Archive | September 2011

I Hate Being Sick

4 blood tests, 4 urine tests, 3 ER trips, 3 IVs, 2 doctor visits, 2 flu tests, 1 X-ray, and 1 cat scan. In the span of 7 days. What a week!

Have I set the record for the times I’ve had to visit the ER in the span of seven days?

I could throw in more number facts in there, but these are just the basics.

If you follow me on Twitter, then you probably already knew that I haven’t been feeling well for the last two weeks.

It started off in the evening of Sept 11, with a sore throat. Annoyed I was getting sick, I took a few precautionary measures right away — drank warm tea, took cough drops, and took over the counter cough medicine.

Little did I know what it would lead to!

By 9 PM that night, my whole body was completely sore and everything just hurt.

By early that night, I was completely sore and had a full body ache. That night I was awake the whole night feeling miserable (and now had a fever and an intense cough).

Then it got even worse! :/

Starting Monday morning, I started throwing up A LOT. Sometimes just randomly, but definitely if I ate or drank something. Either I would throw up right away or get a horrible coughing fit which would result in me throwing up soon after. Plus diarrhea.

Fun, huh?

Went to my doctor Tuesday afternoon and she gave me some anti nausea medicine and told me I had some crazy viral that was going around and that I needed to go to the ER if it didn’t improve because I was losing too much fluid.

So that night would be ER Trip #1.

Six or seven hours, an IV fluid, first of many blood and urine samples, more anti-nausea medicine through the IV later, I would come home being told I had a crazy viral. Really? I didn’t figure that out already. More specifically, a throat infection (viral pharyngitis) plus MAYBE a bladder infection. Fun stuff.

What annoyed me was they didn’t do anything about the main things, just the minor ones. I mean, I would rather be coughing and what not then throwing up so much. Anyways, Tuesday was another miserable night and no sleep.

Wednesday morning, because I hadn’t had anything to eat/drink since Sunday, I tried to eat a cracker before taking the medicines. I figured the IV fluid and the anti-nausea medicine through the IV would have done me some good. But of course not — I was still throwing up.

Wednesday afternoon (the 14th), my doctor called to check how I was doing and when I told her I was still not able to keep things down, she told me to go back to the ER again. More IV fluids, tests, and hours later… I made my way back home from the ER for the second night in a row!

Thank god for my iPhone because without it, I would have lost the little sanity I have left after the past few weeks. It kept me from losing my mind the countless hours I was in the ER (three times over), it distracted me when I needed it most, and because I was pretty much laying down or sleeping most of the time it gave my access to read the news, etc!

A few days ago, I joked that you know I don’t feel well when I haven’t touched my laptop in such a long time! Unfortunately, it’s true.

I’ll follow up soon with another post on the nurses in the ER (at least the ones in my local hospital). It’s been on my mind since the first night I was in the ER.

P.S. Don’t forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I’d love to hear from you.

Where Were You?

Ten years ago today, I was just days into the school year — I was in the eighth grade.

I knew something was wrong right away because over and over again the classroom intercom would go off from the main office calling yet another student down. Slowly, but surely many of my fellow classmates were being picked up by their parents early from school. Not only was it early in the school day, but it was literally a few days into the school year.

School faculty/administration would not explain why, no matter how many students asked. To protect us? I don’t know.

I don’t remember from who, but I remember over hearing someone talking about an “emergency” in “downtown” “Manhattan” involving the “World Trade Center”.

I remember lividly — lumps formed in my throat and tears started forming in my eyes as I quickly went up to my teacher and told my teacher I needed to go down to the main office and call home. I needed to make sure my dad was okay.

He too, like MANY others used the train to get to work in Manhattan every day. His stop was the station in the lower level of the World Trade Center.

I, too, was picked up early from school. On the drive home, I could see the smoke even in Central New Jersey looming in the sky.

In a time before cell phones were so common that even elementary school-ers carry it around (like now), not many people had the luxury of having one. It just wasn’t deemed to be a necessity as it is now. That meant getting in contact with your family and friends that day was a challenge in itself.

My dad, luckily, got in contact with my mom quickly and let her know he was fine. He had just gotten off the train and left the building and he “heard the noise”, but didn’t see as the first tower was hit.

It took him hours to get home that day because the city was literally shut down, but all that mattered was that he was fine.

Blessed? You bet. Grateful? More than I could ever explain.

In the hours and days ahead, glued to the TV and questioning “WHY?”, I would learn how massive that day was… how many innocent lives were unjustly taken away that day.

As a young Muslim girl who had just started wearing the hijab just a few days prior (on the first day of school), I had no idea how the community would react hearing about all the backlash against Muslims and hate crimes in the days ahead. Fortunately, we live in a very diverse community, and I didn’t have any problems.

Even so, being a Muslim has been a double edge-sword at times. It’s just so easy to lump a whole group and pin the “blame” on them. But do we blame all Germans for the Holocaust? No. You know why? Because we know it’s not true. An individual’s action or a group of individual’s actions can’t be attributed to a whole group of people.

It’s taken me ten years to write down my “Where were you when it happened” story, but you know…  it’s not something I’d ever forget.

It’s a day of reflection and counting your blessings. It’s a day to remember all of the innocent lives lost that day. It’s a day that we lost the feeling of comfort and peace. It’s a day that changed how we lived forever.

Oh what I’d do to go back to the mindset of September 10, 2001. Being so young at the time, I honestly don’t remember the care-free life before.

P.S. Don’t forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I’d love to hear from you.

NY Scenery

What do I do while stuck in the car for seven plus hours during a road trip?

Take pictures of the scenery, of course, from my iPhone!

 
P.S. Don’t forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I’d love to hear from you.

Flood

Driving up north today, I definitely got a reality check.

Watching the news coverage on the flood and intense rain in the last week or so just doesn’t give it justice.

Here is one photo I quickly snapped from my phone earlier today:

Yes, that’s flooding up to the branches pretty much.

We saw parks completely flooded. Stop signs with rain more than three quarters covering it. Soccer posts being over half under water. We saw towns completely empty and businesses shut down because they were flooded. To see all of the hairs and tables at a Wendy’s outside the restaurant because it was completely damage is just one example.

And here I was thinking we had it bad. When we had to clean up the basement flooding for just one night.

Sure we had road closures all around us and we were pretty much stuck at home, but…

We still had power during the worst of the storm.

Our area suffered little to no damage in the aftermath of the storm.


P.S. Don’t forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I’d love to hear from you.

Blogger App

I am not sure when it happened, but Blogger finally has an app for the iPhone!

Maybe (probably not) it is just what I need to start blogging more frequently again.

From time to time, I used to continuously check to see if Blogger came out with an official app, and then gave up on it. Much to my surprise tonight, as I was searching through apps on my iPhone, I found the Blogger app!

I just installed it and am actually using the app to write out this post to test it out.


P.S. Don’t forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I’d love to hear from you.

What’s For Dinner: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream Bars

To make the Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Bars, I used:
  • 1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) of Betty Crocker chocolate chip cookie mix
  • 1/2 cup of butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 bottle (7.25 oz) of chocolate topping that forms hard shell
  • 1 container (1.5 quart) of chocolate chip-cookie dough ice cream (about 6 cups’s worth)

Here’s a step by step:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F. Take a 13×9-inch pan [that is oven-safe], and spray the bottom and sides with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine your cookie mix, butter and egg together until a nice and soft dough forms.
  3. Using the cookie dough that you just made, make 5 cookies. Bake [in a baking sheet – not the 13×9-inch pan you greased earlier!] the cookies for about 9 to 11 minutes) or basically until the edges of your cookies are golden brown). Once they are out of the oven, let the cookies cool for a few minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, press remaining dough in pan, using moistened fingers (dough will be sticky). Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until it is set. Let it cool completely, about 30 minutes.
  5. Spread 1/3 cup of the chocolate topping over the baked crust. Freeze 10 to 15 minutes or until chocolate is set.
  6. Meanwhile, remove ice cream from freezer to soften. Spread softened ice cream evenly over chocolate-topped crust.
  7. Crumble 5 baked cookies; sprinkle over ice cream layer. Drizzle remaining chocolate topping over cookie crumbs. Cover; freeze for about 2 hours.
To serve, let stand at room temperature 5 minutes before cutting. For serving pieces, cut into 5 rows by 3 rows. If there are any leftovers, store your leftovers in a freezer, just make sure to cover it completely.

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P.S. This post is a part of my “What’s for Dinner” series, where I share what I’ve been cooking and my recipes.

What’s For Dinner: Bihari Kabab Rolls

I am not a fan of many Pakistani dishes, but chicken bihari kababs are one of my favorites. From time to time, I turn them into rolls for the family and/or guests.
  1. For the Chicken Bihari Kababs, I took chicken breasts that were sliced into thin fillets (chicken ka pasanday in other words) and marinated it with: salt, pepper, paprika, ginger powder (or ginger paste), garlic powder (or garlic paste), red pepper flakes, grinded fried onions, grinded poppy seeds (or kashkaash), grinded raw papaya [to help tenderize the chicken], yogurt, bihari kabab masala, and oil. For the oil — I love what the mustard oil does to the bihari kabab, but I’ve made it many times over with plain old cooking oil as well.
  2. Put it on the skewers, and bake for about 35 minutes on 380 degrees. half way through making, turn the skewers so both sides cook evenly (if it won’t turn, it’s not a big deal). Next, for about six or seven minutes, put it under the broiler.
Tips:
  • marinate it at least twenty four hours beforehand so it marinates well [and the meat has time to tenderize].
  • Sometimes when I am making the chicken bihari kababs specifically for these rolls, I’ll use minced chicken meat.

For the paratha portion, I just used a store-bought one that I heated up over the stove.

For the sauces, I used a combination of two: a homemade raita and store-bought tamarind (imli) chutney.
For the homemade raita:
  1. Take coriander leaves, salt, garlic, paprika and lemon juice. Run it through the processor. We do these in a large batch and freeze them.
  2. Once they are frozen, I’ll break them apart for single-sized uses so when I need some, I can just pull out one piece, and not wait on a large piece to defrost.
  3. Whether you are using it fresh or after waiting for it to thaw, when you are ready to make the raita:  take yogurt, salt, garlic powder and some of the coriander mixture and mix it well. The thickness will ultimately depend on your own liking, but I don’t thin it out for these types of uses.

Like my recipes? Click the below link to purchase my cookbook “What’s for Dinner”:

P.S. This post is a part of my “What’s for Dinner” series, where I share what I’ve been cooking and my recipes.

What’s For Dinner: Cheesecake

P.S. This post is a part of my “What’s for Dinner” series, where I share what I’ve been cooking and my recipes. Grab and share my button: