Sunday, May 8, 2011

My mother, my absolute everything.

A one line greeting isn't enough for my mother. She's most likely not going to read this post, nonetheless "Mother's Day" gives me an opportunity to appreciate her in every shape and form and to appreciate God for blessing me with a mother who didn't abandon me when I needed her the most. And this doesn't mean I don't appreciate her everyday...but for real though if it wasn't for mothers day how many of your statuses would say "I love you mom" (any other day)? And I specifically refer to Facebook when I say this because my newsfeed is flooded with Mother's Day greetings. I really hope everyone treats their mothers like queens (even though I know I take advantage of mine in so many ways, and I'm pretty sure you do too).
My mother and I.
I was always bald and naked. It's a shame.
My mother, Rehana, was married at age 17, came to America by 18, and had me by 19. She has been a full-time housewife since my birth....and I'm not talking about those "housewives" from the Real Housewives of (insert state) shows because I really don't know what those women are except for the fact that each one of them has gotten so many plastic surgeries...I'm sure even they've lost count. That might befit the "American" housewife, I'm not sure. My mother is a traditional yet modern housewife. She doesn't have any outside jobs. Her only "job" is to cook, clean, buy groceries, and take care and stay in contact with the family (in America and in Bangladesh). I'm rereading this last sentence and trying to grasp her activities. It doesn't sound like much, but it is. Her mornings are not lazy and she never procrastinates. They begin by sweeping the entire house as it is a 'bad omen' to not sweep in the mornings (at least that's what my mother says when I ask her why she sweeps every damn day and sometimes it seems as if all she does is sweep or mop!) Days when the entire family is home, she makes breakfast...but before breakfast she cleans the stove top, dining table, counter tops (again, every damn day). During the afternoon, she cooks lunch/dinner all while talking on the phone...talk about multi-tasking! Seems monotonous so far...at least it seems to me, but all of this is done while laughing or smiling (she doesn't laugh all alone, that would be a bit crazy) and because I am home full-time, she timely checks up on me to see if I need anything. When all the cooking and cleaning is finally done, she either goes out to get groceries or stays in while accompanying my father. And the weird thing is, the cleaning part actually never ends. She takes care of the laundry...simply put, she is the woman of the house. Only on weekends does she get to "live" a little - at family parties. Doesn't sound like she's living it up to me. I remember telling her once that if my life consisted of only cooking and cleaning, I would be very unhappy. She assured me that I would have a housemaid and a home-chef. God, please make that come true.

Beautiful, intelligent, humorous, caring, straight-forward, young and fierce. My mother seems to have it all under control in such a graceful manner. She understands my moods all the time, and my dad's - since we are the biggest bitches in the house. Did I mention how funny she is? I remember while growing up, my mother's main priority was to keep us away from boys or to keep them away from us...and she would say, "Remember one thing always, MAN AND WOMAN equals DISTANCE." Her English vernacular is not yet up to par, but with her few broken words she was semi-able to control our raging hormones. She said at least a million times during the day. Man and woman = distance means to keep a reasonable distance when dealing with men - not to get all cuddly on the couch or bed/not to hug any "guy friends"/and so on. Yes, she said it like is was a formula of some sort by saying equals and yes, this is probably the only "sex lecture" we've gotten without the word sex being in the conversation...
My mother, the beauty queen.
I've mentioned my mother in previous posts but because this post is about her only I want to remember the rough times we spent at the hospital 3 years ago. This is when I understood that without my mother, life would not be the same. It always seems that I bring up the bad after all the goods (in my posts). Remembering the bad times allows me to appreciate life. If there were only good times, life would be pretty meaningless. If it wasn't for my mother, I would have never gone to the emergency room for a check-up when things started to go wrong. And once I was diagnosed with Lupus, my mother was hysterically crying but she had so much faith, so much faith that things would get better. At the time I couldn't grasp how she was able to keep composure just by praying. Of course I was hurting, but I knew she was hurting more. From bathing me to washing my hair, rubbing lotion, and putting a smile on my face each day. She gave me strength, she was my strength. 
My stylish and beautiful mother and cousin, Rifat.
As babies, our parents wash/bathe/feed/clothe/watch us. How many of us at age 20-30 (my age group) remember their goodness? It's hard to remember all the feeding and washing once you're an adult. But after getting sick, I was once again, a baby...helpless. And my mother was there to pick me up. It would be a pretty damn shame if I forgot her generosity. 

I don't think I can ever "repay" all that she has done and continues to do for me and the rest of the family. I was never a difficult child, but I'm the sick one. My middle sister was always the rebel, and she's no longer with us. The third child, I'm not too sure about. Whatever the case may be, I pray that Allah keeps me by her side always. And that He keeps her with me, always. I also pray that I'm a good mother to my future children, once I find a good husband though.

And to all the mothers out there, you are irreplaceable. No one can ever take your place, no one can be you or do what you are capable of doing. And though we take advantage of you, just know that deep inside we do love you. 
Best friends & sisters. No one thinks she's our mother.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Thumb War

"We have four fingers and a thumb." Sazia (youngest sister). "OMG! I never knew that. New post inspiration." Me.

Lately, if anyone is asking about me...they're really asking about my thumb. And this thumb, for the past 5 months has kept me unhappy even though I've been enjoying the bliss of walking and healing. 

I grew an enemy. An ugly, painful, and a hard to get rid of...enemy. On my thumb. My first ever...WART.

At first the growth seemed harmless, but it was very much an inconvenience. No one likes going out with a bulge on their thumb...because trust me, people notice the bulge before they notice your face. It is also not fun to walk around with a "permanent dressing" AKA medical tape or band-aid wrapped precisely ruining the thumb's physique. When this wart hit me, I was pretty certain and suspicious that someone had cast some black magic shit on my thumb. I tend to be very superstitious when something crazy and out of the norm takes place...even though warts grow due to a viral infection known as the human papillomavirus. It sounds harmful but they're usually harmless - so my friends and anyone else who I might come into contact with: I'M HARMLESS. DON'T BE SCARED. I mean unless I had genital warts...that would be another story (genital warts are usually harmful). And I don't think I'd make a public announcement. Bottom line: someone's black magic had ruined my thumb.

I visited a dermatologist some time in March (I had surgery in January; bed rest until mid-March, just my luck!) and the doctor froze the wart with Liquid Nitrogen. I knew about liquid nitrogen thanks to Food Network. Top Chef contestant Richard Blais would always use liquid nitrogen to freeze foods at a quicker rate (ice cream). The same product was used on my thumb to freeze the infected tissue. The doctor specifically told me that it would sting, scab and fall right off. It didn't quite scab, but it popped and fell off (somehow). I was very excited, but my excitement didn't last because within two days I noticed a larger growth on my thumb. This time it was painful and hard like a rock. It just looked ugly. I began to self-medicate. 

I initially bought discrete band-aids that had wart medicine in the cushion part. I was overly-excited when buying them because I saw potential...but it was a fail. Don't ever buy medical supply that comes with "ointment" in the band-aid. Anyways, I didn't give up. I then went to the pharmacy and bought myself a freezing kit (liquid nitrogen) - the first treatment I had gotten. I thought, "Maybe I just need to freeze it a couple of times." So I froze the wart with liquid nitrogen...probably the coolest at-home medical experience. After the third attempt, all I noticed was a bigger and stronger wart. I still didn't give up. I looked online for home remedies...two of which I followed. The first one included apple cider vinegar, cotton swab, and medical tape. First of all, the apple cider vinegar I had bought was the first ever apple cider vinegar ever bought in my house. This shit stinks like ass/beer/death/feet. I just can't give a clear-cut description. The smell was horrendous. I tried to be strong and resist the smell, but after the third try I almost died...not literally, but my family was yelling the crap out of me. I couldn't go anywhere with the smell. Unhappy is the right word for how I felt. My last attempt was duct tape. Every night I changed the duct tape and I saw some hope. Skin was peeling off...and this was a good thing. At one point the wart calmed down a bit but before anything drastic happened, I went back to the dermatologist. 

The doctor examined my thumb and I explained the journey (above). She then gave me my options: freezing (again!), burning electrically, or using wart ointment and covering it with duct tape. I decided to burn it. The procedure was painful but you have no idea how joyous it was to see the burning smoke in the air. I didn't smell the burn...I smelled success.

There's a noticeable hole in my thumb and it looks as hideous as the wart, but after the reconstruction process I will have my thumb back!

What I've learned from all of this is that without my thumb...I would be a nobody. When holding a pen, spoon/fork, shampooing, to hold anything: you need your thumb. I may sound like an idiot right now, but this wart has made me realize how much I take my thumb for granted.

I will never take my thumb for granted. I love you thumb.