Friday, July 1, 2011

a weird virus and a chocolate cake for recovery

So we've been sick.  I still am sick.  It started last Thursday, innocently enough, when my younger daughter came home from school early with a fever.  I put her to bed and assumed she'd sleep it off in a day or two.  Her fever went up in the night but she woke feeling pretty good, with no fever.  Then her fever went up again on Friday afternoon and then again on Saturday.  Now my husband and I are on the same page about most parenting issues, but dealing with illness is an exception.  I am low intervention and he is "what can she take?" at the first glimmer of sickness.

In the past I've conceded to him, and we've taken feverish children to the freezing emergency room.  Honestly, they spend more time examining your insurance policy than actually looking at the kid.  I have been irritated and frustrated by the doctors and nurses in the emergency (we've only been a couple of times and just for fevers.  I'm sure they are great at real emergencies).  The last time the doctor wrote a prescription for antibiotics even though there was no indication of bacterial infection (he said it was "just in case").  And I haven't even mentioned the routine shots of analgesic in the bum.

So, shots are a thing here.  I was always mystified by how people would get a cold or something and go to the clinic to have an injection.  "What are these injections?" I wondered.  And then during a bad flu I got one myself.  It's an analgesic and it's administered to the fleshy part of the bum.  When I told a Panamanian friend that in Canada, there are no routine injections for the flu, that people just take medicine orally, she looked at me with such pity and disbelief, like "you poor people, how are you not all dead."  I've decided it's a cultural thing.  Still, I'm not really into the unnecessary bum injections and they are just routine in the emergency.

So, I stood my ground with my husband and said no to an emergency visit.  My position became very tenuous by Sunday as my daughter was not getting better.  Through all of this we could not get a hold of our pediatrician.  When her fever went up scarily on Sunday night, the pediatrician who was filling in finally called us back.  She agreed to see us first thing Monday morning.

I really like our pediatrician and the doctor filling in for him was excellent.  By this time, my daughter had been five days with fever.  She had no signs of bacterial infection, only a slight sore throat and the fever that would not quit.  The doctor gave us some oral analgesic and sent us to the lab for a bunch of tests (Dengue, Mono, etc..).  Her tests all came back fine.  It was just weird virus, which my husband and I can attest to because we both have it now.

It's horrible, my skin even hurt yesterday and I cannot remember the last time I was so tired.  I think I'm getting better.  I hope I'm getting better; I'm supposed to be running an 8K race on Sunday.

Anyway, in honor of Canada Day and in the hopes of tempting my daughter (her appetite still hasn't returned).  I made some chocolate cake.

Moosewood Chocolate Cake

1 ½ cups white flour
⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
½ cup vegetable oil
1 cup cold coffee
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons vinegar 

Preheat the oven to 375º F.  Flour and butter a 9" round or 8" square (or similarly sized heart-shape).
Sift the dry ingredients together in a bowl, mix  add  with a whisk.  Add the coffee, oil and vanilla.  Mix well and finally add the vinegar.  Quickly stir the vinegar in and pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake for 25 minutes.

Happy Canada Day!

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