Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Monday, March 23, 2009

Doctor's Follow Up

I just came back from the doctor's:

The ultrasound is clear and clean and the wounds are healing well (the two small ones are completely fine; the bigger one still needs three to four days).

I have been given the green light to travel so I should be heading back to Dubai soon.


Doctor's recommendations:

Wait a good three months before attempting to conceive again (or in his own words "surtout pas tomber enceinte pendant ces trois mois").

Do some routine tests in two months or so; nothing urgent, just to be on the safe side before another pregnancy.


Voila! :-)

Demain... Follow Up

Tomorrow I have to call my doctor to set a follow up appointment either later during the day or on Tuesday. He should tell me if it is safe for me to travel and how I've progressed...

Nothing dramatic but just updates :-)

Had a great Mother's Day with my maman :-) and hopefully next year, I'll be joining her :-)


Oh, and I plan to celebrate mommies day with all the countries (that should allow me for at least two or three celebrations a year; i.e. two or three excuses for a cake :-P)

good nite ;-)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Recovering...

Last night was a bit difficult. The pain in my shoulder due to the gas still in my belly got so painful we had to call SOS Medecins at around midnight and a doctor gave me a shot which did not do much actually. No matter what I did, I couldn't be comfortable. At the end, I got so tired I just sat in the bed and fell asleep sitting. I think I woke up a few times during the night because I remember sliding down a few times until I was finally on my back. I woke up a bit tired and still in pain and took my pills immediately in order not wait until I'm dying and no pill or shot can do me any good anymore.

I feel much better now.

Everyone made fun of me last night because of my blog. How could you type such a long "newspaper" and your shoulder is killing you like that. But when I arrived home I was still under the effect of the hospital drug transfusions which are obviously very effective. It's when they started wearing off that the pain started. Plus everyone keeps forgetting how fast I type! :-P So it only took me a few minutes to write my "newspaper" :-P What can I do if I'm so great?? :-P

Right now, I feel better. In all cases, it can only get better from now on because this is not the type of pain that grows. The more time passes, the less painful it gets. At least it seems the pills had some sort of effect this morning.

My three belly-holes are a bit itchy and the one in the middle (the big one) hurts a bit when I stand and sit. But come on! Nothing comes pain-free right? I consider myself one of the lucky ones!

As some of you might have guessed, Hadhoud is not here which is why I am taking the liberty to write this post :-P He'll make fun of me when he reads it but until then, I don't care :-P He had a short meeting before lunch and his punishment for leaving me (even if it's for a few hours only) will be to take the stairs when he comes back as the electricity is scheduled to shut down at 3pm. That's eight floors he'll have to climb! :-P Poor Hadhoud! Seriously, I hope he can make it back before 3...


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Madame Gruyère

Yesterday was an excruciatingly long day.

On Saturday, I did my last bHCG test and the hormones had doubled again so my doctor had asked me to call him on Monday morning (yesterday) so he can do a last ultrasound, locate the pregnancy and deal with it:

  • bHCG levels
  • 10 March 2009 : 2,988
  • 12 March 2009 : 6,565
  • 14 March 2009 : 14,000

7:30 >> I couldn’t sleep all night and woke up several times, and then finally got out of bed at and took my meds.

8:00 >> Then took a shower and waited.

8: 30 >> As per the doc’s request, I called him but he hung up on me without answering so I figured he was probably in the OR. I called the hospital and they confirmed that he had two operations that morning and that I should call back at around 11.

STRESS.

I couldn’t eat because I was expecting to possibly have a curettage done that day and I had to be prepared on an empty stomach for the anesthesia.

10:30 >> Called the hospital back and still no feedback from the doctor as his secretary told me she couldn’t get a hold of him yet.

STRESS.

My mom decides we should go to the hospital and wait there so that when he is done, we can immediately see him.

11:00 >> We reached his office and approached the secretary desk to introduce ourselves and check for possible updates and indeed, updates there were: the doctor would not see me at all and postponed me to the following day.

STRESS & I LOSE MY MIND!

I start shouting that I have an ectopic pregnancy, possibly in the tube and that the pregnancy is ongoing based on my bHCG levels and if something explodes inside of me, who would be responsible? I tell my mom to leave immediately and to go see another doctor at once. I leave. My mom stays and continues to argue with the secretaries who apparently call the doctor and he agrees to see me later, after two other patients, one with him and another who wants an ultrasound. So now it’s my mom’s turn to explode: is an ultrasound more urgent than an ectopic pregnancy? She joins me at the hospital door and we leave.

There was a doctor we had requested at my last miscarriage but he had left this hospital to practice at Clemenceau Medical Center - Johns Hopkins Hospital. So we called a friend and enquired about him again. We were in the Clemenceau area anyway.

So we went to CMC and asked about him.

Such a friendly staff.

The security at the entrance told us that the doctor had just arrived at the hospital so we ran to the gynecology floor and asked for him at the nurses’ station. They confirmed he was here for an operation because he doesn’t have an office at CMC; his clinic is a few blocks away and he only does his operations at Johns Hopkins.

The nurse was a real sweetheart. She tracked him down and followed him like a private investigator! She called the OR, no answer. She called the surgical floor and they told her the doctor had finished and left. (this took a good 15-20 minutes because the lines were either busy or nobody would answer). Finally, she called his mobile, knowing he was done from the OR and spoke to him directly. She explained my case very briefly and he told her he was on his way to his clinic and that I should follow him there; he would see me in between appointments.

I think we reached his office at about noon or so. We waited for two pregnant ladies who had a follow up and then they called us, indeed, before other patients who were waiting too.

He’s probably the funniest and sweetest OBG I’ve ever met!!

After listening to my background story, he did the ultrasound. His diagnosis was very close to Dr. Najat Hazimeh’s (in Dubai) and he told me that he would admit me today at the hospital and it was great I was still on an empty stomach because he’d like to do the procedure today.

His diagnosis was that there is nothing visible in the uterus but it doesn’t look like an ectopic pregnancy. However, and despite the bHCG levels, the pregnancy was not going to develop or we would have seen a clear sac in the uterus. All we could see was the same tiny thing that Dr. Najat had initially seen. The “lump” near the ovary/tube is most likely feeding what should have been the fetus. But since he couldn’t locate the latter on the ultrasound he decided to go for a Laparoscopy (if I am not mistaken about the name) to check with a camera, my uterus, ovaries and tubes as well as my liver (apparently some problems with reproductive organs may affect the liver).

Procedure description for the curious readers: three holes in my abdomen (hence the title of this post, Madame Gruyère) and some gas blown in my belly to make everything more visible. And the whole thing was recorded on a CD for me to review at home :-) Actually, Hadhoud called me on that day and asked me: “why don’t you tell them to record everything, then you can broadcast it on your highly private blog!” Everybody thinks I am a cyber-exhibitionist. But the joke’s on them! I did get my film on CD!! OK, OK; it may be too disgusting to broadcast! Let’s keep some things private, shall we? :-)

So basically, at around 1:30 pm, I reach CMC to get admitted. I finished from the admissions at around 2 pm and get to my very special room. My insurance allows me for first class admissions, but all the rooms were full so I got myself a junior suite on the presidential suite floor, with sea view (not any sea, please, my favorite sea in the whole world) and a very spacious and luxurious room and bathroom. It actually looked like a hotel with the tiny shampoo bottles and soaps, all sizes towels and even a bathrobe! :-) The nurse who walked me in told me I was lucky, I got a suite because all the rooms were full. I wanted to reply “if I were lucky you and me would have never met and I wouldn’t be standing here now” but I refrained. Come on. The staff there is so sweet you just want to blow kisses at them all day long! And night! It’s the first time I meet night shifters who are always smiling and in a good mood!

Unfortunately there were lots of operations on that day and I had to wait until 6 pm to finally see the OR. Needless to say I was freaking starving by then!

Luckily I got some sleep while I waited. And a lineup of doctors and nurses passed by when I first arrived to ask many, many questions (including the infamous “do you smoke?” “no” “do you do narguileh?” “no, I told you I don’t smoke” “many people don’t consider it smoking, go figure! Ok, now the most annoying question of all; are all your teeth real?” I couldn’t help but laugh! “yes, but why the most annoying?” “because usually women get ashamed and lie about this!!!!” and apparently they lie a lot about because I got asked this question about 10 times between my arrival at the room and the OR. People just don’t get that they could choke to death during an operation under anesthesia!!)

Part of the blood check my doctor requested included another bHCG test which turned out to be approximately 13,950 which means that the hormones had finally plateaued and I was on my way for a miscarriage. Thank God, I didn’t wait longer for a natural one because from previous experience, it’s a horribly painful and scarring event.

Back to our main story.

When they finally took me to the OR, I met a nurse there who was so funny. He came in with some coffee and asked me if I wanted a tea or a coffee?! I said I wasn’t allowed to drink anything (dumb-dumb)… As he took a sip he asked again.. So I said no thanks again. So he said, good, I was testing you! (like I said, dumb-dumb). The he asked me “what’s your name?” “rouba” “rouba what?” “rouba abouzeid” “abouzeid? where from?” “the north, from Ehden” “ah ok, I had a friend from the abouzeid family but he was from abroad, I thought you were too” “no, it’s a huge family present in many countries around here; what’ your name?” “guess” “how can I possibly guess??” “aoun” “aaaah” “but now guess my first name” “mmmh (I wanted to say Michel, obviously but I refrained) don’t know” “Hassan” I laughed so hard I think I may have chocked! “you’re joking right” “you think I’m a liar?” “no I just think you’re teasing” “ok, then check my hospital tag” He gets closer and indeed, he’s Hassan Aoun! “I wish I had my camera” “why” “well come on, this is one photo worth forwarding around!!” (after the operation my mom came down to see me, from afar, in the recovery room and Hassan told her “your daughter wants to forward my photo” but he didn’t explain why so my mom thought I might have been losing my mind due to starvation!!!)

At around 8 pm I hear Hassan trying to wake me up and telling me “come on, wake up now, it’s 8 and I want to go home” HAHAHAHAHAHA! Obviously I didn’t because I can’t remember anything after that!!

My mom and I spent the night at the hospital, during which I woke up at about midnight and had a very heavy dinner, was relieved to find out that Asmar had discovered who Zizo was and had dinner with her and Ali (:-P I don't watch the show but my mom does! it was my fault actually because during my first pregnancy and against all odds I got addicted to Noor and forced my mom to watch it with me, so she got hoocked on Turkish series while I got into detox) and got back to sleep like a baby… Well, I was still under anesthesia so…

Yesterday was fine all in all.

The doctor was very pleased with the procedure. He checked the tube which was empty and there was no ectopic pregnancy as per Dr. Najat’s opinion. The ovaries were both fine. And so was the liver. He cleaned everything around and invited us to review what he had done on video (non merci, I’d like to sleep nightmare-free please :-P)

My aunt Houda came to stay all the time with us and our neighbor Solandia visited while I was being punched like a Gruyère…

Then this morning, I woke up fine. And probably high because the drugs never stopped all night long!! :-)

Tante Houda came again, of course! She is always there my aunty! And tante Bader called like a million times too, they’re both sweethearts!

As I was joking with my aunt, someone knocks and enters. At first I didn’t pay much attention because a million people (doctors and nurses and in the morning the cleaning staff) were coming in and out.

BUT IT WAS HADHOUD!!!!

I couldn’t believe it!! I chocked on my saliva, I swear!!!!

I had just spoken to him like half an hour ago and he told me he was at the office… Before that his phone was off, so we called Loume (my brother) and he told us Hadhoud had a meeting so he probably had to turn his phone off. LIARSSSS!!!! But such sweet liars nonetheless!!

Finally, the nurses came to help me shower (yes, two ladies showered me!! one of them had shaved me in weird places the day before… I feel so cheap and dirty now! HAHAHAHAHA!) and then we came back home.

So my Hadhoud is here now until Saturday.

He went to see his mom and he’s bringing her and his brother to visit me. We hadn’t told them about the operation because my mother-in-law is very sensitive and she worries like crazy. So now she can at least see with her own eyes I am fine and relax a bit.

Just though I’d write this very quickly because many friends were calling and messaging (THAAAANX) and they’re waiting for some feedback… SO…

I AM JUST FINE.

I GOT THREE HOLES IN MY BELLY BUT I GOT TO STAR IN MY OWN MOVIE SO THE HOLES ARE A SMALL PRICE TO PAY…

I’ll hold a movie night at my place and we’ll all view this wonderful production of what’s inside my abdomen together!!

;-)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Sometimes...

Life spits in your face...

But it's OK. You can either choose to be the bigger person, wipe it out and move on. Or you can be small and frustrated and stress about every little pain. Not that pain could ever be quantified. No matter how small it may seem, pain is pain.

But we're all blessed with the quality to be able to forget the actual pain and just remember the memory of something painful.

When I had my first miscarriage, the physical pain I felt was unbelievable, and it extended for ten days! Ten days of contractions. Today, when I think back, I can't even remember how bad it actually felt. I just know I was hurting. But nothing more. I guess that's how women can get pregnant and deliver once, and twice, and three times, and many many more times [if you leave it up to me :-)]

So today I am in pain.
Not physically, Thank God.
I'm just sad.

But I know that a few months from now, it will be another memory. Not necessarily a bad one. It all depends on how I look at it.

I am lucky.
I am healthy.
I discovered the problem early on.
And I am fixing it.
I should be glad
(maybe not immediately but on the long run, I know I will view this as a blessing and God letting me know He is watching me and taking care of me).

I was at the hospital just an hour ago, doing my last blood test and I saw this young woman, probably my age. She was crying and shaking like a leaf. It seems her sister was next to her or someone close. That other girl was on the phone all the time, stressed and shaking too and it showed that she had been crying too. Then, the first one asked: "what did the doctor say?"

And that was it.

I knew that tragedies happen every second of every day.

Some of them horrible, inevitable and un-fixable.

Mine? It will be fixed.

And soon, I will be carrying my child in my arms, close to my heart. And I will be happy. And this child and his/her siblings (because there will be more) will be even more of a blessing in my eyes because they didn't come easily. They made us wait and want them more than ever. And they made sure we know and understand how precious they are.

It's just how life goes.
And it's just fine.

So if you want to cry with me, feel free to shed a tear. It's OK. It's human. And sometimes it's even the best remedy.

But then, blow your nose really hard in a kleenex, and go back to life. With a little bit of melancholy, maybe. But life nonetheless. Because this is where I will be. And if you want to be standing my side, this is where you should be too. I'm waiting for you :-)



UPDATE :

As I mentioned earlier, I had some blood tests done this morning. They confirmed that the pregnancy is ongoing (bHCG levels doubling every 48 hours) so my doctor just called and asked to see me on Monday. He will complete the last ultrasound and decide on how to proceed.

Will call him in the morning to set a time for the appointment.

Action Plan to be confirmed then.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Heading Home...



  • I'm leavin' on a jet plane
  • Don't know when I'll be back again


And to leave you with a smile...
Something I received by email a few days ago
:-)



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I have arrived ...
missing hadhoud & halloum ...

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

BIG DAY TODAY

We're going to meet with our potential gynecologist. Yesterday, a friend of mine also went to see her, and totally loved her! So crossing fingers.

Dr. Najat Hazimeh
BS in Biology
MD American University Of Beirut
Member of the Lebanese Association of Obstetrician and Gynecology
Ob & GYN Expertise:
In Gynecology and Gynecologic surgery
Menopause treatment
Defection and management of STD
Diagnosis of cervical cancer
Child Birth
Clinical Obstetrical and Gynecology ultrasound


The appointment is at 4pm.

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A little bit of pampering :-)

As I was unloading my washing machine and heading to put in the second load, I decided that I should do something productive for myself today :-)

So, I went to the bathroom and concocted my usual hair mask (a mix of many masks and oils) and took my time applying it on my hair. Then, I washed my face (duh) and applied an avocado mask which is still on as I type these words :-)

I think I will follow with another face mask (cucumber) before I shower and then, the final touch will be the Phyto Mask maman got me ages ago and that I never used (such a lazy girl)! This comes right before the day cream.

Finally, I got myself some bust and anti-stretch marks creams the other day to enhance the skin's elasticity and prevent stretch marks. I will start using it today.

Yesterday I tried the Night Hand Cream and DNAghe Anti-Age Hand Cream by Nivea and both felt really nice. My hands are in bad shape these days because I've been dishwashing without gloves. The skin is so weak and dry now that I get cuts just by opening and closing my hands!

I'm also trying to remember to use body oil for my elbows and knees mostly, but I have to be honest, I probably do it once a week, if I'm lucky! I know, I know... I'm thirty. Skincare-wise, I should have started these things like 5 (or more) years ago but I'm so lazy with this stuff (hate them!!)

But I just don't want my baby to cry every time I caress his/her face just because mommy has coarse hands! :-P

Lately, I try to associate every resolution I take with my future kids' interests as it seems when it's about me only, I couldn't care less but I do feel guilty harming my babies :-P :-)

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  • DOC REPORT
First and foremost, I LOVED THE DOCTOR! :-)

So for those of you interested:

  • Dr. Najat Al Hazimeh
    Obstetrics & Gynecology

    Dr. Sulaiman Al Habib Medical Group
    Dubai Healthcare City
    PO BOX 505005, Dubai
    United Arab Emirates
    E Najat@DrSulaimanAlHabib.com
    T +971 4 4297777


Dr. Najat is a real sweetheart; she takes her time, listens, and seems really confident.

Unfortunately, the outcomes of the appointment were not as positive as expected. We did the very first ultrasound and neither the doctor nor the technician could see clearly because apparently, something was blocking the view. What this something is, I don't know for sure. It could be some residues from my curettage.

In any case, we did the blood test to count the weeks and it seems that my hormones are growing properly since I'm now over 2,000. Don't have the exact figure with me at the moment.

Next week, I am scheduled for another ultrasound, and hopefully we'll be able to see everything as the sac should have grown enough to be visible...

Praying and hoping for the best...

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Monday, March 9, 2009

......

This morning, I woke up with absolutely nothing to say.

It does not happen too often so I'm trying to understand this unusual and complicated phenomenon...

  • I weighed myself and what I saw did not please me but I will not panic or anything. I think that my scale at home is not accurate.
  • I took my thyroid meds and I am waiting to be able to have breakfast and take my Folic Acid tablet.
  • I called Hadhoud to remind him of our appointment tomorrow with the gyneco.
  • I still don't have any morning sickness.
  • I can't remember what I dreamt last night.
  • And that's it it seems...

Yesterday, I went to Géant in the evening to buy some groceries for today.

Last Tuesday, I started worrying on my own after receiving the first Newsletter from BabyCenter.com. It contained all the information related to Week 4, including all the pre-natal tests completed to check for genetic or chromosomal anomalies with a special focus on down syndrome.

Of course, I couldn't stop thinking about all that stuff, and although I decided to try and not focus on them and wait for my first pre-natal appointment with the gyneco; I couldn't unread what I had already read or erase the words from my memory.

People who know me well will tell you I am kind of superstitious... even borderline stupid sometimes. I know, I know, I am a university educated young woman who reads, watches TV , surfs the Internet all day and night long and is exposed to information in general. So I should get a grip and stop acting like a Middle-Ages ignorant! But I can't.

After reading about all these stuff, I thought, well any pregnant woman in her fourth week would have received the same Newsletter and although it were my "clicks" that directed me to one page, one test and one disease after the next, anyone could have followed the same online path because anyone would worry and would want to read more about these things; after all that's why these particular terms were links and not just plain words.

Yesterday, as I was shopping at Géant, I see a little girl running around and shouting (happily it seems) for her mommy. She was in front of me and I could see her dad standing at my left, calling her but she wouldn't listen. She was just playing around, jumping up and down, calling her mommy (who didn't seem around which is why her dad was calling her to follow him in the other direction). She must have been 7 or so, but I felt her body language and attitude did not match that age. I don't know why, I just felt there was something wrong so to speak. And then, she turned around and I looked at her face. Honestly, she was the sweetest thing with her little red eye glasses and genuine smile as she ran back to her dad. She had down syndrome.

I know it's silly.
And it doesn't mean a thing.


Turned out I had a lot to say this morning.
How completely naive of me to think I could ever shut up!

Well, I'll see how this day goes because I need to change my state of mind...
Will keep you posted.

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Just had lunch... A very yummy (and faaaaat) lunch to be precise.

Yesterday I got some tender steaks with pepper all around the pieces. I decided to prepare mine in a creative way :-)

So I seasoned it with my amazing sea salts seasonings that I discovered at Spinney's; "The convenient 4-in-1 essential seasonings for everyday use" :-)

My magic touch :-)
  1. Cheese and Onion
    Salt, Sugar, Mustard, Cheese Powder, Onion Powder, Anti-caking, HYM, MSG


  2. Seaweed Sea Salt
    Coarse Sea Salt, Coriander, Mustard Seeds, Seaweed


  3. Sundried Tomato and Garlic (my favorite as you can see; it's almost empty)
    Salt, Sundried Tomatoes, Garlic, Anti-caking Agent


  4. Mediterranean
    Salt, Garlic, Majoram, Oreganum, Sundried Olives, Thyme (of course), Lemon Zest


    Just noticed the other still un-opened seasoning set on the bottom row; didn't mean to have it in the frame, but this goes to show just how much I love this seasoning, right? :-)
So going back to my juicy steak!

I heated the pan first, on maximum heat (I love my Tefal, it tells me when it's warm) ; then I lowered the heat to the medium and placed the huge piece of steak in the middle. Yuuum!! I seasoned on both sides (always making sure I use Tongs to turn it so that I don't pierce the meat, and dry it from inside). Then, I poured just a drop of oil on both sides as well and waited for the whole thing to start cooking. Halfway through, I poured Crème Fraîche and a pinch of Ketchup :-P (love ketchup with meat, sue me)... Then, I waited some more and 10 minutes before I removed the meat, I placed a cube of Kiri cheese on top of the steak :-) Yuuuum (bis); then I prepared the plate with another cube of Kiri and a small ball of butter waiting for the steak to sit on them :-) By that time, the Crème Fraîche had well-cooked with the pepper and seasoning and it had thickened.


OK, I know, it doesn't look that yummy, but trust me, the smell (and later I can vouch for the taste) was indeed yummy! Noticed the Kiri on top? :-) That was magical in the mouth!! :-)

Finally, I placed the steak on that bed of Kiri-Butter and ... ate!


Delicious!!

Yeah, OK, you know what, forget about the pix, they really suck and the food looks horrible! But trust me. It was sooooooo good! :-)

Anyway, I'm a very deep person :-P (and modest too :-P) who believes that beauty does not lie in a nice exterior. It's what's inside that matters. Honestly, how many times have you been to weddings or parties where the food looked so damn perfect and mouth-watering and then once you have a taste you really wonder where the flavor went?

Ya. So, my steak. Very flavory ;-)

Now, I think I'm going to go check my closet... Last night I discovered I don't have any more room for my clothes which incidentally were fine before. Yes. You guessed. I kept taking things out and messing the whole closet-system and now it looks like I need an entirely new room (yes I said room) just for my garments!! I'm such a girl!! :-P

So I have some cleaning up to do... And come to think of it, some dishwashing too...

Oh God! I think I'm gonna faint! :-P

See you later! ;-)

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Keeping my cravings tradition alive...
No, no, let me stop you right there: we didn't go to the movies.

Instead, I watched a DVD :-)

Decided to finally have a look at Bosta, the Lebanese movie. I had high expectations considering the previews and feedback that was buzzing around the movie when it first played in theaters. Unfortunately, I was very disappointed.

Yes, there was an amazing cast (which is why I feel even more disappointed, for them rather than at them); and yes, the overall idea of the film seemed exciting: a new, young and modern Dabke (the traditional Lebanese dance) that reflects the new, young and modern generation of Lebanon.

However, the execution lacked depth and even the script was not interesting... Really too bad.

The movie tries to tackle any and all the Lebanese social issues like religion, intersectarian love relationships/marriage(?), homosexuality, social expectations of what a good "future/job" is to parents/family/society Vs what the dreams and needs of the young people, sex (of course, it seems to be a must these days), the importance of marriage especially for women (and lack thereof being viewed as something weird and even sad), a little touch of the war and destruction (which also seems to be a must in Lebanese movies these days) and the ghosts that haunt the ones who survived, the meaning of culture and heritage and conflicts between generations and how they define these meanings, etc.

Unfortunately, none of these topics were tackled in depth. The movie feels like a long list of interests the screenwriter (who is also the director and producer) cares for and wishes to express very quickly and in this one, short 115 minutes. It's really too bad. Had he focused on one main concern and maybe two or three side stories, the film would have been more powerful and would have carried a stronger message (I feel).

I loved Caramel because of the characters. We got to know them. Understand them. Their dreams, their hopes, their fears. Bosta had similar characters from afar (people with deep issues) but we didn't get to really know any of them. They remain far away, two-dimensional and borderline superficial.

Anyway, always good to watch non-mainstream :-)

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Went on our first walk around the lake today :-)

Hadhoud and I decided that we should exercise every evening now and we discovered there is a lake only 5 minutes away from our home (!!!) at The Greens. Somehow we never had to pass near it and we never noticed it!

So we walked (at a fairly high pace) around it twice before returning home. It was a nice 40 minutes during which we didn't stop talking :-) and it's always a pleasure going out of the building... ON FOOT! We passed by our car and didn't even look at it :-P

Overall, the day started on a wrong note but I'm quite happy tonight :-) I think I'll be able to sleep with a smile on my face.

Plus a friend of mine called me today after she read this morning's post and she was so sweet and supportive!! It always feels good to know there are people who actually care about what's happening to you. Well, I know I have plenty of those, but it's the unexpected ones that make your day, and indeed, it was unexpected for me to find out she checked my Blog :-)

Sweet dreams! ;-)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

C'est une...

... Fille?

Ou du moins c'est ce que Hadhoud a rêvé cette nuit... :-)
Et je trouve que c'est très approprié en cette
Journée Mondiale de la Femme
;-)

It's a ... Girl?

Or at least this is what Hadhoud dreamt last night... :-)
How appropriate, I feel, on
International Women's Day ;-)


«Quand tout se fait petit, femmes, vous restez grandes»
Victor Hugo


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Saturday, March 7, 2009

Hormonal Paranoia....

... Or just good old regular paranoia?

I just came back from my appointment with the endocrinologist to check on my unusual weight gain. Hadhoud had told me that it was all in my head and he promised he'd make fun of me for a few months minimum if his suspicions were confirmed.

But I'm not stupid, no sir! I made sure I checked my weight before leaving, just in case; and indeed, those extra kilos showed their ugly faces again!

At least I was safe from Hadhoud's teasing. Or so I thought. Turns out, on the doctor's machine I was 67.7 kg this morning (while at my last appointment 10 days ago, I was 67.3 kg)....

OK... Hadhoud has officially started the teasing and it doesn't sound like it's ending any time soon.

Will keep you posted in case of any new development ... Like Hadhoud's trip to the ER after I beat him senseless... What? I'm freaking hormonal people! I'm allowed my crazy moments! ;-)

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So it looks like my date with Benjamin Button is never gonna happen (this week at least)...

Had lunch with some friends today: my parents' friend who came to visit her son in Dubai. It was fun. We went to Scoozi in Jumeirah Beach Residence, then had coffee on their balcony, looking at the amazing view from their flat on The Palm.

Got back home. Rested. And now probably going out for coffee or something. May try to force Hadhoud into some Chess (or other game) and beat the crap out of him! Yes, still hormonal! :-P

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So we had coffee at Caribou in Times Square. I like it because there's always a Chess board available. Only this time, not all the pieces were available. Not to worry, I quickly checked the other board and merged both to complete a set (in all cases, I have an emergency board + pieces in the car :-P) so we decided to play... Well not really. Both of us were daydreaming, no concentration whatsoever, so we decided to drop it. We just had coffee and relaxed in one of the usually empty malls (today there was quite a crowd there but of course, nothing compared to the huge malls).




Then we walked around, window shopping; asked for some details about appliances and stuff we're thinking about getting for our new apartment when we move and then, all of a sudden, we realized it was 10pm! So we drove home and here we are.

Nothing special to add, really.

Tomorrow, we're still off but we don't have plans yet. We'll see how it goes...

Good nite ;-)

Friday, March 6, 2009

My cravings....

... The movies!

Or so Hadhoud claims! That may be because since we've learned I was pregnant, we've been to three movies so far ;-) and all upon my request :-)

We started with the excellent Slumdog Millionaire...

Followed by the mediocre (if not completely sucking) Pink Panther 2 (that was Hadhoud's choice by the way :-P just thought I'd mention that considering my opinion of this so-called comedy that did not make me even smile once :-P)...

... And yesterday Robert De Niro's very forgettable What Just Happened (which is what we asked ourselves at the end of the movie). No, it wasn't that bad to me; I appreciated many elements of the film. Love movies about the movie-making industry and loved many parts of the script; it really made me laugh and it's very smart in many instances. But I think I won't be able to remember it in a week or so... It's not one of those WAOW experiences... But gotta love Robert De Niro... He was really really good, as usual.

Tonight we're probably heading to see The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and I have great expectations :-) Hope they will be met :-)

So yes, it seems Hadhoud is right... I am craving for movies!! :-)

It's much better than craving for chocolate, especially in my situation... except that I am craving for both at the moment! Trying hard to keep the cocoa under control, and I won't lie, I did cheat and eat a few pieces of dark chocolate every day, including about an hour ago... What can I do? Since I started this diet back in September, I've been able to stay in control all the time. I haven't even longed for a piece of chocolate. But for three days now, it's like my blood is going to explode right out of my veins and I need my fix!!!!

AAAAAH!!!!
Breathe.
Breathe.
(Oxygen is always good.)
Breathe.

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Back from Ibn Battuta... Been to the movies. But Benjamin and us had conflicting schedules. So we met with Marley instead... Mmmmh...

OK, so the truth is, Benjamin Button's screening times are a bit off because the movie is too long so we couldn't make it on time for the 8pm session. We decided to go for The International at 9:15pm... First of, the traffic was unbelievable (blame it on the Cirque du Soleil performing at Ibn Battuta's Grand Chapiteau) and we couldn't find a parking space before 9:02pm (I'm being very precise because I was checking the time every two minutes!) So we reached the ticket booth at 9:10 or something... Obviously, the only remaining seats sucked (way on the front rows which meant that we would have to invest in heavy physiotherapy afterwards). So we decided to choose another movie... Marley and Me was scheduled for 9:20 so we went for it. Good seats too. Bad movie. Well not horrible, but really not interesting at all (as expected) and very very forgettable. If I had said that What Just Happened was forgettable, I sincerely apologize. To Robert De Niro. To everyone involved in the making of What Just Happened . Hell, to all the movie-making industry... It is indeed Oscar-worthy next to Marley and Me...

Enfin bon...
Still got plenty of movies on that list...
And many many many more days of craving :-)

Good nite! ;-)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Enfin le weekeend!! :-)

Today is the first day I feel like I may be starting to recover from this stupid flu! I coughed a lot last night and still this morning but it seems like the virus is getting out of my system (probably to find a nice cozy place in Hadhoud or Loume :-P)

Homework for today ; it's actually more like

MISSION OF THE DAY :
FIND A DOCTOR

Yes, it may seem a bit late but I've tried many doctors here (and all of them gods to our community in Dubai) and totally hated them!!

The last one was the worst of all. He was my gynecologist during my first pregnancy last summer and he's the one who screwed me over and left the country for a two-month vacation on the same day he told me that I was going to have a miscarriage because the development had stopped and there was no fetus... So him, non merci.

The one before him, my God! He was so unbelievably rude and on top of that we discovered he goes out, in public (no shame from society or his own poor -- apparently handicapped, so he says -- wife) with his patients who are even younger than his own daughter, which I know because I've seen both the mistress and the daughter... So basically I stopped seeing him.

Moved on to another guy (not Lebanese this time) recommended by a friend... Also hated his attitude and way of speaking (so cold and distant) so much that I couldn't stand undress in front of him! Needless to say his Pap Smear was probably the most painful one ever considering how stressed I was!

Before him I had a doctor in Kuwait. And during my first year in Dubai I think I never went to a gynecologist because I used to do all my check-ups back home when I was on vacation. Since I came back from Kuwait, I've seen the miscarriage-ass and a second one just three weeks ago, which seems fine but he only comes twice a month to Dubai which does not reassure Hadhoud who wants someone available all year-long in case of emergency (understandable).

So back to my mission.

Got myself a few names from some friends.
Making calls now.

... see you later ;-)

So that was quick :-)

Reviewed my list of potential doctors recommended lately by pregnant friends. (removing the ones already tested before :-P)

Of course most of them are fully booked but they usually try to accommodate the patient when she is pregnant.

Report:
  1. Dr. Najat Al Hazimeh

    Recommended by two currently pregnant friends (she used to be part of the AUB Consultant Physicians clinic -- along with miscarriage-ass and they've all moved to Dr. Suleiman Al Habib's Clinic now)

    She can see me on the 10th (so in 5 days) but I can also go there on Saturday morning, and wait to see her as a walk-in patient.

  2. Dr. Ghada Khalil

    Also recommended by two previously pregnant friends and two currently pregnant ones. She's probably the most popular OBG in Dubai!

    She's fully booked (obviously) but she doesn't even take new patients at this point in time!!! They placed me on the waiting list and took my contact information BUT I duly mentioned I just discovered I was pregnant and that my first pregnancy ended on its 2nd month. It seems this helped move me up on the list, and they will call me back for certain.

Now, all I have to do is:
Wait.
Meet.
And Assess.

I usually don't go for female doctors, I don't know why. But this time, the two that were highly recommended were ladies, and I hope this change will bring positive outcomes. (Needless to say that all the other doctors I saw also came highly recommended so basically, I am still very very careful...)

As for the delivery, it will be back home (like almost all the women here in Dubai) and I already know who my doctor is, so no problem there.

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I weighed myself again today, and I'm not happy at all with the outcome! Thankfully my endocrinologist gave me an emergency appointment this Saturday to check what's been happening. Crossing fingers and hoping for the best. I can't afford to get overweight in my first month! Wouldn't be healthy for me or the baby...

I've got some suspicions which I inferred by elimination:
  1. Water retention: I know from previous experience that I have this problem and it took me a while to get rid of it after my curettage

  2. Glucophage break: Since I cannot take this medication anymore, it may have caused my sugar levels to rise and thus the weight gain (but I did stop it for about a month during the holidays -- hormonal crazy decision -- and yet did not gain weight at the time; but maybe the pregnancy is playing a role this time)

  3. Thyroid slow down: I am currently taking a fairly low dosage of my thyroid medications, and as mentioned before, my endocrinologist wanted to check for higher dosages next week. Maybe this is what's slowing down my metabolism (thyroid issues require higher dosages of meds during pregnancy)

  4. Folic Acid: Obviously I've started taking Folic Acid every day for the baby's healthy development and it is the only new addition to my regular "diet" which could be causing the weight issues. I really don't know because it's not a symptom usually associated with this supplement...
Waiting for Saturday and hopefully some good news (and steps to take)... And praying I don't reach 70 kilos before that!! :-S

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Des jours comme ci, des jours comme ça...

Un jour oui, un jour non...

Ce matin, c'était non... :-(

J'ai quand même assez bien dormi... Mais je me suis réveillée en toussant vers 6 heures du matin, et la toux ne s'est pas arrêtée avant 6:45... Je me suis levée avec difficulté pour aller me faire une petite dose de Betadin Mouth Wash et Rhinomer mais cette fois, ca n'a pas tellement marché... J'étais tellement crevée que je suis retournée me coucher vers 7h, mais en restant assise... Bien sur j'ai pas fermé l'œil, et je me suis finalement levée complètement...

Bon la journée s'annonce longue...
On verra bien...

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It looks like I'm gaining weight!! :-O

I just can't believe it! After what happened with my first pregnancy and the shocking amount of weight I piled up in just 2 months, and not any 2 months, the first two months(!), I am really starting to worry :-(

Less than two weeks ago, I had my last check-up at the doctor's and I was 67 kilos which is amazing considering how I looked before my diet.

Yesterday, I weighed myself and found I was 68 kilos!

This morning, I am 68.8 kilos!!

Give me a couple of days and I'm back to 70 again!!!!! My God!!!

There is something horribly wrong going on here! I have stopped taking Glucophage which means that now, I have to regulate, very carefully, my sugar levels in the blood manually so to speak and right now, it's not looking promising! Gaining weight is the first (and probably only obvious) red flag when it comes to glucose and insulin imbalance.

I just phoned my endocrinologist to let her know. She should call me tonight. I pray it's just water retention because otherwise, the troubles are starting really early on... Haven't completed my first month yet! :-(

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Alors là, j'ai pas pu résister!! :-D
♪♫ Regardez ce que ma maman a fait chez elle!! ♫♪