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Monthly Archives: August 2009

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Ramadan Kareem!

Sleepy, tired, hungry, achy, overextended and happy. 🙂 Alhamdulillah. 🙂

I love Ramadan, because I know that even though the first few days can be very rough, the rest of the month will feel light, unburdened, and somehow… free.


This one’s for you, Booboo

PhotobucketAs art imitates life, Iman is often pushed out of the limelight by Khalid, and I think there’s a disproportionate number of posts in Khalid’s favor. Well, let’s change that. It is time again, for a post about Iman, aka Booboo, who was so named after the sound she would make while trying very hard to cry and pout at the same time.

If there is a human incarnation of Dora the Explorer, Iman is it. Not only does Iman bear an uncanncy resemblance to Dora (albeit three shades lighter), she is also the intrepid discoverer of such things as Doing Laundry in The Toilet, Stuffing Toys in the Washing Machine, and Wearing Unmentionables As Hats When Company Comes Over.
(Yes, I have since rearranged my clothing so that nothing… unmentionable is within Iman’s reach.)
Iman has a thing for hats. ‘Hat’ was her first sign, and she continues to use it more often than any other word in her sign language vocabulary. A swim cap on another kid at the pool is enthusiastically labelled a hat. When we bought a new floor lamp, Iman walked up to it, signed ‘hat,’ and then proceeded to vigorously throttle it in hoping of shaking the ‘hat’ down. She will still periodically make a grab for the lamp’s ‘hat’ if I walk too close to it while carrying her. If I put Iman on my shoulders, she makes the sign for hat. See? Because now Iman is a hat!
When I put my scarf on, she signs hat. When I take my scarf off, she picks it up and winds it around her own head. (as well as neck and shoulders and body and then the rest trails on the floor) Iman herself owns no less than three or four hats, as well as a purse, which contains a tiny pink watergun and a plush red chicken, all a girl needs, really.
Iman likes birds. She will spot birds at the park, the pool, out of the windows of the car- and sign vigorously for bird and then yell out ‘eeeeeeeeeeee!’ meaning that she wants the birds to come to her. It’s all bravado, really. I know this because I took Khalid and Iman to a pet store once, just so that she could see birds close up, and she freaked out. Iman normally channels koala while riding casually around the world on my hip, but as soon as we approached the parakeet cages, she turned into a panicky limpet and tried to hide in my scarf while simultaneously climbing up my head, which seemed to be a logical escape from the pet store. Going near the dogs nearly had her in tears, despite how happily she labels all animals as dogs- cartoon pandas, cats, Mickey Mouse, and once, a picture of a cow hanging in the butcher’s shop.
Iman is a little mermaid. She may be tiny, and she may be only seventeen months old, but the first day we put her in water wings and dropped her into the ladies pool, she was off and chasing after other peoples’ floating toys and making friends with her adoring public. She is a criminally cute waterbaby, and I think it has to do with her tiny face poking out of the water with the bright orange water-wings on either side, and her tiny pink spandex bottom visible just under the water’s surface followed by the insistent kick!kick!kick!kick! of her chubby legs. She loves the pool. She tends to swallow alot of it though.
Oh, and here’s the best thing- Iman is talking. 🙂 Alhamdulillah. 🙂 In just the last week or two, she has started using spoken words (other than just Hat and Ruth) like Op’! for open, Na! for no, Ah-Ah! for uh-oh, and best of all- Mama. 🙂 Iman calls me Mama. And she gives me sloppy wet kisses. And warm, clingy hugs. And she follows me around the house like my shadow, diligently copies anything interesting I may be doing, and is ferociously protective of Khalid. No one, absolutely No. One. is allowed to make Khalid cry. Except for Iman. If Iman hears Khalid crying from outside of a therapy session, she will run furiously up the hall, eight teeth clenched and the battle cry of eeeeeeeeeeee! ringing through the ABA therapy center to rush to Khalid’s rescue.
She’s a fighter. And a biter. And I used to worry about Iman being man-handled by Khalid’s unknowing and highly lacking play skills, but I am now more worried about the number of tiny bite-shaped bruises that Iman decorates her brother with. She also pinches. And head-butts. And pulls hair. She learned the pinching from Khalid, but he learned the hair-pulling from her. So I guess it serves her right that our recent fight-du-jour is over who is pulling whose hair, and not only is Iman half of her brother’s size, but she also has longer and more hair to pull.
Every day Iman does something cute and curious and silly and new, and I email HF or call him (he’s been abroad for nearly a month now) and tell him about it and laugh. I really should write these things down though, because I know I am forgetting them. Iman may be my second child, but to me, it feels like having my first child. Khalid is amazing in his own way, in a very different way, and his victories and quirks are exclusive to his situation. Iman is just a normal kid- a normal, ridiculous, precious, adorable, funny, vicious, insistent and loving little girl, and every day she astounds me with all her neurotypical newness.
I love you Booboo. And maybe when you’re old enough to read, you’ll find this entry and know that your Momma loves you with all her heart. And both elbows. And all of the toes that you once sucked on while I was trying to pray. Alhamdulillah. 🙂

The knee bone’s connected to the- head bone!

So my surgery happened successfully on Saturday morning, and had some interesting highlites.

Dr. Anesthetist: How are you feeling?
Me: Cold, your OR feels like a refrigerator.
Dr. : I’ll fix that. I will give you a cocktail. (Holding up a syringe)
Me: What flavor is it?
Dr: You will like it, it is warm.
And it was warm. Warm and fuzzy. At some point, between the warmness and the fuzzification, I looked up and saw a familiar white meniscus on the TV screen hovering above me, and realized that my orthopedic surgeon had already begun the arthroscopy without me even having felt it.
I tried to look over the blue sheet that concealed the actual gore from me and asked my Dr. Ortho, “Hey, did he give me the spinal anesthetic?”
Dr. Ortho nodded and went on with his work. I turned my head and located Dr. Anesthetist.
“Hey, did you give me the spinal?”
“Of course!”
“A few minutes ago.”
I missed it. I have no memory of being turned over or poked in the spine. The one thing that was seriously freaking me out about my surgery I totally missed. Hooray! I figure perhaps I zonked out immediately after I received the ‘cocktail,’ because I am fairly sure that I maintained consciousness all the way until the point where the Ortho said that my meniscus had a huge tear in it, the edge was too frayed to repair, and that he would try to remove the most damaged parts and save what he could.
And I said, “That’s annoying,” and then I woke up in the recovery room with my teeth chattering. And for some reason, my skin itching as well. I’m a bit fuzzy on the details, but at some point I stopped itching and fell asleep again, and woke up in the my room with Mona somewhere vaguely nearby. And she had cookies. 🙂
And then I woke up four hours later wondering if I really had seen Mona, and it turns out that if she had been a dream then at least the cookies were real. As were the Doritos, the water, the box of tissues and the M&M’s. Thank you Mona, the munchies produced by your ethereal presence saved me from starvation. 🙂 And we need to get together sometime ago when I’m slightly more conscious, but you’re still awesome. 🙂
I didn’t really and truly wake up until around eight in the evening. I did have several phone conversations before then, but I’m not really sure what I told people, hah. It was established, however, that Owlie had mis-read her return ticket, and was returning imminently instead of the next day, and so by around 10 that night Hemlock and TFL brought me Owl and some lovely rich chocolate cake direct from the airport 🙂
I was discharged from the hospital the next day, and my Momma picked me up, and then we went to pick Khalid up from OT. (Occupational Therapy) He hadn’t seen me for about 36 hours, and when I walked into the room and sat down (and accidentally dropped my crutches on the floor) he began fawning all over me and hugging me. And giggling. Which was lovely. 🙂
And then we drove home and met up with Iman, who hugged me, and then hit me, and then hugged me, and then both of the kids fought over my crutches. (Khalid won. He’s decided that they are ‘tick! [stick]) and believe it or not- Iman began limping. There is no doubt about it, and it was hysterical and very weird- she was following me around and limping, and periodically looking up at me to make sure she was doing it right. She’s amazing, and so tremendously silly.
Within an hour it was time to go again, because as it turns out, Owlie was having a severe wisdom tooth infection, and my dentist had agreed to see her that very afternoon, but she had never seen him before and didn’t know where his office was. So we sped off to Abu Dhabi, having just been in Dubai less than two hours ago, and my dentist (the same one who tried to get me to dislocate my own jaw, good times!) removed Owlie’s tooth right then and there. Or what was left of it, rather. It had been partially impacted, and broken too.
And by then I ran out of steam, fell asleep in the car, and upon arriving back home, stumbled out of the car and into bed for another two hours. I woke up at 9 pm feeling much improved, and with icecream in my lap and a bag of frozen corn on my knee, I proceeded to defeat both of my parents in Scrabble.
The moral of this story? I am not a post-op superman. Today is the end of post-op Day Two, and although I’ve been able to put the crutches aside for hobbling around the house, I’m still very, very tired and physically exhausted. I’m not in a tremendous amount of pain, I’d say about a five on a scale of one to ten- not enough to make you cry, but just enough to give you a perpetual wince.
Hf is coming home in umm… 68 hours! Here’s hoping I’m recovered enough to actually be able to pick him up from the airport!

Hooray for free Wifi! Blogging from the hospital

For my next trick, I will post a two minute review of the hospital before the nurse comes in and starts poking me with things.
The room is nice. Like five-star nice. Hotel nice. With mini fridge and huge flat screen TV, and and vanity kit and lotion and mosaic tiles and luxury bathroom fitting, etc etc. And there’s a pool and spa, but that’s just for the VIP patients. Which I am obviously not, but I think if I were here longer I would try and see how strictly they enforce their entrance policy :p
I was actually here three days ago, and that time in the ER. I had food poisoning, which is why my surgery was postponed, and I have to say their ER staff was so ridiculously nice. They even picked me up off the floor when I passed out in radiology.
The nurse on duty just came in and introduced herself. Her name is Pumula, and she is a tall, black South African woman who name means ‘To Rest.’ Culturally, this is what a mother names her youngest child. I asked her how the mother knows this one will be the last, and she answered “You know, it’s interesting because in those days there was no birth control, so I suppose if a mother named their last child Pumula then the husband just knew he was supposed to go away.” Haha!
The City Hospital gets a positive review on their nursing staff as well.
So far so good. My surgery is set to begin in an hour, and I’m not sure how much earlier they plan on taking me in to the OR. So I should wrap up and unpack my stuff because I won’t be able to do so later. I’ll be having spinal anesthesia instead of general, so I’ll be awake for the procedure but won’t be able to walk four two hours afterwards, or so they say.
Off we go!

Surgery in the morning

I will be heading in to the hospital around six in the morning, to be admitted by seven and have surgery by nine InshaAllah.

HF is still in the US, and won’t be back until the 13th, and while nothing in the world could make up for his absence, a new paperback and a few secret chocolate bars in my purse do go a ways towards trying. :p
I’ll also be taking my laptop, in the hope that the free wifi in the hospital extends to my room. It may even go as far as a the OR, but I don’t think they’ll let me blog from surgery with the lappy on my knees :p Cuz they need my knees. To operate on.
Visitors (female, and preferably people I actually know) are welcome. Provided they bring me entertaiment. And maybe a shawarma. 🙂


Aaaak! I broke my blog! Where is HF when you need him?