HEALTH UPDATE 2017

Life Updates

4 years later and I finally have the answers I’ve been waiting for.

After seeing a pain consultant at UCLH, I was told I had damage to my abdominal wall, most probably as a result of my operation in 2013. This would explain the consistency in daily pain and the multiple admissions to hospital. The methods of dealing with this are somewhat complicated – there is no “cure” as such, as surgery runs far too many fatal risks, not to mention the risk of furthermore pain. I’m on medication for chronic pain, and hopefully by steadily increasing the dose if I experience severe pain again, it should make a considerable difference to my quality of life. The only downside to the medication is their sedative effect, so I spent 90% of my day resembling that of a zombie. I’ve now been referred to the complex pain team at UCLH, where I’ll undergo physiotherapy to help live with the pain, potential local anaesthetic shots to numb the pain of my damaged abdominal wall and ultimately methods which will ensure I don’t have to visit the a&e department as frequently, and hopefully in time, at all.

Over the past 4 years, I’ve gone through just about every single test possible for abdominal pain and the lack of answers completely destroyed me. I was living in a constant state of not knowing what I was suffering from, with doctors, or “specialists” in the private healthcare field not willing to act on anything. 2015 was by far the worst year of my life – 11 admissions to a&e over 12 months, where they could only manage the pain with opiates left me feeling at my lowest. Many people, healthcare professionals included, underestimate the debilitating impact of chronic pain. I’m always asked to rate my pain – how do I measure it, when I’ve experienced the worst kind this world has to offer? To this day, I’ve never measured my pain at a 10/10 because I’ve become so desensitised to the excruciating nature of a relapse.

I’ve always had people commending me for my bravery and strength, but ultimately this is 90% of the time a facade to help me survive. I’m so far from brave, compared to those who suffer from terminal illnesses and what not. There are days where I’m overcome with anxiety over how I’ll live with the pain when it gets bad, and how isolating the pain can be. There are days when I criticise myself for pitying myself when I’m so lucky compared to the plight of others. I’m filled with guilt at the sacrifices my family have made for me, and the pain they’ve had to helplessly witness, all the while encouraging me and supporting me. But I’ve slowly come to realise that it’s perfectly okay to feel sorry for myself here and there. It’s okay to feel like absolute shit. It’s okay to cry my heart out. Because pain is soul-destroying.

Ultimately, I survived these 4 years solely because I have an incredible support system. My immediate family and close friends have saved my life.

So, thank you. Thank you to the specialists at UCLH for giving me the answers I’ve waited so long for. Thank you to my close friends who’ve shown me so much support recently. Thank you to the friends who’ve become family. Thank you to each and every one of you who have contacted me on here and offered advice, encouragement and so much more. And thank you, a thousand times over, to my family.  God bless you all.

It gets worse before it gets better, but it does get better.

A x

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An Open Letter to My Parents

Life Updates

The past few years have been turbulent, both physically and mentally for myself and those around me; the constant rejection of the answers I was desperately looking for, the reluctance to be treated for whatever is going on inside me, and the anxiety surrounding being in pain everyday were painful to say in the least. However, with the news that the investigations into my health conditions have now come to an end, I’ve stopped hoping for a miracle, adopting a rather more realistic approach to dealing with the pain. I’ve made peace with the idea that I’ll have to treat these symptoms, potentially for the rest of my life, rather than having multiple doctors, surgeons and specialists poke me here and there, performing countless tests.

Those closest to me will know how much I despise pity and sympathy: my health is something I have yet to come to terms with (I know, I know, it’s been 4 years) so handling other’s reactions isn’t something that comes easily to me when I don’t really know how to handle it myself. However, the one thing I have always been grateful for, but now more so than ever, is the relentless support of my parents.

During my darkest hours, they shared my pain and agony. In 2013, they shared my fear of going under the knife for the first time in my life. But they put aside all their own emotions to support me, comfort me and encourage me. Many will comment on my bravery in suffering from a debilitating health issue, but I believe the bravest of them all are my parents, for being strong for me. I remember waking up from the general anaesthetic after my operation and hearing my mum sob because she couldn’t handle the sight of me being attached to wires, an oxygen mask, and tubes attached to me. This was the first time I’d heard her cry since I was diagnosed, and in many ways that was more painful than the actual agony of a gallbladder attack. As parents, there’s an assumption that you have to be strong for your children, and my parents exceeded that. I know for a fact that their support has helped me live through this, and without it, I don’t know where I’d be.

It’s time for me to stop thinking about how I’ll survive living with whatever I am going through, but rather focus on how I can live my life to the fullest with it. Perhaps I was justified in my selfishness regarding the whole thing – after all, it was my illness, something only I was experiencing. But in many ways, my pain is also my parents’ pain. I haven’t given them enough credit for helping me survive the worst days of my life. I owe them everything for helping me keep it together when I was at my lowest points. Their ability to see the light at the end of the tunnel when I’m blind to it myself is a gift they are blessed with.

So thank you both, for transforming me into the strong woman I am today. I am a survivor because of you. You love me even when I’m at my worst, and boy am I an absolute nightmare. Through your care and devotion, you have created a human being who is prepared to fight whatever life throws at her head on. You have given me the strength to survive my darkest hours, and it’s only your words which help me overcome them. Your strength and courage lives within me, and I am so proud to call you my parents. I don’t know what the future holds, but I know I’ll be able to embrace it because of you.

A x

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Original Writing

2016 has brought us a whirlwind of emotions. It’s felt like a bloody long year too!

From restarting my degree at the university of my dreams, to meeting some of the truly wonderful people I now hold dear to me, it’s been a crazy year that I wouldn’t change for the world. It’s also taught me how important it is to keep your loved ones close: to cherish every second you have with them, because life is far too unpredictable and we just cannot know when our time on this earth will be over.

Strangers have become best friends. Best friends have become family. Family ties have grown stronger (in some cases, mind!) 2016 has been a year of life lessons, too. I’ve learnt that people will come in and out of your life, but those who are supposed to be in it will come back to you eventually. Those who don’t come back, well, for the briefest moments, they were in your life for a reason. All we can do is learn from what they’ve taught us, and move on with what they’ve left behind. Life is too unpredictable to hold grudges and negativity against those we once cared for.

I look forward to a year of positivity ahead of me. As cliche as it sounds, I’m very much looking forward to leaving negativity behind me in 2016, and moving forward with those who stuck by me relentlessly this year, bringing me nothing but happiness and filling my life with love.

Happy 2017! Let’s make it a good one.

“In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.” – Unknown

A x

Happy Father’s Day!

Life Updates

Today marks a very special day dedicated to the heroic fathers who do so much for their children! Sadly, I spent majority of this day wrapped in a blanket as a result of being unwell, and it didn’t go to plan at all. Nevertheless, I’m looking forward to making up for it when I’m feeling a little better.

These past few years have been particularly difficult and my dad has been one of the very few people to stand by me through thick and thin. With his tireless efforts to make me feel better, make me laugh and support me, I couldn’t have asked for a better father. He goes well out of his way and beyond to make my life a little more bearable and easier. From picking me up from the station at ridiculous hours of the night, to dropping me off to work at 3am when I used to work at the airport, it’s insane how he’s managed to put up with me! Yet he continues to do so, showering me with love and support endlessly.

Dad, I don’t give you enough credit for what you do for me, and for our family. You’re one of the most incredible men I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing and loving, and I most certainly wouldn’t be the person I am today without you, and all the sacrifices you’ve made. Everyday, I grow more proud of you as a father, as a businessman and as a person.

Thank you for doing what you do. For loving me, for supporting me, for sitting down at 1am to discuss world politics and world peace with me. You’ve provided me with so much in life that I never thank you for, but will forever be grateful for.

All my love,

Anisah

Back to Work!

Life Updates

Ah. After five weeks of unemployment, I can’t possibly express how nice it is to finally have a job again, especially one I adore so much.

Thankfully, I’m back working in menswear at the same company as before, but this time in a better location and at an A list store! I’m just over a week into my new routine and it’s been absolutely crazy; the pressure of a better performing store is certainly intense at times but it’s something to make the most of. Furthermore, with this job I can now focus more on training to be a merchandiser, although merchandising here is a whole new ball game! From the team to the products, everything is wonderful and I’m super excited to work here until September.

Working in a new store also makes me realise how much I miss my old one! The little family we had back in my old branch was something quite special, and at times I miss having a boss who pretty much let me get away with anything and everything. I was incredibly lucky to have a supportive set of senior staff who looked after me as much as they did and being practically best pals with my department manager. However, leaving the store was the best decision I could have made, especially after having to endure bullying for three months straight by a colleague.

Finally, I’m just grateful to be working again! A health update is pending, but as of right now, working up to 30 hours a week is just what I need at this point – not only does it serve as a brilliant distraction, but it’s also a hell of a lot of fun. It takes my mind of all the crappy stuff going on with my health right now, and I don’t have time to wallow in self pity/think about pain whilst I’m running around the shop floor.

So thank you to my old work family for transforming me into a menswear ace, and I look forward to great new adventures with my new menswear family.

Ciao, and Ramadan Mubarak!

 

Happy Birthday, Mum!

Life Updates

I’m so bummed to be working till 10 tonight on my mum’s special day, but nevertheless, I wanted to take this opportunity to just thank her for everything she’s done for me so far.

My mum has relentlessly supported me, showering me in compassion through my darkest hours; it’s thanks to her that I’m the person I am today. Mum, you have helped me embrace a strength I never knew I had with your tireless dedication to making me feel better as well as making me a better person. You’re an incredible role model, too – aside from the 5 degrees under your belt!

I hope one day I can make you as proud as I am to call you my mother. Even when I’m at my most frustrating, you still find it in yourself to comfort me, and for that I’ll be eternally grateful. The sacrifices you’ve made for me will never go unappreciated, and one day you’ll see that.

Thank you for encouraging me to surpass my own goals and achieve more than I thought possible. You deserve nothing less than eternal happiness: the woman you are is the woman I aspire to be. I love you unconditionally and more than I can ever put into words. (Oh, and the care home jokes are a joke, I promise!)

Anisah x

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

Original Writing

Ideally, we ought to show love for our mothers every single day of the year. Sometimes, we forgot to show them just how much they mean to us.

This past year has been horrendous for me and one of only reasons I survived 2015 was thanks to my mother’s relentless encouragement, positivity and belief in me to make it through. It’s something I guess I just took for granted but never should; thanks to her, I have the strength to persevere and fight every obstacle that comes my way.

They say a mother’s love is like nothing else on this planet. But a child’s love for their mother is also incomparable. I thank God for giving me a mother as bright and loving as her; presents and a card don’t really to justice for what mothers really deserve in life.

Happy mother’s day, mum. And thank you, for everything. Nothing you’ve done for me has gone unnoticed.

Anisah x

A Special Note to a Loved One

Original Writing

It’s my (not so little) cousin’s 14th birthday today!

He’s the closest thing I’ll ever have to a sibling and I’m beyond proud of how far he’s come in life. We’ve had so many obstacles thrown our way over the past few years and he’s overcoming every single one like the miracle he is.

I never knew it was possible to love someone as much as I love him. From helping change his nappies when he was a baby, to teaching him how to read and write, I’m always going to be grateful to God for giving me such a precious gift. There are times in life when God challenges us, but He only does so in order for us to realise and embrace our true potential.

Everything I do, I do for you, pal. One day you’ll see that.  Alhamdulillah, thank you for blessing my life.

“…And If you would count the blessings of Allah you would not be able to count them…” [Surah Ibrahim 14:34]

Anisah x

Rest In Peace

Original Poetry

I’ll sit in the graveyard,
And plant flowers by your stone.
The tears won’t stop, no matter how strong I thought I could be.
I loved you like you were blood, I didn’t know any different until I was older
And even then,
I didn’t feel any different.
You were made of the same blood
As us
And I felt something in me
When you died that day.
I felt my heart crash against a lamp-post
And not even the airbags could save me.
I cried for days, weeks, months.
It’s been a year or so since you died
And I’m counting down the days
Until your next anniversary,
So we can all sit and remember how
Incredible you were.
A man of so many achievements
And accomplishments;
A best friend, loving and loyal.
A father, protective and affectionate.
An uncle, doting and wonderful in every way.
I pray that God will protect you,
His brave angel now.
Your strength and power,
Determination and fighter’s spirit
Will live on in our hearts
Until we meet again.
May God rest your soul