Dealing with life’s learning curve, I simply haven’t had the time to actually write a post, although there’s a lot going on in my life and … head. I haven’t been online as much as I’d like. The last month brought a completely unexpected and new situation that involved a lot of re-organizing, learning and adjusting. I am so grateful I was able to ride that learning curve comfortably. And yes. Everyone smiled.
Cruising Along the Learning Curve
I became caregiver to my 80-year old father in law who was brought home directly to Bangalore from Chennai, following an emergency hospitalization. He collapsed after dental surgery removing all his teeth and that upset his system. Without going into the details, here’s what was involved:
- He is diabetic, so two blood tests a day
- An insulin shot once a day
- Mashed food every couple of hours to maintain the sugar levels
- Constant attention as he was very weak.
Being under pressure is nothing new – life has trained me well. A long history of caregiving also helped. But the thing that made me nervous this time was the blood tests and the insulin. Obviously we couldn’t get the diagnostic lab to send someone every day and do it – too expensive. Then I spoke to my local pharmacy and he suggested Accu Chek. Now if you are familiar with this, you’ll probably think, “ha!” and I’d be right there, laughing with you. However, three weeks ago, I was far from that stage. The thought of doing it every day freaked me out. Then there was the insulin pen. Apparently simple, when you know how. I didn’t know how. Added to this was the challenge of juggling work and all the other routine things that fill my life.
A woman is like a tea bag. You never know how strong she is until she’s in hot water
I am no exception, I am happy to say. Problems are opportunities to learn. And learn I did. Let me share my experiences of how I tackled the learning curve with you.
How I tackled this unexpected learning curve
- As a first step I polished my already rather shiny sense of humor
- A smile became my favorite accessory after I read somewhere that “a smile is the most beautiful curve on a woman’s body”
- I literally transformed into a professional nurse overnight. I owe my training to Dr.Google.
- I sat down with a writing pad and my favorite pen, with the intention of listing ways to make my life simple. What was my biggest challenge? Food. Coming up with different menus several times a day begged for planning.
- I made meal plans. For the week. Then for the day. This helped me shop groceries.
- As luck would have it, I came across a store that takes orders online and delivers the same day or the next. What is more, I found the veg was cheaper and fresher. Who knew?
- I already have a decent relationship with my local pharmacies and other stores – so I had myself covered. Somewhat.
- I prepped stuff the previous day. I swear prepping greens was the weirdest thing.
- I researched online for the diabetic’s diet and talked to others for practical tips. I found that good food choices are sprouts and greens. Salads make great snacks. Carbs, which means rice, white bread, bakery/fried/oily stuff must be minimum, if not zero. Apples, pears, grapes and oranges are good. No sweets. So I planned and stacked my pressure cooker to ensure I had the dish almost ready with very little to do in terms of cooking after that.
- I did not cook separately for him. I simply adopted the same low carb, high fiber, salad rich menu for the whole family. We love salads and fruits any way.
- I ensured the whole family ate breakfast, lunch and dinner together. Only, FIL’s food was mashed.
- I delegated duties to Sury and Vidur and they came up like champs as usual. Mostly Vidur, bless his heart, because Sury has been out of town a lot.
- We watched movies and comedy shows together. Thought I might as well get those endorphins kicking in to speed up my FIL’s recovery.
- We joked a lot about the blood tests, which would otherwise be painful – what with two-three tries, as it was tough to get it to flow.
“Life is like photography. We develop from the negatives”
Celebrating the learning curve
Truly, problems are opportunities to learn. And rejoice. So many silver linings. Yup! I looked for them!
During this time, as you know, Vidur’s 10th grade results were announced and we had a full house to celebrate.
- I had a day’s break that let me attend the Indiblogger meet last Sunday – which I thoroughly enjoyed.
Spent some wonderful moments with Vidur, marveling at how he’s growing up, how much he knows, and enjoying his company. He gives such good advice sometimes and can be such a calming influence.
- I woke up an hour early every day just to talk to my best friend, sharing soul giggles and keep myself sane. Laughter is a great way to begin the day. Especially when followed by bloodshed….um…I meant blood tests.
- In an insane moment, I went and signed up for the June #FMSPhotoADay challenge – where we post a photo in response to a prompt every day in June. I am participating via my other blog Coffee With Mi. I figured it needed some love. I can’t always write in my head and hope others can read it, right? That technology is still in its nascent stage. Although, I strongly believe that best friends come very close. They intuitively know what I am thinking.
- I played song tag with my friend. I would write a line…and he would answer with the next line.
I wouldn’t have managed without Vanita – The Strategic Mama (what an apt name!) who was there for me to chat with when I got online, making me laugh and giving me fun advice.
Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It is about learning to dance in the rain.
We did. We more than danced. It rained cats and dogs and the entire zoo – and we got drenched to our…..skin. And then Vidur got the ‘flu.
“The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time.”
So maybe worrying is like a rocking chair… but once in a while, worrying in a cozy rocking chair is very soothing especially with a cup of flavored tea and a couple of friends for company.
This too shall pass, eh? Yes!
Here’s a series of photos I clicked on the way back from Vidur’s school:
So adorable. These puppies tried their bestest to get out of the enclosure. Managed to get them back in and into safety.
Now let’s visit Unknown Mami, who hosts this wonderful meme
What learning curve have you experienced recently that made a big difference in your life?