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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

"Health is Wealth"! No, really it is!

How often have we heard the refrain "Health is Wealth" and we say huh uh and continue going our merry way oblivious to the significance of those three words. That phrase is oft repeated but rarely does it penetrate our stress induced haze and the brain which is computing all the to do lists.

For most of us health is something we take for granted. Yup you get a sniffle or two, you get a fever etc... pop some pills and continue the rat race always fearful of being left behind. What we do not realise until it is too late that we should take some time to respect our body, feed it, nourish it, cherish it and take care of it. Because without it you cannot do anything

I was also cruising along the highway of life oblivious to the changes going on inside me as I was more focused on what needs to be done next, stressing out, working, being a parent, spouse, daughter etc. There was a lot going on, changes in residence, jobs, new baby - all the little warning signs attributed to the myriad little things that crop up as part of living. The tremors was because of weakness, irritability because of stress etc etc.

Then suddenly I found myself on the wayside flailing struggling to gain control of my life, trying to steer back to the road but unable to.... my tremors increased, heartbeat accelerated, irritability was a constant companion, fatigue so intense that I felt like a rag doll, limp and drained, emotions all over the place, I felt like I was in the twilight zone, very sure that I was loosing my marbles or going plain nuts:)

Doctors visits followed , multiple needle pricks later, diagnosis - hyperthyroidism! Oh phew! so my slew of "symptoms' actually had a name. Hyper became hypo - started popping pills started almost feeling human. No real cure need to pop pills lifelong! Bummer I thought and then shrugged it off saying "Oh well, as long as I am able to cruise along and went on feeling a little better at handling this little fender bender in the road of life.

Bang! Just as I was cruising along there came along an bump so large and so life changing on the road that my life and those of my loved ones will never be the same....

Talk about a life derailing event. Diagnosis of Parkinson's at the age of 36 prime of my life, of my hubby's life, my two beautiful sons - Still trying to recover from the whiplash of that news, trying to come to terms with the limitations and everything else that it entails, the frustrations, the fear, the unfairness of it, the self recriminations the if onlys, maybes, because and yes the why me??

I always believe whatever happens - happens for the best and I look at life through rose colored glasses and yup my glass is half full, but I am still waiting for answers, still trying to find the strength and still waiting for the answer that I had emailed to God - why me??

"Health is Wealth" you bet it is! Take it from someone who found out the hard way.

Cheers.
Sutapa

Friday, July 25, 2008

Ma, Mom

Mother, mom, Ma, Mum, Amma etc. the many names we have for the woman who nurtures and loves and cares about us. The quintessential person who evokes in us a fondness, an inexplicable bond, a source of comfort, a feeling of peace, a warm fuzzy and cozy feeling. A person that you can go to no matter what and a person who will love you unconditionally no matter what! Ma, on whom you can rest your head on her bosom or lap and feel all your stress just float away. The person who makes you feel that you have come home no matter where you are.
This is universal no matter which part of the world you go to. A woman has many roles in her life, but the most fulfilling, by far, is being a mother. For most of us it defines who we are! The feelings that we have for our mothers is universal. No matter where you live or what you do, what race or religion, irrespective of the color of the skin or your social standing in life, whether you are rich and successful or dirt poor whether you are a man or a woman the feeling is universal. We all have strong feelings for our mothers. For most of us it is positive but there are some that have negative feelings, but one thing is sure they are strong feelings!
Being a mom is also pretty similar all over the world. The experiences, feelings, emotions are all so similar and universal! It is the woman who carries the child through nine months, give or take a few weeks, a woman who goes through morning sickness, mood swings, fatigue, hormones all over the place, waist line expanding, a feeling of helplessness, feeling elated, nervous, frantic, excited and terrified all in a matter of a few minutes! And all of this and more just in the first few months. Then of course the ever expanding belly, going to the bathroom every few minutes, swollen ankles, not able to see your feet, taking forever to turn over the side when you are sleeping, muscle cramps, heartburn etc… And this is just the beginning… You get the picture…

But is it all bad? No way! Otherwise we would not have so many little ones running around, would we. It is also the feeling of awe, of having a little human being growing inside your body! A feeling so powerful and scary, so overwhelming and so terrifying, a feeling of responsibility. A feeling of oneness with this little fuzzy ball growing inside your tummy - a ball that within 9 months will grow into an amazing little person with perfect little nails, sparkly eyes, a rosebud mouth, beautiful tiny feet and hands, a perfect tiny little human being with the loudest voice you have ever heard!!!
Being a mom also means being kicked - well literally, when the baby is growing at a rapid pace inside the body. It is amazing when you look at the sonogram and see this little bundle all bent up like a pretzel, with it’s huge head and hands and feet flailing about! It is wonderful and yes painful feeling that kick, bringing home the fact that there really is someone alive in your body!
And of course we will talk about Dads too. They also play an important role in all thisJ Other than being responsible for helping create the baby of courseJ We, moms need someone to be at the receiving end of our frustrations, someone to blow steam off at.
We look to the Dads to understand what is going through our minds at that particular moment and Lord help them if they can’t! New, to be dads, are the ones with the bewildered look on the faces, treading very carefully around their to be baby’s mom! They are the ones who are not sure if they are supposed to be cuddle up or just stay as far away as possible!! And of course when the moms get their midnight cravings, there has to be someone who gallantly offers to fulfill that craving!
Yes, raising child is not exactly child’s play! And this is just the beginning!
Then comes the birth of the baby, bringing the bundle of joy home and beginning the fun, interesting and challenging process of parentingJ The joys, frustrations, challenges, fun and experiences unlike any other. A total life changing event!!! Being a parent is a lot of hard work. It has its rewards and it has its trials. Having a baby is just the beginning of the most challenging journey ahead. A road with unknown twists and turns, an exciting journey with wonderful rewards, some pitfalls and some interesting moments. A road that does not come with a manual, a road where everyone’s experience is similar yet unique. As they say once a parent always a parent! It is a life long commitment. It is a journey from the first steps, the first smile, the first tooth, to the first day of school, to the first report card to the day that your little baby leaves the nest to begin their journey as an adult taking with them the life’s lessons that you teach them and hopefully will put to good use and you hope will help them become a great and successful human being! Does being a parent stop there? No way! This is the beginning of an entire new phase of being a parent.
It is a journey, a journey that has its own rewards. What we hope to do in our show is showcase some of the important milestones in a parents life, with the focus being on moms. While it is impossible to capture every moment we will do our best to get a snapshot of important moments in our journey to adulthood!

Peer Pressure!

Peer Pressure
Posted by It's My World on Oct 5, 2006 10:30pm in the Default Category category. This post was viewed 131 times.
To do or not to do?
Peer pressure! Don’t we all know it. If not for that I think a lot of us would be pretty content in life. But it is this constant comparison, competition to be one better than your peers that fosters dissent, dissatisfaction and general discontent. On the flip side it motivates, provides an incentive, makes you aggressive and gives you a sense of satisfaction and achievement until you come across another peer who has more and then the cycle starts all over again.
To do or not to do? That is the 64 million dollar question. You go buy a nice car - you are happy as a clam, excited until you come across a buddy or colleague who has a better car or a car with better features ! Whoosh the air goes out of you r euphoria and you are left with a bitter taste in your mouth - Ugghhh you wish you had thought about that before and to top it off they also get a better deal - Now you a re pissed
Then there is the case of this nice big TV that you absolutely needed to have to watch all the cool shows. Now you being a tech savvy person you did your research LCD or DLP o plasma etc. Finally you make a choice and then you research on the costs, the pixels, the clarity depth etc of the picture. You are feeling really good about yourself. You have done your research and you are confident you got the best deal. So you get the TV and have a “Come over and see our new TV” party. Everything is going well, you are proudly proclaiming your excellent research acumen and then there is this person in the party (There is always someone like that in every party) that comes over and says “You paid what for this TV??!!” They look aghast and look at you with pity …. Oh boy you paid a lot … you know I saw this on so and so website for a lot less! There goes your spirits right down the picture tube… Oh wait I think these TV’s so not have a picture tube … well you get the picture.
Then of course comes the big one - buying a house! You have the car and the nice big TV, now you need to keep it somewhere so you start looking for a house. So now you think a condo, townhouse or single family? Well so and so bought a town house so I am going to buy one too. No condos for me. Or better yet I am going to buy a single family house!
Then there are comparison with kids, clothes, upgrades in the house, jewellery, shoes, appliances, looks, weight, etc. etc. There is no end. Peer pressure. It is what gets us going. It gets us moving, gets us motivated, gets us frustrated , makes us unhappy with our lives. I guess it is all in the perspective and whom you compare with. If you compare with someone who has less, you feel better, if you compare with someone who has more you feel bitter. Better or Bitter it is your choice JThought s are welcome at sutapa@creatvproductions.com www.creatvproductions.com

Parkinson's and me

Parkinson's disease (also known as Parkinson disease or PD) is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that often impairs the sufferer's motor skills and speech, as well as other functions.[1]
Parkinson's disease belongs to a group of conditions called movement disorders. It is characterized by muscle rigidity, tremor, a slowing of physical movement (bradykinesia) and, in extreme cases, a loss of physical movement (akinesia). The primary symptoms are the results of decreased stimulation of the motor cortex by the basal ganglia, normally caused by the insufficient formation and action of dopamine, which is produced in the dopaminergic neurons of the brain. Secondary symptoms may include high level cognitive dysfunction and subtle language problems. PD is both chronic and progressive.
PD is the most common cause of chronic progressive parkinsonism, a term which refers to the syndrome of tremor, rigidity, bradykinesia and postural instability. PD is also called "primary parkinsonism" or "idiopathic PD" (classically meaning having no known cause although this term is not strictly true in light of the plethora of newly discovered genetic mutations). While many forms of parkinsonism are "idiopathic", "secondary" cases may result from toxicity most notably of drugs, head trauma, or other medical disorders. The disease is named after English physician James Parkinson; who made a detailed description of the disease in his essay: "An Essay on the Shaking Palsy" (1817).
So that is the Wikipedia version! According to me it is the uncertainity of the progression, the fact that there is no cure, that I will be unable to do lots of things, the fact that I will lose my memory, my movement, my speech basically all my cognitive functions. My biggest fear and guilt - my two beautiful kids - my family- being responsible for getting it on the family tree, putting other generations at risk, of not being there for my family physically, mentally and emotionally!
Being the person that looks at life 'glass half full' I thank god that it is not life threatening but life inhibiting! My positive attitude and sense of humor is very handy in helping deal with this....
It all started with a tremor that grew in magnitude till it rocked my world and my family's! I have no idea when it snuck on me. I attributed it to stress, being a second time mom etc...I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism which eventually became hypothyroid and I thought that's it! Little did I know what was in store... I am almost a walking medical dictionary - thyroid, extremely low sodium ferritin, vitamin D and of cos the big doozy Parkinson's also known as PD.
My experience with PD has been interesting to say the least. It is not only physical but also emotional and mental. I go through periods of being "normal" to a stage where I cannot get out of the chair or bed or cannot maintain my balance where I keep walking backwards.
We take life for granted... I did. I always thought I'll do this after so and so and here I am struggling to sometime even do the basic thing like cook for my kids or drive them to their activities. I am having meds that mess with my head and have crazy side effects. People ask me if I am in pain. Pain is the least of my problems... Frustration, imbalance, mental apathy, despair, guilt, dizziness, numbness, fear, walking backwards, shuffling gait, freezing of legs where they just give up, hands shaking so badly that I can barely hold anything, not being able to get out of the chair, mentally feeling like a zombie, not being able to do things fast, taking time to even simple basic tasks, body tremors, jaw shaking and oh yeah the additional complication that I have with my eyes.
What about it? Well it is called blepharospasm dystonia. What the heck is that now you say? Well it basically is being functionally blind. I am unable to keep my eyes open. My eyes keep blinking rapidly and I walk around with my eyes closed. Thank God there is a solution - what is it you ask? Well every three months life long I have to go take botox shots around my eyes - medicinal botox that helps relax muscles.... Around 10 shots per eye......
Oh Yeah did I mention that I hear things and see things auditory and visual hallucinations --- crazy huh. Well another wonderful side effect.
So really all you healthy people stop complaining get up and get moving, do what you want...


You know what I'll take simple pain anyday:)

There are so many thoughts, ideas, projects running around in my head but my body refuses to cooperate. It is also very deceptive. People seeing me in my "on or normal period" think I am faking it. Even people closest to me thought that and that hurts. The biggest plus point if any is that it is not directly fatal.

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