My Health

I do not know how to write posts or things like this concerning my health. And I could be way better at opening up and all of that, but we all play things close to the chest. So here it goes. 

Just for context, I moved back to Pittsburgh in 2013, and since then had not been seen by a doctor or dentist in almost 11 years. And as contract worker who works at poverty-line level, I never had insurance (still working on that now).

On Tuesday, April 30th (last week) I went to the ER for the first time. Since the week prior I had been having trouble breathing, but nothing like the shortness of breathe I had last week. I was also having palpitations in my chest and was thinking “is this what a heart attack feels like?”

My friend took me over to Shadyside and stayed with me. Got my blood work done, EKG and chest X-Rays. They said I was low on Magnesium and fluids, and around midnight-ish they discharged me. I ended up still feeling a bit “off” throughout the week, and ended up being seen by my new primary doc on Friday. He looked at the results from the ER and didn’t see anything funny or strange. 

Thought I was in the clear, until Monday came

On Monday May, 6th this week, I felt that shortness of breathe again. This time instead of waiting, I went back to the ER, where they kept me till the afternoon. This time around, had more blood work done, another EKG, front and side chest X-Rays and a CT scan. 

This is where they saw I have emphysema. And now we’re working on what my treatment looks like, including having an inhaler now. 

I need to say this, especially since some have been a bit crass or callous about my health: I KNOW HOW I GOT HERE. And I know with my bouts of depression and the lows from that, for some I’ve just been a car wreck they enjoy watching and have been waiting to see crash. 

My focus is not on that right now, though. Or on those who aren’t supportive, or those who fake-support.

For the first time, I actually feel like I’m fighting to live instead of settling to die. And that’s huge, especially living here in Pittsburgh. This city is not setup for Black folk, minority groups and Poor folk to live. And then add the ways we all stress each other out and continue infighting, just siphons the life force.  

On that note, lemme end this with thanks and gratitude.

Allah is truly the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. I still am learning why He is patient with me when I am not. Why He continues to pour into me what I have squandered. And from the outside looking in, I’m learning more about who actually knows me and who just knows “an image of me”, to which I still don’t understand. But I am humbled by the lessons that keep emerging. 

I did see my Baba at one point. And that was a good AND scary feeling. I never had a view of what the Celestial Gates could look like for me, other than our own negative thoughts or what we see on TV. I believe these are called “wake up calls”. 

Thank you to my Mother, for whom without her wisdom, love and laughter, I would be gone by now. She is the best person I know and have ever met, because she is unconditionally loving and open even when others cause her harm, and she still remains steadfast in holding to the Light of Allah. I couldn’t have asked for a better Mother, alhumdulillah (as well as Baba). 

Thank you to my Tribe. Want to personally thank Akia and Tish for being at the hospital with me; Jacquea, Taliya, 5D Crew, Strange K, Amos, The Andersons, my niece Tierra and my Cuzzos Kev & Michelle for checking in. To my Meta Homies, thank you for your kind and supporting words. Please forgive me if I left anyone out, I don’t want to cause exclusionary vitriol or feelings.

I’m not out of the woods yet, we still have work to do (Me, my-Self, and “I”). I would encourage everyone who knows me, especially my fellow Muslim Ummah; pray. And spend time with those you love if you can.

Pace yourself, don’t work yourself to death. Not for the Cause and not Just BeCause. And take everything as a sign. 

May Allah give us either ease with the suffering or ways to ease the suffering. Ameen

Thank you for reading. Salaams!

8 thoughts on “My Health”

  1. Whatever you need, brother, know I’ll do whatever I can. Haven’t had a health scare myself, but reading about the experience of a friend is an eye opener, and a reminder of how fragile and temporary life is. Wishing you all the best.

  2. May Allah grant you shifaa and reward you for the great work you’ve done with youth throughout the years!

  3. from Umm Idasa — Ma salaams. Unfortunately, you hit a wall last week and again on Monday. I give thanks you took your situation seriously and sought care, including when you still felt like crap. You listened to your body and were right. I know from my own medical issues that being reminded of your own mortality tends to put things in stark perspective. In other words, it tends to cut thru the “noise”. You can’t change what was, what you did or didn’t do. When you’re that sick, looking at that back story is only helpful in terms of trying to do different, trying to do better, trying to give an accurate history to the medical folk to guide their care and diagnosis. Your situation is SO different than mine. I have health insurance. I have access to meds, to providers. You’re starting that process, and I’m grateful they did such a thorough workup so you’d be able to understand what you need moving forward. Pls know you DO have folks who love you unconditionally, who support you. You are NOT alone in this. First and foremost, you have Allah. And that’s HUGE. And after that, you have an ummah, a tribe. Some are related to you by blood. Some by choice. Some by religion. It doesn’t matter really, they stand by your side, and THAT’S what matters.
    The strongest image I carry from your Baba’s janazah (burial service) was this sea of people, many of them side by side by his coffin, surrounding you. You taught me then that Muslims pray like that for a reason — standing like that in prayer is meant so that shaytan cannot enter through the cracks.
    I LOVE that image. I LOVE that teaching. You don’t need a janazah to understand that power, that standing side by side carries meaning and strength. Shuk’ran for humbling yourself and seeking health. For seeking help. And for letting others know what you’re going thru so that they hear the TRUTH from you in your own words.
    May Allah continue to bless you and guide you as you seek improved health. You are a gift I am grateful to have in my life. I know others feel the same as well.
    As salaamu alaiykum big head. 🙂 All my love and PRAYERS. 🙂 Umm Idasa

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top