Saturday, July 01, 2006

Still here

I've been going crazy, cooped up in the house recuperating. The weather has been awful, even with the airconditioner running 24/7 it still feels hot.

Of course having both legs wrapped in tight elastic bandages from my toes to the tops of my thighs isn't helping. This morning I could stand it no longer and removed the bandages that were encasing my feet, so from ankle downward I feel free. Painwise, I am doing OK, as long as I don't stand in one place too long. But the doctors orders were walking but no standing so that is what I've been doing.

Meanwhile there's a stomach virus going around and one by one my family is coming down with it. Thankfully it seems to only last about 24 hours. So far Jenna and I have been spared but since Jenna decided to take the biggest cereal bowl in the kitchen and fill it to the brim with corn-flakes and sit down an stuff herself, I am sure she will be next to become sick. I have already warned her that if she barfs cornflakes on the furniture or carpet that I will smack her! Common sense has always told me that when there is a stomach virus going around the family that you automatically cut back on what you're eating because you may be next!

Since I was going a bit stir crazy, Mustafa said I could go along with him while he filled up the drinking water bottles. The air in my house seemed hot with the air conditioner running but it was much hotter outside and the air seemed so thick you could almost take a bite out of it. Smog, dust and the smell of rotting garbage and sewage are the smells of Tripoli in the summer. The only nice smells come from the night blooming jasmine (fell), but someone had already picked what we have in the garden. . . sigh. . .

After filling up the water bottles we stopped to check on my mother in law. She's sick with the stomach virus too but insists that she has low blood sugar. 'Did the doctor say you have low blood sugar, Hajja?' I asked her. 'No, but I know I have it. I can just tell. I've got some medicine for it and it makes me feel better.' she replied.

She went in her room and came back with a plastic bag full of all different kinds of pills in strips and boxes. She showed me what she was taking for the so called low blood sugar she was having. It was antibiotics and antihistamines. 'Who gave you these?' I asked. 'This is what Ismael uses for his low blood sugar.' she said. I just sighed. . . Ismael is my brother in law - someone who never even made it to high school. Why he would take these tablets and give them to his mother? And does he have low blood sugar? Or is he just diagnosing himself too? . . . sigh . . .

I told her not to take the pills and check with the doctor. 'Hajja, Ismael is not a doctor.' Experience tells me that she will not pay any attention to any advice I have to offer so I will mind my own business and keep quiet.

Tomorrow I will go back to work. I also have an appointment to have my bandages changed. I will be happy to be getting back to a normal routine again.


  1. maybe i can do you a favor and check her sugar for her while i am there! Then we can see how she is. But yes self medication is dangerous. But i understand it we have the same problems here in the usa.

  2. hope everything will be ok soon and back to work and everything else that still stand.

  3. Oh, her blood sugar is fine. Old ladies in Libya typically like to medicate themselves. They sit around gossiping with each other and get ideas about their different disorders (imagined and real).

    My mother in law is after me about taking my son Ibrahim to a neighbourhood 'doctora' to cure his excema. This 'doctora' is an old woman who treats people by burning them on their faces. I told her 'No thanks! I don't think he needs burn scars on his face on top of the excema!'

    It is amazing what illiterate people will come up with. Old wives tales abound! - just wait, you'll find out when you get here. lol

  4. Hi Teri, welcome back. My sister-in-law in Indiana, emailed me wanting your blog. She lost all her computer files again! and really enjoyed reading your blog & pics of libya. Can you say "hi Dona/Frank ha! We do love your blog/sense of humor/thoughts, etc.

    I have heard the pain you experience in your legs is AWFUL!

    Poor little old mother-in-law! I am serious, it's not easy getting old and not feeling "good". I just turned 58 this month and was sick on MY day. As I am still recouping from this awful flu bug/virus, whatever it is; I pondered my youth, and the saying "enjoy your health and youth while you have it"!!! AMEN/AMEN/AMEN Hope you are gentle and pamper yourself. Sandi

  5. I just read now that you had surgery....salamtek :) I hope you feel better and you recover 100%.

  6. Oh and about self medication and the neighbourhood 'doctoras' its not just the illiterate people that go to them. Educated people end up going to them too, when they lose hope in modern medicine. Believe it or not, there was this lady that was more of 'spiritual healer' that would use her saliva to 'cure' people.

    And self medicating, i remember being only 12 and seeing my grandma share her prescription medication with one of her neighbours because they were chatting and they had similar symptoms.

    My dad is a doctor, so when we lived in libya, our neighbours would come and describe the pill to my dad and expect him to give them this medicine, that they obviously needed a prescription for. Sometimes they would knock on our door with a cup, so that we would lend them some 'shirobbo kahha' (cough syrup). All I gotta say is that the amusement in Libya is continuous.

  7. Thanks to all and Hi to Dona and Frank!

    I've got the stomach virus that's been circulating around my family, but I am improving.

  8. Teri, you are such an inspiration, and you make me laugh! Thanks. I'm learning so much from you, and just want you to know you are one of my mentors......We grandma's can learn so much from you youngins! I'm in bloggin pre-K, thanks to you. Hope you didn't eat cornflakes and puke! Sandi

  9. I'm feeling much better today. At one point yesterday I was covered with three heavy blankets and still felt cold. Today I am back to normal (if there is a normal for me).


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