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.
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”