1.2.18

Coping: moving forward

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ


I’d be writing some entries in Coping. Perhaps as my way to cope with our new journey. Perhaps as my way to ask for some du’a from anyone who stumbles into any of my entries. Perhaps as a reminder for my future self of how Allah has guided us from the very beginning. Just perhaps.

*******

linked

In my last entry, Abah Kama was transferred to a general ward. and he was showing very minimal response. we were unsure of what would become.

But in Allah's plans we trust, 
whatever it may be.

and His plans enfolds smoothly for the weeks after, alhamdulillah. Abah Kama was initially transferred to a district hospital, whereby my mother in law decided that it's best if he stayed in the palliative ward for comfort. He stayed there for a couple of weeks and eventually was discharged home. 

How is he? Alhamdulillah. Abah Kama is awake. He responds with nods and shakes back then. nowadays he tried mouthing some one-word answers whenever he can. his movements are very much limited, as he hasn't gain much control over his muscles yet. but he has a bit of strength around his neck muscles on and off. 

Ma is the main caretaker now. along with the help of our little sister who's at home with Ma. we managed to set the house for abah's home-coming a week prior. And with the help of Abah and Mama, we bought abah Kama a good hospital bed a week after he came home. :)

The nearest clinic has a team who would come by once a week to monitor his progress. Alhamdulillah. sometimes bringing in medicines, or looking for any wounds on him. some things that we might have taken for granted had we not experience these ourselves. since my husband and i could only come back during weekends, those medical team coming over during the weekdays does eases our minds a bit.

To be honest we have a lot on our plate now, and sometimes it can be overwhelming for the both of us. but we tried our best by encouraging each other in those moments, that we need not worry, that we could go through this well, if we're in it together. :) Aizzat is doing well, alhamdulillah. His free time is spent at the local clinics now. finding some extra hours of work to cover the medical expenses  and two full households. be strong honey!

Facing all these makes us very humbled and grateful, that despite everything, Allah has eases us more than we could ever imagine. we still have a home to come back to, food on the table and families around us that support us, alhamdulillah.

Nevertheless, we still have a long way to go. we're not sure yet where this is all heading, and what the future holds for us, but we're taking small steps at a time, insyaAllah. May Allah eases this journey through and through. 


"But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; 
and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. 
And Allah Knows, while you know not.
[2:216] 

"Allah swt knows the reality of everything while man’s knowledge is limited. We assess things on the basis of our limited knowledge and often make wrong decisions. We must  pray that Allah swt bless us with both hikmah [wisdom] and rushd [deeper understanding with guidance] so that we do not decide on things being good or bad as prompted by personal desires, rather, by the Wisdom of Allah swt. If we learn this art we will block the way of Shaytan who tries to instill doubts and negative thoughts in our minds."

19.12.17

Coping: Life Passes

linked


I’d be writing some entries in Coping. Perhaps as my way to cope with our new journey. Perhaps as my way to ask for some du’a from anyone who stumbles into any of my entries. Perhaps as a reminder for my future self of how Allah has guided us from the very beginning. Just perhaps.


***************

Day 30. It’s been a month since the day my father in law, Abah, fell sick. How time flies. We never thought we could pass those days, but we did. That’s somehow the beauty of life. Or perhaps the scary part of it. That no matter how scared you are, time shall pass you by. 

That moment shall pass you by. 
What is meant for you, shall pass you by.


Abah has been transferred to the general ward last night. He was in the intensive care unit (ICU) for a good 3 weeks before being brought to the high dependency ward (HDW). Basically the difference between these wards is how Abah is taken care of. In both ICU and HDW, families are not allowed to stay with the patients. Nurses spent most time tendering to Abah. All those regular feeding, suctioning and so on.

Hence, Ma (mother in law) and Abby (little sister in law) has been playing the major role of visiting Abah on a daily basis. We found a small inn near the hospital for them to stay at, because there is nobody to drive them to the hospital while we are at work. And they have been walking back and forth for a-30 minutes-walk daily for almost a month now. Aizzat and I could only accompany them during weekends, bringing them to my parent’s house to stay at. My other little sister in law has been trying to come back on weekends too from her university. 

Everyone is trying their best, and trying their hard to be with one another. 
Everyone has been strong through and through, Alhamdulillah.
I pray Allah keep us all this way for the rest of our journey, insyaAllah.

**********

Stroke. Somehow I see this diagnosis differently nowadays. Almost a mysterious disease. For I can never tell what is truly going on.

Sometimes, Abah opened his left eye ever so slowly when we talk to him. when we called his name. He used to shed a tear even when his eyes were closed when we tell him encouraging words. When we told him Abby scored her PT3 and wants to do her best for her next exams. :’)

Then there were times when Abah seems too restless or agitated. Those were the days when he was constantly put on sedatives because his movements became too aggressive at times, causing his mouth to bleed as he bites his inner cheek too much. Even causing his IV lines to come off. During these time, it hurts us the most. Because we cannot figure out what is happening. Is it just the stroke? Is it Abah trying to fight his own body that is out of his control? Is Abah in pain? Allahua'lam.

Abah has gone through a lot in the ICU. He was always on antibiotics from all the bugs in the ward, something that we have expected in prolonged hospital stay. His heart was also beating furiously for days. Atrial fibrillation is what we name it. We try to not look into those vital signs too much when we visit him.

Nowadays, Abah looked much calmer. Almost too calm. No longer any tears. Movements are too subtle. Are you sleeping Abah? Too tired to respond to us calling you everytime we visit? At times like this, I try not to ask Abah of anything. We’d just massage his arms, put lotion all over his body, rub Vaseline on his parched lips. We don’t want to disturb your rest for too long. But deep down, this scares us the most, when you are lying there so silently. 

Ma asked often, is Abah there? Is he alert of his surroundings? Our answers are pretty much the same since the beginning; we don’t know, only Allah Knows.

************

Thinking of Abah’s laughs and smiles, sometimes, all I wish for is that this sickness is just a test for us, those who are left behind, and not for Abah. That Abah is somehow in a different dimension, resting well. Even if he hears us, he is listening from a better place. Not from the hospital bed. Not through those beeping sounds around him. I hope that Abah doesn't feel lonely, and he is not struggling to fight his own body. That he is resting well, because he deserves it the most, for someone who has worked hard all his life and yet never forget to be thankful and to always smile. That is our Abah Kama.


But in Allah's plans we trust, 
whatever it may be.




إِن يَنصُرْكُمُ اللّهُ فَلاَ غَالِبَ لَكُمْ وَإِن يَخْذُلْكُمْ فَمَن ذَا الَّذِي يَنصُرُكُم مِّن بَعْدِهِ وَعَلَى

 اللّهِ فَلْيَتَوَكِّلِ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ


"If Allah helps you, no one can overcome you; 
and if He did not help you, who is there after Him who can help you? 
And in Allah (Alone) let believers put their trust."
[3:160]

6.12.17

Coping: 19th November


I’d be writing some entries in Coping. Perhaps as my way to cope with our new journey. Perhaps as my way to ask for some du’a from anyone who stumbles into any of my entries. Perhaps as a reminder for my future self of how Allah has guided us from the very beginning. Just perhaps.

What Allah has granted us in life recently is only a small bit if i were to compare it with what others are facing. but to each and everyone, their own journey. and here is ours. 

*********

When you’re a doctor, you’re always on the other side of the curtain. You see deaths, sickness, and sadness in the hospitals. But because you’re at work, and both your brain and your body needs to function; you detach yourself from whatever you see or feel. Fleeting moments of reflections, and then they disappeared.


But Allah has decided for Aizzat and me, 
to now be the doctors behind those curtains.


Where we waited patiently for the updates. Where we are waiting patiently beside Abah’s bed, holding his still hands, accompanied by the beeping of his vitals. Where we are the ones following Abah being pushed into ICU. Where we are now the family who are sitting at the sofa area, meant to be the place of breaking bad news.

We are now, 
a part of the sickness,
a part of the sadness.

*********

My father in law, abah Kama (Aizzat’s loving stepdad since he was six) got a stroke about 2 weeks ago. Day 18 to be exact. It was early Sunday morning. I was about to step out of the car when I heard Ma’s frantic call to Aizzat. I could hear her crying. You felt that shiver. But Aizzat asked me to go ahead for work. The day went by not being able to focus well during my course. It was all well initially. Just a small stroke. Aizzat sounded fine during lunch. My parents dropped by the hospital too to visit Abah.

Then that short phone call from Aizzat. His cracked voice: “abah tak sedar. Diorang nak intubate.” I wanted to be with him there and then. That’s all I could think of. Alhamdulillah for my parents who drove all the way to pick me up from Besut. It was already 11pm when I saw Aizzat sitting tiredly beside abah’s bed. My cheerful abah, now lying there on the hospital bed. The news kept becoming bigger and heavier. When the medical doctor came telling us shortly about a possible bleed and burr-hole surgery, simply put. Just as we were about to cope with the news, he gave us another big blow: conservative treatment, abah will be sent to the ICU. 

To be honest, I wondered if we weren’t medical doctors, we wouldn't have a single clue of what has been told, what the plan was, and why the sudden cancellation. It was all too fast. All too complicated to comprehend in that short time.

only a few hours into the day, 
but our lives were already making so much turns.

Aizzat looked so spent. And yet so calm. Too calm. He even smiled and greeted all the ICU staff who remembered us when we sent abah to the ICU. We sat at the sofa area. Waiting for Kak Long (Aizzat’s elder sister) to arrive from Kuala Lumpur. I talked to Aizzat. He was still stiff. I worried. We went home at 230am. A quick shower and he was already asleep when I joined him.

Next morning it was during Subuh prayer when I finally heard my husband’s first sobs since we got married. He was crying in his do’a and all I could do was hug him and cried with him. we kept saying: “Allah ada. Allah ada. Allah ada.”


Cause in those moments, 
knowing Allah is there for you 
is the only way to move forward.


وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ ۖ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ ۖ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا لِي وَلْيُؤْمِنُوا بِي لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ
“Dan apabila hamba-hamba-Ku bertanya kepadamu (Muhammad) tentang Aku, maka (jawablah), bahwasanya Aku adalah dekat. Aku mengabulkan permohonan orang yang berdoa apabila ia memohon kepada-Ku, maka hendaklah mereka itu memenuhi (segala perintah-Ku) dan hendaklah mereka beriman kepada-Ku, agar mereka selalu berada dalam kebenaran.” (QS Al Baqarah: 186)


1.11.17

the Tug


source

you know that feeling? that little tug in your heart. we'd usually get one of those when we're touched, or sometimes when we felt guilt. i had one today. mine is the latter one. or perhaps it's a mixture of guilt and sadness? or even perhaps helplessness?

being a doctor in small secluded place in Pasir Akar brings me into the lives of so many elderly. i know that i have always had this soft spot for grandpas and grandmas. and seeing that i have none left now in my life, i'd often imagine them as one of my own. but the grandpas and grandmas that i see here are not those who are happily coming in with their children. they'd usually come in with worn-clothes. they'd usually come alone looking scared. they'd usually looked confused. they're usually ones who live alone. and some are still busy working to put food on the table because they are left to fend for themselves. 

and these breaks my heart in everyway.

and today, breaks me a little bit more.

i met a 72 year old lady today. she came from a nearby pondok. i find it a common thing nowadays, where these elderly would rather stay at a pondok on most days to fill their days with ibadah. when they're staying at a pondok, they'd be closer to the masjid, and they have their own peers to recite the Quran together, to listen to those kuliah Subuh together. 

so back to my patient. she came with a slightly high blood pressure reading. telling me that she missed her medications for 3 days because she couldn't find any form of transportation to come to the clinic. and since it's already 3 days of missing medications, she could't wait any longer so she walked to the clinic.

a 72 year old lady; 
walked a good 5km to the clinic.

i often heard these elderly taking the buses, or hitchhiking along the way. but this was a first. and there i was, not being able to do much. i asked around, but nobody was able to send her back. i didn't bring my car today and i don't think my boss would appreciate me leaving my job that early in the morning when i have other patients waiting for me. and all i could do at the end was ask her to rest first. to take her medications before she heads back.

i felt helpless. but i continued my work and forgotten all about her. 
until now.

hence, this is the hardest part of this job as a doctor. when we have to detach our emotions while working. because they can't get tangled up or we wouldn't be able to move forward. you'd have those tugging moments along the way, but you move along. praying your best at that moment that Allah eases them. because almost all patients are people who are struggling to live. sometimes i do wonder, why are the ones who're sick are those who are poor, the ones who are already struggling with what's on their plate? 

but remembering back that Allah Maha Adil, 
puts things back in perspective.
He Knows, 
and He Watches, 
and He Helps. 

so at the end of the day, 
i pray that they are all granted with sabr.
i pray that Allah eases their sufferings.
i pray that Allah beautifies their hearts.
i pray that Jannah awaits them at the end.

source


but i guess the tug in the heart remains. :(


"Apakah manusia mengira bahawa mereka akan dibiarkan mengatakan: 
Kami telah beriman, sedang mereka belum diuji?" 
[29:2-3]


30.9.17

Effort

 بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ


image link


I've been watching this girl lately. Her name is Aida Azlin. I know very little about her as i haven't done much 'stalking' about who she really is, but i've watched a few of her videos that she posted in Facebook. For which reminded me of those years where i used to love sitting down and reflect on whatever events that had occurred in my life. 

Her videos are just awesome and laid-back. As she talks about things in her life, and relate it back to how they can all make us closer to Allah. something that i think, i wanted to do all those years back in Dublin. but i guess life and job caught up with me, and whenever i feel like i wanted to write, so many things stopped me. i felt like i haven't been as good as i wanted to be, hence i can't write reminders or advices because of the state that i was in: forgetful of Allah. Astaghfirullah.

but then, as i watched some more of her videos today, somehow it made me realized, that nothing should be stopping me to write a good reminder, or a good advice. because waiting for oneself to be good, or so called 'pious' is a never-ending wait. you can never really know when you are good enough. and we all know that iman is a rollercoaster, we have our highs and lows. but as long as we find ourselves to still be in that path towards seeking Allah's redha, then wherever we are doesn't count. give good reminders if we want to, because who knows if those small reminders that we tell ourselves and others, will eventually become the pillars to strengthen our iman. 

we all know that islam is about istiqamah. there's a bunch of good things you can do in life, but to keep doing them is the hardest part of them all, so whenever and wherever we are, let's pray for each other to keep doing good, even if it's a small part in this big world, because our effort is all that it takes.

and even if nobody is watching us 
(or in my case, reading this reminder) 
we all know that Allah Watches over. 
And Allah will never, 
ever take anything that his hamba do, for granted. 


"Man will not get anything 
unless he works hard” 
[53:39]

so here's to us, in trying to be a better abid.
let's get an A for effort shall we?
insyaAllah.










12.8.17

Humbling



                                                                          بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ






Entah bagaimana kita mampu mengeluh tentang kehidupan ,
Sedangkan ada yang mendirikan pondok dibawah jambatan,

Kita segera malu berhadapan
Orang-orang yang punya lebih dari sekadar kecukupan,
Segera malu di dalam kesederhanaan
Kerana belum memiliki sebarang kemewahan.

Bagaimana kita mampu mengeluh tentang kehidupan,
Tanpa segan silu menginginkan lebih
Dari sekadar kecukupan?

Bagaimana kita mampu mengeluh tentang kehidupan,
Sedangkan ada yang tidak berani bermimpi
Sekalipun tentang seguni keinginan
Bahkan semangkuk keperluan?

-puisiAgan-


Copied this from a facebook post from a friend of mine. Each verse is so true. As it question how a person could still be complaining about his/her life, when someone else wouldn't even dare to dream of what the others have.

Which brings me to the topic of instagram. For those of you who doesn't have it, kudos to you for not falling to the temptation of dunya. For those who have them, istighfar it is. 

As much as instagram is a platform to connect between close friends, it's also a platform where you could see everything from everyone. noticed that search button? where it holds millions of other users who you have no idea of. But they are always there for you to look at. but noticed the similarities between the posts that are in there? they are all beautiful things.


beautiful people.
beautiful dresses.
beautiful bags.
beautiful restaurants.
beautiful places.
beautiful sights.

rarely, or should i say scarcely, 
or better yet, we actually never seen anything remotely ugly in there.


hence, the danger. we got so used to seeing privileged people in there, that we forget all those things that we already have. because everyone in there seems to have it better. better weddings, better holidays, better food; better life? we forget that Allah Knows better. He Knew more of what we need than what we want. cause i think we all could agree that the things we want are often stupid things, and we only realized of what we need when we lost them.

i thank Allah, everyday, for putting me exactly where i am today, for letting me have this humbling job that keeps me reminded and grounded. cause whenever i find myself scrolling through random posts, wanting those beautiful things that others have, i am sucked back into reality when i see all those patients of mine;

that 75-years-old makcik, who came to the clinic today with her old bicycle, because her children couldn't afford a car or even a motorcycle to bring her for her appointments. 

how could i yearn for a Michael Kors, seeing the elderly gentleman, who only just got back from 3 hours of rubber tapping earlier that morning, just to put some food on the table.

how could i wear sparkly clothes, when a 10-year-old kid came in to see me, with ragged clothes, having stopped school because his mom recently died, and his dad couldn't afford to send him to school. 

Look around us, through our eyes, not through social medias. Because reality is outside of our phones and gadgets. And only then can we truly see what life is all about. Only then can we be thankful with our lives. Only then do we realize that there are so much more people out there who need our help, or at least, our prayers. 

May Allah grant us all ease and keep us in His Blessings, and keep us all humbled in whatever that we do and whatever that we wish for, and most importantly may Allah keep us thankful with everything that we have. Ameen wa insyaAllah. 


Nabi Muhammad (SAW) said: 

"Look at those who are lower than you and do not look at those who are higher than you. 
That is more likely to prevent you underestimating the blessing of Allah on you." 

In another variant, he (SAW) said:

"When one of you sees someone who has been given more bounty 
in respect of wealth or physical strength, 
he should then look at someone who has less than him."

20.7.17

Of Life



*link*

not promising myself that i'll be writing often. but i felt the need to write today. and the time and mood is just right for it. forgive me for the jumbled entry. 

*********
                                                          
                                                           بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ

a good old friend of mine texted me a few days back. his sister had done a biopsy, the doctors are suspecting cancer. fast forward to two days later, it's stage 2 breast cancer, requiring her to undergo mastectomy on one side, with lump removal on the other, and followed by sessions of chemotherapy afterwards. they've just been diagnosed today, and decisions were made only a few hours after. they agreed for the operation, which will take place tomorrow.

Subhanallah.
Allahuakbar.

in a week's time, someone's life just changed so rapidly. almost surreal if you asked me. i can never even imagine how it feels like. even writing this breaks my heart. your heart races as the doctor asked your permission to proceed with a biopsy, because those lumps might be cancerous. and two days later you were told that it's true. and you have to make the decision almost there and then. to proceed with a big operation and with weeks of further treatments. you look at your husband, your child, your parents, your family members. everyone is trying to be strong. you are trying to be strong. and you said yes. and you ended your week this time, with a life-changing operation.


in a week's time for others, life might just be as boring or as hectic as it has always been. nothing changes.waking up to the same alarm tune. the same preparation for work. the hustles of papers at work. spending time at lunch with your buddies. continuing work while waiting for the time to punch out. thrills of coming home to your loved ones cause you misses them so much even it's just for a day. soon it's nightfall and it's time for your rest. monday soon becomes friday. and weekends will pass by in a jiffy. and the routine starts all over again. nothing more nothing less. same old, same old.

********

it's almost heart wrenching. the difference between one's life to another. but yet that's the reality. that life, evidently is as hard as it can be for one, and differently for the other. it may seem unfair. but everyone is entitled to their own journeys, their own tests.

take comfort, 
knowing that Allah itu Maha Adil. 
and He Plans best.

perhaps i've endulged myself too much into social networks, that i've gotten too used to watching people being happy all the time. good times with spouses, children and families. happy tummies filled with good food. people sharing beautiful things they bought. vacations. parties. events. that i forgot, to look into the eyes of those who are being tested in life. 

because these people, they are nowhere near social networks like the rest of us are. but they are the ones that i look at day to day at work, but failed to see behind their eyes. how difficult it is for them to come to the clinic every so often. how long have they endured the pain in their tummy because they can't even afford a strip of painkillers. how busy they are everyday to put food on the table that medicine is not something that they could remember taking at all. how stressful it is for them to decide for hospital admission, because they'd have three more children at home with no one to look after them. and these are all just tips of the iceberg.

may Allah forgives you and me.
for how much we have forgotten all this while.
for how much we've been swept away by Dunya, all this while.

astaghfirullahal'azim
astaghfirullahal'azim
astaghfirullahal'azim

to anyone who comes across this, send some prayers for my friend's sister who'll be undergoing surgery tomorrow. and prayers to all Muslims out there who are facing ordeals in life. May Allah eases their journeys through and through. Ameen.

"Allah is the Best Listener.
We don't need to shout, nor cry out loud.
because He Hears even the very silent prayer,
of a sincere heart."



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