Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Coz there's so much to learn from the animal kingdom...

I’ve spent the better part of the last week feeling like death served on a platter with two scoops of ice-cream. I can’t quite explain it but if I had the flu, I’d be glad because then at least I’d know what’s wrong and how to self-medicate. But instead, it’s a sick feeling; like I ate something dodgy, accompanied with an overwhelming sense of nausea.

I relayed this information to my cousin Melanie at a baby shower for a mutual friend. She immediately suggested that I could be pregnant. What is it with the word nausea and people’s predilection to assume it’s always related to pregnancy? And so I told her what I usually tell everyone is such instances: “If I’m pregnant then you better get a fucking manger and call The Three Wise Men, because you know Jesus is coming”.

But things didn’t get better as the day progressed and by late afternoon of the next day, I found myself suffering with a pounding headache. I didn’t take much note at first, but when the pounding began to feel like someone was nailing my head to a cross, I popped two painkillers. But alas, I was too late and was brutally attacked by the Mother of all Migraines that left me recoiling on the floor, fingers grasping at my head, humming to myself to ease the pain... a straight-jacket away from looking like some nutter in a madhouse.

Ever the fatalist, I wondered when death would envelope me. It’s not that I’m afraid to die, it’s just that I’m afraid of where I’m going to afterwards - the deep depths of the unknown. Then I wondered what the Angel of Death looked like... y’know, in case he showed up and I mistook him for the Postman or the Pizza Delivery Guy. I wondered if I would even see him, given that the severity of the pain had blurred my vision.

At some point I must have gotten up because through the tiny slits of my semi-closed eyes, I saw myself walking towards a white light. It illuminated my blurred vision and became brighter as I moved closer. And then I felt my forehead slam into the concrete lamp shade. Damn, no door to heaven for me.

I was soon rescued by my sister who poured hot water into a bowl with some eucalyptus oil and had me inhale the fumes with a towel wrapped over my head. And in no time, the Migraine subsided and I was put to bed with a few painkillers in my system.

I still haven’t recovered completely though. The nausea continues to linger, like a nightmare waiting to happen. And I refuse to see a Doctor. Searching for a good Doctor in this place is like looking for a Siberian Tiger. You know they exist, but they’re very rare and will be extinct soon. I’d much rather die than waste any more money on another useless git that can’t do anything for me - that’s just too happy to waste my time by diagnosing illnesses that I don’t have, administering tests that I don’t need or prescribing medication that I already have. Because we once had Doctors who genuinely cared about the welfare of their patients, now all they care about is how much money they can squeeze out of you.

For a brief moment, I wondered if my physical state of being was in any way related to my mental or emotional state. Not that I’m stressed or depressed, but one never really knows when it comes to the subconscious mind. It reminded me of something that I read recently on this blog. It was about an article written in the New York Times in 2004, about the loneliest whale in the world:

Scientists have been tracking her since 1992 and they discovered the problem: She isn’t like any other baleen whale. Unlike all other whales, she doesn’t have friends. She doesn’t have a family. She doesn’t belong to any tribe, pack or gang. She doesn’t have a lover. She never had one. Her songs come in groups of two to six calls, lasting for five to six seconds each. But her voice is unlike any other baleen whale. It is unique—while the rest of her kind communicate between 12 and 25hz, she sings at 52hz. You see, that’s precisely the problem. No other whales can hear her. Every one of her desperate calls to communicate remains unanswered. Each cry ignored. And, with every lonely song, she becomes sadder and more frustrated, her notes going deeper in despair as the years go by. Just imagine that massive mammal, floating alone and singing—too big to connect with any of the beings it passes, feeling paradoxically small in the vast stretches of empty, open ocean.

How beautiful. How fucking depressing. I really feel for this whale though. Life can be cruel to some and we’ll often find that people prefer Dolphins to Whales, in much the same way that they prefer Butterflies to Moths. We like pretty, deceptive things innit. No one wants the truth. No one wants something real. And so most prefer to live in the crevices of their minds, playing Jesus to the lepers in their heads.

But if only they could see... that those masquerading Dolphins are nothing but Gay Sharks in open waters. There’s so much we humans can learn from the animal kingdom.


  1. Ha...the first thing that popped into my head too (after reading the first few paragraphs) was pregnancy...then i realised that that wasn't possible.

    Anyway, hope u get well soon. And remember that no doctor, no person, and no medication cures...they're only the means that we can perceive. It's Allah alone who cures - so that should always be our first response to sickness: appealing to Him (before going to the means).

    And look on the bright side: every sickness and pain wipes out some of your sins - so sickness is a blessing; and we just have to be strong enough, and patient enough, to bear it with the right perspective.

    And get plenty of rest...that's probably the most important thing you can do. Despite what your mind tells you, and all the things you want to do...just rest. (I should take that advice too...i hardly ever just rest when i'm sick...)

  2. Sidenote: I read somewhere that as a last resort to sort out a migraine you should try to get hold of some LSD (acid). Obviously LSD is not freely available but acid is. You might be seeing some weird shit for a while but at least you'll have no pain.

  3. I'm just glad that your baleen cry at 52hz is still audible to the rest of us on Planet Blog. What a lonely place it would be without that cry. :)

  4. "Nausea" definitely has a feminine ring to it. Woody Allen played a character who complained of being "nauseous", which made him seem pathetic and weedy. Not that women are necessarily so, but you see what I'm getting at. Anyway, I'm very glad to hear you're feeling better.

    As for whales, their image has improved greatly thanks to Star Trek IV and Free Willy, which repaired a lot of the harm done by Moby Dick. Dolphins, by contrast, haven't a good ambassador since Flipper, who is a total has-been.

    Did you know there is a place where tourists go to kiss whales, Miss Azra? I hope you are going to put your money where your mouth is by going there. Details are in the link below:


  5. So you've completely ruled out immaculate conception?

    Azra, you know that I love you and worry about you even though I live half a world away. You're a rich soul with a beautiful spirit - be gentle with yourself.

  6. Sorry Az, that can't be pleasant. Hope you're feeling better.

    My heart goes out to that lonely whale. That was so sad, & yes, beautiful, too.

    One of my sisters had her first migraine the day she was leaving Cairo. I went to call a cab while she waited outside my apartment building. I returned a few minutes later to find her puking, crying, saying she has terrible headache. Lasted all day. At night we went to see a doctor, he referred her to an ENT who diagnosed her with something (can't remember) The pain subsided somewhat the next day.
    When she returned to London, headache lingered. She saw a doctor who told her it's a migraine.

    She hasn't experienced that again thankfully.
    My brother has chronic migraines though.

  7. Azra baby- are you drinking enough water? I know youre generally quite health conscious and look after yourself so just asking. Anyway, hope you feel better very soon my love.

    The best is when youve already had a kid and then everytime youre nauseous after that its just has to be another pregnancy!!! *scratches head*

  8. Do you usually suffer from migraines? (Nausea does usually come with migraines). I've known a few people that have tried acupuncture for it and it has worked. But I don't know of any good acupuncturists I can recommend to you in South Africa... I know what you mean about the doctors. They're terrible. It's incredibly hard to find even a decent one. I hope you eventually find someone that can help though. :/

    I had never heard about the lonely whale! My heart goes out to it. Poor thing!

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  10. sorry abt the migraine. i know how that feels. had migraine since i was 11 and it's one of the worst form handicap a person could have ( well, i see it as one personally)

  11. hope you feeling better today. Hate that sick twisted feeling in the belly. Acting out helps a bit. Not that i'm endorsing it. But yeah i think it's that time of the year. Crunch time after the highs of september to april.
    I remember reading about the whale and sniffling. Just heart wretching and identifiable.

  12. I hope you're feeling better.

  13. Dreamlife - Thanks for your words of wisdom & encouragement. I definitely believe that The Almighty cures... think this is also a good time for me to take some time out :)

    Edge - Haha. Thanks, I'll keep that in mind, although I'm too much of a control freak to go there haha :)

    Kaloo - lol, thanks I suppose. I don't want to be a whale though ;D

    Mr. GB - I guess Flipper is Old School, wonder where Nemo fits in. I'd love to go and kiss whales, especially if they're lonely :)

    LL - Thank you for all your kind, beautiful words. They're very endearing. I feel better emotionally, but worse physically. I guess only good old fashion rest will take care of that. Thanks again :)

    Jayaj - It was horrendous! The worst pain I've ever endured outside of an Operating Theater. But at least now it's gone. Wish I could stop coughing though ;P

    fathima - That whale story gets me all the time *sigh*. Such strong metaphors for most people I guess. Hope you're well! ;)

  14. Ok, this is very very weird but Zahera's, bibi_aisha's and Michi's comments weren't published here for some reason. I did get them on email though.

    Thank you ladies for your kind encouraging words. Thankfully, I haven't had another migraine after that. But I really should rest more... doesn't help that I'm constantly at work and there's so much going on.

    Still find it so weird that those comments weren't published :P