It has been a long time since I’ve blogged, hasn’t it? Especially in the light of my last entry, where I moaned about things going spectacularly wrong, it adds a dark sense of foreboding. Like has my spate of bad luck finally got to me? Am I lying dead in the house, as my cats munch on my ears for snacks, a gruesome discovery for my husband to find when he returns home in the evening?
Or could it be that I am just too lazy to write my blog, and that Ramadhan was a welcomed reprieve, a time of reflection and solicitude?
Hah! Of course, I’m not dead. I wouldn’t be blogging if I was. Neither was Ramadhan a quiet time of reflection – though I try to put in my five minutes of reflection in the morning, in the evening, in between naps and that sort of thing.
But as I always say, it would not be me if there was not some sort of drama involved, so a quiet Ramadhan would not be unwelcome but it would not be usual either.
This Ramadhan, as with all my Ramadhans had been, incredibly hectic. While countless of articles have been written about the Ramadhan, I’m surprised that so few write about hectic it can be. I dread the 4pm jams as people rush home for Iftaar, I dread the restaurant rush, of trying to get a seat around 7:30pm, clawing the eyes out of other hungry devotees for it. I dread going to malls where there are far more battle prepared women, armed with their credit cards, their high heels and ready to snatch the best bargains when it comes to cookies, beautiful Eid dresses and ingredients for Iftar. Woe betide the collateral damage who dare get in the way of their shopping carts.
Every year though, despite claming never conforming to the norm, I have fantastic designs in my head as to what my Eid would be like this year. It would be what society defines to be the perfect Eid. I would research the best cookies, change the curtains in the house, prepare a homely meal and then invite my friends over to an Open House, hosted by me and the husband. Though it seems that I succeed in my attempts at not conforming, because every year, there won’t be any cookies because I forget to bake them, I don’t bother changing curtains because they look fine and then I weakly promise my friends a gathering for…Eid Adha instead. Or New Year’s.
This year, I wanted peace and quiet, I wanted to stay at home. Avoid all the Ramadhan buffets, which frankly I have always found to be indulgent and to a certain extent, showy-offy. Avoid all the shopping, avoid all the Ramadhan bazaars. I wanted no fancy meals, just healthy, simple wholesome food that did not look like I’ve spent ages cooking up.
Which was fine since well, I had a project I was working on full-time, which I hope I could spare some time to share it with you guys.
And most importantly, no stress.
Which almost worked out until about two weeks ago when every morning, I woke up feeling very nauseous. Which was well, you know, normal since my period should be coming. But then it started to get worse each morning, to the point that on some days I would struggle to wake up because the world would be spinning. And then that was when it occurred to me. What if I was you know. The P-word.
While some women begin to try almost ecstatically the moment they marry, we’ve made it very clear to ourselves that we wanted to wait. It is not as though we don’t want children – we do eventually. But there are so many things that I need to adjust to. Like adjusting to being adults. Eizwan and I are the sort of people that would have ice cream for breakfast. There’s just no sense for people who lock themselves out all the time to have children.
But now, the possibility was right before us, and there was no escaping it.
And my womanly instincts knew that my period was going to be late. Problem is, my paranoia and fear was so great that any womanly instinct that could tell me if I was you know, that p-word, was gone. In panic, I had myself tested (negative) but when the period did not come and the nausea increased, I was beside myself. I called up my doctor friend who ordered me straight to the clinic.
At the clinic the doctor listened to me attentively, as attentively as a person who was about to go on holiday to South Africa over the Eid period. At the end of my long drawn out discussion as to what was wrong with me (I took out my laptop to show her the times that I was stupid and if I was, you know, that p-word, would I affect the you know, the b-word), she said there were three possibilities that might be wrong with me and funnily they all started with the letters p.
One, I was pregnant. Which she said highly unlikely but my paranoid brain can’t seem to process it. But, but symptoms.
Two, my period was late. Which happens. And the more you think about it, the more the symptoms appear. The brain, tis powerful stuff.
Three, I was infected with a peptic ulcer bacteria, called H Pylori. Which can only be tested if I’m either not pregnant or when the doctor came back from her South Africa holiday. Gosh, there will be lions on her holiday.
Honestly, when I returned home that day, I did not know whether to feel better. Physically I felt better, I was given Gaviscon Advanced, which soothed me and stopped me from wanting to wretch. Never do I feel so much affection towards a bottle of medicine than I do for Gaviscon. There are fuzzy feelings inside when I see the bottle sold at pharmacies. But emotionally, I was still in a limbo. I’m not sure if I’m pregnant. My period could be late. Or I could have a bacteria that can potentially cause stomach cancer when I’m 50 and the only way to rid of it is through expensive medication and testing that would fund my doctor’s safari holidays in the future.
“I could still be pregnant,” I told the husband that night.
“We don’t know yet.”
“I’ve already decided on the name of the baby, if I am.”
“Don’t I get a say?”
“No. They’re going to be based on Doctor Who characters. Is that alright?”
“As long as it’s not Doctor Master bin Eizwan.”
All those deep thoughts about being responsible, resulted in the two of us oversleeping and missing our time for the early breakfast before our fast. And almost miraculously the next day, the nausea disappeared. I was energetic. Maybe…just maybe, I was not you know, the p-word.
The day after that however, the nausea returned in full force. Which made no sense. Shouldn’t morning sickness be more consistent? Did the H Pylori bacteria take a holiday the day after I threatened to eradicate them, lulling me into a false sense of security?
Actually, in the end, it was much simpler than all of the above. About two weeks ago, I got very lazy preparing food for our early morning breakfast, and opted to eat cereal instead. It was around the same time that I got progressively nauseous. And on the day I did not eat cereal, I felt so much better.
In conclusion. It’s lactose intolerance. My mum has it. My sister has it. I thought I escaped the vile genetic defect but as it turns out – no. I has it. It just took 10 bowls of Koko Krunch for it to appear.