Can it be ?

I was out of town for a week. While my husband attended his conference, I roamed Philadelphia on foot. Where I live, I miss the use of my two God given legs especially during the summer. I cannot bring myself to hoist myself from my chair and walk a few steps on most days. There are some days when I walk less than 500 steps a day( don’t be shocked- its true).

So I grabbed my chance when a whirlwind decision of my husband to take me along for the conference appeared. Now I could walk at least for a couple of days and the sights to see would be an additional bonus.

So armed with my two New Balance shoes I set out- on foot. Almost every day I walked- can’t say how many steps but it seemed like a lot. My legs screamed with pain and my feel swelled. But I kept on after a few minutes of rest. The jet lag didn’t affect us too much. We stayed at the Best Western hotel as the hotels near the Convention Center were all filled up( due to our very last minute decision). This was the best decision we made, it turns out. The rooms were clean, the towels folded perfect, the beds made daily, bathrooms spotless, all toiletries provided( I had forgotten toothpaste and they had it). To top it all the breakfast buffet was filling, keeping us full for almost the entire day and energizing me for my long walks.

I was back yesterday and the scale showed- drum roll- I had lost 4 kilos- 8.8 pounds- can it be ? I am not sure yet but that’s what the numbers are.


Life is but a stage

Evita was a great success in my college. It was 1981 and the actors achieved cult status among the students. This was much before my time but we heard about it- not once but many times. Eva Peron, former first lady of Argentina was the central character in the original score. Additional accolades came the actors’ way when despite their grueling medical curricula, they scored high in all university exams. Stories of how they balanced tough dialogues, a lot of medical cramming and a lot of ragging in hostels and emerged with flying colors.

Fast forward a few years until, ” One Flew over the cuckoo’s nest” was chosen the college play.  This was during my time. I watched as a year 1 student, wondering what it was all about. There was no Wikipedia then for a quick reference. Seemed like a lot of excitement in a psychiatric ward and some innuendos to some of us. One of my classmates played one of the nurses in the psychiatric ward. I remember her getting dressed for her part- a nurse’s uniform and she was wondering if she needed to wear a slip under her dress. I still remember her choosing not to do so. Its odd what things remain in a person’s brain after 30 years’.

In the 1980s, college plays and their actors were celebrities of our times. It was thought that along with a medical career, many of them would go on to be great actors on the national scene or even Broadway.  Plays chosen for enactment by students seemed to have a lot of emotional overplays, mind games, planning, plotting, cunning and so on. Maybe medical students of my time enjoyed those elements for their doses of entertainment.

Life goes on. How do we measure success in life ? Is it wealth ? Is it relationships ? Is it successful marriages ? Is it great careers ? Or is it being great human beings ? In medicine, often success is measured by publications, fame, academic and research endeavors, recently money, travel, visibility, networking and a great many things. Being a team player matters too as medicine often involves team work. I have wondered why movies glorify good looks with good behavior and greatly desirable partners in terms of relationships. I have wondered also if being great actors on stage predicted great successes in the after life. I am not sure how success in life should be measured. I am just an observer. I study human beings. Using this post to think out loud. I thought this post would serve as my contribution to the ” Morning pages“.

A friend’s problem

A colleague of mine was leaving. At the send-off lunch, everyone assembled to wish her luck. This is the colleague who owns Pepper and Elsie and Max( dogs).



Pepper’s second birthday last week 

At lunch she received a call from her house help. Oh my God ! Trixie is having babies. A video was recorded and as all watched, Trixie( the house help’s dog, who comes along with her to work and who is sibling to Elsie and Max) was on the sofa going in circles and a black bundle popped out ! There was already one on the sofa, squirming and screeching. Pepper and Elsie and Max watched their sibling.


A puppy is born 

Everyone had a fit, literally. No one knew Trixie was pregnant. Dogs have a gestation of about 68 days they found out. So that would make the day around the beginning of July. Max was fixed about the first week of July. Perhaps he got to her before that.


Both puppies 

Now no one knows what to do with the puppies. Thankfully Pepper and Elsie were fixed at six months of age. Max was left till he was a year old.

Threading a needle

For two days in a row, I have been trying to get a thread through the eye of the sewing machine needle but have failed miserably.

I have tried the traditional method, front to back, pushing the thread through the needle- doesn’t work. Seems like eyesight and hand eye coordination don’t work together at this age for me.

I researched on youtube to find out answers. I tried the Twitter hack, which seems to work on friction and which was done with ease by the demonstrator but not so much ease by me.

And then there was the fool proof Chinese way. It is so easy and interesting when watching on youtube but not so easy in real life. For me, failed attempts.

And there were the needle threader methods. I tried all of them. To be fair, the metal flimsy hand held needle threader worked once for me but the machine didn’t play fair and the threads I had threaded so lovingly, painstakingly broke. Another attempt failed.

I have now ordered all the needle threaders I found on Amazon and ebay, with the hope that one of them will work for me. Many of them will take a month to find me, so I need to wait. Why is it that when I am in a mood to do something, things don’t work out as well.

As to my studies, though I deferred my course, I had given up hope of pursuing it. Yesterday I was reminded of getting paper work started again, so the visa process could start right in earnest this time, rather than waiting for the last moment as before.

Short cuts

I am not sure what exercises we did yesterday- I mean what categories they would fall under. All I know is there is only defining character of these exercises and that is – difficult. My age tells.

Yesterday’s was a sort of a HIIT workout I suppose with weights. We started off light doing squats- I could only squawk mostly and do half hearted bends of thighs hoping my body was aligned straight as required. After squats came the worst- burpees- of course I did mine the old woman’s way- got down on four limbs, pushed one lower limb back at at time, hoped I looked like I had made a plank and an impressive one at that- did a small jump and tried to get back into upright position, slowly and steadily. One of my purposed burpees was equal to 5 for the others. Never mind, at least I tried. Then there were lunges, all with with weights- I am getting better here, than last week- my knees don’t creak so much any more. This was for warm ups.

And they started right in earnest. As it was still summer holidays, we were only 9 of us. These exercises were to be done one minute each at each station, the trainer timing us. All I can say is I did what I could and left the rest. At the end of 45 minutes, I was sweating from most pores but am not sure whether my muscles were as sore as those of the others. Given that I had taken the shorter way out of every exercise and most of the times allotted to us. I did what I could.