Morning rays filtered through the window and my eyes budged a little enough to see a caregiver come in for observation.
The sweating redoubled in comparison to the past two days and I craved a sip of ice tea to moisten my parched throat but the same unrelenting nausea hadn’t diminished. Unabated nausea that overpowers all your senses and ejects any little liquid from the stomach with the slightest head tilt.
I positioned my head tightly between two pillows so it doesn’t roll or move and clung onto a pear pillow gifted by a dear faraway sister whom I last saw in 2019. It felt oddly comforting to hold the pillow as though we were in each other’s embrace.
Time is fading away, how drastically it switched over I cannot think
Life is slipping from my grasp, will I be returned home in the next blink
Oh the Most-Merciful of those who show mercy.. Pease spare me
Since I couldn’t speak or recite any duaa with lip movement, I implored Allah for life from the depths of my heart, and almost as if with each inner utterance of Allah, a reply within came back:
I am watching over you & I’m here
Don’t worry, my help is near
As to reassure further, a striking citation flashed in front:
الا ان سلعة الله غالية
الا ان سلعة الله الجنة
Indeed the commodity of Allah is expensive
Indeed the commodity of Allah is Jannah
Inspiriting myself I said:
Your affliction is not in vain, hold on with patience Oh Khadeeja
The illness ravaging your body is a means for you to reach Jannah
(Obviously the words didn’t rhyme in the style related now)
At this point, I switched into the progressive phase of organ malfunction and my chest heaved in rapid motion with labored breathing.
Air. I need air now. Lots of air, please
Caregivers scrambled around. One held my body monitoring vitals. The second switched oxygen onto a high flow. A third continued dousing my body to keep it cool and prevent febrile seizures, the fourth administered a cardiac capsule seeing my heart rhythm skid out of control.
My stomach resisted oral medication and the few sips of zam zam swallowed with it turned into violent cycles of retching. After liquids were forced out, the waves engulfed me into pitch blackness once again…
(In the exact words narrated afterward when I regained full consciousness)
Family members prayed and hurriedly alerted medics regarding the critical situation. They were busy on another call-out but kept in touch every little while checking if I’m stable and providing guidelines until one arrived.
Unprecedented to my entire medical history of having ‘nice easy veins’ as phrased by Drs, her continuous attempts at gaining intravenous access on both arms and hands failed because my veins had already collapsed and were out of sight. Cannulation tissued and with each removal of the needle from a vein, not even the tiniest dot of blood came out let alone a drop.
Had peripheral access difficulty been the norm in my case they might not have been too alarmed but red signals were flagged after hearing it to be the first time. She tried maintaining composure but the worry in her tone became evident as she hastened an assistant for backup.
Come fast please
You need to come quick!
She then asked for a hot water bottle to see if the veins would cooperate & dilate with heat because my body had now become icy cold.
Meanwhile, my brother told everyone to start reciting the verse:
ثم السبيل يسره
“Then He made the path easy for him“
After several attempts with heat compression, one vein responded.
It’s not the best and will be more painful but I have to secure it because we pressed for time
Pale skin, blue lips, and her blood sugar levels have dropped low...
She trails off to continue working.
Another Dr from my team arrives and stands in shock.
“I haven’t seen Khadeeja in this state for the 16 months she’s been under my care”
(I remember her gently rubbing an arm and saying something. What were those words? Dim recollection)
Delicate pearl drops stream down her cheeks silently as she observes the scene in front:
The second medic who was called in for reinforcement immediately turns attention towards my vitals
I can’t hear her pulse
A few minutes ago I caught a couple of weak beats. Then it became very very faint
Can you hear anything?
Is she breathing?
I can’t get a heartbeat!
Can you hear? Can you feel it?
Prompting his colleague with urgency
Household members stand aside teary-eyed and watch in dread. Their hearts lurch as she nods her head in the negative
Two indelible words & a decisive moment…