Scots Wha Hae

Went to an Iftar party today and I was doing my best to be upbeat. I thought I was doing good, but Chai asked me, “Abez, you alright? Your eyes look kind of…”

“Do not operate heavy machinery?”

“Yes,” she nodded.

The food was great, the company was superb, and I felt dizzy. It’s amazing how little things like a little dizziness here, some blanking-out there can take their toll on your fun for the evening. I came to have fun though, and I decided I was going to no matter what.

A game of Scrabble started after dinner and LG’s newest baby, The Thinker, was fussing. I got up and picked him up so that LG could take her turn. Btw, one of the medications I’m on, can’t remember which one, causes dizziness when you stand up suddenly, and if you happen to fall down, you might drop LG’s baby. I nearly did. I don’t think anyone noticed. There wasn’t anything to see, just me standing with the baby on my shoulder and my eyes closed. I was trying to make merry-go-round in my head stop.

That was when I stopped having fun altogether. I passed The Thinker back to LG and morosely took one more turn in a lamely-played gamed on my behalf.

Ever hear the term ‘snowballing?’ You know how in cartoons you take a small snowball and you roll it down a hill and by the time it gets to the bottom it’s bigger than a house and half the cartoon’s characters are packed inside it. To take something small and roll with it so that you finish with something disproportionately huge- that’s snowballing.

So I took a little dizziness and a little mental fuzziness snowball and I nearly ended up with a ruined evening were it not for that LG told me about her sister-in-law, who just found out that she has Hepatitis C. ‘Oh, that’s rough,’ I said. ‘Any tattoos?’

‘None, but lots of little surgeries in clinics back at the village.’

‘And they might not have sterilized their instruments well?’

‘No, and they found out another chap from the same village who’s also had a surgery has it too. And she was bawling and bawling and I was trying to say there there, I have it too, and I’m all right!’

I smiled. Yeah, LG’s alright. She has Hepatitis C, she got it from a tattoo and she’s living with it. The board turns and it’s MB’s turn. She’s two year older than me and she had a liver transplant. She alright. And then there’s M4, who’s a junior in high school who’s moaning because she has a stomach ache because she ate too much. She says she’s not alright, and I have to laugh.

I’ve been letting myself snowball lately, I’ve been feeling out of sorts and I don’t know If I’ve come to terms with whatever having Neuralgia means because I’m not even sure what it means. I think it means finding a balance between an acceptable amount of pain and side-effects and finding a level I can live at. I know, logically, that I’m alright, life is a test, and that I’ve been through far harder ones before. I think what makes this one different is that I don’t have my wits about me.

You know in the end of Braveheart when William Wallace is about to go to the execution block and the Princess/Mandatory Love Interest tries to give him a pill that will numb the pain, but he refuses to take it because it will numb his wits. I found that I could relate a lot to that, the idea of always having my wits about me, because many times it’s the only resource you ever have. Especially being female, no offense to some of you stronger ones out there, but most women cannot rely on physical strength to get them out of problems, they have to use logic and reason. I’ve always been very big on thinking things through, and suddenly not being able to, sometimes not even being able to find a simple word for something that I’m pointing to can be frustrating to the point of tears.

And losing in Scrabble hurts too, lol. Not that I didn’t used to lose before, but it used to be because the other players were good. Now it’s because I look at the chips and draw a mental blank. There are a few times during the day when I get my mental lucidity back, when the merry-go-round has stopped and I find my wits and cling to them with desperation in hope that they won’t leave me again. But after a few minutes they’re gone and trying to concentrate makes my head hurt. Right now it’s making my right ear hurt actually, which is a sure sign that it’s time for another Topamax.

But I’m going to close on a positive note because I have no right to be negative. I have my health, I have my family, I have some of the best friends on the world. I have, above all, my faith, and the promise of God, the Most Just, the Most Generous and Kind, that the patient and the faithful will be rewarded. I pray I may be of them.


Abez is a 50% white, 50% Pakistani, and 100% Muslim. She is also chronically ill and terminally awesome. She is the ever-lovin Momma of: - Khalid, a special little boy with autism - Iman, a special little girl with especially big hair -Musfira, an especially devious baby Spoiler, Abez is also Zeba Khan on

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