My lupus journey

A letter to my stoma care nurses

A few weeks ago I went into the hospital for my routine rheumatology check-up and while I was waiting for my blood test at the blood test clinic which is 10 out of 10 times overflowing in the morning hours, I went to see the stoma care nurses. When I got to the ward there was one nurse in the office. The rest must have been out in the community.  I’d never met this nurse before but obviously, she’d heard my name! No surprise there! We had a lovely chat and she was very pleased with the progress –  alhamdulilah.

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❝ A big thank you to Lauren* and the whole stoma care nursing team who was involved in my care. I was probably the most troublesome patients in your care. I ended up in hospital a lot because of blockages (as you know!) which would get to me emotionally and mentally but the support, love and care I received from all the stoma nurses especially Lauren and Laura who I’d love to thank greatly was exceptional not saying that the care received from all the other stoma care nurses was any less. All of you guys are amazing! You get to know us patients on a personal level which makes it that little bit more special. Throughout the year and a half while I had my ileostomy I felt like I always had your support which you made clear. Now that I don’t have an ileostomy I don’t feel special haha! But I’m doing well and that’s what counts. My family and I are really very grateful for the services you provided, your continual support and loving characters.

Thank you so much. I hope you enjoy the chocolates.

Sidra and family xo❞

*I have changed the names of the nurses in this post as to protect their identity.

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My lupus journey

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) diagnosis while going through my GCSE’s and moving onto college

Rewind back to 2011. I actually typed this post up on the 14th of July 2011; ever since it has been sitting on my memory stick. And now I know what to do with it!

I was at my final year at secondary school which meant the most important exams were taking place. This is the time I started getting my external symptoms which made it terribly hard for me to pay attention and concentrate on these exams. And to top that off I was getting snide marks and whispers about the rash on my face. I didn’t let it bother me because I knew I’d never see these people again once I left school!

An average 16-year-old would probably not have been through how much I have been through over the period of 2-3 months in terms of health that too at a critical time in every 16-year-olds life. The symptoms I experienced were: extremely bad fever, nasty cough, joint pain. I would collapse because I didn’t eat anything, I was anemic (a blood disorder in people with SLE, it is the lack of red blood cells or the presence of red blood cells that do not have enough oxygen carrying capacity due to a deficiency in iron or vitamins).

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Prophetic medicine

The constitution of man

The constitution of man is made up of seven constituents:

The first constituent is the elements, which are four in number:

  1. Fire, which is hot and dry;
  2. Air, which is hot and wet;
  3. Water, which is cold and wet; and
  4. Earth, which is cold and dry.

The second constituent is the temperaments:

  1. The first is an evenly balanced temperament.
  2. The second is an unevenly balanced temperament, which may be unmixed, being then hot, cold, wet, or dry; or it may be an unevenly balanced but mixed temperament, being hot and dry, or hot and wet, or cold and dry, or cold and wet. The most evenly balanced of all temperaments in the animal kingdom is the temperament of man. The most evenly balanced of all temperaments in mankind is the temperament of the believer. The most evenly balanced of all temperaments among the believers are the temperaments of the Prophets (عليهم السلام). The most evenly balanced of temperaments among all the Prophets are the temperaments of the Messengers of Allāh (عليهم السلام) And the most evenly balanced of temperaments among all the Messengers of Allāh is the temperament of those endowed with a resolution to obey Allāh. And the most evenly balanced of those so endowed is the temperament of Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم). Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم) was the most evenly balanced in character from the point of view of temperament according to the rules of medicine is because the nature of his character was subservient to the temperament of his body _ and the more perfectly balanced the temperament of the body is, the better is the nature of the character. And He the All-Knowing, Glorious and Mighty, has borne witness that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) was of an excellent character:

“And surely you are on a mighty nature.”

[Qurān 68:4]

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Prophetic medicine A-Z

Bread ● Khubz

The best type of bread is yeasty and kneaded and the one which is baked in a circular brick oven – well baked and using fine flour. It should not be eaten until it has cooled down, for its heat makes you thirsty.  The next best is furnace bread, then oven baked bread, then bread cooked under hot ashes using fresh flour. The most nutritious kind of bread is semolina bread because it digests slowly and because it does not have excessive amounts of bran, then chalky bread and then lastly black bread.

 

The less bran there is in in the bread the more slowly it is digested, but the more nourishing it is. Soft bread is more nutritious and easier to digest.

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Life

Handmade gift boxes

I was on YouTube checking something out and came across a video which fascinated me so I thought I’d give it a try and it turned out very well. I tried my hand at some arts and crafts and made some little boxes. I love doing little projects so this post shows you my previous project. Yes, I’m currently working on a similar one right now! I made little gift boxes out of white cardboard paper and decorated them with black and white patterned paper. After that, I decided what I would do with these boxes. I just made the boxes out of curiosity and now I had a purpose for them; I needed to do something with these beautifully scented tea lights which had been sitting in the bottom of my draw ever since I bought them last year! Now they don’t look so neglected. These tea lights smell amazing and now they look even better, presented in a cute little gift box.

 

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Prophetic medicine A-Z

Black seed/ Nigella Sativa ● Habb as-sawda

This has been used since ancient times. Black seed has a long history, according to some, it was Cleopatra’s beauty secret. It was reportedly found in the tomb of Tutankhamun of ancient Egypt. It is referred with other names too such as ‘timeless black seed’ and ‘love in a mist’.  Black seed has been classified by many modern scientists as a “tonic herb” or “cure all.”

It has been used to flavour, curries, bread, and cakes and also as a natural food preservative for centuries in Asia, North Africa and parts of Europe.

It grows by itself amongst other plants in a parasitic manner, especially in woodland areas. Black seed is cultivated around the Mediterranean area and in Asia Minor and Iran, as well as Central Asia and the Caucasus.

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Prophetic medicine A-Z

Beetroot ● silqh

Umm al-Mundhir (رضي الله عنها) narrates: “The Prophet Muhammad ( صلى الله عليه وسلم ) entered accompanied by Ali who was still recovering from an illness. We had clusters of unripe dates hanging. The Messenger of Allāh started eating and Ali joined him. Then the Messenger of Allāh ( صلى الله عليه وسلم ) said “Stop Ali, for you are convalescing” Ali stopped eating so I prepared beet (chard) and barley and brought them. The Messenger of Allāh advised him by saying “Ali (eat the dish of barley and beetroot prepared by Umm al-Mundhir), because it would be good for you.””

[A reliable ḥādith recorded by Abu Dawūd and at-Tirmiḍhi]

At-Tirmiḍhi comments “This is a rare but good hadith”

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Life

Eid with the family is a real blessing

The blessed day of Eid-ul-Adha.

After I don’t know how many years probably 2/3 years I did this Eid at home. On all the previous days of Eid, I have been an inpatient at some hospital located in England somewhere! It truly feels happy and special to be doing Eid at home with my family minus one and not in a hospital bed alhamdulillah.

I remember a few years back I was on Ward 407 and the two Muslim nurses threw an Eid party. There was some amazing food. One of the Palestinian nurses’ wife made some really nice pastry rolls, I don’t know what they were called but the pastry was so delicate and flaky, they had really nicely seasoned minced meat inside them. There were all sorts of food. And I had my mendhi done too while sitting on my wheel chair in the day room. Because it was the day of Eid I wore something special so my mum dressed me up and she brought me some shoes to wear but my feet were so swollen they wouldn’t fit; I just about managed to squeeze them into some flip flops. I had an NG tube inserted into my nose a few weeks back and the plan of treatment was for me not to take anything by mouth. A nasogastric tube is a thin plastic tube passed through the nose, down the oesophagus and sits in the stomach. On that day I wanted to eat mainly because it was a special day and partly because the food looked so tempting and delicious! The nurse looking after me that afternoon and the sister on the ward said it would be my choice if I wanted to eat because they understood it was a special day knowing full well the aftermath. I said it was okay, I was going to eat.

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Prophetic medicine A-Z

Basil/ myrtle ● raihān/habaq

Myrtle has been used as a healing agent since a long time ago. Every plant that has a good scent is called raihān. Therefore every area gives a certain plant that name. For instance, the people of the West, as well as the Arabs, call the aromatic plants raihān. The people in Iraq and Sham call the hibq (a type of mint) a raihān.

Raihān is a compound of several qualities most of which consist of an earthly cold essence. Myrtle also consists of a soft hot substance.

Myrtle grows wild on the slopes of mountains and is cultivated in areas where water is abundant and on the banks of rivers. Its evergreen leaves stay fresh for a long time. Masses of Muslims use it when they visit the graves of their dead.

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Life

A new little princess

 One of the most special times that serve as a memory as well as a gift to a well-deserved mummy. A new absolutely gorgeous baby girl is born. Allāhuma bārik lahā. May Allāh keep both mum and baby healthy and happy. Allāhuma ameen.

I knew I wanted to give my friend something straight from the day she told me she was pregnant; who doesn’t want to give gifts to a friend?! I knew it had to be something special because she was the first friend that I made when I became a part of this sisterhood, alhamdulilah. Aside from that, she is a lovely soul. If you’re reading this, you know who you are and I love you Fisabeelillah. I thought maybe I should buy her something such as a ready-made hamper;  personally, I think there’s nothing special about that. So I made one instead. The bits I could sew and make I did and the ones I couldn’t I bought them and made a lovely baby girl themed gift hamper.

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Prophetic medicine A-Z

Banana ● talh

The majority of the scholars have said that ‘talh’ means bananas. It is said that the talh is the tree that has thorns that get replaced by fruits each in the place of a thorn, just like what occurs on banana trees. This is the best opinion about the meaning of talh. Hence, the Salaf who said that talh means banana trees are just using the banana tree as an example to explain the meaning of the word talh., not that it only means banana trees. Allāh knows best.

Bananas are hot and wet, the best type of bananas are yellows in color, ripe and sweet.

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Life

I made double the switch!

Recently I have spent a lot of time in the hospital. While in the hospital I find myself pondering quite a lot. At times my mind would go into override and I’d take a break for some fresh air. It’s amazing how much thoughts come to you when you actually reflect. Hospital is not the best place where you can get sleep even at night time. I don’t like wasting time so I would read, write or ponder upon life. I always had a notebook and pen, I learned to keep one with me when I was admitted to the hospital the first time ever, 3 years ago. It comes in really handy; whenever any ideas come to me I jot them down in my book then I can remove them from my brain and make room for fresh ideas.

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