Friday, 27 February 2015

The Reboot

Woah! It's been almost a year since I last posted anything. And 2014 has been a pretty memorable year. I got job offers from three companies, tried to start-up but hit a roadblock and also was filled with loads of self-pity. The last one was mostly in bouts and I was having one right now, and so instead of wallowing in self-pity, I thought I'd write about it. I'm writing all of this on a whim here so please bear with me.

So this past week has been extremely hectic, due to the responsibilities I brought upon my self because of my academic brilliance and the irresistible charm and aura that I give off (How not to be modest). I was made one of the "Department Coordinators" for my college's "Techno Management Fest" (air quotes) and I had to run around and make sure everybody's event was running smoothly. And today was finally the day I was supposed to be free and have time off to actually check out other events and maybe even participate in some. I even had a date! But alas it wasn't meant to be, because Glen Padua said some white lie ages ago and now karma was being a bitch!

When I removed my prosthesis yesterday evening, my stump was filled with pus in all the crevices, formed when the doctors played, "I wonder what this thing does". I cleaned it up and found a trio of blisters, each one bigger than the one next to it, reddish-yellow and ready to explode. And so I couldn't wear my prosthesis which meant I couldn't go to college, which meant I couldn't go on the date which I was really looking forward to, and I couldn't go home either. Although it sounds like a minor setback, these are the kind of incidents that lead to thoughts like, "Why me?" or "What did I do to deserve this?". That feeling that no one in this world could even possibly come close to understanding what you are going through, reaches its peak.

Then comes the realization that everybody in this world goes through similar cycles of feelings no matter how physically fit they are. The one thing that I've learnt is that it is impossible to prevent depression. Depression is like the flu or common cold. You can cure it temporarily but only after it strikes. You can reduce chances of occurrence but you can never block it out. One of the best cures I've found is a dose of best friends and a good nights rest. These friends are people who know you well enough to understand the origins your psychotic tendencies and to make sense of whatever incessant nonsense you share with them. And sleep can do wonders because when you wake up, it always feels like you've pressed the reset button of a game.

Another way is to look at life from a bigger perspective. And now for some cliché lines from Glen Padua, also partly inspired by VSauce.

"You and I are insignificant in this universe. When alive, we are remembered by a handful of people and after death we slowly fade away from memory and in a few generations we probably will never even be thought of. I don't think any of us remember the name of our Great Great Grandfather. So the best thing to do, is to live life in the moment and in the process make the people around you happy. When you're having fun it doesn't matter if that person is Mother Teresa or Osama. All that matters is making that moment count. And with a thousand of these moments you build a memory. And with thousands of memories you've made a life worth living."  
Writing down your thoughts really does wonders. Also on a side note, in the process of writing this I just got the news that one of my classmate's mother just passed away. May she rest in peace.

I have loads more to cover actually, things that happened over the year. I will try to be more active which I have failed to do so with my busy schedule and all. More on that in the next post!    

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Roadblocks in Life

I don’t really know the purpose of this blog post but let’s see where my thoughts take me. In my lifetime I've seen way too many highs and lows, some in extremes. Like recently after being one of the people working on my college symposium website, seeing the end result really made me feel good about myself. Cut to the present and now I feel like sleeping – forever. The pain keeps me awake though and I struggle to go through daily simple routines that I usually could manage with ease.

The worst part is it’s hard to even diagnose the cause of the pain. To describe it in the best ways, it ranges from a constantly pricking sensation at the stump to a full blown contraction kind of sensation, like an electric current passing through causing me to cringe real bad. Added to that, the pain in my lower back and hip doesn’t really help. Sitting with a straight face in class is one of the most challenging things to do.
The only way I’m getting through this is with the help of friends, especially my bestest friend Jenefa (a.k.a. Jen Jo). She’s the only one who’s helped me from losing my sanity (love you Jen Jo J). It is hard for any person to fully understand what someone else is going through. In my opinion, every person’s mind functions uniquely and putting yourself in that person’s shoes is ultimately impossible. But people who try to do that are the ones that truly care about you. There are some friends I wish that cared about me more, not cause I crave attention, but because I feel hurt that they don’t replicate the same sort of enthusiasm with which I helped and cared for them when they were in need. But whatever, I still have enough people who I know will stick by my side all the time.

I don’t know how long this phase is going to last but I hope it reduces as time goes by. I know I have an entire lifetime of this to look forward to. Ah, lifetime, that brings me to another one of my silly thoughts which to me seems serious at times. In the condition I’m in, which girl would want to be in a relationship where the guy whines a lot and wouldn't be able to take long walks on or run to the airport to stop her from leaving(I know it’s too filmy, but it’s a possibility). There’s this girl I like and I wish I could ask her out but then in the state I’m in right now walking with crutches and all, she’d probably just pity me and come up with some lame excuse.

After going through worse things than this in life, it surprises me that I could be fazed by something like this. That’s probably because childhood was much more different, a time where the only worry was bearing pain and playing Super Mario or watching Tin Tin. As years have gone by, things have started to get complicated. Thoughts about the future, college work, project work, relationships, all these have weakened me making it hard to manage physical pain as well.

In spite of all this, I hope that someday in the near future, I will look back at all this and laugh at the things I thought and take inspiration from the things I managed to overcome. I've learnt the hard way that life is unfair but I've also learnt that there are ways to make it fair to you at times too. So if you think that you’re the only one with problems in life, don’t worry, you’re not the only one! Quoting Swedish House Mafia – “Don’t you worry don’t you worry child. See heaven’s got a plan for you! J”.  

Friday, 2 August 2013

Stapler Unpinned

Previously -----> The Brighter Side of my Life

Welcome back to my life. Quite a few changes have happened since the last status of my life and now to bring you back up to date. These last couple of months has been very revealing not that I got eureka moment or anything but it’s made me realize the importance of mobility and how lucky I am to actually have a chance to commute from one place to another.

So I had my 8th surgery over the course of these 2 months (Yes, I keep count). It was vacation time and I had all these big plans of seeing all the new movies that came out, TRY to get my license and stay out of the house as much as possible but it was not to be. Like I said in one of my posts - “Stapler Pinned”, I had staplers put in my leg in order to straighten it at least a bit. But there wasn't much of a difference and it still seemed pretty curved to me.  The doctors claimed that it was because I had got it done too late and that my growth was done. So now it was time to remove the staplers.

When you have been in an operation theatre a number of times it gets less scary the more times you go. So I wasn’t that tensed, I was still kinda freaked out but I knew the drill and tried my best to keep cool. I was in the operation theatre and a couple of surgeons come and do the usual, try to sweet talk the patient and to cover the fact that in a few moments from now they will be cutting flesh open and pulling out staplers lodged in my bone. Whatever sense of calm I had was gone when the two surgeons started to play Subway Surfers as they waited for the anaesthetist  who was one and a half hours(seemed that long) late. So after a long wait and listening to the surgeons compare high scores and flirt with all the nurses, the anaesthesia finally came.

Now all this while what got me the most tensed was whether they were going to use a local or general anaesthesia. My first few operations as a kid were all general anaesthesia and I so I used to wake up without realizing a thing. But in the previous operation that I had done it was local anaesthesia and worse it was injected through the spinal cord. Now for those of you who haven’t felt a needle being driven through your spinal cord let me tell you it is extremely painful. After the entire wait they made me sit up and that was enough to get me to tighten my back. They brought me a full pack of cotton and I held on to it as tight as possible. I could see the faces of the nurses and their expressions portrayed, “Poor kid”. Then I felt it. The pain shot through my entire being and I let out a shriek. Although it’s only a needle, it feels like a whole rod being driven through the spine and it made me feel like being in one of those sci-fi movies like “The Matrix” where they have extensions driven into them.

A few seconds later I was lying down again and I couldn't feel the entire lower half of my body. Soon I could feel them yanking out something from my leg though my view was obscured by the drapes they had put up. Even though I was not supposed to feel anything, it felt like my bone was being pulled out from its position and it started to hurt.  The doctors noticed that I was feeling uncomfortable and asked me if I could move my foot. I nodded in disagreement. In a few moments from being a patient I turned into a test subject as one of the doctors calmly asked a junior doctor, “Why do you think he’s having pain?” Who the hell cares you nimrods?! Just do something about it. They finally gave me some laughing gas as I drifted off into a slightly subconscious state. I later found out that they had no trouble in remove the first pin. But to remove the rest of the three they had to drill through my bone as it had grown over the pins. Hence all the yanking.

The rest of my vacation was spent brooding over the fact that I was literally imprisoned at home. I hardly moved around and the only times I went out were to Ottobock (the place I got my prosthesis). I had some slight modifications and upgrades done, version 2.0 you can say. It took a while to get used to it and learn to walk all over again. But over the holidays I got to learn new things like photography and cooking. My dad was here for the 2nd month of the vacation and we seriously discussed about the future and the realization of how little time there was to get started on a career, dawned upon me.

So yes these last few months have probably influenced my life a lot and right now I am still struggling to go regularly to college as the pain keeps coming on and off. But there is still a big slice of life to look forward to so I have to stick it out and enjoy the meal. I hope you will join along so see you all soon!  

Thursday, 25 April 2013

The Brighter Side Of My Life

Previously -----> Stapler Pinned

Okay so here is a list of things that I felt that I could do that most people out there can only dream of doing!

  1)      I can hop way faster than any of you can. We could race and see if you’d like?

  2)      I have to cut only 5 toe nails. I’m extremely lazy so this is like an achievement.
  3)      I could be offered a role in a movie as a zombie or a pirate which I can play very realistically.

  4)      I can say things like “Pass me my leg” or “Dude, Where’s my leg?” or “Give me back my leg or else!”
  5)      I can wear one sock for a month because…well my foot doesn’t stink. I’m kidding people I don’t do that. I just wear it for 2 weeks maximum.

  6)      I can play football (FIFA 13), basketball (real life), badminton, probably even better than you.
  7)      Wherever I go all eyes are on me. I get all the possible attention in this world. I’m so awesome.

  8)      I can bear any kind of pain because I’ve gone past the worst.
  9)      If I ever get a girl who says she loves me I can be sure it’s true.

  10)   I have the best possible family in this world because if it were not for them I probably wouldn’t be happy enough to write something like this.
  11)   I have the best possible friends in the world who I know really care for me and will always be there for me.

  12)   And last but not the least I’ve learnt the hard way that life will never be fair to you and now  every other problem seems petty. All you have to do is kick life in the groin and make it be fair to you. Nothing is Impossible…Impossible is nothing…Addidas is going to sue me.

Anyway the whole point is, be a glass half full kinda person and then everyday will seem like a piece of yummy tasty Chicken because I love Chicken. For the vegetarians yes it will still be a piece of cake. Just believe that you are better than anybody no matter what they tell you or talk about you. Live life make it Large…I should stop using brand catch phrases.
That’s all for today people. Time to go study for my semester exams (That’s something I wish I didn’t have to do). Adios!

Monday, 25 February 2013

Stapler Pinned

Previously ------> Dreams of a Cyborg

Hello people of the world and aliens too! It has been ages since I've last posted anything. That is because I'm at the phase of life where you begin to figure out the whole purpose of it and realize how much of it you have wasted. Plus I got totally lazy and kept procrastinating up until about now. Also I usually write these when I've had a really stressed out day. It helps me direct my train of thought to the past. Wow I sound so philosophical. So after all the tales of the flying legs and other weird stuff let’s cut to the beginning of 12th grade – the year that decides what path we choose for the rest of your life.

Despite getting the prosthesis there were still some issues to clear, the main one being that my leg was curved at a slight angle at the knee joint. So this had to be corrected as it was ruining the whole alignment with the other leg. It could also cause problems in the future such as arthritis, affecting my spine and all the other old people diseases. So what the doctor suggested was to “staple” the growth on one side of the leg i.e. to stop the growth on one side so that when the other side grows it should straighten out a bit. In order to achieve this they…well they stapled one side using pins that resemble stapler pins. This was done just before I started my 12th classes. 

The "staplers" 

The rest of the year passed of quite uneventful except for the girlfriend I had and her dad threatening to skin me alive etc etc. More on that later. Then came the dreaded board exams, the exams whose scores would determine the colleges that I would be eligible for excluding the ones that have entrance exams. India may claim to have unity in diversity but there is still partiality shown among various castes and crap. The marks required vary whether the person is forward or backward or more backward or most backward. And the irony is that many of these supposedly “backward” people have are more forward in life than most “forward” people and their life becomes a little less hard thanks to a certificate that says they’re backward.

Despite all my whining it is going to be a while before there’s a standardization of our education system. Anyway I ended up getting 90% which was basically pointless since I wrote a few entrance exams and managed to get through one. And that is how I joined Karunya University, definitely not my first choice but hey you can’t change destiny or can you? So it was time to start a new life, a college life, at least that is what I expected (my fellow “Karunyans” will understand what I'm inclining). I guess I’ve finally caught up with the present but I still have a lot more to talk about. I am doing my II year of B.Tech Computer Science and Engineering. I've met some really cool people and made some wonderful memories and sucky ones too but mostly nice ones. I will sign off for now but see you all in a while. Peace Out.   

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Dreams of a Cyborg

Previously ------> One Small Step For Man, One Giant Leap for Me!

Hello again everybody! So now let’s get straight back into the story of my life. I had just gotten a new leg, a sentence that not many people will get to say in their lives. I felt totally different from everybody yet I wanted to be treated normal and for that I could count on my friends. I also felt like a cyborg and at some point of time the name Gl-Endhiran(Endhiran is the name of a robot in a Tamil movie of the same name)  caught on. Okay fine I got it to catch on. On the outside it looked like I had accepted the fact but on the inside I hated myself and life wondering what I had done to deserve a fate like this.

One of the main reasons was I loved to play and as much as I tried, it was hard to run. I’m not saying I never played which I did almost all the time. But after I did I had to pay the price in many forms. Due to the friction caused by the socket moving up and down it used to peel off my skin. Loads of sweat kept collecting which only made it worse. And then there was the pain caused due to me straining myself to the max. Despite all the pain I kept playing which only made it worse sometimes causing me to skip school. Cricket, Football, Basketball you name it and I was playing at times trying to prove to others that I can be just as good as them, which I never was. I always felt that I was picked to play because they felt sorry for me which was partly true at times.

My prized possession

While I played some weird and funny stuff happened too. One day while on the football ground a nice juicy little football came rolling towards me begging to be kicked. I didn’t want to disappoint the ball so I raised my left leg and with all the force possible I kicked it. The ball went flying into the top corner followed by my leg which flew in the other direction. Thank god it didn’t hurt anybody but it might’ve ruined the childhood of certain kids as they watched this horrifying scene unfold with gaping mouths and eyes popping out of their sockets. I kinda enjoyed the expression of the faces of those kids. I can’t imagine the conversation that unfolded in their homes that evening but it might have gone something like this.

Mom:”What happened in school today son?”
Freaked out kid:“Mommy today I saw a boys leg come out after he kicked a football and then he just went and picked it up and went away!”
Mom:”Son haven’t I told you never to make up stories. Remember the boy who cried wolf?”
Son:”But I’m serious Mom!”
Mom:”That’s it no ice-cream for you.”

It actually happened twice. The second time was intentional!
Also this one time I played a prank on a friend who knew I had a problem with my leg but didn’t know it was amputated. I asked him to stretch my leg and when he did, he pulled it right off! He freaked out so bad and swore in every possible tongue he knew. Aside of all the fun I was having with my leg there were dark times that kept coming and going making me question my existence and God.

When I watched others run and play I couldn’t help thinking that that could’ve been me. I used to get
so depressed and just wished I could go back into the past back to the 2nd grade and not run back to class. But then again it could have happened later on and life might’ve been worse. I kept questioning God and why ME of all people! But then my mom would make me realize that I was actually better off in so many ways compared to others in the world. This would get me back to my senses but then again at times I used to go back into depression mode.  But the frequency of that decreased as realization dawned upon me. I may be lacking a limb but all that is made up for with the presence of a loving family, wonderful friends, the ability to still walk and the disease that I have called awesomeness! =D 

All in all I love my life and could not have asked for a better one.  See you all next time for some twists in the tale. Bye!

Saturday, 15 September 2012

One Small Step For Man, One Giant Leap for Me!

Previously-------->The Part of Me That Went Away

Hello, Bonjour, Guten Tag,
Konnichiwa, Namaste, Namaskaram, Vanakam to all! All of that means “sup” in many languages. It has been quite a while since I’ve updated my seemingly unending story. That’s because I got caught up in some really important work (Counter Strike Gaming tournament) and I also just finished my study of the Big Bang Theory(the TV show). So yeah back to the Chronicles of Moi.

I was beginning to recover from the fact that I was an amputee now. Would I be able to do things normally again? Would people love me for who I was as a person and not just pity me? Had I made the right decision? Well I was about to find out. The first step was to look for a prosthesis i.e. an artificial leg. Everybody kept telling me to get the “Jaipur Foot” which is a cheap and effective prosthesis made in…well Jaipur. They said I could walk well with it. But that wasn’t enough. I wanted to walk awesome.  

Right near the hospital I was going to was a prosthetic company called Otto Bock. They are a German based company and have their branches all over and are pretty famous and make all kinds of prosthesis. After seeing entering that place I realized I was not alone and that I was kinda lucky in many ways. I liked the prosthesis that they showed and recommended but it was expensive. But that is when my uncle came to the rescue. He has been my role model in ALMOST every way possible. My bond with him started early on since I was a little baby. He is the person who inspired me to go into the field of Computer Science and Engineering. He lives in France and is living his dream. He raised funds by holding a raffle in France which helped me get a new leg. I owe the man (Monsieur Joy Mendez) for everything he has done and also for teaching me random French words.

So now that the “leg” was made which I fondly referred to as “Circuit”, the only thing left was to learn to walk and that is easier said than done. I felt like a new born baby learning to stand and take his first steps except for the falling down part cause I was not a baby. I had also gotten my first real shoes after 8 years and they were Woodlands! (*really happy smiley face*) Walking was a real pain and I almost gave up. All the pressure of my upper body on a fresh new stump was hard to handle at first but then slowly but surely I was capable of walking around a bit without any support.

There were several other problems that I have which I still have to go through at times. One of them is called “phantom limb” accompanied by “phantom pain”. Sounds scary right? Well as the name suggests it’s the sensation that the amputated leg was still there. I swear I could move my toes. Plus I get these pricking and tingling sensations at the end of the stump which I refer to as “shock” which strangely I am getting now! A cure for this was massaging the end of the leg which I used to enjoy SO very much. I invented names for the massaging techniques my uncle used to use like the “drumming”, “guitar-solo” and my personal favourite, the “tea-plucking”.  I still get these sensations once in a while but not so often.

Three months had passed now and I was ready to go back to school. During the long break I got a card signed by all my classmates who made me feel special and if any of you guys ever read this – THANK YOU ALL.  So anyway I was able to move from point A to B without much problem and was back to school after a long time. And on the first day after rejoining I was made to stand outside class for talking too much. A new chapter of my life was about to begin and I felt I was ready to take on the world even though deep down inside a part of me thought otherwise.

Feel free to leave a reply! More Chronicles coming up…when I feel like writing which will be very soon so stay tuned! J