The Daily Ups and Downs

Sometimes I wish life was a little bit different. Throughout my life I have prayed for things and not received those things which would make me sad at the time, but later on I might have realised why it would not have been good for me to have those things – i.e. a certain guy I liked and something between us never coming into being. There were other dreams that Allah brought me close to but didn’t work out, like when having the opportunity to graduate or coming close to final year, but then having to repeat fourth year again.

We just need to trust that everything is for the best. There is great goodness in our lives but sometimes we choose to zoom in on and magnify what we don’t like. It sucks.

Today I attempted to perform a great number of tasks on the ward – some I succeeded with, others not so much, but hey, at least I tried. I got to meet some nice nurses and HCAs as well who were friendly. There are many nice people in the world – people who will smile at you, offer you cakes, open doors for you – nice gestures like that and I need to remember that.

I need to remember that to counteract the bad things and the grim faces and the dismissiveness and sorrow, there are so many others who are willing to extend courtesy, respect and politeness – people who make you feel valued and special. It’s sad when a person just changes and there is little explanation for why it is happening. It is unacceptable to be that way towards another Muslim in my opinion, but perhaps some just can’t really help it. Sometimes I feel that this isn’t even Muslim kinship anymore. I’m just being zoned out and ignored. When there is teamwork and a chance to share out the activity, I feel discarded and like I’m not even present, when that is the opposite of how I behave towards them. Maybe they just like being alone and doing things by themselves.

Allahu A’lam.

These are new challenges I have not faced before. But when you conquer and overcome certain hardships, you develop new skills and strengths. You become braver and more confident as you realise that you have the resilience to deal with the things that come at you – Allah has given us the coping mechanisms and He won’t challenge us with more than we can bear. He says so in the Quran. 

I’m just developing newer coping skills and I hope these will put me in a better position to deal with lifes’ future challenges inshaAllah.

Is it Jealousy?

I found myself becoming slightly jealous today when one of my medic colleagues seemed to be getting more attention than me. What was it about her? Maybe she came in earlier or is more smiley or nicer than me.

I don’t want to be competitive though. Allah will allow me to gain whatever I am destined to gain from the clinical environment. There are a vast array of opportunities and people to learn from inshaAllah.

I started to judge myself, but it’s cool. It’s human nature to have unpleasant feelings. Perhaps it’s best to acknowledge it, bring it into our awareness and then just let go – step away from it. People will like whoever they want to like. It’s not something that can be forced. And there are a whole host of factors that influence this – things we can’t even explain – appearance, temperament, personality, behaviour, knowledge, speech, etc. It’s best to not take it personally but I have to admit, when someone does something better than me, I do feel deficient in some way. But we’re all learners at some stage or another. One thing another student might do better than me would be compensated by a different thing I can do better than them, Alhamdulillah.

We can’t always be perfect at everything. Perhaps I was feeling slightly more groggy today than usual. I didn’t want to come in and then I was slightly late, so maybe that contributes.

I need to pray on time and have a good, healthy routine – i.e. sleeping and eating well. There’s exercise as well. It all contributes to my emotional wellbeing. Maybe if I am happier and stabler within myself, I will feel less needy of other people and their actions will matter less to me as I just learn to adapt myself to them inshaAllah.

May Allah make it easy for all the Muslims to get along inshaAllah.

Feeling meh :s

Today was an interesting and busy day at the hospital. I felt tired and I don’t think it went how I would have liked it to have gone but there were certainly challenges.

You can’t control what you learn in the hospital environment. Sometimes, on a busy day, you just do what you are told to do by the junior doctors – i.e. jobs like taking bloods, ECGs, cannulas, etc.

I’m ok with doing ECGs now but not the best with sticking a needle into someones’ vein successfully. So this is definitely something I need more practice on inshaAllah.

Sometimes you are surrounded by people who don’t seem to be good at bringing the best out of you which might be due to a whole host of other reasons. People just have different personalities or different traits. Some might engage with you more whilst others less so.

Also, sometimes you expect others to treat you and be as inclusive towards you as you are towards them. This might not always happen though which can be quite sad.

But anyway, I want to remind myself again, I should treat people kindly and with respect inshaAllah – in the same way that I would like to be treated inshaAllah.

I don’t need to force my way into situations. I want to have integrity and not be forceful or even flirtatious (things that women can become when they want or need something). 

If other people do not treat me in a nice way then that is upto them inshaAllah.

Eid Mubarak 2017

It is Eid today and things are buzzing around me. My extended family are all around me with all of my cousins so there is a lot of noise and excitement.

However, I can’t help but just be lost in my thoughts. Encounters I have had with this friend of mine in the last day continue to be strange as she communicates with me very differently to how she did before. 

Her answers to my long messages are very brief and devoid of any feelings. It all just seems a little bit flat. I can’t help but wonder what is happening in her life and what is going through her mind.

There is a lot of curiosity and puzzlement I have which does take up brain space and obstructs me from fully being aware of my present circumstances. This isn’t great :s

So I need to remind myself once again that her actions are her actions and she is responsible for them, not me. The coldness and blanking is sad.

When I ask “how are you feeling?” after delivering some important news to her, she does not respond to this. When I tell her that I hope Allah grants her good things and make an open dua for her. There is no acknowledgement of it. She does not say “ameen” or wish the same for me as she would usually do for me.

The other day it just dawned upon me, perhaps she is depressed or is going through some emotional trauma. So perhaps I should be sympathetic towards the change in her character towards me. Perhaps I should just allow these changes and not expect her to be the way she has been before. Perhaps I should just view her as this completely new person I have just met and not take anything she does or says personally. Of course, it is difficult to forget the pleasant and caring person she was over the last 5-6 years. I still believe that that person is there deep down but something has happened which has made her change or made her want to change. Maybe there is some benefit in this that I can’t really explain or understand.

I just need to accept that it is what it is and I should try to not get upset or allow it to ruin my spirits in any way. I still want to continue being nice to her and being nice to the rest of the world.

May Allah ease her struggles and the struggles of our ummah. I pray that there is goodness in this. Ameen!

Allah has purchased our Lives for Paradise

It’s sad when you have feelings for someone but have an awareness that it’s likely to not go anywhere for various reasons i.e. you know deep down that as lovely as the person is you are incompatible in many ways, or that they are of a different religion/ethnicity/school of thought to you which might make life difficult for you or might mean you would have to compromise on some of the values that you hold dear in order to be with this person. 

Sometimes there might be things in life that your nafs really wants but your rational mind is forced to take over and convince you that it isn’t right or it wouldn’t work in the long run. It can lead to a bit of a battle between what your emotions want and what your brain/thoughts want. I’m sure that would be hard.

In these situations, one part of you would need to compromise – i.e. you might have to compromise on what your emotions would want you to do in order to keep the logical/moral part of your brain happy. This would probably lead to grief and sadness as you are not really in control and can’t have what you would like to have.

If one has chosen their values/morals over their emotions, then that is the functioning of a highly developed individual who can prioritize what is more important to them. However, despite choosing their beliefs, they would probably be left with some sad and complicated feelings to deal with. You can’t please everyone/everything in life but you can choose who/what to please perhaps?

What is worth more to you? That is the questions that one has to ask themselves. What can they do without and what can’t they do without? What will please Allah more? What is a more jannah-worthy option to take? 

We all want happiness but sometimes as Muslims we might need to sacrifice the present day happiness in order to receive the eternal happiness of jannah.

And that is more than worth the sacrifice. In fact, jannah will be so good that its’ inhabitants would be willing to face all the pain that they did on earth, in order to have the beauty all over again. This is what lies in store for us if we make the right choices and pick what is everlasting over what is temporary. 

May Allah grant all the Muslims amazing spouses who they can be happy with and who can bring out the best of them inshaAllah.

โ€œIndeed, Allah has purchased from the believers their lives and their properties [in exchange] for that they will have Paradise. They fight in the cause of Allah, so they kill and are killed. [It is] a true promise [binding] upon Him in the Torah and the Gospel and the Qurโ€™an. And who is truer to his covenant than Allah? So rejoice in your transaction which you have contracted. And it is that which is the great attainment.โ€ 

[Quran, 9: 111]

A Potential Perhaps?

So this brother keeps on checking my profile ๐Ÿ™‚

I wonder if he knows that I get a notification each time he views my profile which has been once a day for the last few days? And I wonder if he knows that his profile settings are set so that the other party will know if he views their profile?

I’m flattered though, I have to say, that someone is interested in me or wants to know more about me (is that the reason why they check my profile quite regularly?).

But anyway, don’t know where this will go. I don’t intend to actively interact with him or make a move or anything so I will just observe. Maybe one can be indirect in their approach because it doesn’t seem appropriate to directly engage with him unless/until my family have given their permission and our discussions are supervised in some sort of way.

I have started praying to Allah that He grants me what is good for me and grants me those things when I am ready to handle it.

I don’t know, but sometimes the idea of marriage feels quite trivial when put against all the other trials I face and have done over the past few years. It’s like my brain is warning me, “is it worth it?”.

Is it worth the heartbreak, the struggle, the turmoil, drama and much more that is bound to come with the process of wanting to get married in my family? Maybe one day I will be able to justify it but right now, the stakes just seem too high. Is it worth compromising upon my emotional/mental wellbeing and as a result adversely affecting my career and what I want to do with my life? Will it make me that happy? 

No, it won’t. I see marriage as an adjunct to having a good life. It is one of the factors amongst a range of factors that are required to lead a good existence, but totally not the be all and end all of life. 

May Allah make it easy for all the struggling Muslims inshaAllah ๐Ÿ™‚

Closure, finally Alhamdulillah

I had my last counselling session today and it was good Alhamdulillah as I talked about what happened with my friend over the last couple of weeks and I got an outsider’s perspective on it. We both agreed that there were some things that were a little confusing but my counsellor praised me on the fact that I was brave enough to tell my friend what I thought but still have the maturity to approach it in a non-confrontational way.

She thinks it enabled me to have more control of the situation and yes, it did. I am in a much different place to the one that I was in a few months ago where things were bleak and dark. I’ve learnt a lot through this experience.

It made me wonder if I overshare with my friends and whether I have a problematic personality, but the truth is, friends are there to listen to your problems and if they cared for you then they would enquire. Of course, I have learnt that I shouldn’t overburden one person at any one time with my issues and I hope not to do that again inshaAllah.

There are uncertainties about what my friend is feeling and what her thoughts on the matter is, but my counsellor said that that is probably her way of coping with things and her way is different to mine. She becomes closed off and withdrawn whereas I like to talk about things and resolve things. Maybe that is an issue for her to deal with in the long term.

I did think to myself, am I too confrontational? But my counsellor thought I wasn’t, as confrontational to her means wanting to start an argument or not being willing to listen or cooperate. It was reassuring to hear that she thought I did well and she praised me on it. 

Near the end of the appointment it was clear that I probably didn’t need to come again as there was closure for me and I just wanted to move on.

I still care for this friend and highly admire her and of course I will try my best to continue being nice to her as I have always tried to do. However she decides to treat me is upto her and is between her and Allah. I will try not to compromise on my values or change my behaviour to make it in line with hers.

So Alhamdulillah for that ๐Ÿ˜€

A Potential Brother?

Where do guys come into my life?

I’m single and have never been in any relationships. It’s frowned upon within my family to find one’s own spouse and one is expected to utilise their parents and the contacts of their parents to have a traditional arranged marriage where there is minimal contact before marriage.

I want to do things the halal way of course, which means through a wali and using your mahram as a chaperone. It isn’t permissible for a man to be alone with another woman he isn’t related to in islam. And if they’re getting to know each other for the purpose of finding out if they will suit each other, then they should have chaperones.

However, I think it is vitally important to have a lot of sit down discussions and getting to know sessions with a potential spouse of interest, which my family aren’t so willing to facilitate, which can be frustrating.

So where am I now in terms of wanting to get married?

I’m not sure. I did want to get married around a year ago but then I changed my mind as I decided the process was just too intense and I couldn’t emotionally handle it alongside handle the demands of a medical course. I chose certain priorities over others for the timebeing and decided not to allow other things to get in the way of that.

I still feel I should wait until I have finished medical school but there is this one person who my friend told me of a while ago who I feel an interest towards. We haven’t met but I’ve heard about him and he seems pretty cool. It’s quite strange to explain but I would love to find out more about him and maybe even have a chance to meet. It might not even work out but I’m inquisitive to know what he is like.

Humans will be humans at the end of the day, and eventhough I know it sounds wise and rational to wait (and it is), I do have a desire to get married which I can’t explain in rational terms. Human beings have a need and desire for companionship. We are designed to live with people and live in communities. I do get frustrated living as a single student at times but I know married life will bring about new challenges which I might not even be ready for.

I am sure that I would like to wait until I finish university but maybe I can still hold onto the idea of this person as it provides a possibility. Eventhough I do not have enough information about him, the information that I have makes him sound like a promising candidate. Perhaps I will observe him from afar to see what he is doing with his life and will pray to Allah that maybe one day He can facilitate a meeting with this person or another who is more suited.

I like the idea of having a possibility, eventhough I know there is no certainty. I don’t want the hunt for marriage to take up too much of my brain space like it did before. But I feel happy when I receive information that there is another person out there who is potentially interested in me and would want to know more about me.

I have to leave it in Allah’s hands though and rely upon Him, rather than rely upon my feelings and thoughts which change all the time. And of course, I need to stick to the shariah rules and not get too adventurous in my pursuit of him ๐Ÿ™‚ If I want there to be baraqah in my marriage, I need to try to go about it in an honourable manner.

I want to be seen as a woman of honour and dignity, not as someone who is desperate and willing to compromise in order to satisfy their nafs.

First Day On The Surgical Unit

I spent my first day at the surgical assessment unit today and it was quite productive, Alhamdulillah. I got to clerk in two patients, took some bloods, saw a cannula being put in twice and was able to see some of a cardiac arrest call.

I spent quite a long time on the wards today which was quite tough considering it was a very hot day today. The wards felt very stuffy and I just generally felt quite physically uncomfortable and sweaty.

I feel a lot more confident being on the wards this time round. I feel like I know more about what I should do and what is expected of me, Alhamdulillah. I feel more confident in approaching the doctors and asking for help and I realise that it is important to look enthusiastic and ask questions, as well as try to bond with and build a rapport with the doctors. 

I’m also with another student on the ward who I seem to be getting on quite well with. She is a nice, caring girl and I think we work well as a team. 

I did think Medicine was quite glamorous when I was younger but the reality has hit me that things aren’t so hunky dory. We’re working under a lot of pressure. There is a lot of work, few breaks, hardship from other colleagues/patients/their family, as well as trying to be mentally resilient at work whilst also having to deal with many of life’s other challenges. It is by no means a glamorous or relaxing ride. One will be tested and pushed to the limits of what one can handle emotionally. 

There have been so many changes in my life. Perhaps busy is good at times because those worries and woes that I have/had aren’t so centre-stage anymore. It’s going further and further into the background. I’m aware that those issues are there but sometimes they become less and less of an issue.

Clerking Notes

Patient One

  • 63 year old Caucasian Female who had a planned admission for IV fluids and a PICC line (a catheter that delivers parenteral nutrition straight into the blood stream).
  • She had had a oesophagectomy which involved removal of part of her oesophagus after a tumour.
  • Her current problem was that she was not able to eat properly and was losing a lot of weight. The reason for this was because her jejunostomy (feeding tube that went into her stomach through abdo wall) had failed. She could not keep oral foods down either and it was unknown why that was the case.
  • Physically the patient was well in herself but had just lost a lot of weight (due to not being able to eat) and was feeling very lethargic. She had also pulled out her last jejunostomy pipe and was in pain around that area.
  • Parenteral – straight into bloodstream
  • Enteral – Into the GI tract

Management

  • The patient needs to be fed so she was prescribed IV fluids and a request for a PICC line was made.
  • A dietician’s review was requested.
  • She needed bloods doing to check for electrolyte disturbances (U&E)- one had to be cautious of re-feeding syndrome. 
  • Perhaps in the long term she might need some sort of exploratory surgery or endoscopy to see why she is not able to eat and why the previous measures had failed.