Friday, April 7, 2017

A rough month

March has ended. Thank god and even tho april and may lie ahead and the heat is going to drive me crazy I will still take it over the shitty month march has been.

In a giant FU, it ended with Amma having a trip and fall over Cindy, our dog in chennai, landing on the wooden armrest of the sofa and needing three stitches to her forehead cut. My brother called yesterday to tell me that she is fine, shaken but not shut up yet. The doctors at the emergency apparently told her to talk less! My heart broke into a thousand pieces as I heard the news, but ten minutes later as I spoke to her, I knew she would come out of this fine.

The misery of being away from ones loved ones when they are unwell or hurt is terrible. The dreary month dragged on. the only bright spot being that my uncle and aunt were here for a couple of days. They were in town to celebrate the birthday of my mom's cousin who turned 97. I wrote about her here a few years ago. One of the most remarkable ladies of my family. Amma was super excited to have her only surviving sibling around and they all went back to chennai together. It was my nephew's birthday and they were to attend, then get back to bangalore, this happened after dinner on the birthday.

It has taken me a couple of days to come to terms with all of this and the last time I felt this overwhelmed and helpless was when this shit lasted half of the year instead of a month a few years ago.

Glad to see this new month. 

Monday, March 20, 2017

Is this the new normal?

Since the beginning of this year, I have had a terrible time with Sage's health. He's been going into a preictal phase, which is the stage before the full blown seizure, but not actually having one. The preictal stage is characterized for Sage (changes for every dog) by being more clingy than he usually is, jumpy at sudden sharp sounds, ultra sensitive to known sounds like the reverse tune of our car, sound of the lift on our floor, phone beeps and doorbell. He also sometimes begins to walk into doors and walls or wedge himself into tiny corners like between furniture etc. Constant needs for a walk because he is restless, sometimes every half hour, so I will walk him, bring him upstairs to our apartment, feed and give him water (which is a habit after every walk) and he will ask for another walk almost immediately. Which means there are days and nights when I am walking him continuously for upto 6 hours.

We put him on an hourly emergency medication which has averted the actual seizure from happening, but sometimes I wonder if he should just have the attack so that all of us can be done with it. 

This has meant round the clock monitoring and one block of 4 days when neither K or I slept because we needed to be alert. Sage can't settle down and sleep and is distrustful of climbing up and down from our bed, so I put a sheet on the floor to sleep next to him and comfort him. By the 36th hour, K and I are exhausted and at our wits end and getting at each other like cats in heat. This ended, we had a few weeks of normal and repeat!

While this sounds very mild, imagine living with this recurring every few weeks. It is exhausting. Plus I am unable to leave him home alone for any period of time, I cart him to the studio during workshops and he is leashed till the session is done. But with the temperatures soaring and the heat of the ovens, it gets ridiculously hot and uncomfortable for him and he whines and cries or is restless adding to my stress. I cannot figure whether I should give up classes and stay home or take him and lump it.

If I have to go any place, it is a mad synchronised dance with K and most times, I don't go out unless there is something very important because it causes everyone to be on edge. I do feel sometimes that I do not enough social interactions and need to get out more.

Last week, overwhelmed with all the stuff happening, I wanted to get away from everything and everyone, just walk till my feet hurt and exhaust myself physically so that the mental strain is not felt that much. But the minute I leave the house without him, Sage panics. So there I was, unable to break free, walking with him, feeling so suffocated and sorry for myself. I sat on the steps of a still unfinished mall and started to cry, cloaked by the darkness which had already fallen. I don't know why I burst into tears like that, I usually don't. But I just couldn't stop crying. Nuzzling me was Sage, making me feel more guilty that I held him partly responsible for my suffocation. He sat there, next to me, wedging his nose between my face and knees as I sobbed. I held onto him after a few minutes, and told him I was tired and sorry and just wanted a break. When I was spent, he walked me back and the next couple of days, he was so calm and tried not to get into my hair like he exactly understood what I needed.

I know he is helpless and fully dependent on me, but there are times when all I want is to have a day where I eat and sleep to my hearts content rather than according to his medication, food and walk schedule.

Work has been at the receiving end of all of this drama and for the last month, I haven't done much work which again sets me off. So it has been a cluster fuck for atleast the past 8 weeks. I am crabby and snappy and find everything getting on my nerves. I am sick of being this version of me to be honest. It has to stop, it has to change. If this is the new normal I will be terrible to live with in a few weeks :(

Thursday, February 9, 2017

To new beginnings

I decide to write this in the second month of the new year. That should tell you how prompt I am if you are reading this blog for the first time. I am never prompt and this blog remains a little pointless actually. Between sharing pictures on instagram, facebook and everywhere else, my words are buried.

this year, we started with a bang. With two other couples, one that had two of the most delightful children (under the age of 5!) we spent the last weekend of the year at our beloved farm.
In less than a year, we have had to redo the roofing, which was mangalore tiles. All thanks to the idiot contractor who did the original construction and didn't know his ass from his elbow, and left the roof dangerously sloping under the weight of the tiles.
Our driver S did a fabulous job in under 2 weeks, working day and night and gave us a wonderfully redone cottage. So we spent the last week there. Food, including a BBQ session with less than optimal tools, friends, lots of booze and so much fun that I literally passed out on the grass with Sage. No really, I'd been drinking since 11 a.m on 31st, fresh toddy for the morning, of which I had almost a litre, friends visiting for lunch and without any rest plunged head long quite literally into the evening, demolishing more than a bottle of wine I think.
Each time I drink I tell myself my glory days of binge drinking are done, I am now ageing and cannot digest (or metabolise) so much alcohol anymore, and then i forget those conversations and wake up after a few too many with my head reeling and me promising to be a better judge of my metabolism.
I made kachi gosht ki biryani without any help and was mighty pleased with myself that I managed to do it in a makeshift kitchen! It turned out fantastic and I was able to appreciate it much more for lunch on new year's day!

It has been an interesting year this past one. A year sans drama and paring my life and routine down to only the things that mattered to me. It has been a calming year as much as a challenging one with work and personal life. I am going to write to recap it hopefully soon because I may just forget.

I hope 2017 is all that I want it to be...

I had this in drafts since the first week of jan and am finally posting this here....

Tuesday, December 20, 2016


it's almost Christmas, today is the 20th and I am sitting in my bed, aimlessly browsing and thinking I should at some point get up and set up the tree atleast.

Every year the urgency is lesser and lesser. I feel I should do it and yet am not motivated enough to actually get around.

Tomorrow a friend and her family visits us. I want to get going before that atleast.

I had plans of cake and stuff, will probably get going on that on 22nd. 23rd is K's birthday and as per the grinch, he didn't want to have anything so will comply with his wishes (so much the better for me!)

Amma and all are off to Bangkok for Christmas and I am so glad they are doing this instead of the usual christmas fare! She is maha excited and so are the kids. 

Friday, December 16, 2016

For Frankie and Maggie

Maggie and I met on our respective morning walks. She with her pint sized French bulldog Frank and I with Sage in tow, my giant drooling golden. The dogs inched forward, Frankie was about 1/5 of sage in size, I asked if he was friendly and she said yes, so we met mid way on the street. 

The dogs sniffed each other in every orifice, Frank promptly got onto Sage's back and tried to dry hump him, Sage just sat there with a bewildered expression on his face. 

Maggie was in India because her husband came here with a job, she taught yoga and is Polish. We both had our lives wound around our dogs, compared notes on how people thought we were crazy middle aged, childless women humanizing our dogs (which we were in a way), walk routes, vets, silly dog habits and everything else similar to what bus stop moms would talk about. 

Our routines changed, we saw less of each other, or more of each other on facebook. She swung by the studio a couple of times, with home brewed limoncello her dad made in Poland and we did shots, I was in the middle of a large baking order and was positively pissed drunk by the time I did the final coating! We had lunch together once when my mom came to stay. We always made plans to meet other than on our walks but most of the times it never worked out. 

We once rescued a dog hit by a car on the street and rushed it to hospital. We had different names for the same dogs we met on our walks. Some days we would stand chatting for an hour while Sage pulled at me to go back home for his feed and Frank would be restless to go home too. 

Today Frank died. He had a sudden bout of sickness three days ago, it was diagnosed as a possible severe ear infection or a stroke. He was given some medication and saline but was sent home. M was just getting home after a month of teaching yoga in Goa and came home to this. Yesterday he had partial paralysis and by this morning he was gone. 

The whole of last night, I was restless. I was in touch the minute I came to know he was unwell and M said they were doing all they could. I asked if I could be of help but didn't want to hover. Yesterday when she told me he had a stroke, my heart sank. I clutched Sage close and asked him to send positive vibes to his friend Frankie. Several times last evening I kept telling K that I was worried for Frank. This morning the minute my phone rang, my heart pounded. I knew it was over. 

M asked if Frankie could be buried in our farm and I said yes ofcourse. I got his grave dug in a corner of the plot between two trees. We made the long and sad journey to lay him to rest. 

When M and R took out his blanket to wrap him in it, Sage pounced on it and wouldnt let go, growling at all of us who were trying to retrieve it. We had to show him Frankie for him to let go of the blanket. 

We put Frankie to rest with his favourite toys and stick and blanket and bed. Kissed by him mum and dad and surrounded by a few of the people he loved. I cannot even begin to imagine what M and R are going through. 

The loss of a pet is devastating, especially when it is humanized into a child of sorts. All your parenting emotions are channeled into the pet. They become human, they talk to you, they understand you (or atleast that is what we imagine) and a world with just the two of you is built. But to have no way to process your grief via a funeral is particularly difficult. We buried all our dogs in our old house and I couldn't think of not having a resting place for them. my heart stop sometimes, when I think of a similar journey I will have to make one day. 

M said he would love it there, it is quiet and peaceful with lots of birds and trees and flowers. She said she was very grateful for what we had done by allowing her to bury Frank, but that is the least I could do. 

If I was in a situation like hers, I know I would have a friend who would do the same for me. I hope he rests in peace.