Abida Mian's Blog

An outlier that's living, learning and being myself…

Archive for Health

Quora Question: Why it’s wrong to be alone all the time?

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be alone all of the time. Some people live their life that way, sometimes there’s perhaps a reason (triggers include: traumatic event (grief, abuse), fear of social interaction caused by anxiety of being judged (bullying) or fear of getting hurt (trust issues)), other times that’s just a person’s personality (often cruelly labelled as a ‘loner’), but they’re perfectly happy as they are.

I went through a period of wanting to be alone all of the time, but that was a reflection of how alone and unhappy I was on the inside. Personally, although I do enjoy my solitude, there comes a point where it becomes lonely not to mention boring. There’s nothing better than sharing experiences with people you love, that’s what life is all about.

Whilst it’s not wrong, it’s important to exclude depression as a cause for social isolation. I did waste two years of my life alone, that is something I don’t wish to ever repeat. I’ll never get that time back. As morbid as it may sound (you’ll only get this if you’ve lost a loved one), I’m heading in the direction of a coffin, it may be tomorrow or years from now, I have no control over my death, but one things for certain, I will have plenty of alone time then!

Thanks for the A2A, Anonymous.

Kind regards,



Winter 2013

Given a stressful couple of months, lack of sleep, not eating well, I thought it prudent to take some multivitamins to help boost my immune system particularly at this time of year. I’m a fan of the Solgar brand, there are many favourable reviews on amazon of their VM-75 multivitamin and mineral formula with anti-oxidants, and one of the doctors at Biolab recommends it, so I’m now on my second bottle. They are potent (high RDA levels) but I would say I feel less tired, my nails are growing quickly and my pee is neon yellow (caused by high-levels of B2). The high levels of B-Vitamins in this formula should not be a cause for alarm, they are water-soluble, and therefore any excess (not used by the body) are simply excreted in the urine. I only intend on taking them a few months of the year. You’ll see in the picture, that they are large tablets (also available in capsule form), but as my doctor told me as a little girl, if you can swallow food, you can swallow tablets, some people fear the size, but it’s fine. I take mine after lunch with water, any fat in your meal helps with the absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins.

Solgar VM-75

Solgar VM-75

Hair often becomes drier  and unruly this time of the year, what with the central heating indoors, cold air and rain out, I always recommend Aveda products they do make a real difference. The below are my pick of favourites, the damage remedy set was an Xmas present from my sister-in-law, this line helps to strengthen hair. The smooth infusion style-prep is used before blow-drying as a heat protectant and given the name a hair-smoother, and finally the brilliant shine spray is great for controlling frizz on dry hair. They are expensive but you don’t need a lot of product per application, so it does last a while. I also love the Dry Remedy range (not shown in the picture) really adds moisture to hair, it’s quite thick and can weigh down someone with fine hair, so really recommend it best for people with thick hair. I do use cheaper products like Herbal Essences, but Aveda products are a great pick-me-up for hair.

Favourite Aveda Products: Smooth Infustion Style-Prep, Damage Remedy Gift Set, Brilliant Spray-On Shine

Favourite Aveda Products: Smooth Infustion Style-Prep, Damage Remedy Gift Set, Brilliant Spray-On Shine

More flowers, lucky with friends…

Pink Flowers

About two weeks ago, I had the worst weekend. I listened to an old voice recording of my dad’s, and this wave of emotion just hit me. I eventually fell asleep but dreamt about him. I was a young child and we were solving quadratic equations, my dad had this blue book dedicated to parabolas and hyperbolas. I went to touch his face but I couldn’t reach him, then I just woke up at 4am. I had that blue book on my shelf (a happy memory from my time with him), and got out a pad and started going through the questions to see whether I could remember how to solve and create the graphs – it was like riding a bike, I remembered, dad would be so proud, I thought 🙂

On the Monday morning, I went downstairs and at reception were these beautiful pink flowers for me. Richard (the porter) whom I’ve known for around 8 years, bought them for me and in his card wrote ‘thinking of you at this difficult time’. My eyes lit up, I told him that work bought me pink flowers and they made me smile, so he did the same thing. He understood what I was going through as he lost his father a few years ago. He also sent flowers and a card to my mum, as he’s very fond of her. I never thought a man could be that kind and thoughtful. He’s been incredibly supportive, to most other people I usually say that I’m ok, but with him I can open up and show my emotions, for someone like me that’s rare. I admitted to him that the one person that helped me through the grief was my baby nephew, I love him soo much, and that’s when I realised that I’m ready to have my own. Yes, they’re expensive and a burden, but they are worth all the hardship, but now it’s a question of finding a decent guy to make them with. Richard described me as one of the nicest people he’s met, but that not many people would know unless I go out and socialise more. You’d be surprised to learn you have your share of male admirers that ask me about you, even my daughter thinks you’re beautiful – that made me smile, Rich is such a lovely guy.

Then one of my best friends (who started off as my old uni lab partner) cancelled his plans to travel back to see his family, so that he could see me. As soon as I saw him, he just opened out his arms and let me cry all over his shirt. Then he gave me a bag full of DVDs of old classic childhood movies and microwave popcorn, and assured me that it was a gift to keep my mind occupied, and that I don’t have to return them – a joke, because after I split with a guy in the past, he asked me to post his DVDs back to him first-class, this time I didn’t have to worry 🙂 I never met any man I would trust my life with apart from him, we will never be anything more than just best friends (bloody typical!), as he’s gay, but if I could describe the perfect personality then that would be his – we can chat for hours, never argue, and he’s never said anything offensive – surely an impossible task for a man 😉

Another good friend invited me to stay with him and his wife, and a client at work offered to fly me out to their holiday home. All really kind gestures, but I need time alone to come to terms with my loss.

I was lucky to have had the chance to spend more time with my dad when he retired, as he worked abroad when I was growing up. I would write letters to him every week, then he bought me a typewriter. We would speak every Sunday without fail. The past couple of years, he was able to call me everyday. I miss that. I remember years ago, there was a client at work that was in his thirties whose wife died of cancer, leaving behind a small toddler for him to bring up. He sent me an email as he was having trouble with a leak to his flat, the person who’s job it was to get it fixed wouldn’t return his calls, he asked if I could help chase on his behalf. Although, it wasn’t my job, I felt a sense of compassion, this man was all set to embark on a life with his wife and child and it had been cruelly taken away, he had a stressful job, so having persuaded an ex-colleague to drive me to his flat, I took photos and then contacted the managing agents to organise for them to repair the damage, I then went back around to inspect that it had been done properly. He was very appreciative. I thought of him the other day, I can’t imagine what he must have gone through.

A colleague of mine said that in losing my father, I should use it to re-evaluate my life, that the one failing I have is relationships. It doesn’t matter what watch or car you have, it’s all bull s***, what matters is that the people you love are with you at the end. People are more important than work, you need to switch off and open up more. He was right. The most priceless moment for me was the night before my dad passed away. I spent hours holding his hand, his eyes staring up straight at the ceiling, he couldn’t acknowledge me. I was extremely disappointed, as during those three weeks in intensive care, he was either heavily sedated (eyes closed) or eyes open but unaware of his surroundings. There were a few days which I missed when he was out of sedation and able to communicate through pen and paper, we kept his writings, first he wrote KFC (when I heard that it made me smile – sadly he wasn’t able to have one), then he wrote Pavg = VI cosφ, to prove he was mentally still there (he was a power engineer). As I got up to wash my hands and remove the apron, my brother was hovering over him and tried to stare directly into his eyes, by some miracle, he smiled at him and everyone was shouting to him Abi is here (they all think dad hung on in there to see me before he passed away), he turned around and smiled directly at me for a fraction of a second, then he was back to his original position staring at the ceiling. During that brief moment, I felt the pieces of my heart slowly beginning to mend.

Most people like talking about their emotions, but I find writing is cathartic, hence the long blog post. Based on getting older, life experiences, I’ve learnt something, I want to experience what my parents had, to love someone so much, that I’d want to be with them holding their hand until the end. It’s seems strange now that my dad has gone, I spent my life holding back on relationships because I was worried that he wouldn’t approve. I met someone a while ago and he ended up falling in love with me. I was cautious wanting to wait to see how things developed, but he didn’t want to be a secret, and gave me an ultimatum, either we get married or he walks away. He was offering me a good life where I didn’t have to work and I’d want for nothing, but at the time my dad was ill, I had to put him first above my own happiness, in the process I ended up upsetting a genuinely nice guy, and took a hiatus from wanting to be with anyone thereafter. Now, I am able to move on and focus on me. In 2014, I’ve made a list of things I want to achieve: violin lessons (I was very good at school, but my dad thought it interfered with my studies, so gave it up), charity work (helping others makes you feel good), joining activity groups to meet more nice people. The most important one is wanting a family, the next person I meet will be the father of my children (fingers crossed). I’m not sure whether I’ve met him yet, either way I can’t wait…

Death comes to all of us; I have an insatiable thirst for life, and don’t intend wasting a moment of it…

I love flowers…


The first time I’ve ever received such beautiful flowers. The guys at work choose wisely, they know I love pinks! When I first knew my dad was in a serious condition, I kept my head down and took a few minutes break just to eat during the day, then stayed behind and worked late, including some weekends. I didn’t feel like opening up and burdening anyone, but I would get asked why I was working so hard. I eventually confided in my boss that I knew that the office relies on me, so I wanted to ensure everything was in place when the time came and I had to be with my family. Eventually, when everyone found out they were very supportive. Although, I felt like my world was falling apart, such a kind gesture of them sending me flowers made me smile. I manage to keep smiling and hold it together when I’m around people, but I do miss him terribly. I’m taking a hiatus from blogging, but I hope in time, I will return…

11th of November 2013

This date I will never forget. Finally, the long battle is over, and my dad has passed away. This morning we were awoken twice, we rushed to the hospital first time but he was stable when we got there, then a few hours later we were told to come back as this was it.

The doctor advised that we were prolonging the inevitable. With a heavy heart, we made the hard decision to switch off his life support, they gave him drugs so that he wouldn’t suffer. After they switched off the machine, he gasped for air a few times, then there was silence. I kept hold of his hand throughout, tears streaming down my face. Apparently hearing is the last sense you have, so I told him that I loved him, and he will always be in my heart.

I never loved anyone more than my dad. I won the lottery when I got him. Hard-working, kind, intelligent, determined, stubborn, principled – he was my hero. I will miss you calling me every night, something I took for granted.

One thing I am grateful for are the nurses that looked after my dad, they were exceptional. There was one point when I was very nervous, and Charlene took me by the hand and told me that I was beautiful and strong. Red eyes from all the crying and sleepless nights, she was very kind. She even shaved my dad as we knew that he was a stickler for being well-groomed.

It’s going to be tough without you, rest in peace. xxx

WHO | Belarus: TB disease and deaths decline

Article from WHO:
Aleksandr, a 24-year old Belarusian, learned he had tuberculosis in 2010. His father died from TB and his brother and sister were treated for it and cured. Like his siblings, Aleksandr completed the standard TB drug treatment, but a few months later he fell ill again. This time doctors diagnosed multidrug-resistant TB and he was admitted to the hospital for a second round of treatment. Read on what happened next to Aleksandr: http://www.who.int/features/2013/belarus-tb-reform/en/index.html
My comment:
The doctors did two separate TB tests a few weeks ago when my dad was admitted into intensive care to check whether he had a recurrence, thankfully they both came back negative. He contracted TB as a small child when he was a refugee during the partition of India. He later had a recurrence as an adult when he went through a stressful situation, and was hospitalised for a couple of months. There were no vaccines in my dad’s time, and treatment has improved since then, but his lungs were never the same afterwards. I was pleased to read the full WHO article on TB in Belarus, that standards of care have risen and deaths and new cases have declined; I very much hope that continues. My heart goes out to Aleksandr having lost his father, it seems that he is positive about his second round of treatment, I hope it works.


I have this sick feeling in my stomach. My father is now fighting for his life in intensive care, I have to wear a gown and gloves when I go to see him. I talk but he can’t hear me being heavily sedated. In his lifetime he’s survived the partition, tuberculosis and now septicaemia. I’d swap places with him in a heart beat. The doctors and nurses have been wonderful, I have such admiration for the work they do. I had to listen to a client the other day who actually said that they thought they were very important. Really, I thought? Do you save lives or dedicate your life to charity? You’re not even a multi-millionaire let alone billionaire, but this person was highly delusional. I often come across this amongst the noveau riche. In contrast, I recall when a leak from my flat caused damage to my neighbours flat, I didn’t even know but the plumber told me his place was a mess. I wrote a letter to him to apologise and offer to sort it out, but he wrote one back saying that I wasn’t to worry as he doesn’t possess anything valuable. It transpired that he was extremely modest as he had amassed a fortune of a couple of hundred million pounds. Modesty is extremely attractive. I guess going through a tough life experience makes you appreciate the simple things in life; manners, respect and kindness. I admit I’ve made mistakes, been selfish, but I know fundamentally that I’m a good person, and the credit for that goes to my dad. Keep fighting dad, I love you very much.