Year of Firsts: So Behind

I have been away from my Year of Firsts updates for so long. Just because I haven’t been updating doesn’t mean that I broke my New Year’s Resolution. Recap for those of you who haven’t been here, I made a NYE Resolution to have one new experience a day for the entire of 2018. No matter how big or small the experience, it all still counts.

pexels-photo-775779.jpeg

I’m going to jump right into it and hopefully catch you up to where I am now while explaining why I’ve been away.

February 5th-

As some of you may know, I was diagnosed with a sizeable yet benign myofibroma in the roof of my mouth. It was an active tumour and was growing. It was eating away at my bone and am told that I was close to developing a fistula, as it was growing into my nose. February 5th was my surgery date. I was so nervous. I’ve had surgery before, but nothing this extreme. Moments before the operation, I was in a room with medical staff running here and there. It was super busy and others were getting surgery and it’s hectic. So hectic that it contributed to my anxiety. My blood pressure was through the roof, so they opted to give me some Valium before the surgery to chill me out. It was weird. I felt that drug hit me within minutes, it was administered via IV so that’s not surprising. But still, I felt like a drunk person. It was so weird.  I remember being wheeled into the operating room and there was an entire wall of shelves with what I imagine was supplies. After they put me on the bed, I don’t remember anything. I was out. Next thing I knew, the anaesthesia was wearing off and they were preparing to take me out of the operating room. They had these blood pressure sleeves on my calves and as they were taking them off, I told them, “No leave them on, It feels like a massage.” Everyone laughed. For next couple of hours, I felt in and out of consciousness, I guess. Strangely though, by the time it was for me to get home, I really felt good enough to drive myself home. I don’t know if it was the morphine or what, but I didn’t feel pain. I wasn’t dizzy. I just felt pretty normal. When I got home, I was normal. I was sitting around and talking as though nothing happened. The only thing that was really different was that I have a huge chunk of my head missing, mostly in the maxilla region and that meant I couldn’t eat.

pexels-photo-236380.jpeg

February 6th-

Which brings me to the 6th. Sleeping was kind of tough and the pain was manageable at this point. But what was the most interesting as it was my first time being on a strictly liquid diet. Before surgery, I had prepped by buying a lot of meal replacement drinks, protein drinks, juices, Gatorade, Pedialyte, etc. They only foods I could have were yoghurt and ice cream.  So I had tons of that around. I don’t want to jinx it, but I thought that I’d get really hungry not being able to eat, but I have to say these meal replacement drinks work. The weird thing was that my mouth was starting to miss the actual physical action of chewing.

IMG_2602.jpg

February 7th-

Now, this First was not happy. This is the day where the pain and shock really set it. I don’t know if maybe the anaesthesia and morphine took a while to wear off and maybe the whole experience didn’t feel so real, so now is when it all became real. I can’t even explain to you the pain. Putting anything in my mouth, including water was so painful. So the 7th was the day that I got serious about keeping track of my meds to ensure I don’t miss a dose. But the sort of fun part of that was that I had ice cream all day. I’ve never done that before. A whole day of ice cream. So good!

February 8th-

The 8th was when the boredom really started to set in. I became really familiar with the app store and started downloading apps like crazy. Most of the apps I tried were pretty thumbs down. But it gave me something to do. It was the first time I tried a role-playing game. I didn’t really get too into it. The storyline I was given was bland, but I imagine there are better ones out there. I’m open to suggestions.

February 9th-

Because I’m still on the liquid diet lifestyle, I had someone make a trip to Arlee’s and pick me up some green juice. Up until now, most of my liquids have been on the sweeter side, so I needed something green to break up all that sugar. Good stuff. It burned a little, but what doesn’t burn my mouth at this point?

IMG_2675.jpg

February 10th-

Our house has been kettleless, since the last relatively new kettle we bought, was forgotten on the lit stove and burnt to a crisp. So now we get to try and have tea from a ceramic kettle. I’ve never had a ceramic kettle before.

February 11th-

I was introduced to clove tea for the first time. I’ve had cloves in many other ways, in cooking and in my toothpaste, but never on its own as a tea. It was miraculous in my mouth. With a little honey, I drank the cup in no time. It had the power to numb my entire mouth. I felt no pain. It was beautiful!

IMG_2707.jpg

February 12th-

Even though I’m supposed to be on a liquid diet, I started craving food. Not out of hunger, but out of the desire to chew something. I thought about it and decided maybe a frittata was a good way to eat something, but have it be soft enough. Let me tell you, it is tough to eat without the roof of your mouth. I have no hard palate, so the food falls into this grand canyon that exists in my mouth. And when that bite of food finally met the bottom of the canyon, man, it hurt. I figured it was worth a try though.

IMG_2711.jpg

February 13th-

Since my tumour removal was in my hard palate and nose and that whole area in between, the tumour had also grown into my bones and around my teeth. That being said, after removing the tumour, the doctor warned me that my teeth were going to be super sensitive. Oh my God, was he right. I felt like my teeth were and still are pounding all the time. ALL THE TIME. That being said, brushing my teeth is super tough. Sometimes I have to put some Orajel on my teeth just so I could brush them. Even then, commercial toothpaste was way too harsh on my wounds. Because my surgery was done through my hard palate, there were no stitches because there was nothing to stitch it too, so my entire wound/incision was cauterized. That being, my entire mouth was burnt. Imagine putting your regular everyday toothpaste on a burn. You wouldn’t. So I did some research and found this natural toothpaste. It seems to clean my teeth well without irritating my wound.

February 14th-

Singles Awareness Day, one of my favourite days of the year. It’s the day I buy myself a gift and tell myself how incredibly amazing I am. LOL. Because I’m amazing, I thought I’d give another go at eating. Tried out these broccoli-cheese tots. Their gooey texture made it a bit easier for my mouth to handle. Everything still gets lost in there and I felt a bit icky eating the entire tray, but in the grand scheme of things, it wasn’t so bad.

IMG_2739.jpgIMG_2687.jpg

February 15th-

I went to a follow-up appointment with my surgeon. He said things were looking good. Knock on wood. Thank God. Don’t jinx me, please. At this point, I was in way too much pain. I hadn’t been able to drink water for over 12 hours. I thought maybe I had pushed my mouth too far the day before by trying to eat because my mouth was so irritated. to my dismay, when I asked the doctor when things will start to feel better, he said they really won’t. And by that, he continued to say that it will take 3-6 months to fully heal, but in the meantime, it is going to hurt and it is going to be very painful. What really got me upset was when I asked why the pain was getting worse and not better, he told me that there will be no consistency. Some days will be good, other days will be bad. It’s not like any other type of surgery where with time things get better. It’s very possible things could get progressively worse. And that my friends is a serious bummer. In the meantime, he gave me this thing called Magic Mouthwash. You read correctly. Magic Mouthwash. Coincidentally, or maybe not coincidentally, my insurance doesn’t cover this mouthwash “because it’s a compound.” I don’t even know what that means or what that has to to with me. It costs $50, so I had to make some phone calls and ask for money for others, which I HATE to do. I’m unemployed and certainly didn’t plan on getting ill in this way. It’s absurd that insurance doesn’t cover it. Anyways, this Magic Mouthwash is supposed to be magic. It’s typically used for cancer patients that experience mouth sores due to radiation. It’s made up of Maalox, Benadryl, Lidocaine, antacid, antihistamine and anaesthetic. It really was like magic. I’d just swish it in my mouth and my entire mouth was numb. It was a miracle. The prescription says I can only use it four times a day, but I really wish I could use it every second of the day.

pexels-photo-632722.jpeg

February 16th-

This day’s First was scary. Super scary. I was in bed after getting ready for bed. It must have been around 11 PM. I tasted something super salty in my mouth and had no idea what it was. I went to the bathroom and looked in the mirror. My mouth was full of dark blood. When I spit, I spit out nasty and huge blood clots. The clots I assume were responsible for my cauterised mouth. I rinsed my mouth with water and didn’t think much of it. The doctor said there would be blood, maybe this is what he meant. A couple of hours later, I felt that salty taste in my mouth again. I went to the bathroom and was bleeding from my mouth, much like a bloody nose, but from my mouth. Because of where the blood was coming from in my mouth, putting pressure on it with just my mouth wasn’t working. So I got an ice cold glass of water and kept the water in my mouth as long as I could and then would spit out. Put the water in my mouth again, spit out. Again and again and again until I got the blood to stop. I didn’t know what else to do or what I was supposed to do, so I went back to bed. A couple of hours later [again] I felt the salty taste in my mouth again. This time was different because, by the time I got to the bathroom, the blood was pouring out of me. I looked like a Carrie doomsday horror movie vampire fountain. Blood was shooting out of me as though I turned on a sink faucet on high. It was scary. I started to shake and felt so weak. I had some gauze and put it in my mouth, trying to put pressure on it with my tongue. In less than 10 minutes, I went through more than 10 pieces of gauze. The gauze wasn’t just soaked, it was swimming in a pool of blood. It was crazy. I went to the ER, it took more than a half hour to stop the blood. At the ER they applied some lidocaine and epinephrine to my mouth. Apparently, epinephrine acts as some sort of vascular restrictor? Or so the physician’s assistant told me. By the time I was discharged and got home, It was around 6 am. I got in bed and hoped that nothing like this will happen again. Positive vibes everyone. Positive vibes.

pexels-photo-673862.jpeg

Until tomorrow…

Peace and Pistachios,

Heba

xoxo

IMG_2880.jpg

Advertisements

Year of Firsts: Playing Catch Up

It’s been a crazy busy week or so, hence why I’m behind, but I’ve still kept true on my one new experience a day. So here it goes:

February 1st- I may or may not have mentioned that I live super close to a Pennsylvania Dutch Market. It’s a really cool market that has a number of kiosks for all your needs. So there’s meat, fish, baked goods, breakfast, lunch, dairy, fruit, smoothies and handmade furniture. But it’s the salted soft pretzels that have me addicted. They’re only open Thursday through Saturday and like clockwork, I’m there once a week in line for a salted pretzel. I swear, the salt they use on their pretzels has magical powers that clear up my post nasal drip in seconds.

IMG_2537.jpg

But after I’m done devouring a soft pretzel, I move onto the bakery, where I am weak. Sometimes I go and get a half a dozen doughnuts for the family, but every time I go, there’s always one person in front of me in line that gets the last Boston Cream doughnut. It drives me nuts because they’re my brother’s favourite and I always miss out. However, after weeks and weeks of missing out, I finally got one for my brother! Finally! The only bummer is that because it’s so fresh and they don’t have tiny boxes, so some of the chocolate icing comes off in the bag. I have no doubt that this hindered the flavour though. Their doughnuts are to die for. God bless ’em.IMG_2534.jpgIMG_2535.jpg

In the same shopping mall at the PA Dutch Market is a place that rents tents and these tiny barns. I have to admit that I felt awkward taking some close up pictures. I’m still getting into this whole blogging thing. I have to learn to get over my fear of taking pictures while people are looking at funnily. These barns reminded me of those articles I’ve seen of tiny homes you can buy on Amazon. I imagine if you bought a couple or so of these that you could connect them to make a makeshift home about the same size of the ones on Amazon. That brown shed wasn’t the biggest or the smallest one on the lot and it cost around $3500. Something to think about

February 2nd-

I picked up that Boston Cream doughnut for my brother, but I got the next best thing for me- an eclair. They’re pretty similar in taste, no? I honestly can’t remember the last time I had an eclair. This thing was huge. I really shouldn’t have eaten it all, but it’s not an experience I regret. It’s the first time I’ve had an eclair from them, in fact, it’s the first time I’ve seen it offered there. The PA Dutch Market has some staples like various pies and bread, but I think they change up their offerings to keep things fresh and new.

February 3rd-

This month so far has been all about the baked goods. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but it’s something. Last month, if you recall, I made some prepackaged cornbread that I rather enjoyed because it wasn’t the sweet version of it. I thought I’d give the PA Dutch Market’s cornbread a try because the ingredients didn’t indicate that it would be too sweet. I wasn’t disappointed. Honestly though, it wasn’t as good as the kind I made last month because there was a hint of sweetness to it, but nonetheless, it was a delicious experience. I also picked up this Touch of Strawberry cake. It was good but wasn’t the best. Again, this is one of those limited time offerings and maybe that’s why it wasn’t great. Don’t get me wrong. There was nothing wrong with the freshness or the quality of it. But I was hoping for more of a strawberry shortcake vibe. Strawberry shortcake is light and fluffy and wonderful, whereas this Touch of Strawberry cake was heavy. It was more of a traditional cake and maybe a cream cheese frosting, which I’m unfortunately not into. If that’s what you’re into though, I’m sure you’ll love it.

February 4th-

IMG_2573.jpg

Ya know, I don’t want to get too into the details of this show, because it’s literally amazing and I want you all to watch it without the fear of reading spoilers. It’s a French-language show that takes place in the town of Villefranche. I don’t even know how to explain the plot to you other than, it’s crazy. So many plots and twists I never saw coming. It starts off with finding a dead body in the forest and moves onto a missing person’s case. It’s then followed up by a struggling small town that closes down its sawmill and moves into the infidelity track. There’s something weird going on in the forests and thefts and murders and rapes and lots of what the hell is going on. I never thought I’d see a show that features a town more plagued by tragedy than Rosewood in Pretty Little Liars, but I was wrong.  I can’t even understand why anyone stays in Villefranche. Even before the onset of the show, the district attorney gets sent to the town because the town has an abnormally high homicide rate in comparison to that of the national average. I watched this show on Amazon. Get your hands on it and watch the Black Spot/ Zone Blanche. You won’t be disappointed.

Until tomorrow…

Peace and Pistachios,

Heba

xoxo

 

 

Watch SpaceX launch the Falcon Heavy, the biggest rocket it’s ever built — Quartz

Are you ready for the big one? SpaceX, Elon Musk’s rocket company, will attempt the debut launch of the Falcon Heavy rocket at 1:30 pm ET today. Below, you can watch all the action as the enormous rocket attempts to launch a Tesla roadster into orbit around Mars, while returning all three booster stages back…

via Watch SpaceX launch the Falcon Heavy, the biggest rocket it’s ever built — Quartz

Year of Firsts: 1 Month

It has been a month since I started my Year of Firsts. I have been laying low the past few days but here’s the roundup.

Monday’s First was an experiment in astrology. I read my horoscope every so often. I take more as daily advice, rather than a premonition of sorts. I try not to take it too seriously. But then I found this free reading and knew there was a catch. Regardless, I put in my info and waited for it to not be free anymore.

These are screenshots of my reports. Slightly generic and fake attempts at personal touches. Enjoy…

 

If you take a good look at it, to the unassuming victim, it could be easy to be fooled. I knew the entire time they were going to ask for money, I am surprised it was as long as it was, but we’ll get to that a little later.

I clicked on the said link and then got saddled with the cost for my so-called Transit Guide.

 

I had zero intention of ever paying for any of this nonsense, but out of curiosity, I did google to see if there were reviews of this guy’s services.

And that’s when I came along this article:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

So yeah, not that I had any doubt, it’s all fake. The reason why the initial report is so long is that it’s the same report for everyone. I just really enjoy the official confirmation from others.

Tuesday was a slow day for my First so I settled on trying two new drinks.

IMG_2484.jpgIMG_2483.jpg

There was the fresh and all-natural lemonade. Just the right around of sweet and sour. I love love love bitter drinks!

Then I tried a Diatomaceous Earth drink with Pineapple Juice and water. It’s supposed to be an internal cleanser of sorts. Ya know, if you have parasites or anything like that. I thought it would taste chalkier than it did, but once it was thoroughly mixed, it went down pretty smooth. The jury is still out on the whole cleansing bit, though.

IMG_2516.jpg

Wednesday’s First was on the beauty front. I gave a new facemask a try.

IMG_2525.jpgIMG_2527.jpg

I think I picked it up at Forever 21 ages ago but didn’t get a chance to use it.

IMG_2528.jpg

I don’t know why, but every time I use a sheet mask, I feel as though I can’t get it to fit my face properly. Does anyone else have this issue? I can never get it to fit the entirety of my nose and then have all these overlapping flaps around the edge.

IMG_2529.jpg

Whatever, do I look younger? LOL.

 

Until tomorrow…

Peace and Pistachios,

Heba

xoxo

via MIT is aiming for AI moonshots with Intelligence Quest — TechCrunch

Artificial intelligence has long been a focus for MIT. The school’s been researching the space since the late ’50s. But the university thinks it can do more to elevate the rapidly expanding field. This week, the school announced the launch of the MIT Intelligence Quest, an initiative aimed at leveraging its AI research into something…

via MIT is aiming for AI moonshots with Intelligence Quest — TechCrunch

Year of Firsts: Cryptic

Yesterday’s First was something I have been avoiding for a while. Bitcoin and all this cryptocurrency stuff have been all over the news the past few years.

pexels-photo-730567.jpeg

I usually just skip it all over because I’m not too math minded. But yesterday I thought I would at least try to understand it. I didn’t want to overdo it and wasn’t much in the mood to do a lot of reading.

pexels-photo-831430.jpeg

So of course, where do you go when you want to learn something but can’t be bothered to do the reading? Youtube.

pexels-photo.jpg

I watched this video.

And I really understood it. Well, until about minute 20 when things went from theory to practice. I’m lost when it comes to the whole practice part of it.

pexels-photo-730564.jpeg

What I did learn is I want to start/ make my own cryptocurrency. I don’t know what I would do with it or how I would even start it, but why not?

IMG_0022-2.jpg

I’m still learning, expanding my mind.

Until tomorrow…

Peace and Pistachios,

Heba

xoxo

via Court: Immigrant children don’t have right to free lawyer — KRON4.com

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Immigrant children are not entitled to attorneys paid for by the government when facing deportation, a federal appeals court ruled Monday. The judges rejected a claim by the American Civil Liberties Union and immigrant groups that children have a constitutional due process right to a free attorney. A system already exists…

via Court: Immigrant children don’t have right to free lawyer — KRON4.com

Year of Firsts: Innocent Drive

Friday’s First was a trip down depression lane. Anyone who knows me knows I dream of running away to New Zealand and living on a farm in the middle of nowhere. In my mind, New Zealand is like Disney World.

pexels-photo-771502.jpeg

I like to idealize the place and think that no wrong can be done. But I’m not an idiot. I know that no place is perfect and any place plagued with humans is due to be seriously imperfect. I know a relative amount of history of New Zealand and try and stay abreast of current events.

pexels-photo-710263.jpeg

And then I discovered the TV series called I Am Innocent. What a heart wrencher! It’s this show that tells the stories of those falsely accused of crimes. In some cases, these people were in prison for significant amounts of time. In other cases, their trials were dragged out for years before the Not Guilty verdict and other cases these people are considered guilty by uneducated public opinion.

Untitled

I couldn’t say which is worse than the other. All of these experiences seem absolutely awful. I’m watching this show and the pain and anger in the eyes of the falsely accused are so painful. And too often the people in this show, the ones so strong to make it through this experience– they’re Maori or poor or not from the best background or not traditionally educated or they are some other ethnic minority.

pexels-photo-709732.jpeg

They’re too often people who come from marginalized communities and can’t necessarily afford the best defence, even when the police work is so very and blatantly sloppy. That’s sad and wrong and it happens EVERYWHERE.

pexels-photo-143580.jpeg

I, of course, knew this before watching the show. Every so often you hear of someone being released from prison after the real perpetrator is caught. Or new evidence comes to light that sets the falsely accused free. These things shouldn’t happen, but they do.

pexels-photo-690800.jpeg

What really struck about this TV series though was that only a few of them ever were financially compensated and honestly the amount of compensation received is atrociously low.

pexels-photo-259165.jpeg

In the first episode of the first season, three 12-year-old girls were sent to an ADULT prison. I think they spent maybe six months there and only received about $150,000. Another man spent years in jail and got around $300,000. There really is no amount of money that can give these people back what they lost, but surely the system can do better than that. No?

pexels-photo-251287.png

Some of these people had their lives so completely ruined that even by the end of the episode, their life hasn’t recovered or rebounded. I don’t know how you rebound from that. Some do learn to move on, like the episode featuring Tim Morrison. I’m proud of him and how he made things turn out for himself. But his story is best told himself and he certainly didn’t have it easy. I’d recommend watching the show, if only for his story. I mean, the entire series is amazing in regards to presentation, direction, interviews, casting… Everything. But Tim’s story is… It’s everything.

Untitled

Life isn’t like that for everyone though; not everyone makes it out in one piece- whether that be emotionally or physically. Some of the featured are so angry and rightfully so. It’s just not right for people to be treated this way, especially when you know that had these people had the money or the community influence, the name or whatever, they wouldn’t have been in that position, to begin with.

gold-ingots-golden-treasure-47047.jpeg

I do wonder what can be done to prevent this and what can be done to ease the rehabilitation of the falsely accused.

pexels-photo-167964.jpeg

So Friday’s First was a lesson in broken systems.

pexels-photo-236229.jpeg

Saturday’s First is going to be a short one for you. I went to Panera again, but I went to the drive-thru! Ooooooooohhhh!

IMG_3496bfree.jpg

Nothing too exciting there, but I had never been to the Panera drive-thru. It was a silly reason, but bizarrely enough it was actually a shorter wait time to go through the drive-thru to cut to the highway than it was to wait at the light. So I picked up a latte and was on the road before everyone else waiting at the light.

pexels-photo-266044.jpeg

Now, if only Panera can start serving up a macchiato then things would be all good.

Until tomorrow…

Peace and Pistachios,

Heba

xoxo

 

 

via White Supremacist Group Hangs ‘Danger’ Sign Over Tunnel Approach to San Francisco — CBS San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A neo-Nazi activist organization claimed credit online for a sign mocking San Francisco’s policy on undocumented immigration which was hung over the Yerba Buena Island tunnel on Sunday morning. (Identity Evropa via Twitter) The sign, reading “Danger Sanctuary City Ahead,” greeted westbound motorists heading into the city on the Bay…

via White Supremacist Group Hangs ‘Danger’ Sign Over Tunnel Approach to San Francisco — CBS San Francisco

Year of Firsts: Sweat It Out

Yesterday’s First was certainly experimental. I’m not trying to get into TMI territory, but I love wearing my deodorant. I’m baffled by people who don’t wear deodorant. In fact, I recently read an article, accompanied by a medical journal about Koreans having some sort of gene that makes them not smell.

Like, they sweat, but don’t smell? That sounds like some real X-Men power to me. I certainly don’t sweat a whole lot or even notice a stink. Lol. I’ve even been told my sweat smells nice or doesn’t smell.

But deodorant is a sense of comfort that, just in case, it’s a good back up plan. You don’t want to be the smelly person in the room.

However, as mentioned in so many studies, a lot of deodorants and antiperspirants contain harmful ingredients, some shown to cause illnesses later on in life.

IMG_2473.jpg

I went on a hunt for a natural option. I found this option that seemed alright. When I got it home and opened it up, the deodorant was hard as a rock, not like other deodorant sticks that are on the softer side.

IMG_2476.jpg

So it is a little tough to spread out and it doesn’t even feel there. I had to test it out. I had to see how this baby holds up in public.

Yesterday, I went out for a very long walk… An intense walk. A sweat-worthy walk. And you know what?

IMG_2474.jpg

Nothing. No smell. No sweat. Nothing. This natural deodorant works better than the extra strength stuff. And I got it for a fraction of the price. That feels good too, I will admit.

IMG_2475.jpg

Until tomorrow…

Peace and Pistachios,

Heba

xoxo