Showing posts with label illness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label illness. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The 'happy party'

So its been a while since I posted here last. Not counting the Punekar posts which were written some time back and which I decided to put up just to fill in the increasingly growing gap between posts. The last three months have been far from rosy and for a while I had just given up on everything, blogging included. It all started with P falling ill, followed in close succession by Nikki, which I blogged about here. Just when life seemed to be limping back to normal and things were getting back on track, Nikki fell ill again. Except that this time round it wasn't the routine fall ill- go to the doctor-take a dose of antibiotics jig that we had kind of gotten used to, given the number of times she's been unwell ever since she started playschool. No, what happened this time round made the whole go to the doctor- take antibiotics routine seem like a faraway, rosy dream. It was a complete nightmare from the word go, comprising a week's stay in the hospital, two days of which were spent in the ICU. My first and only visit to a hospital before this was when Nikki was born and that was something I had prepped for, for over a year. This time round it was unexpected and scarily so. Its been well over a month, nearly two, since this happened but even now just the thought of that hospital stay gives me nightmares. The only good thing that came of the entire episode, even though I wouldn't have thought such a thing possible at the time, was that the short, harrowing hospital stay helped me get a lot of things in perspective. They say illness always gives you a new, sometimes improved perspective on life. Very true in my case. This episode happened at a time when I certainly needed some perspective and I got it by the cartloads. And cliched as it may sound, I think somewhere it has left me a wiser person. I can handle any shit Mr Murphy (he seems rather fond of me) chooses to throw my way now. Having said that, an illness of this magnitude for Nikki is certainly not something I want to undergo ever again. I would much rather happily go under a truck. Even a multitude of trucks. Its one thing to be ill yourself or even watch another adult suffer. Its excruciatingly difficult when its your young child and its not something I think I have the fortitude to bear again. Food for thought that, considering I've always considered myself to be a rather strong person otherwise, but this episode left me shattered. For weeks after we'd got back home and even after Nikki was back to her usual naughty little chatterbox self, I was moping around wallowing in self pity, feeling quite fed up with life.

Life, meanwhile, went about her business with nary a care as she is wont to. The maid vanished into thin air a few days after we got back from the hospital without so much as a by-your-leave. The dhobi continued to delight with burnt shirts and mysteriously stained collars. The people who live on the floor right above us carried on with their all year round home renovation program which gives one the constant impression of living under either a bowling alley or a hammer wielder with a particularly nasty temper, or on some particularly good days, both. All delightful little reminders that the show must go on and you really have no choice but to pull up your socks and get on with it. And eventually, time will heal all wounds even if it doesn't necessarily erase all memories, and life will seem less miserable even with the bais who don't show up and the errant dhobis. (I draw the line at the people on top though, they really are a a royal pain.)

In other news, in all of this general chaos and turmoil, my beloved book was launched. I really couldn't give it the attention or the time it deserved, much less blog about it but I hope to be able to do that now. All in all, it has been around for a couple of months now and by the grace of God its doing well. The reviews have been very encouraging, its made it to the Landmark best-seller list two weeks in a row(Woo Hoo!) and readers have written in to me with very ego boosting kind of stuff which could have potentially gone to my head if it hadn't been for the able support of my family who've taken it upon themselves to keep me grounded.In their own special ways, of course. A couple of months ago when the book had just been launched, an impromptu get-together was organized at my aunt's home. "Read from the book!" someone shouted.
I blushingly obliged. Surrounded by a gaggle of aunts and cousins, heart thumping so hard in my mouth I could barely get the words out, I nervously read from what I hoped was one of the funnier bits in the book. A frozen silence ensued. Baffled looks were exchanged.
"Erm, are we supposed to laugh now? That was the funny bit was it?" inquired a bewildered voice.
Yep, don't think there's any danger of my developing a swollen head anytime soon. They help me stay grounded, my family, they do.

I was chatting with my mum on the phone about the last three months the other day and I told her I was fed up with all the worrying and the fretting and that 'the pity party was over'.
"What is a pity party Mama?" chirped an inquisitive little voice at my elbow.
"Umm, a pity party is when you're feeling sad Nikks. But Mama has decided not to feel sad anymore."
"So Mama will be happy now? Have a happy party?"
And a happy party it will be. Let the good times roll.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Paranoia and chocolate cake

The title for this post is fully inspired by a book I read many years ago; the delightfully titled 'Prison and Chocolate Cake' by Nayantara Sahgal. Much like the author of the book, who came to associate chocolate cake with prison because of an incident in her childhood, over the last month and a half I've developed a morbid sort of paranoia for chocolate cake myself. It all started with a trip to Nikki's pediatrician around the same time, when I decided that waiting for the doctor in his clinic was probably not such a good idea given that Nikki, who now recognizes the doctor's clinic rather well and associates it with jabs and other unpleasant things, is given to start bawling her head off anytime we're near it. There's a cheery looking cake shop right under the doctor's clinic, specializing in chocolate cakes, so I decided to wait there instead and distract Nikki with the assorted goodies on display till the doctor showed up. It seemed like a good idea then, but thanks to a series of illnesses that saw us going back to the doctor again and again and, would you believe it, yet again and then a few more times, beyond a point that cheery cake shop just made me want to barf. There's something quite tragic about sitting in what should be, and is for other people, a happy place, a place where they come to treat themselves, when all you can think of is that next report from the pathology lab or what the doctor is going to say and whether your poor little sick child is going to have to take another dose of nasty antibiotics. Of course Nikki was quick to associate the cake shop with the doctor soon enough and the whole thing just blew up in my face, so I was back to waiting at the clinic again.

Anyway, so we've been battling a series of illnesses over the last month and a half. Nothing major, but its just been one thing after the other. Poor little Nikki was the worst hit, because she also ended up missing a lot of playschool and then when she was fully recovered she didn't want to go back. Anyway things are back on track now and life is slowly limping back to normal, even though the slightest sneeze, or the hint of a cough is enough to make me start shaking like an aspen. Oddly enough the advent of any new illness was always on a weekend. By the end of it I had become so paranoid, I had come pretty close to sitting in the prayer room fingering beads each time a fresh Friday dawned.

In the meantime, life went on as usual as it is wont to, and even though I realize I've been painting a pretty gloomy picture (you always knew where Nikki gets her drama queen genes from, didn't you?)there have been other cheerful things that have been happening as well. For one, my book finally saw the light of day, erm, bookstores and its already been around for nearly a month now. The initial response has been pretty encouraging and lets just say I don't have to spend the rest of my life sniveling under that cover anymore. You can read some of the reviews here, and I will post other updates soon. Have any of you had a chance to read it? Let me know what you think!

In other news, all this illness made me re-think my own fitness levels and I realized a drastic pulling-up-of-the-socks was in order. Too many late nights, cheese loaded pizza binges and not enough working out was simply not on anymore. Since it had mainly been Nikki and P who were ill, and I was the sole caregiver, I'd also begun to feel rather Florence Nightingale-ish what with all the late night bedside vigils and administering of medicines. With cries of 'I must be a hundred percent fit! I owe it to my family!' ringing in my mind, I threw myself on the treadmill in a bout of misplaced zeal and began to workout like I was training for a marathon. The tryst with fitness lasted only a couple of days because in my enthusiasm to nullify many weeks of living slothfully in just a few days, I ended up straining a muscle and found myself laid up in bed for a change. Thankfully both P & Nikki were well on their way to recovery by then so no major harm done, except to my ego and my dreams of being super fit. Just when I had pretty much memorized the 'how to max your treadmill workout' primer, the doctor has advised me to, in fact, stay as far away from the treadmill as possible. Oh well, at least I'll have more time to blog.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Leftovers from catching up

Life is slowly limping back to normal in the P-new mum- Nikki household. Nikki's tummy infection has finally settled down, S is back from her month long vacation and I've even managed to find part time help who actually gets some work done as opposed to skipping around the house with a broom and duster before calling it a day. I hadn't blogged about Nikki's tummy bug earlier because quite frankly it had scared the living daylights out of me. It began with a vicious attack of diarrhea and a horrible rash which made nappy changes a nightmare, and even though we managed to get these under control soon enough, the infection itself persisted for nearly a month as revealed by ongoing stool tests. As a result of this poor Nikki was on a rather restricted diet for a very long time though we are gradually resuming a regular diet now. She's still lactose intolerant though so its a continuation of soy milk disguised in fruit smoothies and soups, since its undisguised version tends to bring out the mutinous streak in Nikki. (As you can imagine, I have been subjected to way more than my share of "Kitni kamzor (how I HATE that word) hai!" comments this last month than I could possibly care for. Aaaaaargghh!)

What worries me more than the illness itself, even though I would be quite happy to never encounter it again, is the apparent ease with which it can be picked up. "Oh happens to kids all the time!" was a frequent refrain I heard from both the ped as well as the chappie at the pathology lab where we went for the stool tests. According to the ped the infection is often picked up due to teething which makes babies rather non-discriminating when shoving stuff in their little mouths or as a result of eating raw food like salads or outside food which may not have been hygienically prepared. Now I'm very careful, okay fine, ultra paranoid, when it comes to Nikki's food but there's little I can do about the stuff she puts in her mouth. She has a particular fancy for scouring the house for dirt, finding it in the most unthinkable places (the nearly invisible crevice between the grooves of the balcony sliding doors anyone?) and then sucking on her dirty little digits with joyful relish. Then there's the problem of friends and relatives who come over and like to feed her all sorts of stuff, never mind whether I approve of it or not. In the month leading up to Nikki's birthday our home was full of guests and I was going nuts between trying to maintain some semblance of control between what was going inside Nikki's mouth what with her own explorations (Ooh blob of slime! Wonder what it tastes like?) and what people were trying to sneakily feed her (this is a post for another day, I think!). Since I'm hoping that this particular tummy bug never makes an appearance again, I need to figure this one out fast. Suggestions and advice are most welcome (Read as SOS!!! Help me please!)

Sometime back I had got this award from Buzz, I'd now like to pass it on to some of my very special blog buddies; women whom I've never met but whose blogs I enjoy reading immensely and with whom I've connected on so many levels, albeit virtually. This is for you MRC, Aneela, Buzz, Divs, Mindful Meanderer, Priyanka, The Soul of Alec Smart and Momo's Ma. I had ALSO *ahem* got another award (whoop, whoop, whoop!!) from Shruti, and here it is proudly displayed!

Er, well actually I think that may be two awards so whoop, whoop, whoop once again!!!

I've also been thinking for sometime now of doing something a little different with my blogger template, you know, jazzing it up a bit. So do drop me a line if you know anybody who might be willing to take design requests or know of even any online resources that will enable even creatively and technologically challenged souls such as yours truly to get a spot of designing done, will you?

P was out of town for the day yesterday and I hadn't made any plans, so the weekend got off to a rather uneventful start. S had the day off as well so it was just Nikki and me left to our own devices. We spent the morning doing a lot of reading; I had picked up a few books for Nikki last weekend and she seems to be turning into quite the little bookworm :) Her current all time favorite is Sleep Tight Bunny, so it was demands for that all morning. In the afternoon it was a trip to the supermarket and the park followed by some water play in her baby inflatable pool (she's become a total water baby ever since P's little experiment). In the evening we went for a walk and I took her to a new park near our house where there's a massive sandpit. It was Nikki's first time in the sand, barring the Goa trip where she'd been too little to play properly in it. At first she ventured in very gingerly, looking quite disgusted at this grainy stuff that was sticking and slipping from her fingers all at once and brushing her hands on her clothes or dusting them off every now and then, but soon she got quite comfortable and was scooting around flinging sand here and there and destroying the sand castles I was trying to build for her. She ended up having so much fun she didn't want to leave but she got tired soon after having hardly slept during the day, so it was home for a relaxing bath, dinner and then bedtime.
I found myself at a loose end once Nikks was alseep so I popped some Wild Honey, from this album, into the music system and cooked a dinner of Sanjeev Kapoor's chicken meat loaf and a rocket and lettuce salad for dinner for P & I. The cable guy was beaming Housefull, and I remembered reading good reviews in the papers so we decided to check it out over dinner. Now I am not the most discerning of critics anymore as movies go; the long hiatus from movie watching that early mommyhood got with it as well as the supreme levels of patience I have developed post Nikki, normally ensure that I enjoy pretty much everything that I watch these days. I even LIKED Dostana for example, so that gives you a pretty good picture doesn't it? But even I had to draw the line at this Housefull trash, I mean really, what were they thinking?! I'm going to need all of today to recover!