Letting it out

I had an Indian head massage today. After nearly two weeks of persistent headaches, so intense at times I have been bed-ridden for a day at a time I was eager for something, anything that would bring relief. I went in search of acupuncture at lunchtime but there were no sessions available today and I wanted some kind of relief asap. Indian head massage seemed to involve neck and shoulder massage and that was what I was aching(terrible choice of word) for.

The therapist asked a series of questions. I only answered yes to the migraines and as they too were a new phenomenon I was deemed fit for the session.

I sit in a chair, towel wrapped around me, soft music playing and she takes her place behind me. Within a couple of minutes she tells me I have many knots and nodules.  Nodules?  Hm, I agree eyes closed. She suggests acupuncture, I needed more than a massage. Hm, I agree.

From then on it's quiet- my time to relax and heal she says. She starts with the shoulders, works her way up to the neck, then to the scalp and finally the face. It's a combination of acupressure, stimulation and massage. Some of it is gentle, some more brisk, firm; still all in all relaxing and comforting. 

Right at the end, my eyes are closed but I sense she must be working on my chakras.  She'd mentioned it at the beginning and I'd said interesting, not really knowing what that was and thinking, never mind that, I want a massage.  I'm relaxed by now and suddenly there is heat in front of my face, soothing heat; when she stops doing whatever it is she is I am disappointed. Then there is heat on my neck, intense heat, uncomfortable and my throat feels like it's being strained. I'm taken aback by the discomfort but remain still and keep my eyes shut.

When we're done she asks how I feel. I open my eyes and say wonderful, thank you. She says my dear you need to take care of yourself. I nod. You are carrying a lot of tension. I nod. You need to breathe from your diaphragm. Shoot, I thought I was on top of that one. I tried to go over that area again without over doing it but it is solid. I nod, I know.  Your muscles are in spasm. It sucks, several weeks into physio and I am still 'solid' and have new symptoms.

Do you have gland problems? No. Throat infection? No.  I felt a lot of heat in your throat area. So did I!

Are you stopping yourself from telling somebody something? What. The. I burst into a surprised laugh. Yes, for months. She shakes her head. Let it out. Just let it out. I nod.

She then tells me how to take care of my hair- sesame oil, olive oil, nothing lighter; apply once a week for a month and then reduce to once every two weeks. I should drink warm water with lemon; detox, I was full of toxins. Hot baths, sea salt, lavender. I nod, nod, nod. The experience is pretty intense, her grave face has me gripped. I haven't seen anyone as bad as you for a looong time.

I belong in a medical book.

We then return to the subject of acupuncture. You'll need moxa, she says. I'll need what? Moxa; the needle is heated and the heat penetrates deep. I like the sound of it. To get rid of this persistent pain I am willing to have a hot butter knife stuck in temporarily.

I was hoping this month would be budget month, one where I would take my foot off the spending pedal. That's out the window now, I'm going to alternate massage and acupuncture sessions, one  a week. No good being wealthy and in constant pain.  I want to be able to get fit enough to attend at least a few Tarawih(prayers). So far Ramadan has been a struggle personally but I have become ultra-aware of the hungry, the sick and the most unfortunate sick and hungry.  God ease their pain.

In the meantime, how to let it out without breaking my precious fast? :)

Posted on Tue, September 25, 2007 at 08:51PM by Registered Commenterparadise | Comments4 Comments | References2 References

healthy, wealthy and wise

I'm back! I'm typing this in small paragraphs and will paste the lot in one go when I'm done. My physio. wouldn't have it any other way. Pain is a tricky bugger. When your hands and arms feel like they're on fire and want to drop what they carry it's really your neck that's the problem.

When I rattled away my symptoms to the physio some weeks ago she had to ask me to SLOW down. People looove to talk about their health problems, and I'm no exception, mix this with a love for words and I'm not surprised my physio was flabbergasted. Still she heard me out and said this is the point I ask you take you clothes off. What took so long?

Face down on the bed she examines my neck and from above I hear intakes of breath, mumbling, ooohs, that's really tights and what not. It's one thing to go see someone for a problem; it's another for them to find yet another problem. I'd been there before. Years ago at a dental hospital I got told I had a heart situation and should go see my doctor for a referral to a cardiologist. I left to return to uni to catch up on the rest of the days classes(cause that didn't phase me!take that!) and when a friend asked when I'd be having my wisdom teeth pulled out I said I'd have to sort my heart out first. Why does stuff like this always happen to you, Firdos? I don't know I shrugged. All this time later I still don't know but I'm kind of getting used to kaputitis where I least expect it.

So back to the pain in my neck that is my physio. She finds sore points I never knew I had. The medical term for these sore points are neck joints. C5 and C6 in particular make me squirm. My feet fidget. I'm going to do some work here she says. For work read crush. I want my mother. I thought physios were the good guys. Weeks later I am still seeing her twice a week. I now get headaches and neck pain. My hands and arms were relatively fine until a couple of days ago when she ventured upwards to C1 and C2, smaller joints closer to the head and 'worked' on them. C1 is now known as 'that bastard' in my vocab. Other words I've picked up are tension, stiffness, range, movement,  progress, pace and pull.

To get myself back on track(cause I was on a dirt road a couple of months ago) I watch what I eat and when I watch it, I find that it is more than I used to eat. I have even put on weight; naturally not where I would prefer it to settle but fat doesn't negotiate. I eat so many fruits now I called myself a fruit whore the other day.  Next to my fruit area in the kitchen is a bottle of Cod liver oil tablets and one of Multi-vitamins; I alternate them. You have to feel my skin to believe what good nutrition does for a woman. This is not an invitation. Try it on somebody else, preferably yourself.

I also read, read, read and burn every oil I get my hands on.  In frustration I asked my mother to cut my hair. This being a several-year old dream of hers she took to it willingly and easily. I said Now, just do it now and she went looking for the scissors. In the bathroom I took a deep breath and soon heard the tell-tale scratch of blade against hair. Look she says and I turn around to find her holding a pathetic tail in her hand. I smile. I run my hands through my hair- what's left- and SCREAM. My mother is saying, The neighbours will wonder.... I scream again. When the shock fades and it has to fast as I have a wedding to go to, I struggle to blow dry less than half of what I am used to but am happy with the end result. I walk into room after room and pose for brother after brother. I think the youngest has never known me with short hair. He's the most impressed- gotta love the young- and when I show off my dark, smoky dramatic eye make up- my mother's body jerks, she says badana but the youngest nods his head like they do in the music videos and I know I loook too cool for school.

Self-hypnosis and I are old friends now. I even went into a trance on the bus a couple of weeks ago. I woke up refreshed and almost at my stop- it doesn't get better than that.

The pain in the neck(akaffectionatelya PIN) suggested I swim the first time she worked on me. I blinked desperately at her. I could see sense in the suggestion except I couldn't swim.  She also suggested I go to the gym and get this- WALK on the treadmill- and swish gently on the cross-trainer.  It was all too much. When I did go to the gym(over 3 years since I last went- something PIN winced at) I ran on the treadmill and it was my fave thing to do; now I would have to walk on one. I used to look down on the treadmill walkers; now I would have to be one of them. It is too, too much.

The cross-trainer, that torture of an exercise machine was my least favourite and it was to be my main saviour now. It was much too much. I call my sister and the following day we check out the ladies gym. This by the way is nothing short of a miracle; some kind of end-of-tether synchronicity(since we're on the topic of swimming). I sign up at the gym, she's an avid gym bunny already; we both sign up for swimming lessons. When it comes to filling in the emergency contact details I tell my sis I'm putting her name down. That's if I don't drown with you she quips. We qosol gariir.

When I tell PIN, whom I love BTW, that I have signed up for swimming, joined the gym and signed on the dotted line for 3 diplomas in coaching costing thousands of pounds she's delighted. I am transforming under her thumbs. One day soon I will get her off my back and I shall miss her gentle aura(when not 'working'), her wisdom and skill. In the meantime, I continue to squirm, walk on the treadmill, swish on the cross-trainer and look good. Haha. Praise the Lord. Off to another wedding this weekend, bought a dirac(more on this another time) , some funky heels and smoky Mac eye makeup. Look out Liverpool.

Posted on Thu, September 6, 2007 at 03:33PM by Registered Commenterparadise | Comments6 Comments

talking hands

It is a beautiful morning and I would love to write my way better as I had planned.  However, I have to be brief out of necessity.

My writing hand is in pain. It is weak,  quivering, aching and sending signals of pain up its arm.  My writing arm is also my most-other-doings arm as such I can't write much less clean my house.

So it seems yet another trip to the doctor; that'll make it two trips next week- one for this, another for the results of the other thing.

I am somewhat stunned. I need to write more than ever but I can't....

My mind though has found an alternative......something I thought about months ago but did nothing with- podcasting.  My hand has been forced as it were but it sounds like it's creative, a great medium of communication, something new to learn that doesn't involve worsening my hand and more than that FUN!!!!

Stay tuned!!

Posted on Sat, July 21, 2007 at 10:39AM by Registered Commenterparadise | Comments5 Comments | References1 Reference

Healing Words

Been to see the doctor.  Got one of those darn, hard to shake off things that may just be what it is(which is bad enough) or a symptom of something worse. The something worse can be proved with a test I will have at the hospital next week.  I'll then return to see the doctor in a couple of weeks for the results.

I'll tell my parents tomorrow. I don't know how to keep it from being a source of worry or a get-out-of-trouble card. Either way I have neither the physical, mental or spiritual capacity to tolerate negativity right now.  I'll ask that they drop it though I suspect that my father already has; he has little capacity for holding on to upset. For my mother I can offer an apology and a promise to work on it, that I could do with support  and healing words right now.

In the meantime, I will heal my way to better health with my own words.  I will write my way to a better well-being and ask all and sundry for healing prayers.

Consider yourself asked!

Thank you.

This has a happy ending.  I feel it. 

Posted on Fri, July 13, 2007 at 09:41PM by Registered Commenterparadise | Comments5 Comments

A dream come true

So I called him.

I heard you were looking for me.

No sooner are the words out of my mouth than I regret them.

I was looking for you? Did you get lost?


The conversation is  a little tense at first. Everything my father says makes sense. I have no excuses. I have one fact that I try to negotiate with but that too is pushed aside with an argument that is hard to challenge. I feel like turd. I say less and less, hm now and then. He asks if I am angry now. No, I say I have no right to be.  His voice relaxes, he says there's no problem, just work on it. I agree.  He wants to end it well. He does. I am feeling lost though, out of like with myself.

Let me hand you over to your mother. Will you speak with your mother?


In the silence and into the mouthpiece I say, 'Fantastico, fantistico'. I exaggerate my mouth's movement; it gives me something to do.

He marches me, takes me by the elbow straight into....

I don't want...anyone.

I hear her voice, angry,  speaking in English. When she's angry, you know about it in English.

I am to be executed.

The TV mumbles in the background. I see my father gesturing, encouraging her to take the phone.

I know she won't. Something raw and forgotten escapes through my sigh.

He returns. Call her back in a while.

OK. Bye.

The phone half-falls into its cradle.

I sit with my face in my hands for the next half-hour. Maghrib gets me out of my gloom. In the bathroom mirror my eyes look demonic, salamander-like. Self-pity like this has not taken hold for a long time. I cry through the prayer, I'm not cut out for certain things. Why can't people meet me half way? Must I get it all right all the time? I remember a text message from a friend earlier in the evening, 'You don't need psychology. U got balls I tell you'.  So very good at certain things so very bad at others. My head wants to explode and be done with it.

I am waiting to be saved. This dream must continue to unfold; it can't stop here. Where are those arms that raised into the air in my defence? Won't you please speak up and ask my mother to say I got something right just once, just once and make my dream come true??

Posted on Tue, July 10, 2007 at 09:46PM by Registered Commenterparadise | Comments6 Comments