Two weeks ago, I had a novel experience of what we normally call a Whitlow, though, in medical term, the type I had is called a Felon. Unlike the common type called a Paronychia that occurs around the finger nail bed, a Felon occurs on the pulpy, fleshy part of the finger.
It started with me accidentally scraping my right index finger on a rough surface. I took the slight tingling with levity, thinking it would fade away with time. How wrong I was. the pain increased, the finger swelled up and was quite red. Suddenly, I couldn’t sleep for an hour straight without waking up to intense pain. I had to go to the hospital, where the doctor tried aspirating it with a needle and syringe. The agony I cannot describe. it was concluded that since the swelling wasn’t yet ‘ripe’, I needed to take it back home and was prescribed antibiotics.
The throbbing felt like the finger had a life of its own. I started applying heat to reduce the pain. Have you ever experienced non stop pain? That is what a felon does to you.
Eventually, the lower part ‘ripened’ like a yellow mango, and was cut opened to be drained. When you try to act like a boss even though you are in pains, you start sweating like a monkey. The draining did not reduce the pains, as the upper part was still red and tough; hence, a proper incision and drainage was arranged with a surgeon.
Eh eh, I was so scared of the second incision, but seriously, I needed to try anything to make the pain go away. It was as if my whole world was just about the pain at the time.
At the scene of the incision and drainage, a digital block was done with lignocaine injection to numb the finger, but it seemed the junior surgeon who was asked to check the time for the surgery to start wanted it to be over quickly. He announced us ready when my finger was not yet numb. When the incision started, my brain turned around in my head with pain, but the consultant surgeon handled it quite well. He deftly incised it and drained the pus thoroughly and quickly. There was this sweet nurse behind me that allowed me hold on to her hand throughout the trying process. By the time the doctor wrapped it all up, I felt like a new life had been handed over to me. At last, freedom!
The finger is healing up nicely, and I am appreciating the fact that I can sleep well again sans pains.
When a tiny part of the body is in trouble, the whole body suffers; that is one huge lesson that troublesome felon taught me.
For all those out there going through the ordeals of a felon, I say, you shall be free!



Miss Shade(not real name) has been a healthy woman most of her life. At 29, she was a buxom woman with a successful career as an accountant in a reputable firm. She wasn’t much of an eater, but she indulged herself in candy, cookies, cakes; anything suitable to satisfy her sweet tooth.

Her aunt was diagnosed with diabetes four years ago, and has been more in the hospital than out of it since then. The doctor told them it took quite long before she realized something was wrong with her, and the disease had eaten deep into her system. She needed dialysis for her failing kidneys, and her left foot had a huge sore that has refused to heal.

Although Miss Shade had been told she might also be prone to it due to the possibility of diabetes being hereditary, she never really took it serious.

“I assumed only older people had the disease, and even if it was hereditary, I still had more years on my side to prepare against it”, Miss Shade said.

One morning at work, she realized she was going to pee more than usual. Within an hour, she had gone to the toilet four times. She felt so weak and thirsty.

“I knew something was wrong”, she said. After two and half hours, she decided to visit the company clinic.

“The Doctor immediately ordered for my random blood sugar test after speaking with me. I was surprised when the result came back and the doctor told me my sugar level was too high”, she continued.

“It felt like a dream to me; a diabetic at 29?! I had just started my life! I started having horrible imaginations of amputated limbs, failed kidneys, and confinement to the hospital bed for the rest of my life by the age of 35!”

“The doctor reassured me, and advised that if I could control the kinds of food I ate and took my drugs regularly, I could still live a long, healthy life”, she said.

“So far, I’ve been able to adhere to the rules; using my drugs regularly, avoiding simple sugar foods like candy and pastry, and living life with a positive mind”.

“Diabetes is not curable,” she enthused, “but it can be well managed with discipline, hard work and determination.”


Diabetes is one of the commonest “silent killer” diseases around us. As long as we are amongst people, it is not so hard discovering at least, one person battling with the disease. It could be you, your parents, spouse, neighbours, or even children. That is why it is necessary that we learn more about how to prevent it, as well as manage it for those who already have it.

When a person is initially diagnosed with diabetes, he or she is totally scared and worried about dying soon. Thoughts of becoming bind, getting amputated limbs, or finally ending up as a vegetable, fills one’s mind and it seems all hope is lost.

The good news is that, once you have adequate knowledge on how to manage diabetes, you prevent a worse condition for yourself, and go on to live a normal, healthy life.

Diabetes is a disease in which there are abnormally high blood sugar levels.  This could happen due to two main reasons:

  • The body does not produce enough of the hormone insulin
  • The body fails to respond to insulin

Insulin is a protein hormone, produced in the pancreas that is important in regulating the amount of sugar (glucose) in the blood. The effect of Insulin is the storage of carbohydrate, protein and fat; hence, it is called the “hormone of abundance.”

There are three different types of diabetes:

  • Type 1 diabetes- In this form of diabetes, the body does not produce enough insulin or no insulin.
  • Type 2 diabetes- In this form of diabetes, the body does not respond normally to insulin produced. This is known as INSULIN RESISTANCE.
  • Gestational diabetes-It occurs when pregnant women without a history of diabetes develop high blood glucose level.


  • Obesity
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Decrease in muscle mass (especially in old people).
    • Muscles use sugar to generate energy, hence, less muscle results in less sugar being consumed for energy, and more sugar is converted to fat.
  • Heredity- Diabetes is likely to develop amongst people whose parents or close relatives had it.
  • Old age
  • Someone who already has high blood pressure
  • Abnormal cholesterol levels
  • Someone who had gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy or a baby weighing more than 4kg
  • Women that have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).



  • Diabetes may show no symptoms for months, or even years, before it is diagnosed
  • High level of sugar in the blood
  • Polyuria- urinating in abnormally large volumes
  • Abnormal thirst(polydipsia)
  • Weight loss in spite of increased appetite
  • Blurred vision
  • Decreased endurance during exercise
  • Drowsiness
  • Lightheadedness on standing
  • Confusion
  • Seizures
  • Worsening vision with damage to blood vessels of the eyes
  • Swelling in the legs and other parts of the body due to kidney failure
  • Pain or numbness and tingling of hands and feet
  • Foot infections and ulcers
  • Sudden loss of function of limbs


Most people who have diabetes have no symptoms. Symptoms tend to become more prominent with time.  The best way to arrest the situation as early as possible is to have a screening test for diabetes, especially if one is with any of the risk factors above.  The screening test involves a simple blood work in which your blood sugar level is measured. A person is diagnosed with diabetes if the blood sugar level is above 125mg/dl in a fasting state, or 200mg/dl and higher if the test was performed at random.


  • PROPER DIET: foods that could increase blood sugar levels like starchy foods (rice, bread), and sweets (cake, sugar); should be reduced from one’s diet.
  • EXERCISE: engaging in physical activity is another way to prevent the onset of should avoid living a sedentary life, and engage in brisk walking, tennis, swimming, and other forms of exercises regularly.
  • WEIGHT LOSS: being overweight is a risk factor for diabetes; hence, one should try to maintain a normal weight. Determining what one’s normal weight is meant to be can be calculated using the Body Mass Index BMI. This is done by dividing weight (in kilograms) by height (in metres squared).
  • Underweight: less than 19
  • Normal weight: 19 to 25
  • Overweight: more than 25 but less than 30
  • Obese: 30 and above



As soon as a diagnosis is made, the healthcare professional will recommend medications to control the disease and prevent complications. Routine visits will also be arranged so that the patient’s progress is regularly monitored. In the same vein, exercise is encouraged and diet should be well monitored. A person with diabetes goes on to live a long, healthy life if these steps are taken in their right proportions.


  • Hall, John E. Pocket Companion to Guyton and Hall Textbook of Medical Physiology. 11th Pennsylvania: Elsevier Inc., 2006.
  • Peters, Anne L. Conquering Diabetes. USA: Plume (Penguin Group Inc.), 2005.
  • Beers, Mark H., Jones, Thomas V., et al (eds.). The Merck Manual of Health and Aging. New York: Ballantine Books, 2004.


I came across this beautiful quote by Yasmin Mogahed, and I couldn’t help but reflect on how life treats us, and how we react to it. For a period of time, everything seems smooth and easy, and we forget ourselves in the joys of life. Suddenly, tragedy strikes, and we start to lament, “why me?! “. As inhabitants of this world, we will encounter one type of trial or another, we only have to pray not to be struck with one that is beyond what we can bear; that will not shake our faith in Allah.
Allah always knows what is best for us, and sometimes when we lose something, or fail to achieve a goal, it could be that Allah has something better in store for us. How many of us still stay strong after a calamity befalls us? How many of us guard our faith when we are faced with trouble? Truly it is not an easy feat, as the mundane mind struggles with our spirituality. When one has suffered a loss, you feel defeated, ashamed, and so lonely. You feel like Allah has abandoned your pleas. However, Allah has told us in Qur’an 2 verse 153, ” Oh you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer; indeed Allah is with the patient.” When we are faced with adversity, and we remain patient no matter how hard it is, we shall triumph in the end; because Allah has also promised us in Qur’an 94 verse 6, ” For indeed with every hardship (will be) ease.” So, no matter what trial you might be going through right now, know that every believer will be tested in faith. Even our esteemed Prophet Muhammad, may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him; faced so many trials in his lifetime: he grew up as an orphan, was persecuted by his kinsmen because of his faith, his greatest supporters – his wife and uncle – died when he needed them most, he lost six of his children in his lifetime; yet he triumphed in the end because he was steadfast with Allah.
When someone dies, or when we lose a goal, as muslims we say ” Indeed from Allah we are, and to Allah we shall return”. This is enough admonition for us, to make us remember that we only strive, Allah’s will shall always be manifest. Nevertheless, we need not cry for long, as Allah as promised us ease after every hardship as revealed in the verse above, and in Qur’an 30 verse 60 which says, ” …indeed the promise of Allah is truth…”.
Let us keep the hope in our hearts alive no matter what might have befallen us, let us believe that Allah will replace our losses with something better for us, and let us never forget, that what is taken by Allah is never lost.


It’s been a while, hope you’ve been good too. Last month, I wrote a short piece about how routine reading isn’t part of my favorite things. Reading, as I’ve come to know, requires discipline and consistency. It’s okay to have one’s strong areas and weak points in things, even reading; but like in every other challenge, you turn your weaknesses into opportunities. If you are like me, and love reading books with highly imaginative and descriptive stories, you build your strength in that regard, and make sure you read such books that are beneficial regularly.
If you find it hard to concentrate on reading large volume books from end to end, don’t just give up on reading, start with smaller volume books and work your way up. Then, once in a while, you take books that were initially hard for you to read through, and with consistency and discipline, conquer it; encourage yourself with treats after such achievements, and push yourself to do more. Before you know it, any kind of book will just be a piece of cake for you to wholly devour!
Many people tend to forget the joy in reading as they grow up, have to solve many life’s challenges; family, work, sustenance; little knowing that reading books makes life’s tasks more familiar and easy to cope with.
So, let’s all read for fun, read all round, and not let a day pass us by without saying hello to our books. Remember, readers are leaders!
To my Muslim brothers and sisters, Ramadhan Mubarak to you all. May Allah accept our strivings as ibadah, Amin.


I hate routine reading.
Well, I’m aware of readers being leaders, and stuffs like that; I write also, but the idea of taking up a huge textbook and starting to read from the beginning to the end is, scary.
Bookshops are one of my favorite places, and I could spend hours in one browsing through different books. Like a magpie, I’m always attracted to books with colourful and very attractive covers, and whether I need it or not, I buy, if just for those colours screaming at me. The sad part is just that I might eventually not finish reading that book till…
When it comes to novels, especially detective, intriguing ones, I can stay awake for hours reading one after the other. In their cases, I don’t mind reading from end to end. Seems my brain is more attracted to highly imaginative stories and illustrations. I enjoy reading inspirational books too that have got various stories and imaginative illustrations in them, though I read such books starting from a random page each day so I don’t get bored with the routine.
I would really love to read more, especially ‘boring’ science textbooks, now that I’m planning to go for my masters degree, but I’m a bit lost on how to make my brain do it one more time ( after my first degree). I love science no doubt, and I do love anatomy, but I hate routine and abstractisms.
Do you have same experience as I do, and how do you get past it?

A Little Angel

IKRAM North West

Every Friday afternoon, after the Jumma services at the Central Mosque (and shortly after Al-Usrah program), the Imam and his eleven year old son would go out into their town and hand out “PATH TO PARADISE” and other Islamic literature.

This particular and fortunate Friday afternoon, as the time came for the Imam and his son to go to the streets with their booklets, it was very cold outside, as well as pouring rain.

The boy bundled up in his warmest and driest clothes and said, ‘OK, dad, I’m ready!’

His ‘Mu’allim’ dad asked, ‘Ready for what?’

‘Dad, it’s time we gather our tracts together and go out.’

Dad responds, ‘Son, it’s very cold outside and it’s pouring rain.’

The boy gives his dad a surprised look, asking, ‘But Dad, aren’t people still going to Hell, even though it’s raining?’

Dad answers, ‘Son, I am not going out in this weather.’

Despondently, the…

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