection is desired, add a couple more tablespoons of sweetener to the mixture. Espresso can be omitted, if desired.