I told myself if I am paying for this domain and server space I might as well use it. I’ve always had big plans for this website. Turn it into an eCommerce, a full fledge blog and portfolio dump. And then poof — I disappear for months without a word or update. I’m not even satisfied with the website’s layout and I am thisclose to closing it down and just rely on my other social media channels.
To be honest I’ve really had a busy and even life-changing January and February. I started the year with a bang — literally. At the strike of new year, as we were celebrating in Conrad Hotel, I slipped and hit my face on the concrete window sill. I had laceration above my right eye, my chin was sliced open and my gums were cut too. I could taste blood and my right eye was swollen shut. Surprisingly I was very calm during the incident. What I expected was pain beyond anything I’ve ever felt before, but I was just numb. My family naturally fell into panic, screamed hysterics and administered first aid (good thing my uncle is a doctor and Conrad has an in-house nurse).
After a quick hotel checkout and bringing my grandma back to her house, my family brought me to the ER. To cut the tale short, I had to have surgery to repair my chin and stitch up the cuts. My uncle called a cosmetic surgeon to perform a bit of plastic surgery to reconstruct my chin. That’s when I realized how in bad shape I was. I still didn’t feel any pain at all even when the doctor did the tetanus shots. I don’t know if I was in shock, or it was an adrenaline rush or a supernatural phenomenon that made me unable to feel pain. I even commented to my mom that dysmenorrhea was more painful than this.
After the surgery I had to spend a week in the house to rest and heal my battered face. That means missing the first week of work. I spent most of my time sleeping and just lying down. I couldn’t read or draw for a long time because my right eye was teary and closing from fatigue. Instead of feeling sorry for myself I found myself grateful to receive love and attention from my family and friends. That I could be home without any deadlines or projects to meet. It was a very peaceful. How odd that it had to take a full-face accident to have that beautiful moment.
During the latter part of January my grandmother began complaining about stomach aches. Her CTScan revealed a massive tumor that had to be remove asap. I think it was one of the most devastating news our family has ever heard and breaking the news to grandma was very difficult and utterly heart breaking. The pre-surgery preparations were tedious as her stomach and intestines need to be empty and clean. Our family quickly devised a schedule on when and who can stay with grandma in the hospital. My mom, especially, took most of the shifts. On Feb 4 my grandma underwent the surgery to remove the mass that is blocking her intestine and due her age and risks of complications, the doctors installed a colostomy bag. We were all very thankful that the surgery went off without a hitch.
When we thought everything is going back to normal now that the tumor is gone, we hit another bump in the road — my grandma’s anxiety attack. I think by this time we were all pretty much on the edge – being exhausted and sleepless for several nights — that this mental illness of grandma had to resurface in full force. She had not been able to drink her usual medications as per doctors’ orders. It caused her to feel like her chest will explode (we called a nurse to perform ECG), her legs felt like they were floating (grandma can barely life her legs), she feels so hot even if the aircon is turned to the max (we were all freezing in the room), she would scream because she can’t sleep and even the tiniest ounce of discomfort she felt was magnified a thousand folds. I cannot count how many times I had to tell her, “It’s ok Ama (grandma in fokien) we are here for you. You’ll get better in no time!”
We spent our chinese new year in the hospital room. Uncle ordered food from a nearby mall and I brought my homecooked tikoy (they made a joke that I shouldn’t be handing out tikoy given I had bad luck at the start of the year hahaha they ate the tikoy anyways). We were all dead tired, physically and emotionally. Grandma even more so. But we were there, still together in this darkest chapter of our lives; complaining that Uncle bought too much food again, that Mom should sit still and eat her veggies, joking, laughing, talking and looking over at Grandma. It’s Chinese New Year and I know everyone is praying that our luck will change for the better.