Category Archives: Update

The Sham Graduation

Do you know any graduate students in the United States of America? Perhaps the right question should be do you know any graduate student in USA enrolled in a premier institution who is pursuing a master’s degree, a PhD degree and who is going back into residency because despite the shouting from the rooftops about her love for research is essentially a doctor at heart.

If not, you have found yourself in the right place. So let me tell you about my Master’s graduation ceremony. It was my first and it was splendid. Like the first times generally are. Husband by my side, friends to cheer me on I had a moment where I wished my parents would be there to savor the moment. But that was it. It was only that moment. My name was called, I walked up to the stairs, I was hooded, congratulated, hugged called a super star, I collected my degree… er…. well that’s where the sham comes in.. more on that later.. took a professional photograph, walked of the stage, met a few of my faculty, got called the best of the lot, had me beaming, my husband beaming, lots of hugs and photographs later, I was home.

Back to my reality, I have a master’s thesis pending, a Phd proposal pending, a Phd qualifier in less than 6 weeks, a trip to Europe for 10 days (very excited but at such a bad time), and then the start to residency on July 1st. So what exactly did my degree say- It said it was an I-Owe-You! It was for all of us as our degrees will be mailed out at a later date. Mine is contingent to my thesis submission. I am no where close to being done. It will get done, I am confident. Just not yet.

In my mind, I am gunning for the PhD. That day I will ensure my mother will be there for my big day. I will let some of my closest friends know too. Perhaps that day I could truly walk tall and proud and finally feel accomplished.

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Monday Madness

Yes I have started using circulating hashtags as my blog post titles. I have absolutely no creative juices flowing. Just life happening to me and happening very fast.

We are moving from our one bedroom apartment to a two bedroom apartment. We had planned this move in time for the baby. We knew our mothers would come visit us once the baby was born and we thought a bigger place would be a good idea. Our baby is long gone but we decided to move anyway. So if any of you need a place to stay in New York city, we have an extra bedroom. Mixed feelings at this time are an understatement. I am doing my best to be excited about the change.

I have committed to writing my master’s thesis in the next 6 weeks. With the move, doctor’s follow-ups, current courses, and new job search, this is an added stress I didn’t need. But I have it and I don’t plan to back down.

My weight loss/health issues are taking a back seat. This bums me out the most but hope to get back on track. If I have learned anything in life, our health/lifestyle is the only thing we have control over. If you are anything like me, then you like that control and you really shouldn’t let go of it.

I have so much buzzing in my head these days. The US election for one, about which I want to write my thoughts on. So much is being said and written about it already, that I don’t want to add to the noise. Then again my thoughts matter so I hope I will. I want to go another vacation before the year ends, get a new job, get the master’s thesis written and get back to baby making plans. More on that another time.

How are all of you doing this Monday evening?

 

 

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Is this really the end?

When I got hospitalized my mother cancelled her surgery which was to be in less than a day and flew to the US. Of course that caused a bit of a panic in the family. Since I have been away from family and friends for almost 20 years now, I didn’t want a flurry of activity on Facebook.  Yes I write about myself and my life on a public forum but I consider myself an extremely private person. Funny how that works. There was no way I would indulge in personal information exchange on Facebook, by people I don’t really consider close to me.

Well if you didn’t get the drift, this post is about Facebook. Or the lack thereof. So I deactivated my account. It is a huge step for me

I consider myself a Facebook addict. I got my parents an account.. That is how much I believed in the power of Facebook. I spent 8 months of my life raising awareness on cancer and raise money for the American Cancer Society- On Facebook. I loved the fact that I wouldn’t miss anyone’s birthday and nothing gives me more pleasure than making someone happy on their birthday! And now I know why. It is a big deal to be born. You could be perfectly normal and you can still be lost. So if you made it into this world, you need to be celebrated.

Sometime last year I hit a 1000 friends. The number of social media friends I have is very small. Like 5 perhaps. It has taken me years to get to that level of opening up. So everyone else are people I know in person. For sometime now, I started to realize that people do not even thank me for the yearly birthday wishes. There was absolutely no communication. The notification feeds on Facebook wall, just keeps me bored and forces me to judge people in ways I don’t want to. I find people just becoming haters, intolerant and disgruntled. Not exactly the point of Facebook if you ask me.

Even after I deactivated my account, my husband reported that he could still see my page. So only I wasn’t looking at my account but everyone else could.  It’s been more than 3 weeks and I haven’t missed it one bit. My husband (I am responsible for his account as well) tries once in a while to get me back to it. For now I am staying away. I am little concerned about missing 209 wishes on Facebook on my birthday which is less than 6 weeks away. But then really it is the 10/12 people who care about my birthday anyway. Those are the only people that matter to me too.

So here I am wondering am I finally over my Facebook addiction? Has anyone of you got off Facebook? What was your experience?

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Friday fives

Five things that don’t help when you have just lost a 6 month fetus!

1. Well wishers tip toeing around you. They want to say something “right”. But they have absolutely no clue what to say. There is no right or wrong. We lost a child. Or the potential of being a real person. We lost our dreams and hopes and aspirations. We lost our own potential. It’s like doing everything you could to get a job, you go through 6 rounds of interviews. In your gut you think you got it this time. Why would you get to the 6th round of it wasn’t meant to be. And yet the job goes to another candidate. Nothing against the other candidate. But why not me? So yeah. There is no “right” thing to say. But say something. It’s a freaking huge loss. Don’t hide behind political correctness. 
2. People telling you, it wasn’t meant to be. Something better is in store for you. This I feel is the worst. This is probably the most true, but it’s also the worst thing to tell a would be mother. It seems like getting pregnant isn’t what it used to be. You know two people have awkward sex at the back of the car and wham! Positive test. It takes months and years of trying, doctors visits, medical treatments, artificial insemination/fertilizations yada-yaad-ya. And even then there are no guarantees. Then the ensuing pregnancy related issues of nausea, taste changes, gi upsets, mood swings, etc etc. Accompanied by doctors visits, injections, tests and more tests. When finally things settle and you start to feel the slightest hint of life inside -those sweet kicks. Then to lose a child. You got to be freaking kidding me. Something better??? Why wasn’t this it? I was so ready to put it all behind me. 
3. Everyone around you seems to be getting pregnant and having healthy babies. How does that happen??? Why didn’t I get my success story? Some of my friends are having their second child. When they want that child- like on demand. And here it took me 16 months to get pregnant that too with help. I want to know what they are doing differently. 
4. Your mom comes to your rescue. I’m sure women like their mums to be around. The whole mother-daughter relationship, understanding, bonds of love, etc. I don’t particularly relate to that. I have a pretty kickass mom. She was on a 15 hour flight to the US within 4 hours of being told, that I was taken to the hospital. She felt rightly so that we would need her. And we do. Just to have another human being, the most well meaning, caring, fabulous cook of an awesome person that she is. However, she insists on daily massages, an agarbatti to the gods, three meals, cheerful conversations and ice cream after every meal. I feel like I need to indulge in her before she loses her shit. She is barely holding it together being brave and strong for her daughter. But I see the pain she feels for her little girl in her eyes. 
5. Having the best husband/ partner in life. If the man you lost a baby with was a bit of a scumbag, then you could throw a tantrum, stay in a bad mood, eat what you wanted to and shut him out of your life. Just to make sense of what life threw at you. But when you see relief intermixed with fear in the eyes of your man as you get wheeled out of the OR, feeling empty and defeated rather than pain and disappointment, you can’t push your rock away. You want to hold them and grieve your loss together. Sometimes you just don’t know how. We make promises of staying strong together. We tell each other we love each other. We promise we won’t give up. We hope to learn and grow from this experience. We will. Yet I know we both are struggling with the pain we each feel our ourselves and for each other. 

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5 months down, 7 more to go.

What is this year going to mean for me, I often ask myself. Do you? I often hold a mirror to see what I have become. Life happens to all of us, but what do we do about it? How do we let is shape us?  I don’t always like what I see in the mirror, but I tell myself things will get better. To keep myself accountable, I made a list of things I wanted to achieve by the end of this year.

The ones in bold are what I haven’t yet worked on but I need/want to rectify that. So here I am, making myself accountable on my blog.

  • Wake up early(6am-ish), exercise, shower, light an aggarbatti at the home
  • Drink more water, 10K steps daily at a minimum
  • Read the newspaper daily, not monthly
  • Complete Master’s thesis
  • Complete all pending research papers
  • Write at least one paper every 3 months
  • Network on a daily basis
  • Get a better job
  • Log in a daily thought
  • Learn to bake bread, try new recipes, try new cuisines- Tried a few Thai Dishes
  • Meal prep weekly, weigh my food, log food, water and exercise diligently
  • Weight training, swimming, yoga to be incorporated in weekly routines
  • Read articles, books that don’t include school work, research articles, and news.
  • Blog/Instagram/ Write reviews regularly. Make a schedule and stick with it.
  • Limit online/social activity: Do it daily but restrict the number of hours on it
  • Sort out pending paper work from last year
  • Continue and increase recycling- remember almost everything can be recycled
  • Continue and do better with minimalistic living
  • Let go of people, places, ideas and thoughts that don’t want to stay
  • Remember that money saved is money earned
  • Invest in property: May not happen this year
  • Travel to a destination outside of the US
  • Learn Spanish-this is the year
  • Go skating this year-maybe – I went rock climibing instead.
  • Learn to dance -maybe

I know what some of you may say. Well I’ve got almost 50% of my list and we are not even done with half the year. Sometimes though to get what you want to do, you have to work on things every day of your life until you can finally bear fruits.. sometimes those very things mean much more than others.

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Happy Hump day.

The brain is very fuzzy this morning. Complete lack of clarity does not help when the to do list begs to run out of the page you are trying to jot down the to-do list. I don’t know where to start, where to keep going, where to restart, what to let go and what to prioritize.

Being a student/resident/career woman is tough when married. Technically, I don’t get asked to chose. I am free to do whatever I want. Sometimes I wonder if that only exists on paper. When I chose my family over my work, I often get told that I wasn’t asked anything of. Where in lies the problem. I get no credit for struggling through my own priorities to include what I hold dearest to me. My friends, family, my husband. It is tiresome to be self-less.

School is challenging. One should know that especially if it has been 15 plus years since last school attended. The people you go to school with are so much younger, smarter, quicker with everything. It is annoying to say the least. Just staying awake in class after a whole day of being an adult gets tough at times. I feel a twinge of jealousy when I see young people in the library until 10 pm slogging away on their homework and then going to the nearest pub to blow off steam. I wouldn’t mind doing that at times but then age kicks in. At 10 I would rather be in my bed than at some bar.

A mean selfish streak is essential for survival, I am beginning to realize. Yes better late than never definitely applies to this one writing this blog. When my husband first told me that I have to stop being there for everyone and start prioritizing myself I seriously judged his upbringing. Now, several years down the line as I see people stamp over others and get ahead in life, while I find myself struggling I am beginning to wonder if we are still working with the survival of the fittest phenomenon. Being nice doesn’t get you any place.

On that cheery  and happy note, happy hump day all of you peeps. Hope spring is being good to you!

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Friday Fives!

If I asked my 23 year old self, I would have said that I have a lot of time, medical science has advanced so much that the biological clock was a matter of old folks tales. There are plenty of stories of women in their 40’s getting pregnant. That holds true now more than then. What no one tells you is the costs of getting pregnant so late in life. I am not even alluding to money. After all, who puts a price tag on a child. The costs are more in terms of time, emotions and physical struggle. By the time a woman is in her 30’s the responsibilities, stress, commitments she has is way more than one anticipates in their 20’s. So here I am into my late 30’s wondering if I would fail in the one superpower I was born with?

The presidential electoral candidates in the United States has me worried. The country being largely divided into two groups it is difficult to agree with all the principles of one party over the other. Each party brings in good ideas with some very bad ones. Of course people vote for the party and not an individual, but don’t individuals matter? Right now all I see is a bunch of clowns. Or has Obama really set the bar that high?

Being the doctor, I am a go to person for a lot of people. I consider it a privilege that people would trust me with their most intimate fears. Come to me for a second opinion, an idea they want to run by, just to voice their concerns, or just use my being a doctor as an excuse to speak with me. When I have my doctor hat on, I am always happy to be of service. So when I get push back on the healthy living articles I forward to family and friends, or when people tell me to “chill” when I remind them that they should get their yearly medical check-ups, I am left wondering at the irony at the situation.

Please don’t kill my blog. I appreciate the fact that there are people who read my blog. Some of you that do,  reached out to me via emails/texts/instagram asking me if I was okay based on my last post. However well meaning you were, I really would have preferred comments here which is why I didn’t encourage conversations on other mediums. I write a post, to generate conversation here. If I wanted to reach out to you in person, I would have. Imagine how many more people we could have reached if we talked about things here. Blogging begets comments on blog. A blogger can hope.

On the most positive note, I was invited to join the swimming master’s class this week. I have been wanting to get to that level for a while now, but don’t think I am ready. My old swim coach mentioned that he will work at my level and get me to speed. I cannot wait. Needless to say I am excited like a school girl and giddy with happiness at the prospect of working with my old coach after 18 months.

What is making you excited and happy or sad and confused? Have a great weekend you all.

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