It’s The Little Things

It really is. If you could call today anything I guess you could call it a low day. We all have our ups and downs, but it’s all about how we get back up from our downs. Hospital life is tricky. I make jokes with the other patients about how I’m institutionalised, how I there’s no life for me on ‘the outside’ and how far technology has advanced since I first got in. But it’s about who you make those jokes with. How you get positive enough to make jokes at all. It’s the little things.

When I was in the burns ward, I felt like I had spent as long as I could remember inside, away from the sun. I was barely walking, and losing hope. I would stand staring in the mirror whilst streams of tears ran from my eyes. I couldn’t understand what had happened to me. Perhaps it still hasn’t hit me. But the point is I was losing myself, I thought I had lost myself.

Mandy, the blue haired nurse that reminded me so much of my friends mum Andrea, mentioned a pair of straighteners they had which were donated to them. Those straighteners were my lifeline. I was so used to being dressed up, or at least dressing up every once in a while. In hospital you’re in your pyjamas 24/7, your nails can get out of control, you lack your usual basics like a razor, and you know there’s no point in getting them because you’re too weak to do you usual shower regime. To spend some time pampering myself, straightening my hair before visits lifted my spirits. My face didn’t matter because everyone could see my clean long straightened black hair. My hair, the protection, the cover of my skin, the distraction. As I said it’s the little things. Now I’m not in the burns ward, now I don’t have access to any straighteners, I have to lift my spirits in other ways.

I’m in the plastics ward. Here I don’t have my straighteners, my own bathroom, my own room. Here, I have to share with 3 other people, and a story about how I lost it and refused to show my face to anyone when I arrived here is for another blog entry, but here I learned to accept others looking at me, a bit. Here I met Bernadette. A lovely lady. Before getting to know her better, I knew of her seizures I’d witness in the night as nurses and doctor would run in to calm her down. Seeing this and being expected to sleep just meters away whilst this happened was horrible. I was left with a sinking feeling, a helpless feeling, I was useless here.

We met whilst I was crying like a child. There was a bandage to the back of my wound had stuck to the new healing skin, for the second time, and wouldn’t come off. It took 3 days to get it off, but the nurses main method to get this off was to rip it off. During the ripping attempts of day two, I was begging the nurse to leave it, crying for the whole ward to hear. She left and told me she’d be back after I’d calmed down, but I wasn’t taking no chances. Without pants on, and clutching to this painful bandage, I hopped off my bed and ran to the door. My plan was to hide in the bathroom and try get it off myself in the shower.

On my way Bernadette called me to her bed and consoled me. She asked what was up, and gave me advice on what to do. She looked after me and gave me that first hand support I needed. I went into the shower and attempted to soak it off for the next 40 minutes. Since that first conversation, we got talking to the others in the room, and it made things feel less isolated. Thanks to these women, thanks to Bernadette wanting extra biscuits off the nurses, I plucked up the courage to walk to the shop within the hospital. I wanted to treat the women, and for this I showed my face in public. During the night I’d hear Bernadette talking about me on the phone, hearing only pleasant things. I can’t really describe anything further about our interactions and about our private jokes, but I’m sure you would be able to appreciate and understand how much she helped me smile throughout the day. It probably seemed like nothing to these women, but to me it was reassurance that my face was okay, that I was okay, and that I could handle the world.

Bernadette left today, along with both of the other women. They all left around the same time. I’m alone again + the wavy hospital hair.

13 thoughts on “It’s The Little Things

  1. Excellent piece and yet a disturbing reality. We take life for granted: waking up in the morning, grooming ourselves, taking time to make the face and hair look a wow-factor and taking ten hours to decide what to wear to add the final touch. – Reading this blog caused me to have goosebumps, it’s a harsh reality you’re sharing with your readers!

    As a mother, I thought of yours, how heartbroken she must be to see you like this. Last year my son had chicken pox, it was all over his face and nowhere else! – He looked awful. I remember how I took time off work to look after him. In sujood, I would take so long praying to Allah that my little man’s spots don’t leave a mark on his face! Ten days later, my dua was answered. I’ll do that for you, Resham.

    May Allah (SWT) elevate and strengthen you with His blessings, love, protection and guidance. You’re truly an inspiration. x

    1. I do miss it. I can’t even apply make up yet to try and reclaim some sort of glam. I think I had a duty to share, to help. Thank you so much for the prayers and support, I hope you and your son are well and happy. Thank you x

    1. I have since been discharged. I’ve not seen many people yet either, I’m hoping to see more people with time, but thank you for the kind gesture

  2. Hi Resham,
    This is the first time I’ve read your blog and it is really thought provoking. My name is Dipa, I have a daughter a little younger than you. What has happened to both you and your cousin is truly abhorrent and you’re absolutely right, something has to be done about regulations on these substances and that this could happen to anyone. I admire your courage and you show great tenacity. How are you today? You mentioned that the ladies that you be-friended were all discharged today. Did you manage to remove the dressing you were having trouble with? I do hope so! I know you have a long road to recovery but please remember there are a lot of people that are praying for you. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Is there anything I can do, I’ve signed the the petition that Ushma Pankhania had set up in change.org. You have a lovely way with words and I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog. Like I said if there is anything I can do or if you need anything please do not hesitate to let me know. I live in London.
    You are in my prayers
    Best wishes
    Dipa

    1. Hello Dipa, ah thank you I’m glad you’re enjoying it. I’m hoping something is done soon, we will probably have to apply some pressure soon. I’m well today, the lady actually called the hospital to speak to me after she was discharged to tell me she was proud and to wish me well. We exchanged numbers too. Finally removed the dressing, I spent 3-4 hours in a bath peeling it slowly on loads of painkillers haha! That sore has almost completely healed up medically speaking. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers, and I appreciate the fact you have signed a petition. You are lovely, thank you for taking the time to read, comment, wish me well and pray for me ❤️❤️

  3. Heart is broken here, i don’t know who you are but i know you belong to pakistan and also muslim. But i tears show the weakness and some time it helps us to remove the bad memories.

    i can’t help you but i want to kill that person. i hate our weakness. i’m from Lahore, Pakistan. if you are not easy there please come back to pakistan…, Don’t worry we are here. please week after week or daily upload you status. we love you dear Doll. Don’t worry…God Bless you.

    i never wrote before alot english like that, but i know it is for you.

  4. You are absolutely incredible! This coming from a young cancer patient.

    I’m shocked and in awe that you are writing about your experience so soon and in such an aspiring way, especially for someone so young. The people in your life should be grateful to have you in their lives.

    1. Thank you so much! I can’t believe you’re saying this to me I feel honoured right now. I hope you are well and happy and thank you for the kind comment

  5. You are so strong. Stronger than many people would be in similar circumstances. You are not now, and never will be alone. Stay strong, for all of us.

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