Saturday, August 20, 2016

Where did my summer go!!! :)

So after months and months of doldrums and taking this scary decision of quitting my well paying job, the job that gave us subsidized cost insurance, the job that was our stability; walking away from it was terrifying but staying was even worse. And walk away I did and I still do not regret that decision at all.

I joined a local gym right away and started going to their group exercise classes. Love love loved the freedom. I would drop off both girls and then go the gym, come home and organize a section of my house, one at a time, cook and then go pick up the girls so they didn't have to stay in after care. Some days the girls wanted a break from routine and would ask to stay home and I would let them. We would take spontaneous days off and plan fun things - they took breaks from their summer camps after every couple of weeks and are now taking August off before they go back to school :) It was fun and relaxing for them too. I took them and their friends places - the children's museum, a farm, a local forest preserve and so on.

In the first week of August, my family descended upon us. We were 22 under the same roof - all the way from 9 months to seventy years :) I planned our entire family gathering from the food to the activities and we had a blast! :)

My Mama in law (Uncle in law) was hospitalized for open heart surgery and ended up having to be in the CCU (ICU) for almost a week. So I spent a LOT of time back and forth to the hospital and being there for them. Mama Mami have always loved me like their own daughter and I was glad to have had the time to be there for them in this difficult phase.Fortunately he is much better now and is on his way home from the hospital now.

I also joined a medical weight loss solutions clinic and lost about 12 pounds so far from diet - substituting food with their meals.

AND I did ANOTHER HALF marathon - it was more to accompany my cousin who is 64 years old and has turned into Forrest Gump since his retirement. He literally walks all day!!! He finished twenty minutes before me!! But I am so proud of myself - going from not being able to walk a mile to walking 13.1 miles in 3.5 hours this year.

R's school starts on Monday and slowly my summer break draws to a close. I really have lost my mojo, my ambitious drive for my career. I am not sure I want to go back to burning the candle at both ends. I love this luxury of taking care of my health, my children, my home. But we are paying about a thousand dollars per month for insurance and that is rapidly draining our savings. So a full time job is a must. Unless P finds one. I literally want to go to every temple and beg God to send an offer his way. That will be the cherry on the topping to end my beautiful summer break.

I want to remember this hard time to remind myself that there is light at the end of the tunnel always, sometimes you need to light light inside the tunnel and keep walking until you finally get out into the bright sunshine.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Why is life so damn hard sometimes?

You know how it are going along, bitching about some minor thing, making a mountain out of a molehill and life dumps a thousand of the most annoying, frustrating little shit bombs it can find. Nothing goes your way. Its one thing after the other. Non stop! And you dust yourself off and stand up and tell yourself tomorrow will be better and tomorrow comes and knocks you down again.

I know life makes sense in hindsight but it would really really help to know what I am learning out of these punishing situations.

So I am going to make a list of all the shit and what I have learnt from it:
1. I have learnt that you can no longer trust a doctor completely. The family doctors of the past, the ones, who you unquestionably devotedly trusted, the ones whose medicines - the numerous small pills and the awful syrups brought you back spanking new in a mere two three days. Those doctors are gone. Today's doctors need to be looked at with suspicion, independent research needs to be done and their approaches need to be challenged and a HUGE hue and cry raised when you do not seem to feel better after weeks of trying their approach.
2. When life painfully pushes/nudges you in a corner and holds you down, when you are at your worst and feel your worst and behave your worst, when the chips are truly down; you know how many still stand by you. And the answer is painful itself. But I will remember those who did and cherish them forever.
3. Sometimes you really need to only think about yourself.
4. Good guys don't win, not in the end, not in the beginning, not in the middle. So its okay not to be so good to everyone.
5. If you were fortunate to find a good man and he stands by you through all the shitty situations, make sure to hold his hand tightly and never let go even if everything is disappointing and unsatisfying.
6. Some people turn on a dime; courage is very very hard and very rare. Very few people will stand up for the truth and to fight against the bad. Most will find it convenient to shut their mouths and go with the flow.
7. The things/people you thought you couldn't live without; your heart becomes resilient and somehow manages to sustain their void and moves on.
8. What's broken once can be fixed, but can never be as it was before. It is forever changed.
9. Health is wealth - such a generic saying, but never have realized how true it was.
10. Stress and worrying can kill

I have finally handed in my resignation and it has been finally accepted. Many people tried to talk me out of it, told me to hang in there until I can find another job and then leave or asked me to be patient and see if the situation changes. I have no more patience. I have no more energy.

Tomorrow is my last day. Today I got a call from a recruiter asking if I would like to do some consulting. I am not ready. I want to wait. But P still does not have a full time job. He is doing his contract work which is quite boring. I see the sadness and defeat in his eyes. I am not sure if he is putting in enough efforts to find another full time job. I am not sure if he knows what he wants to do in his life next. I am not sure if I have the heart to turn down a sure shot thing and focus on relaxing. I am not sure if I can enjoy my time off with this humongous uncertainty looming on us. I so desperately want someone else to be strong and say I am here, I will take care of you. But then I realize there is no one. No one.

I don't know if this will change. I don't know if it will get better or worse. I don't know why this is happening to me while apparently there are a zillion others who have things go their way. I am too afraid to remind myself that there are also a billion others who have far worse problems than me. I am convinced I will immediately inherit their problems. So I keep quiet. And smile. And try to push all my worries away. And try to not think negatively or positively because how much hope and pep talking can one give oneself, there is a limit! So I don't think. And I keep going on. And some day fate might decide to take pity on us and luck might smile our way.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Keep going, there is light at the end of the tunnel....

My boss is a 37 year old white female from Alabama, very obese (200+ pounds) and single - not that any of these characteristics have anything to do with each other but I am just capturing them for memory sake. She rolls into work at 9.30 in the morning and pretty much stays till 9.30 at night. Her job is the only thing occupying her life and she seems to not be doing a very good job of it so she is stressed and tries to work longer.

I think very few people can be gracious in pain. I know I have lashed out at everyone while going through my saga. Both my child hood best friends will not speak to me that often now because of my lashing out. I miss them so much but realize this is how it is. Partly because of my reaction and then who has time to put up with some one else's tantrums. Local bff is very sweet, very very patient and always seems to say soothing calming positive things without judging or giving advice. Its a blessing. For the folks who have stuck by my side, my husband's uncle and aunt have stepped in big time as my parents. His aunt treats me as her own daughter and is always providing moral support and optimism that this too shall pass.

So back to people in pain, I have realized that unhappy bitter people really cannot handle other people being happy. My boss rarely gives compliments, is extremely moody, does not acknowledge any work done and is mostly constantly frustrated or dissatisfied. I do not do well with frowning scowling dissatisfied people (lets forget that I have carried around extreme sadness and fatigue on my face for many months now), My boss and I did not ever seem to be on the same page and no matter how hard I worked, I could never keep up with her 12 hour work day expectation and fell short, which she very visibly portrayed to me. I have always been a top performer at work and the stress from this job started getting to me. I tried many different things and finally handed in my resignation.

As I am a constantly "exceeds expectation" employee, my resignation created waves - they were embarrassed to let a high performer walk out the door. For the past week, I have had people lecture me on how handing in my resignation is not a solution and how better leadership behavior would have been to tackle the issue and manage around it etc, others have expressed shock over how we will manage paying for private insurance (as P still does not have a full time job) and how I can deal with the risk of being unemployed, higher ups have asked to be patient and look for other jobs within and to continue with the same role until I can find something new. It goes on and on; I wonder if I make snap judgments and give so much advice to anyone? I think I mostly listen patiently without expressing any strong opinions. Need to remember this in the future!

I am looking forward to my last day at work, I am looking forward to sleeping in, resting, soaking up the peace. My right leg has numbness and tingling go up and down intermittently and it freaks me out in the back of my mind. I am terrified of something horrible happening to me after I quit and we are at the mercy of private insurance. Any huge complicated medical condition will finish us financially. But I push these thoughts aside and tell myself I am a healthy girl, this is all due to stress and once I allow myself time to destress and take care of my self, all these symptoms will fade away,

I am afraid I will never find a good job again, I am even more afraid P will never find a job he loves. I am afraid my health will never improve. P and I are both down on our luck and unable to cheer each other up or be positive. We simply have stopped discussing our fears with each other now. I yearn for a strong figure to stand up and say "Dont worry, everything is going to be okay". His aunt is playing that role and even though I would have loved to have P say those words, I am grateful for her presence and for anyone who will say them to me now.

I have decided to only think positive. Only think good things. Keep my face up to the sun and the darkness will have to certainly slowly fade away. Keep walking until I see the end of the tunnel and I am out in the bright sun light where balance is restored in my life yet again. Until then I will remember to be grateful for the good things that I do have and be optimistic for the good to come. Keep those good vibes coming, we need them.

Friday, April 29, 2016

No, I cant yet stop, I need to keep going....

So P had cold feet at the last minute; the thought of having to pay for insurance through your own pocket; the thought of neither of us having a permanent job. I don't blame him. These are all scary thoughts. So I brushed aside all thoughts of quitting my job and taking a break and instead worked a couple of hours on Sunday to make sure I was on top of things before the work week hit.

Every time I feel like now I have reached the bottom, there is a new low past it. I have stopped counting the lows and hoping it is the last thing. I am giving in now. Going with the flow. Not in a good way, one can only withstand so much.

I had my periods for the first time after my D&C. Blood flowed like a bright red downpour along with huge clots for four long days and nights. Just when I was beginning to think if this was serious enough for a hospital visit, it slowed down and stopped. I rejoiced, but for a day, when my right ear, under the ear, right side of the tongue started aching; I went to the doctor; of course the youngest most inexperienced doctor was on duty on Saturday, he calmly told me that I was going to have Bell's palsy - temporary paralysis of the face in which your face supposedly droops down and stays like that for months. It is supposedly temporary which was supposed to cheer me up. Bell's palsy or you might just have sinus pressure - its like saying you could die or not! I drove home in shock and broke down. I told P how I felt hurt that he had stopped looking for permanent jobs now that he had found his contracting gig. That had killed the last of my hopes of ever being able to listen to my body and slow down.

Decongestants, warm compresses and more tears seemed to cure this "palsy". Again I picked myself up, brushed myself off, told myself this was the last bad thing, now it will be all better. Got a new dentist who told me I had been nursing a root canal for long and admired my high threshold for pain. When your entire body is in different levels of pain and discomfort, you really do not pin point the exact locations of pain. I went to my swimming class and came home and took a shower and then realized my right pinkie was involuntarily trailing towards the other fingers.

From the past couple of weeks, I have felt that my right hand is growing weaker, when I am driving, I brush aside thoughts of whether I will lose strength altogether in my arm and have to stop. In the shower that night, I eerily realized how my fingers hurt, my palm aches, my arm hurts. Its like you stop and focus and those parts of your body start lighting up - singing in unison - I hurt, I ache, I am broken.

I am done. P feels awful that he is not able to give me the one thing that I badly need right now, a break. My parents cannot handle any more of my non stop saga, they have their own health issues, they cannot bear their child being ill. BFF #1 has always been able to compartmentalize people/situations/emotions - that's what makes her an excellent physician - she has stopped being in touch. BFF # 2 has no more energy and patience to provide virtual support. These are all people who have walked alongside me for 30+ years; they have let go now and are fading. My birth mother has finally given me what she thought I need - space; she didn't even call me when she was leaving from the US to go back to India. My birth father - what to expect from a man who never was there, is of course not around. My husband has his own demons to fight and feeds off my despair and is hundred times more distressed when I am down.

My grandma used to say this many many many many times during my childhood. You have no one. Except God and your birth mother. I never believed my birth mother who needed support and coddling all her adult life from her own mother could ever be there for me. So I used to tell myself God will stand by me.

I need to know that you are by me. I am ready for that miracle, please send it my way. I have had enough. I cant go on and I cant stop. 

Friday, April 15, 2016

Closing a chapter slowly

Sudden onset of breathing being stopped - in reaction to what, I still do not know - Check
Urgent care visits, painful shot, steroids - Check
Six seven months of feeling like crap, seeing the allergist every couple of weeks and getting prescribed stronger and stronger medicines - Check
New physician completely negligent in review of pulmonary tests - Check
Taking two asthma prescriptions + one rescue inhaler everyday - Check
BFF 1 suddenly dropped out of my life - Check (Yes, she had her own personal shit to take care of!)
Laying in bed evening after evening overcome with guilt at the sound of life going on downstairs - my girls eating dinner, chitchatting about their days, pretending to be asleep when they tiptoed upstairs, crying myself to sleep - Check
Deciding to quit job after obtaining bonus - Check
Mother in law hurting with words at every chance she got - Check
Little S peeing blood and painful UTI because no one paid attention to her when she watched TV all day long during summer when I was away at work - Check
Realizing I have been misdiagnosed with asthma - Check
Realizing I had undetected UTI and upper respiratory infection - Check
P losing his job - Check
Decision to quit job cancelled because in this country you need insurance - Check
Promotion new job begins - Check
Keeping up with stressful job and even more stressful boss - Check
Outpouring of advice, suggestions, stupid suggestions (you should pack a fruit everyday), moronic suggestions, preaching, "How you are an idiot whose life is falling apart and how we can impart wisdom to you because we know so much better" - Check
Putting on 20+ pounds with unnecessary medicines - Check
Getting a D&C done - Check
Doctor forgetting bandages inside me after D&C - Check
Frantic visit to ER to check for signs of infection after bandages left in - Check
ER nurse spilling an entire vial of blood on the floor - Check
P's awful job search with no luck - Check
Baba being diagnosed with Parkinson's - Check
Seeing Mom scared and worried and dejected for the first time ever - Check
Being alternately angry and missing my best friends - Check
Helpless - Check
Overwhelmed - Check

Screw this chain of events and lets reverse time and let me start with quitting my job - Check

I will hand in my resignation next week. Even at the thought of it, I feel like an elephant has finally gotten off of me. Like a thirsty person lost in a desert would guzzle in large tanks of water, I feel that I will soak in the rest and freedom for days.

R is worried if Mommy and Daddy both dont work, does she have to - poor kids burdened by big people issues - Check

But here's hoping that everything from here on are positive things to be checked off. Here's to hoping that the rest of this year will be one filled with peace, restfulness, good health and happiness. Please keep me in your prayers and send me good vibes!! Thanks!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

To my mother in law

I hate what you have turned me into.
I was always known for my compassion, my loving kind nature, my ability to nurture and grow strong relationships, my forgiveness and my empathy, my opening the doors of my house and my heart to whoever wanted to come in. I was known to be a good daughter, friend, wife, mother, colleague, employee.
I hate what you have turned me into.
I am now the evil daughter in law who will not let her poor old in laws move in with their son and his family. Every side has a story and I am too tired to tell mine. So I will accept your blame and will be your daughter and son’s excuse to avoid confrontation and to avoid taking responsibility. I will be burdened by your sad vibes, burdened by the paap of not fulfilling old parent’s golden year wishes.
But its either that or my sanity, and for the sake of my husband and my children, I too will be selfish just like you and work on feeling better and get stronger. And then hopefully one day I will be ready to let you back in, ready to let you knock me down again, just this time, I wont fall down but will walk away unscathed and happy.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

When it rains, it pours...

I have to start again with last year, I have told myself again and again this year that I will let go of last year. And again and again I find myself revisiting it. Unable to let go.

Last year was an awful dark horrible one. I have been fortunate to have two such years and both coincide with discussions of my in laws moving in with us. Common thread! Last year my allergies reached a peak, I was misdiagnosed and plied with increasing dosages of asthma medications, coupled with insane stress at work and add a healthy dose of resentful in laws and my baby's health issues near about broke me. But I slowly put myself together; me and P found each other, we found each other's hands that we had let go just about briefly but we found us again and held tight. I decided to quit my job and take a much needed emotional and physical break. P told me to be prudent and wait for the annual bonus to be paid out and then quit. Everything was all set - Sonia rehab plan. On to peace and serenity and better fitness.

But then kahani mein twist - P lost his job. And I got a promotion. Some days I really think whoever is sitting up there writing our stories must have a mean sense of humor. To give someone what they do not want at that point of time, while taking away something, that someone badly wants at the same time.

So I had to shelve away my fatigue and to soldier on, to try to fling myself as much as I could in this new challenging opportunity, to keep up with a new environment, high expectations and higher stakes. All I want to do right now is to take a break. Wake up and make breakfast for the girls, see them off to school, get some quiet time, revel in the mundane routine of household chores, go to the gym, take an afternoon nap. A break! But not what fate has in store for me.

So I shake myself off, count my blessings, update my LinkedIn profile in a weak attempt to cheer myself up on my career success and try to keep my chin up. And yay, now I also have a husband who is down, who needs cheering up, who needs encouragement and positivism. Who better to do it than the girl who is emotionally drained. I don't mean to sound so bitter. I am so blessed, I am. I am trying not to be ungrateful, I just do not know how to deal with the sharp pain in my chest when I am trying not to think of my back to back day the next day or my aching body and ever present sore throat and the start of spring - marvelous wondrous warm spring and the allergies it will bring.

Last year also saw my parents suddenly grow older. My dad retired and also got diagnosed with Parkinson's about the same time. The man who is my rock has his own battles now. My mother who was an unending source of optimism and positive energy is now overwhelmed with keeping her husband in good spirits. My in laws are colossally bored - my mother in law has her own health issues and they have pretty much nothing going on in their lives. They would still love to move over in a heart beat but with no appreciation for the stress and responsibilities that we have, with jobs, bills and two little people to bring up and no willingness to be adjusting and soothing. So No they haven't moved in yet and yes, they are bitter from far away.

Sometimes life is like a mandatory question paper, you have to solve each problem, there is no option. There is no Oh, I don't feel like tackling this right now, let me just skip and move past. There is no moving past. Everything has to be faced. You can just delay some things over the other that's it.

Many years ago, when I was a little kid growing up, in those days and times when my Grandma would tell me how I had no one in life except God and my birth mother and my Mom would tell me how everyone was born with their own fate and to believe in myself; I would do this thing - look at myself in the mirror in my own eyes and believe. Whatever it was that I wanted. I spoke to myself in tough times and told myself that I will make it through. I tried doing it again, but I cant. I have lost confidence in myself. I cannot imagine a day when my body will not hurt, my mind will be at peace. But this is not who I am. So I need to find my way back to myself. To the strong sweet peaceful S, to be an unending source of positive thoughts and optimism for my little girls. I cannot give them what I had - a birth mother who was broken. Who no longer believed that happy days would come. I have to keep up the faith, I have to believe.

So I will shake myself off and take baby steps - keep at my yoga class, stick to fixed timings at work, try to exercise, try to get all my doctor visits and tests in and to figure out one test at a time what is wrong with my body. And then to forgive myself for crushing the dreams of my in laws to be NRIs and to let them hang out in their air conditioned comfort in India and ponder on did we really start digging a well too late in the game, should we have tried to foster some semblance of an affectionate relationship with our daughter in law from year one.

Forgive myself and let go. Forgive and let go. And keep putting one foot in front of another and soon I will be further along than I ever thought I could walk.