This is still the 30 Days of Ramadan Blog, but we’re going to have to loop in entries 6-11 all in this one because I was so, terribly, ugly, not-nice sick.
I mean completely-not-functioning kind of sick.
Normally I get over these pesky periodic flus in two to three days without medication, and I credit this to sheer will - I hate being sick. I hate not being able to work, not being able to breathe, and not being able to socialize. I know what you’re thinking – why not go to a doctor?
You see, aside from not being particularly fond of the whole checkup process, I really thought I would be fine in a few days like I normally am.
I did not take into account the Ramadan factor.
When you’re fasting and your sleep is off, your body is not going to be able to recover the way it normally does.
So instead of being down and out for a typical two to three days, I was down and OUT for a solid five days, with a lingering cough and a little lethargy today.
Alhamdulillah at least the contagion factor is done with.
When I hit the fourth day I realized something’s gotta give – namely my own stubborn will. I got the checkup, got the medicine, and slowly started functioning again.
It really got me thinking though, about the other aspect of Ramadan that I tend to overlook – self-care.
We take care of our spiritual well-being by fasting, which in turn can benefit our mental and emotional well-being. Even our physical well-being is maintained a bit better when we take the health benefits of fasting into consideration – such as smaller, more balanced portion sizes and healthier food options (if we choose; I have a hard time resisting fried goodies).
However, if we don’t stop to reset ourselves internally and find a way to balance our new 30 day schedule, instead of reaping the benefits of the month of Ramadan we end up strained by the time crunches and internal obligations.
Case in point, I got sick!
Or rather, I stayed sick.
I realized the hard way that I had to take care of myself, including taking medicine, so that I could continue to function as a contributing member of society (and not waste away my life force in the midst of pillows, vapor rub, and nasty used tissues).
As heartbreaking as it is, sometimes taking care of yourself means having to miss a fast or two so you can take a proper dose of medication and rest the required amount to get back to normal.
That was the biggest challenge for me – accepting a minor loss for a greater gain; in this case it was missing a fast or two so that I could get better enough to fast the rest of the 30 days without hitches – Insha’Allah.
If this sounds incredibly difficult that’s because it was. It was terrible! The thought of missing even one fast during Ramadan is heartbreaking - more than that just adds to the misery (I’m not forgetting the fact that so many people cannot fast regularly for varying reasons, but that’s a broad topic that we’ll attempt to address in a later post Insha’Allah).
I didn’t want to miss out on any of that Ramadan magic!
But when life gives you lemons, what can you do?
In this case, I had to squeeze out the juice in a cup of hot tea and drink it down with a dollop of honey.
And Alhamdulillah the lemons, and tea, and medicine and rest have all brought me back to up functioning capability.
Here’s to moving forward and paying attention to my needs along the way – after all, the bodies we have are an amanaah that we need to care for.
Internal struggle of the day: Resisting online shopping when you really can’t do much more than window shop as you cough up a lung.
Internal affirmation: When a little girl watching you log says you “seem smart” you can’t help but feel a little more accomplished than usual.
The 30 Days of Ramadan blog is written by Sobia Siddiqui, CAIR-Houston’s Operations Coordinator.