Days of My Life

Talk about daily life of a teenage girl in Iraq, and days of suffering and success. My nick name will be Sunshine..

Friday, June 30, 2006

I could bear it all !

Hello friends, hope you are ok .
It had been very long time since I updated , as you know I had 40 days to study , and about 3 weeks examinations , it was awful , hot weather 46 C. , no electricity , no fuel for the generator, studying in hell would be better !!! .
*****************************
The 40 days :
I used to wake up at 07:00 , and study till the bed time , in mathematics I had the most horrible days, we didn't study the last chapters in school, there wasn't enough time ( because of the days we couldn't reach school and the blocked roads and the bad situation in general) , those chapters were about geometry , I spent 9 days , studying , thinking & sleeping with math!!!!.
I studied all of the subjects carefully , and made many precises , I did my best , no TV, ( except Dr. Phil when I had time ) , I did not leave the house only very few times.
Night bruxism got worst , I still complain from painful spasm in my tempromandibular joint( I got this term from my mom, hehehehe) , I put the night guard but it seems that it doesn't work with me, the doctor said it's because of stress .
********************************
The examinations:
every day , before I go to school , I listen to music ( if we have electricity )or looking for music on the radio , music makes me more relax .
The first day I was really worried , the new driver didn't come early , which made my parents mad , he drives badly & sooooooooooooo speedy , I kept saying "WATCH OUT , THIS CAR , THAT CAR ! " , I arrived school safely, with no accidents!!!.
I saw women (the kind you see in TV.) sitting on the ground, they brought their rugs, children, Cola & food with them to the school! I turned to my friends saying "I think we are in the wrong place, we are in the village"
Then it appears that they were the home-schooling girls with their families, we have a nice garden in our school, so it is a great place to have a picnic, I guess !!!
At 09:00 The ring rang , we went to the classrooms , my desk was near the window , without curtains , my face became like a tomato during the exam , and I could see the sweat fell on the paper , we are not allowed to bring water inside the classrooms , but in Baghdad , they are allowed to bring water , and mobiles, WHY ? !!.
After few minutes the exam started, I finished after 40 minutes!! With the best answers, and waited the driver who came at 11:00!.
The body- guard in my school is very rude man, he made us wait our drivers in the street, under the burning sun, my friend fainted, and most of us felt nausea.
I arrived the house exhausted , I took a shower , had my lunch , and took a nap , then studied the literature ( one of the Arabic books we study in school) , and studied the grammar the days after it .
The second exam :
I went to school very optimistic, but when I took the questions' paper, I had the biggest shock!!!!!!!!!!!
One of the questions was about a poem that we didn't study in school , I felt really upset , I answered all the questions except this one .
Why would some one ask us to write a poem not from the curriculum? In our book there are many many poems, and the questioner didn't find one except this!!! That is ridicules.
The rest of the exams were not bad, I did well.
Everyday when I come home, I chamfer a day; it makes me feel happy and relieved!

**********************************
On Tuesday, I had an asthma attack. And stayed-up till 1 am, on the respiratory-machine, I woke up in the next day a little bit dizzy, and tired but even though I went to school , and answered well.

Wednesday at noon, I was not capable of breathing, the doctor gave me many many medicaments, that made my hands shaken and my heart beat so fast.
I woke up on Thursday feeling much worst, I used the respiratory-machine all day long, my heart was like the drums , I couldn't study , I couldn't see through the respirator mask , I put some pillows under my arms , but it didn’t work, my mom had to give me hydrocortisone shot .I thought I'll be ok and I asked my mom to take Mariam and Yosif and go for a ride so that I can study well in a quite house. But I was totally wrong!
when they came back ,my face was bluish , mama called her uncle ,he 's a doctor , he suggested to take me to the emergency room .but my parents were worried about the stroll bans.
Anyway, we went to the hospital, we parked the car away from the hospital ( security reasons !!!) And we went to the emergency room walking!! , we waited for a doctor , but no one came !! then my dad brought a nurse who tried to insert the canula in my vein , but he couldn't , he tried many times and now my arm is blue ! mama brought me the oxgenator . I saw the most horrible things, a woman who had a heart attack, her two daughters were running here and there trying to find a doctor for her , the old woman was in pain , and no doctor came !! we see in TV. The doctors are kind, caring, doing their best trying to save people' life .No word can describe what I am feeling now .
There was only one nurse running her and there helping people in the emergency room, he put the canula for me, from the first attempt.
I started feeling better after an hour , the nurse gave me 2 shots , dad saw one of my grandpa's friends , with his sons , he had angina , & his sons carried him to the hospital , they were searching for a doctor too .
The good nurse (god bless him ) ran , and said "we need blood " there were two guys from the national guards who were badly injured , my parents were worried , terrorists may attack the hospital with the existence of the national guards , it happened many times.
Among the most horrible cases I saw, and I will never forget it
A couple of worried parents caring their daughter , she was in my age , they put her in a bed beside mine , the dad was shouting " her heart stopped , she stopped breathing too ".
No , the doctors didn't come running , the nurse did , " we need oxygen here , bring one " he said. There were only two oxygen bottles…
I was looking at her crying mom , I just can't imagine her fears and feelings , I randomly took-off my mask , and gave it to her , after a sec , the nurse said " no , we should put her on the DC . " it was very scary , mama and dad , kept saying " do not look , look at the other side " but I couldn't, the girl returned to life , then a doctor came , "toooooooooooooooooo late mister!"
I kept saying to my mom " please mama , go and help that man " ," look there some one need help", "can you please help that patient too" I was worried about everyone.
I felt a little bit better , my parents and I left the hospital , but my thoughts were still there .
I wished I were able to help , the doctors were so careless , while they should be the most caring . It wasn't the first bad experience with the emergency room , once I was really sick , a doctor we know was working in that hospital, he put the canula in a wrong way , my hand started to swell , and his friend came talking to another doctor –
-" you won't believe what happened to me "
- "what: "
"I gave a 15 years old boy the wrong medicine, I did not think he had a heart problem, I thought he is too young for that".
- "what happened to him?"
- "he died !".
he said it with no sadness .
I came to the house at 10:00 pm, but I needed a doctor at 11:00, and the stroll bans started at 10:00!! A doctor live nearby, checked me out.
My grandpa sent me from Baghdad medication for asthma (it was prescribed previously by my doctor) , but it is a rare and expensive one in Iraq.
Thank god , I became better and I didn't need it ,a relative doctor ,who is a great person care about patients which is something we don't find usually in our hospitals , felt so happy when we told him that we will donate that life saving medicine to the hospital .
******************
The days of my sickness preceded the history and geography exams( together) , I couldn't study , but mama read the whole geography book for me ( thanks mama , I wouldn't answer without your help )
On the next day , I was breathing better, but the medications made me so tired and shaky. But I did very well.
Mama came with me to school and brought with her the respiratory machine ( just in case), at that day the bridges were blocked and we arrived late ,that made us more and more bothered.
*********************
on Wednesday I came back from my final exam French , I did well too.
I am expecting a full mark in math , and from 90-100 in the rest of the exams , except physics , and Arabic , I'll get my results in the middle of July , I am a bit nervous , but excited in the same time .
**************************
My plans for the holiday:
I'll buy a laptop (inshallah ) I have been saving money for a long time , and I am planning to buy a musical keyboard too , I love playing music , & I am also planning to learn more handmade work , of course writing to you ( whenever we have electricity ) , and answering tens of E-mails , my friend Bill Smith sent me books " Anne of green gables " with the help of my dear friend Madcanuck who sent wonderful music CDs , I'll read them in the holiday , while listening to the music .
*******************
Five of my relatives will get marry in the summer holiday, so I'll have lots of fun , and will have a "new look "!! .
Speaking about wedding, I do not think you know the traditions here. I am thinking about writing a post about that.
Excited Sunshine with tomato face.
PS. I apologize I couldn't reply many readers back , I didn't have time , I'll answer your E-mails whenever I have time , promise .

37 Comments:

At 4:53 PM, Blogger Heather Meadows said...

Sunshine, you are very strong to have endured all that while taking your exams. Congratulations on getting through them and doing well!

Even in places that aren't in war, you will find negligent or incompetent hospital workers. When I was first admitted to a very good hospital for leukemia, the doctors said to put an IV in right away. The technician who did it was just like the nurse who worked on you--she kept trying and trying and trying until almost my entire arm was blue from all the blood inside.

Finally my mother, who is a nurse, put the line into my hand!

I really feel for all those people at your hospital who needed treatment. I think it's impossible for a person to see that much death and be unable to help and not get a little jaded. I'm sure that is the problem with at least some of the nurses and doctors there. They have to not care, or else they will be so depressed by the sheer number of people they can't help. But I hope they can get to a point where they can handle it and still take good care of people.

Good luck with getting a new laptop! And I'm glad you're going to get to read the Anne of Green Gables series. Those were my favorite books when I was growing up :)

I'm looking forward to reading about your wedding traditions. Please take pictures, too!

 
At 7:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what a tale of woes, but you still sounded cheerful. an example to us all. I hope you did well in the exams. take care.
starliz

 
At 7:10 PM, Blogger Bill Smith said...

Welcome back, Sweetie!!!!

 
At 3:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No wonder you are stressed. I don't know how you can go through all of that and keep your sanity. It made me nervous just reading it.
Glad to see you back.

 
At 7:10 PM, Blogger Ripama said...

Sunshine,

It's always great to hear from you. You seem capable of taking aversity and making it a positive outcome.

 
At 5:22 AM, Anonymous Wayne said...

Dearest Sunshine,

It is wonderful to hear from you. I am sorry to hear of your health problems but happy that you did so well on your exams. I love your mother for reading your geography book to when you were not able to read it yourself.

You are truly an outstanding young lady. I don't think I could accomplish the things you do, under the circumstances you and your family are living under.

Best wishes and prayer for your complete recovery from the illness you suffer.

 
At 9:19 AM, Blogger programmer craig said...

I can't imagine studying Geometry without having learned it in class first! How can you teach yourself how to do the proofs!? I would have done badly on that part for sure.

So, what's your "new look" for the wedding going to be? And yes, please tell uus what the traditions are! My friend Highlander told me about Libyan weddings, and they are nothing at all like how we get married in the US :)

 
At 1:55 AM, Anonymous Jennifer Bland said...

Hello Sunshine!

Just wanted to wish you luck on your test scores and give you praises on being able to teach yourself geometry and everyother subject.

Best of Luck,
Jennifer :-)

 
At 6:52 AM, Blogger Ingrid said...

as a mom, I felt so bad for you describing your asthma attack. I have an 8yr old who does as well. You have a special spirit inside of you that tells me that in any situation, or any setting (gee, like , in a war!!), you will have the makings of a survivor and an indominable one. I found your blog by way of Miraj' Baghdad Chronicles and as an anti-war supporter, I hope that your situations will improve in the near future. All the best to you and your family!
Ingrid

 
At 7:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow! good luck with your exam results, I'm sure you did wonderful. I'm sorry that you had to go through that whole ordeal in the middle of taking them and studying for them, though. Your experience at the ER sounds very frustrating.

I know it's a completely different situation, but I had to teach myself all the geometry myself too...last year our teacher left and they couldn't find a new one, so we had all substitute teachers and had to teach ourselves!! I know it can be hard, but I bet you did a great job. :)

Keep it up, & I'd love a post on marriage tradition in Iraq, I'm always interested in stuff like that!!

Love from Atlanta

 
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At 5:47 AM, Blogger olivebranch said...

Sunshine; your asthma has got very bad again. It is time for me to send you more medications; I can send stronger ones if you like or different ones...

I will see what we have available, and will let you know very soon what I can give you (I will try to find some websites for Mama to have a look at them before I send them)

Hope you get better dear; and I believe your asthma possibly had a lot to do with your stress aswell.

I know it's hard to do because you are locked inside all day- but I know some basic tricks which will almost eliminate your asthma if you remember to do them everyday. They are breathing excercizes which strengthen your respiratory system and particularly the parts effected by asthma.

I use these when I have extremely bad asthma and I should use them everyday. When I do lots of swimming my asthma goes away because I stretch my lung capacity and respiratory system; these excercises work on the same theory.

You need to take the deepest breath you know how, hold it for 5 seconds and then suck in a little more air, repeat the process until you are nearly ready to faint because you have been holding your breath so long.

You should be able to feel your lungs expanded and pressure in your chest. When you feel this hold as long as possible, then breathe out and repeate the process.

If you spend only 15 minutes everyday dedicated to this breathing technique your lungs will be stronger.

You should also try to find an "Excercise Bicycle"- the kind of bicycle which does not move only you sit peddling, it is meant for doing workouts at the GYM etc.

Using the excercise bike for 1/2 hour everyday at a casual but constant rate (not too fast to exhaust yourself, but fast enough to make you breathe heavily). You will find that after a few weeks your heavy breathing will become less and you will breath easier while peddling (which means your asthma is getting better).

These are what you should start doing ASAP. I am going to send this to Mama aswell so maybe she will make you do it! :)

 
At 5:53 AM, Blogger olivebranch said...

oh and P.S
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for more information about Iraq and Iraqi culture from the words of Iraqi's themselves!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You never remember dear! :P

 
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You are truly an outstanding young lady. One of my friends at aquabot too is certainly a clone of yours but for sure not as courageous as you.I don't think she could accomplish the things you do, under the circumstances you and your family are living under. You have all of my best wishes....

 
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