My Hands

wedding_henna_designMy hands create, comfort, arrange, wash, wave, steer, nurture, type, play the zils. They fall into stylistic form when dancing bellydance or indian fusion. They allow me to navigate the Internet, click on what I like, and serve coffee to my friends.

I often fantasize about having hands with no scars.

The veins on my hands are pierced every three weeks so that I can receive blood. These veins have been used since I was six months old and they have been tired for a long time. The surfaces of my hands are scarred as are the veins themselves.

There are days when my veins are impenetrable, when the nurses have to push the needle against my skin so hard and it is so painful that I feel like I am screaming inside. And then there are days when the needle slides in easily, as if my skin is made of butter. There are days where I feel like a human pincushion, where two or three nurses take turns trying to get my vein, and I just want to cry, give up and go home. On other days I laugh and tell the nurses stories even as they start my IV…those are the good days.

Sometimes the needle goes in too deep, puncturing the vein on both sides, and the vein is blown.

When I was a teenager, I realized how ugly the scars on the backs of my hands were and took great pains to hide them. Today, I show my scars to good friends.

My sister always said that I was lucky to have hands like a piano player, long and slender. When I would come home from transfusion, she would love that my hands were so warm. My husband endlessly compliments my hands and says that they are elegant and beautiful. When I come home from transfusion, he asks where the infusion took place and  kisses my sore hands and wrists.

There’s a comfort in using the same veins for every blood transfusion, just as there is a comfort in receiving your transfusions at the same hospital and having the same nurses start your IV. It’s not a pleasant experience, but every bit helps.

I often try to imagine what my hands would look like with no scars, no history, smooth and even. They would be unrecognizable, not my own.


11 thoughts on “My Hands

  1. Your hands are a reminder of the wonderful woman that you are.. Scars are the best way to tell a story…

  2. “The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”
    ― Rumi

    “Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.”
    ― Kahlil Gibran

  3. You are so amazing and beautiful and I never ever noticed anything about your hands except what Azzah says about them being like a piano player’s hands.

    And you are a talented, heartfelt writer! Thanks for sharing your experiences. xo

    1. I feel overwhelmed reading your generous compliments! Thank you so much, K <3
      Happy you enjoyed the post.
      Much love to you!

  4. Uzema,
    you showed me many times the scars on your hands. Could never notice them without you pointing them out. All i can remember is the elegant long fingers always taken care of.
    Love you my friend with every scar on those loving hands

  5. Thank you, my dear habibi! That means a lot to me. So happy you enjoyed the post. I am so touched by your comments.
    Much love xoxo

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