What if you lived alone.

I’ve been thinking about this recently, especially since Tony has been through so much this past month, from being diagnosed with cancer, numerous tests, surgery and subsequent 9 day hospital stay.

How could he have managed all of this if he lived alone?  How would he pay bills, take care of the dog, etc.?  His parents live in Florida, his son lives in Texas and his sister works two jobs.  He isn’t able to drive yet, so how would he have gotten home, gone grocery shopping or even picked up his prescriptions?  It scares me to even think that he would have to worry about all the little things while trying to heal from surgery!

He teases me that he’s never been as sick since he met me, which is true.  He’s had three knee replacements, a heart valve replacement and now this.  And while he thinks I have munchausen by proxy syndrome, I really do believe I came into his life when he needed me most! 😀

Do you know anyone who had to handle a serious illness while living alone?  I am just stumped on how anyone could do it all by themselves.  Go to a nursing home?

We got good news at the surgeon’s office.  Two words you want to hear after being diagnosed:  your cured. He gets the staples removed next week and then its just a matter of time before his body heals itself.   His surgeon could not be more pleased with the outcome – and so are we!  So everyone around the 50 year old age bracket – do me a favor – get a colonoscopy.  It just goes to show that if you catch it early enough – you can be cured of cancer!

So I was able to meal plan and grocery shop over the weekend.  Two things that were seriously lacking the last two months were vegetables and fruit!  So for breakfast this morning, I had my take on a pepper and egg – egg beaters scrambled with baby spinach and deli ham, then stuffed into a yellow pepper that I microwaved.  I topped it with cheese and put it under the broiler.  On the side was an ounce of my white bread and a pear – 8 PointsPlus.

The other day I printed out a recipe for a Spanish chickpea chorizo and prawn soup.  It looked amazing!  Mine doesn’t look anywhere as pretty as that one, but this tasted delicious!  I also made some changes – obviously leaving out the onions, and I added one chipotle chili to spice it up.

Chickpea Chorizo and Prawn Soup

  • 5 servings, 2 cups each: 313 calories, 9.2 fat, 26 carbs, 8.7 fiber and 27 protein = 7 PointsPlus

Ingredients:

  • 1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 2 small carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 15 ounce can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 4 ounces chorizo, removed from casing
  • 8 ounces raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary, chopped
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1 chipotle pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Directions:

  1. Heat stock pot over medium heat.  Once its heated, spray with Pam and cook the garlic and carrots for about 5 minutes, stirring often.
  2. Add tomatoes, chicken broth and chipotle pepper and rosemary and simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. In a non-stick pan, heat the chorizo for about 5 minutes, until it starts the release the fat, then with a slotted spoon, remove to a separate plate.
  4. Add the drained chickpeas to the chorizo fat and fry for about 3-5 minutes, until the chickpeas start to absorb the chorizo flavor.
  5. Add the chickpeas and chorizo to the soup and simmer for another 30 minutes.
  6. Add the shrimp and cook for 5 minutes, then its ready to serve.  Season with salt, pepper and crushed red pepper to taste.
  7. Garnish with fresh cilantro, if desired.

don't skip this step - the chickpeas retain a bit of a crunch in the soup which gives the soup a great texture

the protein from the shrimp and chickpeas made this a very filling lunch 😀

I did have a 3 point ham sandwich while I was taking Tony between his doctor appointments today – so lunch in total comes to 10 points.

When I was a young single mother, I literally could spend only about $30 a week on groceries for me and Hannah.   I lost my job the very first day I went back to work from maternity leave.  Back then I took a temp job so I could continue to work.  I made $225 dollars a week, and my day care cost $150.  Needless to say there was no shock that I had to live with my parents for as long as I did. 😀  Thanks again Momma!

Anyway, while Hannah and I could sustain ourselves on pasta and tacos, every once in a while I had a taste for red meat – but for obvious reasons, New York strip was not in the budget!  But cubed steak was!  I liked to call it the poor (wo)man’s steak – its still super cheap to this day and every once in a while I get a taste for it.

less than $3 bucks for two "steaks"

I spread about a teaspoon of flour on a paper plate and salt and peppered the steak.  I heated up a cast iron skillet – these are so thin, they only need to cook about 1 1/2 minutes per side.  I “fried” them up in 1 teaspoon of oil and Pam – just make sure your skillet is nice and hot.

8 PointsPlus - simple comfort food 😀

Guess what I did before dinner though – I exercised!! I did Level 1 of Jillian’s 30 day shred – holy shit am I sore today – its amazing what a couple weeks off of exercise does!

Stats for Monday:

  • 29 points (3 points of two mini reeses peanut butter cups when my blood sugar was low yesterday afternoon)
  • Level 1 of 30 day shred
  • average blood sugar was 98

Have a great Tuesday – I am just about to make breakfast nachos – I totally forgot about them!

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44 thoughts on “What if you lived alone.

  1. YES! Hooray for Tony kicking some cancer ass and hooray for colonoscopies!

  2. Hi,
    Thank you for gave it a go with my recipe for chickpea soup and I wish Tony will be healthy again very very soon. I gave all my best wishes for you and Tony.

  3. You are right about the living alone thing….in nursing school, they teach us how essential it is to find out if the patient has support systems in place before they are discharged and if they didn’t social services got involved with things like home visiting services and such…but then again, that was back in the 80’s…maybe there isn’t that emphasis now.

    I happen to think your soup looks amazing! Yum. I would have never thought of such a combo.

    never had cubed steak…looks good though!

  4. Ahhhhh cube steak, I remember you well. Must be the universal ‘steak’ of single parents! And yes, we still have it sometimes too.

    So glad about Tony’s post surgery diagnosis! He is very blessed to have you and I agree that you were introduced to his life at just the right time.

  5. Very nice with Tony! Glad everything is going well. Food looks awesome!

  6. SO TRUE – when my stepfather had a heart attack last year my mom went home to help for for 2 months, but had work commitments in GA after that so they had to hire some in-home care as he rounded out his recovery. It is indeed very scary. Too funny about the munchausen by proxy syndrome reference which, in my opinion, this has to be one of the CREEPIEST diseases ever, right?!

  7. I can’t imagine going through stuff like that alone. I’m so glad that I was still living at home when my dad had his brain surgery. My mom had a knee operation last month & was not supposed to drive but she ended up having to, in order to get prescriptions and food and stuff.

    Your chickpeas reminded me that I really have a taste for falafel. Think those are on the menu tonight for me!

  8. I am so happy for Tony!!!!!
    And yes, thank you for that PSA. The hubs has been having issues lately and I scheduled a doc appt. for him yesterday! His sisters have been bugging him to get a colonoscopy since colon cancer runs in the family. Now, I’m getting him to the doc and I’m going so I can make sure he tells all his symptoms! HA!

  9. So happy for you and Tony! That’s terrific news!

    As a kid who grew up pretty dang poor, I ate a lot of cubed steak! 🙂 I hadn’t thought of it in years–ah, the memories!

  10. Great news!

    I was reminiscing to my husband how much Andrew and I used to eat Ramen noodles for meals. “As an adult?” was his response, as in you chose to eat them. Cheap meals!
    That soup looks great, just the recipe I need to use up the shrimp in my fridge.

  11. I was just going over recipes for grocery shopping and your soup looks too good not to make! Glad to hear that Tony is doing so well.

    In answer to your question, I think there is, and will be, a great need for people to step in and help with just that sort of thing as well as other ways to help people who don’t have anyone nearby–also to help keep the elderly going in their own homes as long as possible. It seems to be a good area to develop as a business.

    Best,
    Bonnie

  12. Great news from the surgeon. In my line of work I run in to people struggling to manage illness alone all the time. It is heartbreaking and makes me so thankful for the wonderful people I have in my life.

  13. oh yum your breakfast looked delicious! I make peppers & eggs but never done that way! 🙂 Great idea! 🙂

  14. I’m so happy for you and Tony, that is amazing news! Ya know, I always wonder what people would do if they live on their own also, I’m freaking out that I have to get my wisdom teeth out while my husband is gone. lol

    I love cubed steak, haven’t made it in such a long time, but it’s great comfort food 🙂

  15. This should’ve been titled “You’re cured” – FANTABULOUS!

    I worry every day that my husband might go and what would I do if he wasn’t here, but we all do what we have to do and make accommodations – no one is going to be left without I am sure. I have a gazillion kids and a sister but it isn’t their responsibility if anything happens to Pooldad to take care of me. I will figure it out, if, heaven forbid, I have to – it’s what we do.

    Take care of the now and the tomorrow will come.

  16. Awesome news!!!! Tony should give seminars on how to kick cancer’s ass!! 🙂

  17. That’s great news for you! It’s such a difficult thing to deal with, but you guys beat it. That’s a great way to usher in this year.

  18. I have a love/hate relationship with Jillian. So, so happy that Tony is cured!

  19. Go Tony Go!!!!! ❤ How fabulous that you two do have eachother to share smiles and look after eachother! =)

    I'm so excited you love the tofu recipe! Girl it is soooo good! I plan on making it again this week! It has this gorgeous crust that the egg and little bit of corn starch give off — delish! I made your scallop appetizer!!! omg was it boozy! and yummy!

  20. Yes, sing the praises of preventative medicine! We have several patients that are ignorant enough to say that nothing will ever go up that end and it just breaks my heart. Prevention can stop such agressive diseases in their tracks, I don’t know why anyone wouldn’t jump on the opportunity to take charge of their health and longevity! Such a great message, Biz!

  21. Best 2 words EVER!! So glad for the good news!!
    And I just saw an egg stuffed pepper recipe on Paula Deen recently. I remember thinking how good it looked – I’m glad you posted this to remind me to make my own. 🙂

  22. First of all, great news on Tony! Hooray!

    Second, I do live alone. My husband passed away suddenly 3 years ago, and I had never ever lived alone prior to that. There are so many “what if’s”, but somehow, we find a way to survive as scary as everyday is, we find a way.

  23. YEAH!!! for Tony, for you and for Hannah. Such a huge weight lifted off your shoulders. YES, the Lord listened and healed.
    That pepper looks pretty awesome. I wonder if the daycare kids would eat it. I have to try, they are great eatters and also farm kids so that helps so much.
    Keep exercising, taking care of yourself so you can take care of Tony. I don’t know how the single do it. With my sister always in the need of help I don’t think she’d of survived all she has without family and friends right here.
    Take care Biz and have a blessed afternoon.

  24. Biz, that is such outstanding news!

    Enjoy this moment, nothing better!

  25. The. Best. News.!!!! So happy for you guys!!!!

  26. Awesome news!!!!! Congratulations Tony for kicking your own ass cancer!

    Beth, that stuffed pepper breakfast looks delicious – GREAT idea!!

  27. Times like this are when you need a great circle of friends, if you live alone and/or don’t have family near. I have amazing family, but I’ve lived 5+ hours away from them for most of my adult life.

    I had the flu in 2003 and it knocked me on my ass. I could barely manage to make a bowl of oats for breakfast, never mind prepare and feed myself three meals a day and run to the supermarket when I ran out of tissues and medicine. Fortunately, I had a friend who delivered soup from the best local soup restaurant and a colleague who checked in with me and stocked my living room with tissues and my fridge with orange juice. Although I lived alone, I never felt alone.

    Similarly, I needed a “babysitter” for a full week after back surgery back in 2008. I had just moved to NJ the year prior and although Evan and I were dating, he lived 45 minutes away. Fortunately, he essentially moved in with me for most of the week and took care of me. I also had colleagues from work stop by or call to see if I needed anything during times when he was at work.

    It DEFINITELY makes me appreciate what I have–whether that’s good health or a friend I can lean on when I need it. Tony is lucky to have you, although that luck seems to go both ways.

    BTW, YAY for being cured!

  28. Bless you, Biz! I really don’t know how he, or anyone, could recover from something like that w/o help. I have never known anyone to be completely alone–even if they are single, relatives and friends come out of the woodwork to help. One of the only good things about illness!

  29. I am so happy to hear the good news!!!!

    I think about the being alone thing quite a bit. I have a co-worker that lives alone and she has Cancer (Melanoma) She is going through chemo now. She has a brother that lives in the areas so I imagine he has helped her but what a scary situation huh?

    You are a blessing to Tony as he is to you Biz!

  30. AW that is just awful to think about 😦 I would hope someone living alone had good friends or some support system to help them out!! I’m sooo happy Tony is doing SO well, ahh that is great news!!
    OMG so weird u brought up Munchausen syndrome- i remember learning about some super interesting cases in a pre-Law class that I took….I forget the exact situation but it’s such a fascinating topic!

  31. There is no way in HELL that I would live alone i.e. not close to family. If I weren’t married, I could totally handle an apartment by myself, but not if the parents weren’t close by. When I was in NY and away at school, I would call my mom once a day, if not more. Even though my mother-in-law is in town, I still call her once a day to check-in too. I’m cute like that 🙂

  32. Well, all I can say is: Tony is a lucky man to have you, Biz. I don’t know how he could have done it alone…and I think that’s one of the reason he got to meet and fall in love with you, too.

    Hm, I live alone, and I plan on living alone my entire life. But I think if you’re a good person, there will always be help and love around you…and I believe that was the case for Tony, too.

    And of course…I’m ECSTATIC to hear the “c” word!!!! 😀

  33. Weighting For 50

    Hi Biz, oh YAY!!! I’m THRILLED for you, Tony and your whole family. That is the BEST possible news I could read!!! (I wondered that too….about folks who were ill and lived on their own. When my Dad had his bypass, I couldn’t IMAGINE having to go through that without support of someone you love. (and without me staying over there for a few weeks to help them both) Makes me soooo grateful that a) he and my Mom are still together and able to take care of each other when I my brother and I can’t and b) that I have my Dennis, so we’re there for each other if/when our turn for illness comes. ) Have a great week, and Tony…keep getting well!!

  34. I’m so glad you have good news! Give greetings to Tony on my behalf (I have been wondering about the text on his “homecoming” shirt – the black one…).

    Your food pictures just keep getting better and better! Is it the new camera?

    I live alone and I sometimes wonder what would happen if I got a sudden heart attack or stroke at home or something like that. It would take some time for anyone to notice something is amiss…

    And Tina is right, even having a bad flu can be an ordeal! I’m not happy when I have to put my clothes on and drag myself to the mall to get food etc.

    • Yep – I got a new camera for Christmas – I want to take a photography class this spring, because I only know how to use about 10% of its capability!

  35. SUCH fabulous news about Tony! Ah! I’m just thrilled for you two! yayyyyyyyy! A perfect breakfast too. I have a bundle of peppers that need to be used up- I will be making this. I have no idea how magazines/cook books get their soups to look so pretty.

  36. What a lovely post to start my day. So happy for you and Tony.

    And I know a few other ladies who are doing the 30 Day Shred and I call it the 30 Day Dread 😛

  37. horray for being cured!!! woohooo!!!!!

    and i never thought about what i’d do if i were alone…i’d hope my friends would help i guess! along w/ my family of course if they could…

  38. Catching up with all of my blog reading – late to respond, but I had to say again just how happy and relieved I am for you both – what wonderful news!!!

  39. What great news about your husband! I’m so happy for you!

  40. Good news, Great News, the Best News! He is CURED! Biz this is so exciting, so I will continue to pray for healing and daily strength for Tony to get strong soon! Have a great weekend!

  41. Oh, I’m so very very pleased at the good news! Fuck cancer indeed!

    And I think about the aloneness all the time, how very hard all of that must be. I watched my friend’s mother yesterday take care of my friend in the hospital and I thought, who would be here for me? We are in this country with no family, and my husband would have to look after our young son…it’s so scary. Life is so very fragile and you are both so lucky to have each other, what serendipity that you came together when you did.

    All the best – oh, and the food looks yummy as usual…

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