Thursday, June 07, 2018

Pain Management

I have been in such excruciating physical pain for so many months, you'd think we'd be good friends by now. But apparently, this is one entity with which one cannot further friendship no matter how old the acquaintance. Recently, I was reading this book which talked about dealing with pain by first giving it a name. Yes, like Bob. Or if you want to be desi, Rajendraprasad. Why Rajendraprasad you ask? Well, if it's got to have a name it might as well be something grandiose. Though it IS hard to have any degree of affection for a name like Rajendraprasad. Maybe if one affectionately shortened it to, say, Raju? But why must pain have a masculine name at all? Men can be a big pain, 'nuf said. Okay, so Raju it is. When it's being extremely troublesome, one can use the full name, just like I use Raina and Rohan's full name when they are in trouble. So, the first step, naming it. Next, the book recommends that one should talk to it. Like "Hey, Raju, what's up, dude? You may be a nice person at heart, but honestly, I am not in the right frame of mind to discern any good qualities you may have. Actually, for now, it would be much appreciated if you just went away. Shall we try that, huh? You are trying to teach me a lesson, huh? An important life lesson, you say? But you should consider that I may not want to learn it. No, really. I know you want me to be disciplined and do my exercises, and you promise you will go away if I do, but we've tried that before. Sure, you go away for a bit, but a few hours later, you are back with a bang. What you do is give one false hope." Apparently, I can curse at Raju. I can yell. I can be angry. It just seems silly though. It just makes me feel silly. So the end result is supposed to be that Raju and I learn to deal with each other, because we are kind of part of the same whole (you knew that, right?). We slowly become friends. I tried, I really did. I worked with Raju. Only to be back to square one many months later. This isn't true friendship, this is toxic. But what else do I have? Pain can be such an isolating experience. People who love you pat your back, hold your hand, feel terrible for you. You understand they are trying to reach you to comfort you. And all that does is fill your eyes with tears of frustration and self-pity. Why me? my lips tremble. Why can't this just end? When will it? Giving your pain a name is supposed to make you feel less alone. Here's this entity that is with you always. Might as well get to know it, work with it, to reach a better place. That way, you don't relinquish control to pain. You fight, but you don't surrender. You work together, a team. You are no longer helpless. Theoretically. Practically, when you find yourself back at square one, you just want to give up. But that doesn't work because your body doesn't do what you want. It doesn't care what you want. So you dust yourself off and start over. Here goes. "Hello, Raju."

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Gearing Up

Getting ready for yet another trip to India. Gearing up with more than the usual gifts of clothes and chocolates. There's knee braces, back braces, Poises. Gearing up physically and mentally to help out as much as I can. Shoring some emotional strength. It's going to be different this time. The parents and in-laws are aging. Hoping this summer with their grandchildren and daughter home, their loads lighten a bit, they smile more, their aches ease. At least for a little while, they are distracted from the seemingly endless cycle of pain. Bas thodi der ke liye. Bas thodi der hi sahi. And maybe my sense of helplessness will lessen. Bas thodi der ke liye.

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Age is but a number

...which means, yup, I had a milestone birthday this year. I am all of 4-0 now. So, I did all the stuff everyone says you should do when you turn 40. I went out with my girlfriends on a microbrewery tour. My hubby arranged a wonderful couples massage in wonderful surroundings, with champagne and oysters after. And then I went out again with some other girlfriends. I did some wild stuff. More celebrations are due -- heck why not celebrate all year? I am guessing all this partying is supposed to drown out the dreadful fact that I was turning 40. The middle age is here. Or maybe it should be called the Age when the Middle goes. The wrinkles are here to stay. The breasts are heading kneewards. The hair is getting grayer. You get a birthday card from your daughter assuring you that you don't look as old as you are. You feel warm at night and wonder if menopause is starting early. But hey, did I care? Well, maybe a wee bit. Maybe I felt that I should care, and by not caring, I was violating one of those laws of the Sisterhood of the 40-Year-Olds. But mostly, I was just too busy having fun to care. 40 is just a number, right? Today I attended a friend's birthday brunch. She'd turned 40 a couple years ago. My friend had obviously botoxed her face recently - hush hush. There was all this talk of liposuction, getting rid of belly fat, how 40 was the new 30. And I felt like a complete wide-eyed idiot, part repulsed, part fascinated. Is this what it takes to belong to the Sisterhood? Botox and lipo and plastic this and that? No more carbs, just drink coffee? I can't be the only one who doesn't think 40 is the new 30. I am not sure I WANT 40 to be the new 30. Gosh, at 30 I had just become a first time mom. I don't want to relive those newborn years. Sure, no one wants to be overweight. And everyone dyes their hair. Maybe lipo is the new hair dye, and botox is the new yoga. Maybe everyone just has different thresholds for this kind of stuff, and it's back to live and let live, the evergreen philosophy. Maybe I just want to enjoy being 40 and all that it entails. Hopefully, no warts. I draw the line at warts.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Waxing philosophical

For 10 years, one man, along with his brothers, kidnapped and kept captive 3 women in his home. Two of them were girls, really -- 14 and 16. A few days ago, one of them broke free and helped the others get out. The story is making headlines. News accounts say there is a reason why they aren't showing pictures of all 3 women. They were found severely malnourished, but that's probably not the reason why. One unnamed source described the basement where the girls were kept most of the time, tied in "stress positions," dog leashes hanging from the ceiling, chains on the walls. The source said that when Ariel Castro left the house for a longer period of time, he would duct tape the girls' faces, even their eyes, leaving only room for them to breathe. When he would return, he would just rip the duct tape off, taking out skin and hair. Castro would starve them, then eat in front of them, or feed one in front of the others. Apparently one girl was treated slightly better and allowed to live upstairs. Maybe because she became the mother of his 6-year-old girl. The others must have gotten pregnant too. By news accounts, they were kicked repeatedly to induce miscarriages. In this horror story, one thing I wonder: How many times in those long 10 years did those women wish themselves dead? And how do you come back to life after this experience? And then I think about the rest of us women, some so much luckier than others, living our humdrum lives, concerned about kids' schedules, what to wear to work, what to make for dinner. Worrying from paycheck to paycheck. Envying others who are thinner, prettier, better dressed. Working hard towards a goal or drifting through life looking for a goal. Going on holidays. Laughing, talking with family and friends. Living. And I think about our need to believe that we are so much more than animals. But we aren't, we aren't. And I wonder about a god, how so many people need to believe he or she exists, that we are being looked after, unto each life a little rain must fall, all our little tragedies will be overcome, and everything will be okay. Nothing is going to be okay for those three women. And there is no god.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Meet Ziggy

As if life wasn't crazy enough, early 2012 brought with it a new kid. Meet Ziggy The Dog.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

That's family for you

About three hours ago, I dropped off P at the airport from where he's going to head to yet another conference. We all went for the drop off, dog included. Yup, there's a dog now chez Muser but that's news for another post. Five minutes after, Rain starts to cry because she's missing daddy. "Raina, we just dropped him off," I said, disbelievingly. "Yes, but I miss him! It's going to take him so long to get back home! One week!" "Hardly a week," I protested. Man will be back on Wednesday. "That's a long time, right sister?" chimed in Rohan. "A hundred million HOURS long!" agreed Miss Drama Queen. Two hours after, we're back to discussing what Daddy must be doing now. "If he was home now, he would be on the computer or eating dinner with us," Raina said wistfully. "He must have boarded the plane now," I said. Three hours after drop off, the kids are in bed. I think of all I can do now -- watch the movie P never wanted to see, read until bedtime, talk to those friends I never have time to call. Instead, I find myself looking at the clock. He must be near LA now, I think. And miss him so bad, I blog about him instead. What a sad bunch we are without Daddy.

Friday, June 08, 2012