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Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado

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Conclusion: Zakiyyah's Story
By Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
Monday, June 02, 2003

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The title says it all. The conclusion of the tale about Zakiyyah Al Mohammed, the young Somalian woman in nurse Louisiana Sandusky's care.

I will write more about her at a later date; you haven't heard the last from Zakiyyah....

Zakiyyah Al Mohammed is doing remarkably well, especially during the past week; but she is still wracked with pain. And she is finally free of some of the tubes that had held her hostage to her hospital bed, and she is now starting to eat semi-liquid foods. The way she bolts down her food, it is a wonder she doesn't make herself sick!

Today, as I went to check in on my female patient, I found out that she was sitting up in bed, and she was busily eating some soup with some carrots and celery in it; and she was also trying to get used to the fact that she now no longer had the tube in her nose. She was also complaining of a sore throat, and she was drinking a small glass of water (and making a painful face in the process as she tried to swallow her food). Still, she was ravenously hungry, judging from the way she was putting away the food. I was afraid that she would throw up, but she never did.

Zakiyyah was also embarrassed because her long, luxurious black hair was a tangled mass, and she was also embarrassed because the hospital gown she was wearing kept opening up in the back, and I would have to reach back and tie it for her. She was incredibly modest, and I told her I the same things she did; only more of them (she didn't get the joke), but she kept insisting, "But I am Muslim; Muslim women don't show their bodies! I am very bad Muslim!"

She would then give me a look that would be guaranteed to break my heart. In fact, she looked like a little dark puppy that was about to get whipped, and it melted my heart when I looked at the expression on her dark face.

After a bit, she said she was full, and she pushed her food aside. She then wanted to talk. And talk she did. She was soon talking so fast, and so animated, that she switched from English into Somali and Arabic, and that was when she totally lost me. Yet, she continued to chatter on, as though I could understand her; and it caused me to get a smile to my face. Zakiyyah hadn't said much to me during her tenure in the hospital, and now here she was, talking like a kid vying for attention, talking to me as though I were her mother or her sister.

She then asked for a cigarette. Since she wasn't on oxygen any longer, I carefully got her into a wheelchair, and I pushed her to the smoking area; and listened to her as she amiably lit up a cigarette and continued to chatter to me in half Somali, half Arabic, and pidgin English. It was rather amusing to listen to her prattle on.

I guess part of her giddy nature was from the drugs she was still receiving in the I.V. line in her chest (central line; she still needed that), I don't know; but I don't remember her talking this much since I first met her nearly a month back when we had all that severe weather and when she had been struck by lightning.

Despite all the advances she had made in her recovery, Zakiyyah Al Mohammed was still far from being well enough to be released from the hospital. She still needed physical and occupational therapies, and she still needed some touch up plastic surgery done on her back, to further minimize the scars she now carried on her back from the lightning strike. She probably had, at best, three months left in the hospital, and then she would have to learn to adjust to life with a disability that was beyond her control.

From watching her and learning about her character, I had no doubt that Zakiyyah would make it. She was incredibly stubborn and independent in nature, and she had been through so much; yet, she remained bubbly and upbeat, and she enjoyed my company. The feelings were mutual: I enjoyed being around Zakiyyah. She was full of life and fun, and she was glad that I was "friend to Muslim lady", as she put it. She was looking forward to meeting my family, and every day, she would ask how they were doing, and she insisted on looking at any pictures I brought with me to work.

Author's Note: I will continue to write about Zakiyyah Al Mohammed at a later date, as I did with Loiyan Parnyombe, Naima Faud, and Michiko Osaka earlier. That way, you can be up to date on Zakiyyah's story. Stay tuned.... :)

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Reviewed by Sandie Angel 6/3/2003
Good job with this story, Karen. Would like to read more.

May Lu $*_*$ a.k.a. Sandie Angel :o)
Reviewed by Tony Nerone 6/2/2003
Good Job again, Karen
The lady reads as being very tough. And thank you, for looking after the infirmed.

Reviewed by Bianca Boonstra 6/2/2003
Well written story.
Reviewed by Robert Blackwell 6/2/2003
I can hardly wait!
Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 6/2/2003
(((karen))) oh, i love this chapter of zakiyyah's life best of all...but hate to see it end...well done, the humorous overtones really made me smile! (((HUGS))) and love, karla. :)

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Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado

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