Monday, February 26, 2007

Being 34

You know, for the longest time, i was 26. Every year, i celebrated the anniversary of my 26th birthday. But then Gitanjali came along when i turned 30, and it was a little bit difficult to ignore that fact. So anyway, i'm 34.

And 34 has meant the following:

1. under eye cream. Ye Gods! i am old to need this, but i do. i actually have actual lines under my actual eyes. Although the other day, a door to door surveyer turned up at my place, and asked me whether my mother was in. When i (being a bit blur as usual) said no, she wasn't in, he wanted to speak to some other adult on the premises, so either this guy was a mind reader who knew that mentally i'm about 16, or i just look 16 despite the actual lines under my actual eyes... or he was visually challenged (which he was not, since he was able to write the answers i gave him (obviously after all that i had to entertain him and asnwer his questions...)

2. i have PMS. AAaaaarggghh!!! it just suddenly turned up. i never had it, and now i do. Every month for about 2 days, i get all melancholy. i'm down and it feels like the world is collapsing, and i have to cry and cry for every small thing. Horrible. I think i only realised it because its so unlike me to be depressed, and i was so down this month just before i got my menses. Strange that age can do that to you, but there you are.

3. I am slighly obsessive compulsive (OC). Really. and i've just realised this. When i say i'm OC, i mean that when i'm doing something, i can't stop and do something else. Don't get me wrong. i'm the Queen of Multi Tasking. I can sit in a trial, and sms at the same time. i read a submission, answer the phone, and give an opinion to one of my associates at the same time as i'm having lunch. Multi Task is what i do best. But let's say i'm soaping the dishes, and you ring my doorbell, i will be unable to rinse off and answer the door. i have to finish soaping the dishes, rinse my hand, then answer the door.

The other day, Sham, inarah and alysha had dropped by for a visit. The kids were playing, and had dropped crumbs all over. i was sweeping up, when Gitanjali ran and fell. My hands were dirty, and Sham was nearest, so she was consoling G. i had to wash my hand before i went to G, and even then, as i approached G, i noticed some crumbs on the floor. i had to stop, pick up the crumbs and only then could i go to my daughter, who was wailing away in pain! Psychotic of me, but its things like this that have made me realise i am OC. it's not only to do with cleaning either. Lots of other things have me obsessing. Too many to list now, but anyway, 34 has done this to me...

Strange but True

Infallibility

I think that one of the terrible things that you have to deal with as a grown up, is that your parents are not infallible. That they are vulnerable. That they can probably die, just like other people.

My dad was driving me somewhere the other day, and telling me of how he plans to sell his Volve, b'cos he no longer trusts his driving. He said he was getting older and that his spatial judgment was getting bad, and i'm sitting in his car, and trying so hard not to listen to him... you know mentally i had my hands over my ears and singing "La, la, la, la" the way we do when we are kids and we don't want to listen to that kid over there calling you names

i just couldn't deal with it. i mean he's Super Appa. My dad. He can do anything. How can he not be able to drive a Volvo? so anyway, i don't really want to ever have to deal with it. i just want him to always be able to do everything fabulously, you know?

Three weeks ago my mum developed some terrible leg pains, and convinced herself she was dying - and she refused to let anyone take her to the doctor. i remember telling my colleagues at work this, and they were shocked at me - they kept saying "how can you just let her not seek treatment? what if there's something terribly wrong and you could treat it? - and whilst all that makes sense, here's the thing... it's my mum. what can happen to her? she is indestructable, virtually. she's not going to die.
and while logically, i know that of course such things (death etc) can happen to everyone (theoretically), i can't really reconcile it with my parents... Hope i don't even have to go think about it for a long long long time...

Anyway her leg pain went away. She went online and checked up her symptoms, and did some self treatment. For my mom, anything found on the net, is better than an actual doctor telling her the same time...

In any event, my mom has made me promise that if something were to happen to her, e.g she collapsed or something, and she was not in possession of her faculties, i am to refuse all invasive medical interference on her behalf. she doesn't want to have a bypass, or her leg amputated or something. Give me the dignity of death, she said. So there. not really negligent daughter after all.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Holiday in KL








I've finally got the internet back after 1 week of crossed wires and no service, and it feels wonderful. we stayed back in Kl during the Chines New Year Hols (Gong Xi Fa Cai! everyone) and it was blissful. The roads, oh i could write an ode to the roads in KL during Chinese New Year. Such beauty i have not seen in a long while...
Sham and i took the kids to the Lake Garden park on Saturday, and on Monday, we took them swimming. Simply joy



These are pictures of them on the revolving swing





ice cream on the park tram. what better way to spend a sunny day?




!

Photos of us in the pool and the jacuzzi

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

congenital heart defect day

Sham told me today, that it is congenital heart defect (CHD) day.
A little more than a year ago, this would have meant nothing to me.

400 days ago, i would have told you that CHD happens to other people.

57 weeks ago, we hadn't even thought of a name for inarah yet.

in this past year, i've been through several phases in dealing with inarah's CHD.

at one point, i never spoke about it. i tried to forget it, and pretended she was and is perfectly normal. i could never speak to sham about my own fears for her as well, because i was afraid i would make her cry, and i can't bear it when she cries - it breaks my heart. i guess this is because she has always been the stronger one. i'm the zany nut. she is the stabilising factor. she feeds me when i'm hungry and rescues me when i need rescuing.

i don't ever remember rescuing her - or for that matter of her ever needing rescuing. she is my rock.

i remember once when i was chambering, i had taken a huge bag full of original documents home to work on it overnight. i took a bus home, and happily got off the bus - leaving behind this bag!!!!

i walked halfway home, then realised my hand was quite free. thought about it for a while (show's u that even goddesses can be bimbos), then had a heart attack as i realise i had left this entire bag with all the original documents (the client's only copy of the documents) on some minibus. i dithered on that road - walked a few steps back and a few steps forward, in some kind of bizarre dance while my brain turned to jelly. i had visions of my budding legal career being flushed down the toilet, and further visions in which i was made bankrupt after the client sued me for negligence... i was already crying by the time i called sham. in between my tears, i managed to tell her the story - and she came! she caught a bus and actually came to this bus stop to hold me and wait with me to check every bus that went past. we found that bag eventually, sitting exactly where i had left it - but to this day, the horror of that day is still fresh in my mind, which usually is rather like a sieve...

so. she is my hero. and heroes are not allowed to cry.

but suddenly we have this baby - and she is wonderful. she is gummy and huggy and beautiful. she laughs and smiles. she's just adorable and its true, i do forget that she has CHD.

but then, i now realise that just because i don't think about it and i don't talk about it - it means that one day we will wake up, and take her for a check up, and the doctor will scratch his head, and say "Folks, its a miracle. she's cured. she doesn't need the surgery after all."

i have to confess that i had a sort of fantasy that in fact, this was going to happen, because after all it's us. things like this don't happen to us... but they do. and it has. and it won't happen that way. and that is scary to me for all sorts of reasons, that are scary to even think about...

so anyway, i thought this poem is wonderful, because it's so true.



Somewhere...someplace... today...
A family is waiting to hear...
Is something wrong with their baby?
The answers aren't quite clear...
This family has entered an unwanted world...
And they just don't know what to expect...
Somewhere...someplace... today
They first heard the words: heart defect.
And how they hoped this was not true...
And thought... this cannot be...
I too... know just how this feels...
For one day...this was me.

Somewhere...someplace...today...
And how they hoped this was not true...
And thought... this cannot be...
I too... know just how this feels...
For one day...this was me.
Somewhere...someplace...today...
A man and a woman embrace...
Their baby is in surgery...
They long to see her face...
They haven't got to hold her yet...
Without...a cord or line...
They pace the room awaiting news...
And hope she'll be just fine.
Prayers fill this busy waiting room...
And mom and dad are scared...

Somewhere...someplace..today...
The tiniest hearts are repaired.
Somewhere...someplace...today...
A child's growing fast...
Smiling,laughing,thriving...
His mom thinks...can this last?
It's almost easy...to forget...
That anything is wrong...
Somewhere...someplace..today...
Her child seems so strong.

Somewhere...someplace... today...
A little boy fights...just to live
A father holds his tiny hand...
His love...all he can give...
The doctor's are all baffled...
They fear that he might die...

Somewhere...someplace...today...
A family says goodbye...
Somewhere...someplace...each year..
More than 40,000 families will see...
What it means...when something's wrong...
They'll face a CHD.
Today...for just a moment...
Stop...remember...reflect...
Make time to tell someone you know...
"I've been changed by a heart defect".

Author - Stephanie Husted


I've been that person holding a baby in a waiting room, hoping the doctor will say, it's just a false alarm - she's not a blue baby. And i've been that person who had to listen to the doctor say that she has CHD.

so: i've been changed by a heart defect.