3am Thoughts: Anxiety and stuff

Assalamualaykum/hello wonderful readers πŸ™‚

(Here’s a link to the About Me page if you’re new to the blog.. It explains a bit about who I am and why I blog)

I have this urge to write. I’m not entirely sure that’s a good thing at 3am, when I usually make very bad decisions. But this blog has been an outlet for so long and I need to get all this off my chest so this is as good a place as any.I haven’t planned this post so do forgive me for the jumbled paragraphs. I’m sure it all sounds better in my head!

I’ve been taking Sertraline for a couple of months. It’s an antidepressant and anti-anxiety drug. Also works for PTSD. I’d tried two other pills before but they gave me horrible side effects. This one is working much better Alhamdulillah. For ages, I was pretty embarrassed about this, avoided starting the medication because of the associated stigma. Then I took the plunge and actually started feeling so much better after a couple of weeks.

So how has it been? I’m mostly used to it now so I don’t notice any bad effects. At first, I was terribly drowsy and my jaw felt tightly clenched. I’m glad that’s eased, it wasn’t painful but it was really uncomfortable!
There was the usual (and probably expected) input from my family when I started these pills. They’re not seen as a good thing. Mental health isn’t widely understood. But now I think they’re coming around to the fact that the medication actually helped quite a lot. The bad dreams stopped. The panic attacks lessened. I was able to go out again.

So.. I was supposed to see my doctor in December to have the dose upped. Only I thought I was perfectly fine and there was no need. I’m smart like that. Clearly, I don’t learn. Here I am again, scared to sleep because I know I’ll have the awful nightmares. The worst thing is that the nightmares seem so real. All involving places I know well. I often wake up shaking and in tears.

And the anxiety has made a grand comeback. Yay. More panic attacks, sudden bouts of tears, feeling terrified.. It’s about as fun as it sounds. Currently, it feels like my heart is being squeezed. It’s not easy to breathe. But I’ve got to keep going, right? Because that’s what courage is.

I’m going to call my doctor on Monday and see what needs to be done. They’ll probably up the meds and offer counselling.. I’m not sure I want to go for that. It sounds like it might be helpful however my anxiety is pretty bad so I’d really struggle to talk to a stranger. The thought of it makes me feel sick with dread.

I’m listening to Qur’an everyday, focusing on the words and the meaning. I’m so blessed to be able to understand Alhamdulillah. It’s helping but this test is pretty difficult. I’m still struggling. It’s kind of hard to explain.. I know that I can’t control the way I feel (boy, that took me AGES to understand and accept!) so I try not to feel guilty. However, there’s this little voice telling me that I’m a terrible person because I really ought to be feeling better by now. There must be something really wrong with me if I’m not which quite obviously means that it’s my fault.
Confused? So am I. (Thought I’d list the weirdness in my head so I’m not the only confused one. πŸ˜€ I jest…)

On that note, I’m reminded about a conversation I had the other day. When someone is going through any form of mental illness, others will give them Duas/Surahs to read, tell them to pray harder. Which is a good thing. What gets me, however, is when it’s generally assumed that the person struggling with mental health issues must be very low in Imaan (faith). This isn’t always the case so PLEASE word your advice carefully.

If a person is still calling out to the Almighty whilst they’re in the depths of sadness and despair, when they feel hope slipping away, when they know that none besides Him can save them.. That is a beautiful thing. It shows strength and courage.

Telling someone who’s already struggling with a serious mental health issue that they just need to pray harder or do more can be highly detrimental.. It may even put them off completely. The best thing to do? Listen. Be there for them. Tell them you’ll make dua (prayer) for them. Ask how they’re feeling. In general, be supportive.
I keep reminding myself: ‘This too shall pass.’ Tests aren’t forever. There’s a reason for all of this even if I can’t see it right now. I posted this on the Facebook page earlier, I think it’s a beautiful Hadith.

SubhanAllah. I pray that Allah forgives my shortcomings.

This is really quite therapeutic.. I do feel slightly better after writing everything down. If anyone reading this is going through any hardship, please know you’re not alone. It may get worse before it gets better but you can and will get through it inshaAllah ❀

One final thing.. I’ve had a brilliant few days alhamdulillah for which I’m truly grateful. I managed to be productive and get things done. Reconnected with a few friends. Felt utterly calm. Honestly, it feels great! It had been a while. Each good day feels all the more beautiful because I know I need to cherish it. InshaAllah I’m hoping that once I get some sleep, it’ll be another fantastic day.

That’s it from me. If you want to keep up with my blog posts, pop your email into the ‘subscribe’ box on the right.

Oh and please forgive the typos (of which there’ll be many), I’m absolutely shattered and if I go back to edit now I won’t post this at all! Take care everyone. Have a great weekend πŸ™‚

It’s been a while…Β 

Assalamualaykum/hello readers! 
It’s high time this blog was resurrected from the murky backwaters of the Internet and given a new lease of life.. I know, I know. Many of you have asked when the next post will be up and if slacking was an Olympic sport, I would’ve achieved Gold long ago. 
If truth be told, my mental and physical health hasn’t been great. Then there were other issues to deal with which left me stressed, shattered and er.. In hospital. Despite me telling myself that I was going to be as chilled as can be and not let anything worry me! The best laid plans and all that.. 

(Btw, if you’re new to the blog, please check out About Me here πŸ™‚ thanks) 

But moving on.. I’ve had some wonderful opportunities come my way in these few months. All will be revealed soon! 

I’d like to draw a line under the negative events of the past few months and make a new start here. So. *deep breath* 

Here are some of the things I’ve been up to:

I’ve had an article published in Al-Mumin magazine! The lovely people at Al-Mumin even published a few pertinent and important questions and answers about living with an Ostomy. This is HUGE. I’ve been trying so hard to raise more awareness in the Muslim community, trying to show that ostomies are normal and us Ostomates are pretty awesome! It’s been a slow journey and to have this published is pretty incredible as the magazine has a reach of thousands, all over the world. Feeling slightly overwhelmed here. I feel it’s gone a long way to removing the stigma associated with have an ostomy. Of course, there’s still work to do but this is an important step. 

Secondly, I was contacted by the wonderful colorectal nurses at City Hospital, Birmingham. They were arranging a Stoma Care event at West Bromwich Albion football club and wanted little old moi to do a talk. I’ll admit I was shocked (in a good way!) and VERY excited! It went really well. I was buzzing from the high it gave me. Not being able to see the audience did kind of help though πŸ˜‰ 

I met the lovely Helen from Convatec after the event and we had a chat.. But I’m not going to say too much about that at the moment! Suffice to say that the future is looking VERY exciting inshaAllah. 
Of course, it isn’t all sunshine and roses. I still struggle with anxiety, horrible thoughts, struggle to meet people and even text my friends but I’m aiming to work on that inshaAllah. Please remember me in your Duas. 
That’s actually one of the reasons I haven’t blogged in so long – my brain feels as though it’s been sleeping. I’m not sure if that’s a side effect of the pills I’m on. Whatever it is, the fog seems to be lifting Alhamdulillah and I feel ready to start setting some goals. Probably not resolutions as they’re hardly ever kept! 

Rosie, my beautiful ileostomy, is quite well. Trumping away merrily as usual. Changing my bag has become a bit of a struggle as my eyesight weakens further. However, it won’t beat me inshaAllah! I’m determined to do things for myself for as long as I can. 

On that note, my mobility training has been going exceptionally well Alhamdulillah! I’ve passed indoor training with flying colours (different cane techniques, going up and down the stairs, entering a room, locating door handles etc) and we’ve progressed to outdoor training. In fact, we took a trip into town a couple of days before Christmas and I was super confident! I seem to have lost some of that confidence what with being unwell and not going out recently but I’m sure I’ll be back to where I was soon inshaAlllah. Of course, it helps that I have the best mobility training officer who treated us to a lovely coffee the last time we went out. My next appointment is booked for next week and I’m really looking forward to it. It feels so good to be able to confidently navigate my way through the city alhamdulillah. 

I’ve had to resort to asking my mum to wash my hair again as the fatigue has been terrible. This time round, I’m grateful that I have such a wonderful mother and I don’t want to dwell on how useless it can make me feel. InshaAllah I can build some strength up soon. 

I haven’t written much about how I feel emotionally but that’s because the inside of my head feels like a mess. It’s very foggy in there. I’ve been listening to more Qur’an lately and that’s helped Alhamdulillah. InshaAllah the next blog will make more sense! 

Do let me know what you think in the comments below and as always, pop over to Facebook for more frequent updates! I’ve really missed interacting with you all. A huge thank you to everyone who messaged and emailed to check how I’m doing, it means a lot. ❀ 

Taraweeh Reflections and Gratitude..Β 

  
Assalamualaykum/hello readers!

I hope Ramadhan is going well if you’re taking part. If not, I hope you’ve been as well as can be πŸ™‚ 

I’ve had such a fantastic response to the article I shared in my last post. It’s made me realise just how many people feel left out because they’re unable to fast – yet they may actually be receiving MORE reward for their intentions and wanting to partake in this act of worship. We definitely need more material aimed at those who are being drawn closer to Allah through their trials. 

Last night, I attended Taraweeh prayer for the first time this Ramadhan. All I can say is SubhanAllah (Glory be to God). It was beyond incredible! One hour and 45 minutes of sweet, sweet recitation and standing in front of my Lord. Such a blessing and I’m feeling so grateful that I was given this chance. 

Unfortunately I thought I’d be a hero and not only pray half of the prayers standing up (it causes me pain at the best of times) but also to cause maximum discomfort to myself by not calling my brother who was in the men’s side and ask for a chair. We went quite late so the chairs were all taken. Ahh when will I learn?! As a result, I’m in a lot of pain today BUT it’s definitely worth it! I want to go again today but now I’m not so sure I’ll manage two days in a row! 

I made a decision to deliver a talk this Saturday. I miss the atmosphere at the Masjid, the sisterhood, the love. It’s what kept me going these few years and I feel awful that I just stopped my talks. I know I had to but even so. 

Good health is a blessing many of us don’t appreciate enough, myself included. It could always be so much worse. I think I have it bad sometimes, being partial sighted, missing half my insides and generally being sore.. But I’m (mostly!) sane Alhamdulillah. I can hear perfectly well. (Selective hearing is another issue πŸ˜‰ ) I’ve managed to listen to live taraweeh from Makkah almost every day. Alhamdulillah. Quran soothes me. I have a very, very loving and supportive family. Everyone has their struggles. I’m grateful that I’m living in peace. For not having to worry about anything major. For being able to breathe without assistance. For being given knowledge. For being given a heart that works perfectly. For being so blessed. And for being given the ability to keep going, keep smiling and not give up. This is truly a blessing and I pray that it’s never taken away from me. 

Allah says:

” ….and if you [try to] count the blessings of Allah (God), never will you be able to count them.”

[Surah Ibrahim : 34]

How true is this?! 

(I stopped writing there. Continuing after two days…) 

I can’t believe it’s the 6th fast already. Soon the first 10 days will be up. Life is so fleeting.. 

I’ve been struggling with Tramadol withdrawal and heightened anxiety again. A doctor has decided I don’t need pain relief anymore. The less said about that, the better. I wish I wasn’t addicted to this drug but not being on it has made me realise how much pain it was blocking. Maybe Allah wants me to gain maximum reward this Ramadhan, hence the pain. The shakes, restless muscles and insomnia are harder to deal with. Sometimes I’m in so much pain it actually forces me to wake up when I’ve only just nodded off. Sheesh, I didn’t know I HAD so many bones and muscles in my body until they started hurting! But none of this is wasted as long as I believe in Allah and am patient inshaAllah. 

It’s reminded me again how I am nothing, absolutely nothing, without my Lord. We tend to think too big at times and that can lead to arrogance – when we have more faith in our God-given abilities than in God Himself. It’s an important lesson for me. And I’m grateful.. How can I not be, when Allah is reminding me to remove arrogance from my heart and rely only on Him? 

I attended Taraweeh two nights ago and my body still hasn’t quite recovered. I know I’m weak, and it’s hard to comes to terms with. Due to other reasons, I haven’t been able to go again but I’m still hopeful for reward.  

Rosie, my wonderful stoma, has been joining in with wishing the fasting ones well. Almost every day at Iftar when we sit down to eat, she decides to make her presence known by making rude noises. Loudly. So lovely and thoughtful of her. 

And lastly, this has been an unusual week for me in that I revealed who I was to a rather large number of people. My blog has always been anonymous apart from the very few close friends I’d told. I felt I could be more open that way but I decided to change that, be myself. If anything, it shows I’m really not ashamed of what’s happened to me. If you’re one of those people and you’re discovering a whole new side to me (I never usually go into detail about my illness) then I ask for your patience. This blog is honest. My thoughts aren’t always going to make you feel comfortable and enlightened. This is what chronic illness and pain does. There’s a stigma associated with invisible illnesses that I want to eradicate. We are human. No one can be strong 100% of the time. There are times when our faith is unshakeable. Then there are also times when we feel the earth has become constricted despite being so spacious, there is a darkness within us, the pain becomes unbearable so we cry, beg and plead with the Almighty to remove this affliction. Does it make us any less grateful? No. Because we’re turning to the One who created us, the only One who can remove this and trusting in Him completely. 

You see, chronic illness is different to having a flu or fever. With a flu, you feel absolutely rotten for a few days but you know you’ll get better. Chronic illness, however, stays around. It doesn’t go anywhere. It’s there in my bones when I wake up each morning and can’t move for the stiffness in my joints. It’s there when I’m so exhausted I can’t do a thing. It’s there when I have to turn down invitations and cancel plans because my body has a warped way of showing me who’s boss. 

I write these things so people realise how difficult it is to live with IBD. But despite it all, I’m grateful for the many, many blessings I DO have. If I could go back and change everything that’s happened in the last five years, I wouldn’t. My tests have strengthened me and made me the person I am. They have been a blessing from my Lord. 

Trusting in Allah

I do not expect your pity but I ask that you be kind and understanding. That is all. 

As always, please feel free to get in touch with me through email, Facebook and Instagram. I love hearing from you all! Details on the ‘Get In Touch’ page. If this is your first visit to my blog, do read my About page. Any questions, just ask! 

Stay happy. 

Please remember me and everyone else who’s facing difficulties in your prayers. 

Rosie’s Second Stomaversary!

Woohooo it’s my second Stomaversary today! I love celebrating this day, it’s such a happy time. It reminds me of how strong I am and what I’ve been through… But before I go on, let me explain a bit:

This time two years ago, my surgeon was getting a good look at my insides.. He then removed over 6 feet of bowel in a 6-hour operation. He created my beautiful stoma, Rosie. She’s a bit shy so I won’t put any pics here πŸ˜‰
Regrets? None. Except maybe the mashed potato I had a few days after surgery and my remaining bowel went into spasm, refusing to take in anything else for the next few days!

Alhamdulillah I went in smiling for surgery.. I knew this was my destiny and that I wouldn’t be let down. Whatever happens is with the will of Allah.
And.. The past two years have shown me the people who truly care, and those who pretend to. It’s taught me that for every one person who tries to make things difficult, Allah has placed 5 into my life more who do care. May Allah reward you all and keep you on the Straight Path. I pray that we all meet in Jannah. Ameen. ❀️
We are survivors, not quitters. Life may knock us about, but ultimately what matters is that we pick ourselves up and try again. If not today, then tomorrow. Above all remembering that NOTHING can happen unless Allah wills it to.

It’s been a roller coaster of a ride but I’m thankful for it every day. I’ve been reflecting on the past two years and realising the lessons I’ve learned, sacrifices I’ve made, friendships I’ve been blessed with and tests I’ve had to endure.

Before I go into all that, I’d like to say that not for one moment do I regret my decision to have the surgery. Yes I’m not back to the good health I was in before I was diagnosed with IBD but even if I could go back and change everything, I wouldn’t. I’ve learnt so many things, I am now appreciating every single day more than I ever did before, because I know that good times can be fleeting. I’m not waiting until a certain point in life so that I may be happier at that moment, I’m aiming to be happy now. Who knows if that far-away moment so many spend entire lifetimes searching for will ever come?

We plan, and we plan, and we plan but ultimately our lives are in the power of Allah. The sooner we start to realise that, the easier things become. The difficult tests we’re going through become easier to bear because we know that Allah does not burden a soul more than it can bear. These tests are sent to purify us, to cleanse us of our sins and to elevate our rank, just as gold ore is heated so the scum can be removed and the shining gold we know and recognise is then revealed.

Reflecting back over the past two years, it’s sometimes overwhelming. At the outset, it seems that these 24 months have been chock a block with hospital appointments, being poked and prodded with needles and tubes, my veins giving up on me and being poked and prodded again, painful blood transfusions and iron infusions, being pumped full of mouse juice, going under the surgeons knife to have my entire large intestine removed, trialling weird and wonderful drugs which caused awful side effects, not being able to look at my stoma for a whole week after surgery, coming to terms with it all, realising that I still needed another operation a year later, being in constant pain for months, having another 7 hour operation to remove more bits of me and having my bag made permanent and once I thought I was nearly better, I had huge problems with my vision as well as battling severe depression which makes it difficult to leave the house or socialise at times… I could go on. Test after test.

I suppose I could focus on all this and weep. Yes, it was difficult. It sapped my strength. I’ve been at rock bottom more than once, I’ve started having panic attacks and my body will never be the same again. It’s taken its toll on my family and friends who’ve been there for me throughout and never once complained.

But what would be the point in weeping? What’s happened has happened. It was all decided by Allah. And I know for sure that if He decides something, it’s for the best. After all, He created us.

If I give in to the negative thoughts, I’ve let IBD win. And we can’t have that! Thus, I try to focus on the positives. And there are many.

This period of patience has changed me as a person. I’m much more grateful for the blessings. I realise Allah’s mercy upon me. I’ve been given another chance to live and I intend to make the most of it. I’ve become a stronger person. I may not have been battling a physical demon but I won’t ignore all the times I was so close to giving up but I held on by a shred of hope, hope that my Lord won’t abandon me. The pain has been excruciating and at times I didn’t know how long I’d survive it but it’s all adding up and none of my tears and pain will be wasted.

I’ve let go of negative people and I don’t regret it at all. I feel I have more empathy. I’ve learnt to prioritise problems and I’m able to let go of the smaller things that really don’t matter in the grand scheme of things.

I’m so grateful for the wonderful NHS. We’ve had issues but I’m so, so glad that we have fantastic free healthcare in this country, one of the best in the world. I’m grateful to be treated at a world class hospital under the best surgeons. Alhamdulillah.

Mostly, I’m glad I’m still smiling and I haven’t let it take over. I try my best each day, I’m now back at the Masjid and I hope to start classes soon inshaAllah. I’ve seen people who have no hope, nothing to live for, no reason to smile and it makes me realise how blessed I am. I’ve been through a lot but I’m not going to let it wear me down. I’ll keep fighting.

And cake… Lots of cake. I’ve had cake whenever I was in hospital and when I came home. I baked on my good days. I’ve had so many get well soon cakes (keep them coming, lovely people, I really don’t mind πŸ˜› ) that’s definitely a positive!

I have a lot of mixed feelings today. There’s happiness that I’ve come this far. I need to keep reminding myself that it’s no small feat. Dealing with everything the way I have is pretty freakin awesome. That much I’m starting to see!

I’m also emotional for the same reasons. I read a quote some time ago: “I never knew how strong I was until being strong was the only choice I had.” Very true. i never thought my life would take this path but I’m glad it has.

Now the only thing to do is take a deep breath, congratulate myself and wait for my Stomaversary cake which should be arriving soon!

As always, feel free to get in touch or pop over to my Facebook page and say hi!

I’m also on Instagram @gutlessninja

Saga of the Stitches..

Well, I’m glad THAT’S finally over. Out of all the things which could have gone wrong after the operation, I honestly didn’t think it would be this!

It’s been seven weeks since surgery.. Goodness. That’s a heck of a time. It doesn’t feel like seven weeks!

This whole saga started when someone made a mistake when writing my discharge letter at the hospital – they forgot to tell my GP to remove my stitches in 2 days. When I got home, I was worried about my wound. It wasn’t seeping as such but it was painful so I wanted it looked at. I referred myself to the District Nurses and they’d see me once a week. By Week Four, they decided to remove the stitches as it isn’t safe to leave them in for so long. That didn’t go too well… I had a panic attack after five stitches and we decided not to continue. It WAS awfully painful when the nurse was tugging them out after cutting, but I feel it was because my mind had connected it with previous trauma and decided nope, I’m not having any of this, thank you.

Firstly, there was the sigmoidoscopy when I still had my rectum. The sigmoid colon is the very last bit of colon that connects to the rectum. I’d already had my colon removed so there weren’t many inches of it left.

I was wheeled into the room and given gas and air or laughing gas. Once I was properly relaxed and giggling, the consulant started the sigmoidoscopy by inserting a scope up my butt. By ‘scope’, I mean a tube about the width of a finger with a light and video recorder at the end. It would be uncomfortable for anyone but with a rectum like mine that was spewing blood every few hours and also badly inflamed, it was excruciating. I decided to be strong and see it through but my resolve faltered when the consultant started taking biopsies. You see, the camera also has a lovely pincer attached which can tear off cells, called a ‘biopsy’. Don’t let the cute-sounding word fool you, I reckon even MPs would pull up their socks and do their job properly if faced with this threat. And everyone knows they’re the laziest, most eager money-grabbing gits around.

Back to the sigmoidoscopy… The camera had gone in about 7 inches when I asked her to stop. Actually, I started crying, forgot how to breathe and started gasping and choking, trying to say ‘stop!’. They got the hint and stopped there and then and I was quickly given more oxygen. I know they were trying to talk to me but my mind had gone blank. Completely and utterly blank, I didn’t have the ability or energy to talk.

Around 15 minutes later, my breathing slowed and I became aware of what was going on around me. It was a hugely traumatising experience, one I’m not keen to repeat. Actually come to think of it, it’s not one I CAN repeat, given the sewn up barbie butt πŸ˜€

The second time I felt this way was when I had the drain removed after surgery. It was inserted into the cavity where my colon/rectum used to be. I was fine during stitch removal but when the drain itself was pulled out, it felt as though the suction was pulling my insides out along with it! I start panicking and couldn’t breathe, my mind went blank and I felt as though I was going to faint. The nurse was very comforting but it was a while until I was back to normal. A doctor came in and started chatting to me about going home the next day. I just stared at him. It was quite strange, I could hear the words and I even knew what they meant but they weren’t connecting and I seemed to have lost the ability to speak. Cue both of them holding my hands and telling me I’d be ok.

So this time, when it came to the stitches, I started having the same experience. The nurse left after telling me to call the hospital the same day. But me being a scaredy-cat, I kept putting it off. I have a deep-rooted belief that if I ignore a problem, it’ll go away. It’s never worked in the past but it doesn’t stop me from trying it every time! It’s pretty silly but I’m not quite ready to give it up yet. I call it the Ostrich Approach.

Finally, I plucked up the courage to call my surgeon’s secretary this Monday, two weeks after I had the first five stitches removed. She promised to pass on the message ASAP. I had a call from one of the surgeons later that day but I was sleeping. I suppose I should have returned it..

On Wednesday, the secretary called again and told me to come into the emergency surgery ward that day. This time, they managed to remove two stitches before my breathing became very ragged and shallow. Being told that I’d faint if I didn’t take deep breaths and relax had no effect. Not to mention that I tensed up every time they wanted to take a look. They suggested I come back the next day at 6AM to have the remaining four removed under general anaesthetic. Oh boy. Needless to say, I wasn’t too happy with myself and hated that I was causing such a fuss. I would have carried on beating myself up over it if it wasn’t for my fantastic friends. I’m truly blessed to know them, Alhamdulillah.

So I was at the Short Stay Unit bright and early yesterday, feeling quite hungry because I was nil by mouth from midnight. They took me through to theatre at around 8:45 am. I told the nurse I was looking forward to a nice hot lunch later. She laughed and told me the Short Stay Unit didn’t do hot lunches, just sandwiches. Pants. On the upside, I was given those ultra cool dark blue hospital stockings and a gown πŸ˜› I DID tell the theatre doc that I have terrible veins and could he please put me to sleep using the gas before sticking a needle in me, but was that enough? Nope, he had to try at least once. It wasn’t successful so he used the gas to knock me out before attempting to put another needle in.. I counted 5 attempts in total, when I came round at midday. Three of them in my right wrist. OUCH. That’s one of the worst places for me! It was agony as I still had the cannula in me but they told me they couldn’t take it out until I was discharged in a few hours. Pants 😦 I woke up at around 2pm to see my dad sitting there. I might have asked him to leave me to sleep as I was very comfortable! In my defence, I was really groggy from the anaesthetic. Both sides of my inside top lip are really sore and feel cut. I’m told they used a tube so I could breathe. Never had that one before. I was discharged around 4pm, came home and slept some more. That’s why I’m lying in bed writing this at 05:30am!

But the best thing is that the stitches are FINALLY all out. Alhamdulillah. I don’t have to feel sharpish bits of plasticky wire every time I go for a wee. I can move on and start to heal properly InshaAllah. I’m not angry or upset with the person who made a mistake, I’m just glad things are now sorted. We’re human and we make mistakes. I’m sure it wasn’t deliberate. Nothing happens without the Will of Allah and everything He decides for us has a reason. He doesn’t let the pain of a believer go to waste. I’m hopeful that He’ll reward those who went through difficulty and remained patient. I’ve mentioned before that patience isn’t about being happy all the time, it’s about going through difficulty, realising it’s from Allah and having faith in Him, beseeching Him to deliver us from this difficulty.

Sorry if this post is rather boring, my mind isn’t back to its usual self yet! When I wrote the last post, I was having serious withdrawal from Tramadol, suffering from PMS and had sleep deprivation so standards can only improve from here!

JazakAllah Khair and thank you to everyone who made dua for me and thought of me πŸ™‚ And a massive thank you to my wonderful friends who are simply awesome. You know who you are ❀ I couldn’t have gone through this without you. Love you lots, even more than chocolate, books and lollipops.

Infliximab hangover and thoughts on patience…

I’ve come to expect this on the 2nd day of infusions but it doesn’t make it any easier!
It’s 4 PM already and this is how my day’s been so far:

7 AM: ignore alarm. Back to sleep.
10 AM: hear alarm. Start to drift back into the land of nod… Remember that I need breakfast. Wash my face. Zombie walk downstairs. Eat a banana. Eat a pear. Drink water. Pick up another pear in case I feel hungry later on and don’t have the energy to come downstairs. Zombie walk upstairs. Growl at anyone who dares speak to me. Back to bed. Sleep.
2.00 PM: wake up. Wonder if I should bother getting out of bed. Still feeling shattered. Feeling hungry. Get out of bed. Wash. Contact lenses in. Tell myself I’m now ready for the day ahead! Discover some mushrooms in the fridge which need using up. Search for recipe using said mushrooms. Find 25 suitable recipes. Read each one. Go back to the first one I saw. Cook food. Eat. Tell family to help themselves. Back to my bedroom.

Did I mention that I’ll regret exercising yesterday? Well, I do. I’m amazed at my own stupidity sometimes.

But on a MUCH more positive note, an achey, hurty body = expiation of sins and a means of great reward. Alhamdulillah! Who wouldn’t be pleased with that?
As Muslims we believe that everything happens for a reason, even if we can’t see it at the time. An illness or disability is not a ‘punishment’, rather it’s a means of great reward. Allah constantly reminds us: ‘surely, Allah is with the patient ones.’ It is a way of drawing closer to our Creator, focusing on Him and recognising the many blessings He has favoured us with while realising our own limited capability as human beings. Truly, everything happens according to the Will of Allah. If one of our organs were to fail, who has the power to make it work again, besides Allah? If Allah decides Khair (good) for someone, no one can take it away.
All medicines have stopped working for me, my eye consultants are asking me to go on the list for a corneal transplant (which I keep putting off – one thing at a time!) but I know that this is part of Allah’s plan… Therefore it’s for the best. There is a reason, though I may not be able to see it yet. This is patience. Patience doesn’t mean that we stop feeling, stop seeing, stop being human and grin at everything we see. It means we trust in Allah despite the pain, despite the difficulties. We don’t lose hope in Him.

Alongside knowing that Allah has power over everything, we don’t stop praying or asking for a cure. And we truly believe that the cure WILL be found one day as we find in the Ahadith:
Narrated Abu Hurairah (radi Allahu anhu) that the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: β€œThere is no disease that Allah has sent down except that He also has sent down its treatment.” (Sahih Bukhari)

There were many illnesses which seemed ‘incurable’ at certain points in history. Science is always advancing, new research is being done and each step takes us closer to a cure. Yet we also know that medicines and cures can only work with Allah’s permission.

This is hope. Where would we be without it?