AFTER: May 6th, Tornado

So finals are finally over, I’m half a pharmacist now, and I have time for myself again. With 2 month of not having to go to school, I would be free and happy, right? Instead, I basically slept my days away and was exhausted as I struggled with insomnia and sleeping too much during the day.

Update:May 28th

So my birthday a few days ago was the most eventful in the 21 years of my life. Instead of being a coming of age day, it was more of a “you are now an adult and the fast moving freight train of being an adult is going to hit you in full force just because” kind of day. On my birthday, which was also my mom’s birthday, I decided to cook dinner. If I haven’t mentioned this before, I don’t cook, much less for more than one person. Cooking for myself is very simple. I throw a bit of veggies, some meat, a pack of instant noodles, and voila! Got my carbs, protein, and vitamins. On days where there are leftovers in the fridge, instant food! No need to heat it up. I am THAT simple you could say. (or lazy, if you look at it in another way) So cooking a meal for my family was a big upgrade. Funny side story: I was going to keep it a secret from my mom to surprise her for her birthday and not having her to do anything in the kitchen, but when I was about to leave the house to go grocery shopping, she comes back a few hours earlier than expected and is parking right before I step out the front door. I ran back into the house and pretended to still be asleep but I got caught because I texted her just minutes ago asking where she put the rice. So, it became a birthday girl shared task and she came along to shop for groceries and helped me prepare my ingredients. Kimbap and mushroom spinach risotto was the menu that night. I totally got my brother sick of rice, but there were no complaints nor bathroom emergencies so it was a success! That night, I was dead tired. Cooking sure needs a lot of muscle. My arm is still sore today but that’s probably because I have no muscle at all in my arms and don’t work out.

After dinner, I took a nap and then when I woke up my birthday was over. And that was when the drama began to start. My dad decided to go to the ER because he was experiencing chest pains. When I checked his blood pressure, it was 165/95. Something was wrong. So we drove to the nearest hospital and upon admission, his blood pressure was even higher at 183/129. Something was definitely wrong. So we spent the night there to get his blood tested and have his blood pressure and ECG monitored. His blood pressure slowly dropped and we were able to leave at 7:30 that morning. It was so uncomfortable falling asleep in a chair with armrests. My already sore muscles were even more sore the next day. Thankfully, all the tests were fine but it was an experience that gave me a shock. My dad was always the one everyone depended on, the cornerstone of the family. It took 2 days before the tears and worries hit me. By then, he had gone to the doctor to get it checked out and was back at work even the morning he was discharged so everything seemed fine. But after reality sat in, I wasn’t able to think clearly.

Like I was living in some sort of drama, my brain decided to call my dad’s coworker the day after he went back to work from the hospital. Why? Well thinking about it now, I would still have done the same, even if it seems like a rash insensible decision. And I didn’t even get to ask the main questions. I only got to ask how many tickets they had in total yesterday and he didn’t even answer my question. Like, don’t even pretend not to understand English. My dad told me the day he went to work after discharge, he had received 10 tickets to do. He jokingly asked his coworker if he had given him all the tickets that day (seems like they average 20 something tickets between 5 people to do per day) and his coworker said there was 20 something tickets (thus I asked him how many they had yesterday to confirm). So out of 5 people, my dad got half the tickets. AND 3 of which were VIP tickets. It does not make any sense in whatever way I try to think about it. When my dad asked him how many he gave himself, he said he did 2. *Insert chain of swearing* So my dad gave him 3 tickets back. He’s still doing more than that coworker is. Ok, not even thinking about my dad being discharged that same morning, it’s not even fair to do that to any coworker. Ok, let’s ignore the fact that my dad is double his age, works slow, and has English as his second language. Sure, he graduated from UBC in computer science. Sure, he has a good 25 years of experience under his belt. Sure, he seems to have less tickets than others. But that’s because he’s hardworking and is working on his tickets in and out of the office. Some of the tickets were in French and what does he do? Google translate to find his way. He works til late in the night and on weekends to try to do as much as he can to make up for being older and slower than others. Do those who do more work deserve to get more work? It’s not fair. This was what opened the faucet of tears that I guess was locked in that day.

But all in all,  I guess I can find goodness in all that happened. Because of the night in the ER, my dad’s been more conscious of his health and stress levels. I also got my mom to get a check up as she’s normally had high blood pressure but never got it checked out. She still tried to refuse, but hey, I think I’ve got good reason for her to get it checked out before she’s the one lying on the hospital bed. It’s a rude wake up call, but a good reminder nonetheless of how fragile life can be. And how things you hear about but never think can happen to you can easily happen to your loved ones or even yourself. And about his coworker, I’m so thankful that my dad has a good manager who appreciated my dad telling her what happened and being so understanding. As far as I know, it’s not the first time that coworker has done something tricky (not to mention him watching non-work-related videos at work and taking many breaks), but I believe that karma will get him someday. I don’t care about whatever he decides to do, as long as he doesn’t harm my dad in the process. Because my dad’s used his whole life to protect me and ensure that I am able to live well, I’m going to protect him in whatever way I can now that I am able to protect myself. Hopefully the majority of the storm has passed, and we can only get stronger as a family as we rebuild our emotions. “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”

BEFORE: April 6th, MIA

Recently I’ve been MIA from blogging, from school, from friends, from family, and even from myself. I guess it’s the stress and anxiety that got to me. It’s a weird feeling. Like an out-of-body experience almost. I feel everything that’s happening in and to my body, but it’s disconnected from my thoughts. I don’t know if it’s the medicine, but I don’t think and worry like I did before, dwelling on the stress and anxiety. However, the physiological responses have increased. From stomach pains due to increased stomach acid, more frequent and intense migraine attacks to light-headedness and nausea. It seems like such a hassle to reply to texts and even just getting out of bed at times. And of course, interacting/arguing/discussions with my family drain the energy out of me that I just don’t have. Whenever it starts getting stressful, my body responds before the whirlwind of thoughts stare in my head now. Long story short, my body shuts down and I’m fatigued during the day, not wanting to do anything. Then, when it’s night, I lie there unable to sleep, thinking about everything. This Easter long weekend, I got some craft supplies so that I could distract myself and try to get some of that nervous energy into creative energy. It sort of worked… And yes, I had to refrain from beginning a new drama since finals are starting next week! Watching dramas and silly videos makes me feel brainless and I become so engrossed in their story I guess I kind of forget about mine. It lets me escape from reality for a while. And there are always little lessons of life I learn from them believe it or not!

Anyways, it seems like the medication helps. My marks are a lot better and I’m not fidgeting and anxious all the time. I can actually relax when it’s time to relax and on most days, it seems like life is going to be alright. It’s just that when it starts nearing exam time when it gets more stressful and I react like this. But all in all, I’m glad that I’ve been able to bear school. I still have a lot to improve on, such as social life and all…but one step at a time.

On a totally different train track…I met up with my best friend recently and a word popped up in our conversation about my future: investment. I am an investment. My parents have invested all their time and money into me. My mom gave up her job to take care of me full-time at home. My parents pay for my education, my hobbies, my everything. My parents even stay up with me when I stay up to study! And of course, all those chauffeuring back and forth from lessons and after school activities. And with a younger brother, all the time and energy and money multiplied by 2. Investments come with an expectation of profit. The disappointment of a negative return is much more with the investment of emotion and love as well. It’s not just money you’re losing, but essentially a whole good 20 years of care and nurture that seems to all have been for nothing. I want to be an investment that’s worth it. An investment that’ll make them look back and feel like it was all worth it. All the pain, tears, and hard work. If being a pharmacist will be a profitable return, I’m willing to invest MY all to ensure that it happens.