Tart ‘n Sweet Chocolate Cookies and An Interiview with my Father

As many of you know, my dad has been on quite a bumpy ride since this past Thanksgiving.

I know, I'm recycling this pic from a previous "flashback friday"

For new readers and those that maybe missed it, my father unexpectedly suffered a severe 6 mm intracranial brain hemorrhage. For normal, non-doctor folk, it is a bleed inside the brain.  The build-up of blood in your head can lead to increases in intracranial pressure which can crush delicate brain tissue or limit its blood supply. Thus, memory is usually affected and depending on where the bleeding is, so can other bodily senses. I realize now that although I mentioned what happened on the blog, I never discussed the details of his condition.

Luckily, he was never in a coma and although the bleed was very large, they was no significant brain shift and he didn’t need an operation. He did suffer memory loss, mostly with names of nouns, and a little short term memory.

My dad had great friends! His friend came everyday when he was in the hospital to shave him! He's a bit goofy and lifted his table on WAY high.

Although his bleeding went down significantly, we are not out of the woods yet. His memory improved since then, but its still not 100% and dont ask him to name any actors. Ever since this happened, I learned many family members from around the world started reading the blog to learn more about what happened. So I thought I’d do another interview with him (you may remember my first interview with him this past summer). Without further ado….

Me: So tell me what it first felt like when this whole story went down

Abba: I woke up, I didn’t feel well, and I had a pain on the left side of the head.

Me: How did you know it might be serious?

Abba: I didn’t think it was serious, I went to work

Me: So what convinced you to go to the emergency room?

Abba: Reyn (his collegue, who is a doctor), checked me and said we needed to go. I didn’t want to go at first.

Me: I know! It took us like a half an hour to convince you!

Abba: Really? I barely remember it.

Me: What was your first memory from the hospital?

Abba: When they told me I may have surgery.

Me: Did you understand what was going on?

Abba: Not really, they told me I have something in the brain that needs to be operated.

Me: What was it like being the ICU?

Abba: Its like you get full time treatment, nurse was their every hour.

Me: How have you changed?

Abba: I appreciate all the support I got, from you, close friends, everybody was really very supportive. People I barely know pitched in. I’m less specific now, more general. I’m at home most of the time. I still have difficulty reading and its difficult for me to concentrate.

Me: How do you want to change your lifestyle habits?

Abba: Lifestyle habits? I want to exercise, eat more organized, drink less, not like I [drank] before.

Me: What would you tell to someone who is going through a brain hemorrhage?

Abba: To think positively, think about the hope for healing. Fear takes you into the wrong direction.

There you have it. I can’t imagine what its like to have my memory be messed with. I’m sure its weird not feeling like yourself and irritating that you are not as strong and independent as you used to be. He had pains in his body which we are still try to figure out where its coming from and if its related to the hemorrhage. But mentally, he feels better. But he feels weak and “weird” (his words) and a little impatient about his recovery. I think he misses the old him and wants to be there right now. Maybe that’s why they call them “patience”. Sometimes, time is the best medicine. Second to laughter, of course.

Do you have any questions for my dad? Or for me about what happened? Maybe I’ll answer them in a future post.

And in case you didn’t get a whopping dose of chocolate yesterday, then this should cure your chocolate craving….

you will need:

1  cup  all-purpose flour (or for a good gluten free version, try it with 1/2 c oatmeal with 1/2 c brown or white rice flour)
1/3  cup  unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2  teaspoon  baking powder
1/4  teaspoon  baking soda
1/4  teaspoon  salt
1  cup  sugar or fake sugar substitute
1/3  cup  butter, softened
1  teaspoon  vanilla extract
1  large egg
2/3  cup  dried cranberries
3  tablespoons white chocolate chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°.Line cookie sheet with parchment or spray/grease the sheet.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk.

Place sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until well blended. Add vanilla and egg; beat well. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture. Beat just until combined. Lastly, add in cranberries and chocolate chips.

The dough is very play dough like so its easy to just roll it into a nice ball.  Make a dough ball and set it about 2 inches apart onto baking sheets. Bake in preheated oven for 12 minutes or just until set. Remove from oven; cool on pans for 5 minutes. Its not too sweet with just the right amount of slight tartness from the cranberries and slight bitterness of the dark cocoa powder. Divine.


31 thoughts on “Tart ‘n Sweet Chocolate Cookies and An Interiview with my Father

  1. hi eden,

    i watched this video recently where the speaker discusses her experience having a stroke. it was fascinating, uplifting, and ultimately pretty enlightening as to what her experience was like. maybe you’ll find it to be the same or maybe not, but just thought i’d share!

    just happy to learn how nicely you both are recovering from the situation since it first happened.

  2. Hearing/reading about your dad and how he viewed his situation really opens my eyes to brain health. His positive outlook is refreshing and I am sure thats half the reason he is healing (plus you of course).

  3. Your dad seems like such a sweetheart and I’m so glad that making his way down that road to recovery. You are definitely a superstar for helping him, working 4 billion jobs, and still finding time to blog!

  4. Anything that affects the mind or the way someone thinks is really scary stuff. Again, I’m so sorry that you both had to go through that. It does sound like he has a pretty positive attitude toward it all though… as do you. I’m still amazed by the strength you were able to draw from during the whole experience.

    Sorry I haven’t been commenting much.. I still try to read as often as I can 🙂

  5. Also having a father who went through some scary brain stuff, I can appreciate some of what you & your dad have been through…It sounds like your dad’s a really strong guy, and hopefully with time, he will be back to 100%.

    Those cookies look divine! I was still craving chocolate after yesterday’s waffles, so I plopped a ton of Nutella in my oatmeal this morning. Certain bloggers would probably faint at its unhealthiness, but it was delicious!

  6. Hi Eden,
    I do have a question for you. Having been battling an eating disorder myself for a number of years, often when something happens to one of my loved ones (whether it is an illness, accident, etc), for some reason, I tend to internalize their pain and often will resort to inflicting harm upon myself (such as restricting and engaging in other “ED” behaviors). Now that I am conscious of it, I tend to do it less so, but I was curious as to whether or not your dad’s hemmorhage triggered any ED behaviors, if you don’t mind me asking? If so, what did you do to combat these feelings/urges?

  7. your papa and ESPECIALLY you are seriously so brave! i would be so scared to go through this if i were you and i think you handled it like a champ! your dad should be so proud of you 🙂

  8. This really struck a chord with me–my grandmother had the same thing happen to her. However, dementia had set in to such an extent that she could never talk with us about her experiences…or about anything, really.

    You and your dad are so brave, and so lucky!

    Oh, do you have any recommendations for places I have to go to in London?

    • I know, I am very lucky, we arent out of the woods yet, but it could have been worse.

      Have you been to the giant Top Shop yet in Oxford circus? they have a whole floor of just vintage clothes which is a sight to see.And it may be a bit of a shlep, but greenwich is adorable and with lots of cute cafes and shops.And like I told you, Marks and Spencer is great for food (and the big one on oxford street sells decent clothes although its slightly too conservative for my taste. Fill up on their baked beans! I love their baked beans in tins!

      • i live in greenwich!!! (the poor part mind you not the posh houses) LOVE M & S too!!!
        sorry did not mean to talk about meafter reaading this post sounds kinda of self obsessed actually was going to write that i really marvalled at the way you wrote about how you were dealing with everything. when my mum was in hospital for major heart surgery i just went into autopilot. having family friends support really helps with recovery. your dad sounds strong and positive. we always mum and i would say think how much stronger you will be there is never a limit.

      • Wow, event the unposh bits are nice I think! they are more “authentic”! Thanks for sharing about your mum. Your right, these hard times make us stronger.

  9. That picture of you and your dad is so precious. Thanks for posting the interview too, I think it’s always interesting and helpful to see what actually gets someone to go to the emergency room. I always worry that my husband, parents (or even me) wouldn’t think something was “serious enough” to go, and then lose precious time.

  10. Your dad is so strong!! Thanks for sharing this! I remember some of the finally days we had with our grandpa…he was living in past memories, it was sad, but also touching because we got to really learn more about him and his life.

    HUGS to you and your dad!

    • O yes, he has about four appointments a month with regular MRI scans to check the brain. We’ll be having to make sure the blood pressure is in check like a hawk. Funny thing is, I have crazy low blood pressure so I often tell him, “you can borrow some of mine”

  11. Thanks for clarifying what exactly happend to your dad. I know it was brain related but it wasn’t clear to me what exactly had happened. (I found your blog after the fact.) I’m so touched by your relationship with your dad and his strength.

  12. your dad is a trooper and you are a great daughter. i love that you did this interview for the blog–it is neat to hear what he has to say. i love both of your attitudes. i think about you and your dad often! ❤

  13. Eden, you’re having such a hard time, and I want you to know that I’m thinking of you – although I don’t comment every of your blog posts, but I do think of you every day and wish the best for you and your dad :)!

  14. I would love to know how your dad overcame the fear…or at least, how he overcomes it whenever it comes (which I’m sure would be on a daily basis…we are humans after all!)

    Just wanted to let you know…I think you’re a trooper. You’re an amazing, loving daughter and now I know why your dad would only remember your name! You’re so precious to him…and him to you! 🙂

  15. Hi Lulu and Eden,

    Its so great to read the blog and the interview and am planning on making the chocolate cookies recipe you posted when mum and dad get back from NYC. We will take some pics of your Aussie family eating them and wish you to get well soon. We think your blog is awasome and would like to invite you to post a couple of blogs as our LA correspondent on my new work foodie website. Check out http://www.wasamedia.com
    My skype handle is Davidwasa74.
    Lets talk soon. Wish your dad a speedy recovery!
    Lots of Love David Wasserman

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