How An Emergency Hospital Visit Improved My Relationship With Mom

It’s 1:04 a.m. and I just got home from a near-by hospital about 10 minutes ago. Mom woke up feeling dizzy, which happens occasionally, but today, however, proved to be an exceptional case. She continued to lie down on her bed throughout the day, hoping the feeling would go away.

She called off work, canceled a prior engagement and debated whether or not she should head straight to the hospital. It took about eight hours later before we actually did.

By then, mom’s hands began to stiffen and shrivel up. Her breathing became labored and her eyes were sinking in. So I left the apartment around 9 p.m. and started driving toward the hospital as fast as I could, thinking of the worst that could happen.

I arrive at the Emergency Care parking lot and rush over to the entrance, leaving mom in the car. I meet a security guard to inform him that my mom is having a hard time breathing and that she needs a wheelchair because she can’t walk.

He tells me to drive up into the drop-off zone, where he meets us along with a nurse before wheeling mom off into the facility. I re-park my car and rush again to the entrance, where same the security guard hands out a few documents attached to a clipboard.

I enter the waiting room to inform the receptionist about everything that had just happened up until now. He points me to the where the other visitors are sitting. I settle into an empty seat, where I begin to fill out the papers to the best of my abilities. I turn them in promptly. In less than 10 minutes later, my mom’s sitting on the other side of the waiting room looking much worse than earlier.

“I’m having a stroke!,” she says. Her lips were beginning to appear distorted and were stiffening up like her hands. As someone without any medical experience, that idea seemed rather convincing.

I began massaging the stiffer parts of her face around the lips, which were slanting to the right. I rubbed both of her hands as if I was making a fire to keep them warm. Like all mothers, however, she kept worrying about everything that was going on around her and of course, she was always thinking about me.

Despite the current circumstances regarding her health, mom still had enough energy to nag. I tried blocking out some of the stuff I heard while telling her “Mom, please calm down! Stop thinking so much!” My voice quivered as I tried to hold back the tears.

We wait a little longer before mom’s name is called. The nurses do a brief check-up before she meets the doctor, who diagnoses her with an anxiety attack.

She then goes through four different tests to determine the state of her health, which turned out great! While waiting for the nurses to assist us, I kept trying to talk her into calming down.

“Our relationship is pretty difficult, but it’s always times like this that we work better together,” I say.

“Why do you have to wait until the situation becomes like this?,” she asks.

“If I were too close to you, I would be too emotional. I actually prefer it this way. That’s where you and I are different.” I say.

She pauses before looking to the opposite direction because clearly, white-painted walls are interesting to look at. 

Our conversation takes a turn toward more positive topic like how well I do at my current job. We share a moment smiling together, which rarely ever happens.

As we leave the hospital, we make an exit while holding hands. We are grateful for the news that mom is healthy. She is definitely less stressed. I think I’ll sleep well tonight.

UPDATE: 9/29/18 9:38 a.m.

Mom’s still asleep. Her breathing is normal. She threw up a lot before going to bed at 2 a.m.


What to expect when getting laid off

I never expected to lose my job this way. Sure, you hear about it happening on the news, but you never really think it could happen to you. I found out less than 24 hours ago, just as I was about to end my shift and leave for the day.

“I really don’t know how to do this any better,” my boss said before announcing to our entire team that we’ll be laid-off within the next couple of months. I turn to a younger woman sitting to my right, who appears to be in shock. “It’s going to be okay,” I tell her as I pat her shoulder and give her a hug.

To my right is a gentleman who seems to he taking the news a little harder. He has to go home and try to explain this to his family. The rest of the group never looked so lifeless. There were a couple of people, on the other hand, who tried to add bits of humor here and there as this meeting came to an end.

I waited for the group to disperse before walking up to my boss. “You did good,” I told him. “Thank you for telling us in person and not over the phone. Before you process all of this, just remember that it didn’t have anything to do with you. People are going to be upset at the situation, so don’t take it personally. You have to be strong when you announce this tomorrow. Don’t show it.”

“We’re both young. We have our whole lives ahead of us,” he says before giving me a hug. With me being half his height, you couldn’t tell who was being consoled.

I head over to the time clock to finally log myself out for the day. On my way toward the exit, I ask the assistant manager how she’s doing. For someone who’s spent nearly half of her life in this occupation it must be a blow. Of course she’s having a hard time processing it!

As I drive over to my boyfriend’s house, I couldn’t help but wonder about how this could impact some of my coworkers. One is trying to support her family, the other appears to be living alone and so-and-so’s got an elderly mother to care for.

I turn into the driveway as I approach the house. As I hug my boyfriend, tears begin to stream down my face. “Thank you for sharing this with me. This is the best news I could’ve gotten! You didn’t get fired or leave, but you got laid off. It won’t negatively impact you the next time you apply for another job. If anything, the past several months should’ve boosted your confidence.”

“You’re right!” I think to myself. So here I am writing this blog after re-vamping my résumé. For the past five months, I’ve boosted my confidence and acquired new skills that will help me in any field that I pursue. I’ve met so many amazing people along the way and I know that there will be many more that I’ll meet in the future. I’m already looking forward to my next adventure!

The Journalism Graduate: One Year Later

On May 24, 2017, I entered the real world educated, debt-free and unemployed, but I never imagined myself working in retail. I graduated with a B.A. in Journalism from the California State University of Long Beach expecting a job in media. And I was wrong.

Don’t get me wrong. I did think carefully about what I wanted to do with my life, but nothing really popped out to me. I didn’t like the idea of waking up at 3 a.m. just to report at some crime scene, especially if I were to have a family. I couldn’t bear to leave my kids. These were the kind of thoughts I had as I approached my mid-20s.

I didn’t want to stretch myself thin for a job that wouldn’t financially support me, especially if I had to capture videos, photos, audio, edit and publish all of the above. For what? For who? Would I get to live my life or die in an “accident” somewhere?

I needed more time to think about my future. For 9 months, I jotted down all of my interests as well as the investments I would’ve liked to make on the side. But none of that was going to sustain me financially, either.

I applied left and right to about 30 different places in my field of study, only to land a few interviews before dipping my toes into retail. 10 applications. That’s all it took. And I scored.

Now I earn slightly less than I would as a reporter. But I’m not as stressed. I’m happier knowing that I’ll have a job anywhere I go. That I’ll get to keep my head on my shoulders and my feet firmly planted on the ground. Literally.

“So… your degree has gone out of the window,” is what I’ve been told. And as painful as it is to hear that, I still disagree with that statement. Yes, my transition from being a college student to your average working-class adult has been a very strange journey. However, it has led me to believe that I was right to get into retail all along.

A Busy Person’s Starter Guide To Self-care

Just as the day draws to an end, you realize it’s been at least six hours since your last meal. Your stomach growls in response as you tell yourself that maybe you’ll be able to squeeze an actual meal into your schedule.

It’s 9 p.m. all of a sudden and you’re still attached to your desk, typing away on your laptop computer, when you start rummaging through your stuff to see what kind of snacks you’ve brought along as back-up. Drumroll…there’s not much to eat left. All this work and never enough food. Why do you always do this to yourself?

You grab the one bag of chips you’ve brought along and resume typing until the night melts onto the next day. You head home, stressing because you weren’t able to get much work done and nod off until daytime swiftly approaches. You wake up after a few hours of sleep to find yourself looking all disheveled and withered up like a raisin. Your life hasn’t been going as smoothly as you would’ve liked, but that can change starting now.

You don’t have to eat the healthiest meal right now, but you can start with consuming as much food as you can for breakfast. Real food, not the bag of chips you have leftover, a candy or a granola bar. If that means microwaving leftovers from last night’s dinner, eating instant pre-packaged food or a banana for now, so be it! You need as much fuel as you can possibly get to tackle today’s tasks, especially since you didn’t get a full night’s worth of rest.

As you start your workday, remind yourself to take a 10-20 minute break every couple of hours. Go out and grab some lunch, drink more water, let your mind relax and resist getting back to work right away because you’ll need the energy to produce better results at work. You’ll be thankful much later.

By the time you clock back in, you’ll feel less stressed knowing that you won’t starve, dehydrate or stare at a screen in confusion with redder, itchier eyes. Now you can get back to work with less to think about until your next break. Just repeat and you’ll naturally de-stress.

All that’s left is to set a curfew for yourself. You know, a time you’ll actually stop working on that new assignment? Set a reminder for that. Convince yourself that you have to go home by all means because you’re going to want enough time for dinner and sleep. This will take some getting used to, but resist the urge to give up and keep trying. After all, you’re the only one who’s capable of taking care of yourself!

Cheers to a new you, but with water this time.

You’re So Beautiful, You Don’t Even Know It

As you look into the mirror, you begin to find those small imperfections that no one else will remember. You glance again at the side of your face that appears slightly uneven and then notice a patch of hair that hasn’t grown back within the past few weeks. Your eyes begin to wander—a sunspot here, a pimple there, a scar, a wrinkle, a mole—it just never seems to end.

Now your friends and family are starting to wonder why you’re not behaving like your usual self. They’ll offer to help you fix whatever’s got you feeling out-of-place if it means that you’ll smile again.

What does it mean to be beautiful? Beauty is in the way you laugh and in the way you smile at the things you consider silly. It’s in the way you display bravery at the face of adversity, it’s in the way you put others first, it’s in the way you help them when they’re in the dumps, it’s in the way you treat strangers or how, unbeknownst to you, other people gravitate toward your sunny disposition.

Beauty is in the way you genuinely display your thoughts and feelings, it’s in the way you make others feel accepted and it’s in the way you make them feel loved.

You can be beautiful in the physical sense, but rotten to the core. You can be ruthless, vain, cruel or so greedy that you’re never satisfied with what life has to offer you. Regardless of the affliction, it’s never too late to heal and improve yourself from within.

Just think—while you were too busy caring about your appearance, someone else was thinking about how much you’ve changed their life for the better. You’ll just never get it.

This Is The Only Relationship Advice You’ll Ever Need

Ever since meeting your S.O., your life has become much happier. You feel like a priority, you feel like you’re understood, you feel like you’ve found a puzzle piece to a larger picture.

Yet, for some reason, you notice your relationship heading downhill. You turn to your best friends and family for advice and still – nothing. That’s when your problem really begins.

When asking others for advice in this area of your life, you’re allowing third parties to intervene in your romantic endeavors. Oh, and by the way, this is not an attempt to slander your friends and family.

They will tell you that they only want the best for you. However, what they say will most likely reflect their idea of what constitutes a perfect relationship.

Don’t forget that this isn’t their problem to begin with! All issues, concerns and comments should only be reserved for a healthy conversation between you and your S.O.

So the next time you seek to improve your love life, think carefully about what you want in this relationship and pay attention to your partner’s needs as well. If you don’t know, you’d better find out!

When consumed by emotions, take a step back, breathe deeply and resume conversation as calmly as possible. Try not to glare, fidget, cross your arms or raise your voice in your attempts to resolve any issues. Most importantly, don’t turn to other people for a fresh perspective unless they are professionals with high ratings and a good reputation!

Make sure your relationship goals are achievable and don’t expect instant gratification. Healing comes naturally wherever there is true love.