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Monthly Archives: June 2010

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Morphine Bad, Knee Good.

So the surgery went well, Alhamdulillah.  It’s only been two days since the operation, but already the knee is free of the crunchy, audible grinding that was the result of damaged cartilage rubbing against damaged cartilage every time I flexed or extended my knee.  Alhamdulillah, Alhamdulillah, Alhamdulillah.  I am happy and hopeful and optimistic about getting some of my mobility back.  I may never be able to run a marathon, but climbing stairs without creaking and being able to play in the park with the kids would be really amazing, InshaAllah. 🙂

I was given spinal anasthesia for the knee arthroscopy, so I was totally awake for the surgery.  It was interesting, being paralyzed from the waist-down you feel like half of a person, and as I watched the surgeon, I was sure that the iodine-painted foot planted on his chest and the carrot-colored leg he was wrapping up must have been someone else’s.  They were miles away and felt like no part of my own body.   When I got back to the room, I was laughing.  HF and I had a good time trying to move my toes, and although I was vaguely aware of sensation, I couldn’t tell how or what was touching any part of me.  It was so bizarre.  It didn’t last too long though.  The surgery was at ten, and by around 12:30, I started to regain feeling in my legs.  And then the pain level started to climb the stairs by twos, and even though I hadn’t wanted to, I had to ask for some pain relief.

Now, about morphine.  Whoever has been doing the PR for morphine should get a bonus.  When you think of morphine, you think of drowsy, blissed-out addicts sleeping their way into a happy oblivion.  Morphine is, after all, named for Morpheus, the Greek god of dreams.  If there was a Greek god for vomiting every time you adjust position and losing consciousness all day, then it should have been named for him instead.  Morphine was awful.  When they were injecting me, HF asked the nurse “So, how long before this takes effect?”

The nurse said, “The full effect will take half an hour, but you should start feeling it right away.” That was when my head started spinning.  Right then and there, with the ceiling going down and the floors going up, I told HF that I needed to get out of bed, do wudu, and pray before I wasn’t able to.  And he looked at me skeptically, but he helped me out of bed, walked me to the sink, held me up while I staggered through wudu, washed my feet for me, and then led us in jamaat (I prayed in bed) where I briefly lost consciousness during the third of four rakats.  At some point, we had visitors who brought doritos and cookies and nuts.  HF said I giggled too much, I don’t remember.  My head felt like it was full of cotton, and I couldn’t hear very well.  I had some doritos and passed out  sitting up in bed.  Some of my sleep wasn’t sleep, it just felt like being deactivated.  My eyes were closed, but I could still hear everything going on around me.  And then some of my sleep felt like dreaming awake, which was scary and vivid and I woke up disoriented and not sure whether the dreams had been real or not.

Then there was a shift change, HF left and Owlie came in, and then the vomitting began.  I was mentally fuzzy and twitchy and remarkably pain-free, but every time I changed position in bed, I threw up.  I would doze off, wake up, vomit, fall asleep again, wake up, vomit, fall asleep… the cycle lasted until 9:30 pm, when I was alert enough to complain to the nurse, who then gave me another injection to control the nausea.  Then the vomitting stopped, Alhamdulillah, and Owlie and I went to sleep by around 11pm, and the next morning, SubhanAllah I woke up feeling like myself again.

I have to say, the morphine was worse than the surgery.  I cannot imagine why on earth people take it voluntarily.  This wasn’t the first time I’ve had morphine, but it was the first time that it was given to me when I was conscious enough to be able to determine what it did to me.  The last arthroscopy I had, I was partially sedated and given morphine before I even woke up, so coming out of surgery was hot, cold, itchy, shaky, nauseating, confusing, and mentally fuzzy for nearly eight hours afterwards.  I didn’t know what caused what, it was all too much to deal with at once.  With this surgery, once the spinal wore off, I was back to normal, and at no point was I nauseated, uncontrollably drowsy, or mentally fuzzy until I was given morphine.  Which I would NOT ever take again voluntarily, thank you very much!

But right, the knee.  Alhamdulillah, my surgeon (Hooray for Dr. Ali Al Belooshi!) cleaned up and trimmed down the damaged cartilage so that it no longer gets pulled and mashed and ground against when I move my knee.  Yes, there’s less cartilage in my knee than there was before, but at least my knee no longer hurts to move, Alhamdulillah.  I haven’t taken any pain killers since Friday morning (when the morphine finally wore off) and I am trying to stay that way.  My knee doesn’t feel post-surgical painful, it just feels like a really, really bad day for my knee, which I have had plenty of in the past six months.  So this pain isn’t out of the ordinary and is well within tolerability, Alhamdulillah. 🙂

JazakAllahuKheiran for the duas, I don’t know if I can post the surgery video yet, because my own laptop has died and this borrowed office laptop doesn’t have a video encoder, but as usual, the inside of my knee looks like a the inside of a cloud with frayed lining, which is then eaten by a small robot with revolving teeth.  A typical arthroscopy.  🙂

Alhamdulillah 🙂

Third time’s the charm?

InshaAllah, I will be heading into the hospital this Thursday morning for another surgery on my right knee, the one I keep banging up in car accidents, plural. SubhanAllah 🙂

Female visitors with shawarma welcome.

Some people, when they imagine Jannah, hope for the exquisite foods, breath-taking architecture, perfected mates, and The Countenance and Pleasure of Allah. In addition to all of these things, I’m really looking forward to perfect knees. InshaAllah.

Please remember us in your duas. 🙂

Khalid kicks butt! Literally! Kya!

One worrying aspect of taking Khalid out is how he will interact with other children. He’s quite shy as far as kids go- even more so than normal ones- so he’s good at keeping his hands to himself. Even with Iman, who hits, pinches, taunts, kicks, and noogies her way through life (I’ve been told that she’s the normal one) Khalid seldom hits back, and his strategy is one of defense and escape. Iman can be sitting on his chest and trying to pull off his eyelids, but all he will do is cover his eyes. So you can see how I would be worried for Khalid when it comes to other kids, who can be vicious little beasties when unsupervised. Good news, my fears have been allayed.

Last week, we took the kids to the Dubai Outlet Mall, which in addition to cheap brand name shopping, also has cheap indoor play areas. Hooray! For 30 dhs, we were able to get both kids into an area with two bouncy castles, a bouncy slide, and a bunch of other great kid-proof play equipment. The slides, benches, and even floor were covered with foam. It was a weekday evening, so the mall was nice and empty, and there was only one other kid in the play area with Khalid and Iman. I snuck away while they were bouncing and wandered off to do some discount browsing. Joy stayed to watch the kids, and when I came back, this is what she told me.

A little boy named Andre was playing rough. He was pushing and hitting, and at one point he deliberately knocked Khalid over in the bouncy castle. Joy watched, waiting to see how Khalid would respond. Khalid picked himself up, walked around Andre, matter-of-factly KICKED HIM IN THE BUTT and then walked away.

!!!

It gets better.

Andre backed off for a while, but finding nothing better to do, and no one else to bother since there were only three kids in the play area (the third being Iman, and you do NOT want to mess with her) came back and sat down next to Khalid. Then he punched Khalid on the thigh.

Khalid stood up, and without anger or malice, took Andre’s leg. Then he pulled. And Andre came crashing down from the (foam) bench and on to the (foam) floor. And Khalid walked away and found somewhere else to sit. And thereafter, Andre kept his malice to himself.

This may sound weird, but I am so proud of Khalid. He responded without doing more than he had to. He expressed his dissatisfaction with a swift kick to the butt, and then he walked away. When Andre came back and hit him again, Khalid responded with just enough force, but no amount of abuse, and then walked away again. My gentle giant of a four-year old can stand up for himself. Alhamdulillah. 😀

Drive safely, InshaAllah.

I’ve been in two car accidents in my life, and in both cases, the memory of the impact stayed in my mind for months.  Neither though, have anything on this one-

Note to self- never, ever, ever, ever text and drive.

SubhanAllah.  There are so many things that could go wrong- every car on the road is a potential accident, and yet, Allah protects us from everything except what’s written for us.  Sometimes healthy people die in their sleep with no medical explanation, and sometimes a person who should never have survived does.  Because, actually, he was never supposed to die.  And that other person, the healthy one?  He wasn’t supposed to live.

Your time is written.  Texting or no texting.  But there’s a whole lot of harm you can incur before killing yourself.  And plus, as a mom, my heart ached for the little girl in the back seat who said she wanted her mom and dad to wake up.  Even if she was an actress, because as a parent, any baby crying is like your baby.

So please drive safely.

An-Najm

Will ye laugh and yet not weep for the years you’ve lived asleep-
Asleep to numb your fears,
and numb to soothe your cares,
Living in day dreams to escape the day nightmares.
Will you play but never try to remember why you cry,
Using life as your excuse
For living without thought.
Did you know that your Lord knows what you know not?
Your Lord He grants you laughter and He also grants you fears,
And when He grants you death,
He will grant your loved ones tears.
And if their eyes are open, their sadness brings them light,
And if their eyes are closed, the shock may bring them sight.
No bearer of a burden may bear any but his own,
And you sat with friends before,
But now you stand alone.
The last of us and the first of us, the best of us and worst of us
Will be raised as we have died, and will die as we have lived.
So laugh a bit but weep,
And rouse yourself from sleep
May you wake as you have died- eyes open wide.

It’s quiet in here, too quiet…

So, if five minutes pass without you hearing your kids laugh, giggle, squeak, yell, cry, fight, or jump off furniture, there’s a strong possibility that you may become suddenly (and rightfully) suspicious and tiptoe off in search of them.

You may find them sitting on your bed, holding those supposedly baby-proof cups- you know, the ones that will only leak if held upside down and vigorously shaken?  They’ll be holding those cups upside down and vigorously shaking them, engrossed in what is obviously very important and very serious work, because the two will be working in tandem and in silence to effectively soak your As-A-Grown-up-I-Deserve-A-Pretty-Bedspread bedspread, which is just a few months old and dry clean only.

Or, if you doze off thinking your son is asleep as well, you might wake to find him, the bed, the floor, the desk and the same milk-stained bedspread all ghostly white and pleasantly floral smelling-  all covered with a layer of baby powder so deep it will require a proper archeological dig to restore the room to its original color.  There will be two jumbo-sized containers of baby powder suspiciously kicked under the bed.  Both will be empty.

Or you could wake up with four colors of post-its stuck to your face and pillow.  Because your son woke up and early and quietly entertained himself while waiting for you to come around.

Kids: If you can’t hear them, find them!