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.

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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.

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.

“Indeed, 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 Qur’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.” 

[Quran, 9: 111]

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 🙂 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.

Pre-Placement Nerves

I’m going to start my surgery rotation tomorrow and I’m feeling a little nervous. I’m praying that it goes ok. I always feel a little nervous about going onto a new ward for the first time. I feel nervous about meeting the new doctors and wonder what they’ll think of me or whether they will make me feel welcomed and part of the team, or whether I will feel ignored and like I don’t really belong. The truth is, if I think about it realistically, on each placement I have done so far, the junior doctors have always been nice enough Alhamdulillah. Perhaps it is because they were so very recently in our position, so they know what it was like. In fact, in the past, maybe it is me that has been more closed off and disengaged.

Today I make the intention to challenge myself and to learn as much as I can on the job. This is an opportunity of a lifetime and as safe as it is for me to turn to my books as a place of solace, there is so much to learn on the wards. I want to be more experiential in my approach. I want to start acting like a doctor and feeling like a doctor. I’m here to practise being a doctor and doing a doctors’ job before the real thing in a few years’ time inshaAllah. So my aim is to practice taking histories and performing examinations. Also, trying to perform as many clinical skills as possible as well as learning to handle the common clinical challenges that occur on the wards such as how to manage a deteriorating patient. If you observe, witness and get involved with a patient, there is a far greater chance that you will remember that knowledge, as you will have context.

I’m with another student on this placement which may be comforting inshaAllah. We can support each other so I hope it will be nice. I don’t want to be as shy as I was before. I want to be confident and brave but humble enough to be open to learning new things and being approachable to being taught by the doctors.

This is an opportunity of a lifetime and a chance to really learn about how to make a difference inshaAllah.

The London Fire

This has to be said but the tower block that burnt and tragically took away all those lives was due to the failings of the government to adequately look after and provide appropriate and SAFE accommodation for the working class.

I feel so sad for the victims because they weren’t cared for or looked after properly. The country and society that should have taken care of them, dramatically failed. 

Perhaps this is the very reason why the media are not reporting the exact number of deaths which are likely to be in triple figures. Perhaps the government recognize that they have failed and they do not want to be held accountable and are frightened of any potential backlash.

I pray to Allah that he holds these people to account. They will not get away with it. The value of a person’s life should never be based on their class or how much they earn. Islam came to rid us of attitudes like that. Islam teaches us that the poorest and richest members of society are completely equal in worth in the eyes of Allah, and the only thing that could make one excel over another is not their social or financial status but it is their piety and taqwa (god-consciousness).

I am pleased to learn though that when believers die through a fire, that they are regarded as dying the death of a shaheed. So I hope they are indeed in a better place and I hope the ones who failed them will be punished severely in this life and the next.

May Allah have mercy on all the believers during this religious month.

Lazy Saturday

I feel sad today, as I did yesterday. I tend to feel sad when I come back to my family home. I don’t know what or why it is.

Maybe it is the clutter in my bedroom which I feel is weighing me down, that I really feel the urge to get rid of, to create a blank slate and to start afresh. Maybe it is the fact that I am surrounded by people who are quite stressy and that adds to the vibe. Or it could be even that I revert back to a lazy version of myself when I am in my family home. 

I don’t know what it is but what I do know is that I don’t like it. I don’t want to be or want to feel this way. It is a hot, summery day today. My room is a mess but that isn’t my fault as it is my sisters’ mess. I also have a few chores I could be getting on with.

However, I just can’t be bothered. Some days I just feel like lying in bed and doing nothing, not facing upto life or do anything. It just feels easier that way. I don’t feel motivated during those times and prefer to just rest by myself and think about life. Of course, it is unproductive and draining as well, which reminds me that I need to start going to the gym again. At least in that way, I could release my frustration in some sort of physical way on the treadmill or on the weights machines.

But here I am today, faced with the first challenge of my day – to shower and then to do some chores, which I actually hate.

May Allah make it easy.

Will I ever get married?

Some of my friends from medical school got married – one is quite close to me and the other, not as much. I would say I have six favourite friends (seven if my flatmate is counted). One of them is married and the others are trying to get married or marriage is on their mind. I am soo happy for the friend that is married, but will I feel this happy if the time comes when my last single friend ties the knot or is just about to and I am still by myself with no partnership in sight? Perhaps not.

There have been many arguments with my mum about getting married but it rarely got me the results I wanted. I felt like she was the gatekeeper for any potential person to be given a chance to enter my life but she refused to facilitate it, instead being passive or sometimes agreeing to but never really making any active effort. It quickly became apparent that she was not prepared to part with me and wanted me to graduate first.

Right now, after not quite passing my exams and having to repeat the year, I have changed my mind about marriage and feel that I should wait until after medical school. However, that does not stop me from wondering when or about how I will meet my potential spouse. Do I have to put some sort of effort in to the process? Or do I make d’ua and ask Allah to send me a suitable spouse in the best way possible whenever I am ready for it? 

Talking this issue through with my friend reminded me that our rizq is from Allah. We can’t really ascertain our future. We might think marriage is good for us when it isn’t or like in my friends’ case, a good marriage prospect might come my way without me having to do anything about it.

I know that Allah is looking out for me as He always does and will continue to do until I die. He is my ultimate wali which means He is protecting me and guarding me.

I sometimes wonder why men don’t seem to like me or be attracted to me when other sisters have attention. What is it about me? Am I not girly or giggly enough? Should I open up a bit more? Then my friend reminded me that the Qur’an says “good men are for good women (and vice versa)” (24:26). She told me that I will attract what is similar to me. That made me feel happy as I begin to feel that maybe Allah is saving that rare gem for me and He is out there somewhere. Do I really want to lower my standards and then attract people of a lower standard? I’d rather not, inshaAllah. So this is a reminder to myself, that despite how the hijaabis around me might behave in a smiley/giggley or jokey manner with the guys, that that is something they will have to be accountable for when they die. I should be careful not to follow them down into that hole.

Allah has given women honour and dignity and we should aim to live our lives in that way, not compromising on who we are or going along with what the rest of society does. One does need to be bold and brave in order to be different. They may stand out or be seen as odd/strange. Other people may not find them to be very appealling and they may not have a bucket load of friends. Reminding people of the harsh and true reality of life is not likely to go down well with them. But that is what believers are supposed to do for one another. It is part of loving each other and caring for each other that we assist each other in all of our quests to be better Muslimahs.

I truly love this friend of mine as she is deep and incredibly kind. She made me some food today and when she hugged me, she held on for ages. She is a really sweet person, bless her. I am truly honoured to have met her and I am grateful that she reminded me today that I should continue acting with dignity and grace, and pray that one day I might attract someone similar.