Kula Shaker said it “well the truth may come in strange disguises”. In my case it was a sausage that I hadn’t thoroughly cooked. I hadn’t even realised it wasn’t cooked and ate half of it.
It gets worse.
I’d given the other half to my toddler to eat and here’s the worst part.
I’m seven months pregnant and foodborne illness may mean the death of my unborn.
It’s so embarassing that something so crucial slipped my detection. Being a mum with a new bub on the way, I’m responsible for lives other than mine, innocent children nonetheless.
It never occurred to me what a dangerous occupation motherhood is until the sausage slapped me in the face with it. In my defence, I’d split it in the middle and it looked thoroughly cooked in the pan. The only way I realised some parts weren’t cooked was when my partner noticed his was pink in the middle.
This discovery sent shock waves through the household. Consulting with Dr. Google and finding horrifying cases of miscarriages, early births, children contracting Meningitis through Listeria infections only made it an unpleasent evening with very little sleep.
Also what if our infant had contracted E. Coli? Did you know that E. Coli increases the likelihood of SIDS? And what’s worse, one of our friends has a neighbour whose toddler died of SIDS because of an E. Coli infection.
Going back to that evening, let’s just say I wasn’t firing on all cyllinders. I wasn’t inspired to cook anything for dinner and hence throwing a frozen sausage on the fry pan. It’s my go-to when I don’t feel like cooking anything. And who feels like cooking every night? Please raise your hands if you don’t run out of dinner ideas.
I was running on fumes, so to speak. I can’t quite put my finger on why I was so tired, deflated and had absolutely nothing to give, but I think it had something to do with spending my whole day to put together a presentation on the hero’s journey, which ironically turned me into the villain of my own story.
You see, even though I don’t make any money, I still have this delusion that I’m a professional. I write every day and volunteer to do presentations on storytelling even though I don’t get paid. I feel it’s my way of paying it forward.
So do I work? Technically no, because no one pays me. Do I feel as though I’ve put in a full day of work by the end of the day? Yes. I definitely do.
The sausage whispered in my ear everything that I didn’t want to hear. He told me that I should be taking care of myself and perhaps not even attempt to cook when I don’t bloody feel like it out of some pathetic guilt-duty for not working (technically). My partner wasn’t even hungry and who says one should eat a home-made dinner every night of the week?
I could easily give my toddler a pouch or something healthier — a frozen gourmet meal. Those do exist, courtesy of Annabel Karmel and others.
I have no one to blame but myself for putting the pressure to cook “home-made” dinners every night. Take-out is an option. As are Lite n’ Easy meals. Frozen meals are great. Just put on the timer and they don’t pose any bacterial threats.
My stategy going forward?
Less meat for one thing. No sausages. I don’t like those anyways and most of them are loaded with nitrates. We have had more than a few instances of cutting into the meat to see it wasn’t thoroughly cooked so why even risk it?
For more energy in my day, I’m looking into improving my diet. In Turkish we have a saying “life comes from the throat” meaning through what you eat. On the flipside, life can be shortened or made less pleasant by what you put in your body too.
Oh and fasting is a thing. Dr. Gundry, a cardiologist and researcher who’s written several nutrition and diet books talks to the benefits of fasting. The digestive system needs a break too and it would be a good break from having to worry about what’s for meals.
My search for a manageable way to eat better has led me to the option of cooking ahead of time and getting my partner involved in the process as he enjoys cooking (and we need some couples bonding time). I would benefit from having his thoroughness to double check my work in the kitchen.
I’m a writer for God’s sakes, not a chef.
My partner and I can use Dr. Gundry’s The Plant Paradox Cookbook to start planning our weekly meals and our bonding time could be taking a Saturday or a Sunday arvo, while our infant sleeps, to prepare our meals for the week.
So this is a creative solution to the challenge the sausage brought up in my life.
Thankfully, today my Ob/Gyn reassured me that Listeria infections are rare and if I do have flu-like symptoms and a fever, she can treat me with Penicillin.
Fingers crossed all’s smooth-sailing in the next two months before the baby and the book pop out of me.
I tell myself it all happens for a reason and it’s all raw material for the book we write that is our lives.
Over to you: What have been some lessons you were taught through worrying about something? How were you able to turn the worry into a positive outcome?
E-mail me to tell me all about it, Eda@writepublishgrow.com.