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Eye stories: My ICL experience… Part I

After 31 years and a few months of looking at the world with anything but rose-tinted glasses, and feeling almost blind all the time, I am off any vision correction! I had been considering eye surgery for the longest time, but procrastinating over it. But, my eye troubles in the last few months finally pushed me over the edge and I decided that now was the time! I took one last look at my bank accounts, sighed dramatically, and kicked off the endeavor!

My regular ophthalmologist that I was consulting during the inflammation phase, had told me that they charge $400 for consultation and that the fee can be adjusted towards the surgery if I go ahead with it. I did not feel upto it to put in any money until I was sure that I was a candidate. So I called up an eye surgery center near my home, that was suggested by, ahem, one of the boys that I dated. I set up my free consultation, and off I went! (Thank you, you password-protected boy!)

Unfortunately, that appointment turned out to be a damp squib, except for the part where they gave me another referral for my high prescription case. They basically told me that I would not qualify for the lasik that they did, since my prescription was way higher. The doctor sounded so upset that I ended up consoling her that I was very well aware and I also had researched enough on what my options were. So, that led me to my next appointment at the referred clinic.

I looked at the background of the clinic and the doctor that I was going to for my next consultation and they sounded really, really good! That gave me some confidence and I booked another complimentary consultation. I was told to stay off my contacts for 4 days before that Friday appointment and I obliged. The boy ended up proposing on that Thursday and hence, all my pictures are in glasses! I used that as my strong reasoning at the clinic to make my case for ‘I dont want glasses anymore!’

The visit went really well, actually, even though they re-iterated the fact that I would not qualify for lasik. But they suggested another treatment plan, the one that I already knew was going to be my only option. IOL! Intraocular Contact Lens! Also called ICL, and a plethora of names. Basically they are a combination of collagen and polymer and they go right over the natural eye lens. I was going to be a bionic wonder woman! Well, almost. The doctors did every possible test on my eyes with a gazillion different drops and instruments and did a thorough exam of my corneas. I was quite happy with the way they conducted the examination and in no way, they sounded like they were out to make a quick buck! They left the decision to me completely! Well, I also got the taste of what it’s like to be newly engaged when they suggested to also consult my ‘fiance’. Eesh!

My procedure was to be done in two steps. Phase 1 involved making tiny piercings in my irises for glaucoma prevention, and after a gap of a month, phase 2 involved the actual implants. Eye implants, you dirty minded but normal fellow! Without wasting much time, but after asking enough relevant questions, I went ahead and booked my appointments!

There is not enough chatter about this otherwise very well-documented, researched procedure on the internet. I found a few blogs listing their personal experiences, and so I decided that I wanted to log my experience as well. This is not an easy procedure like Lasik, and I am hopeful that my experience can help someone make some decisions. These couple of months of preparations, precautions and care may totally be worth it for years of freedom!

In the next part, I will cover what went on with my Phase 1 and Phase 2 and what my experience has been overall. I also will want to document my future eye exams, just so that I know where I stood, and what changes have taken place.

This has been a life-altering decision for me, and I am really hoping that everything sails smoothly! I hope the same for you! If you are in San Diego, and would like to talk about it, send me an email. I will give you my honest opinion about the doctors that I have seen. If you decide to go ahead with it, I wish the absolute best for you!

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The finale: When this Coffee met her Bagel.

This has been in-the-works for a while now(close to a year), but I took my own sweet time to put it down in words and this has been an exceptionally hard post to write. Meeting this boy was surreal and serendipitous and would not have happened without some strong intervention from fate, or intuition, if you will. Maybe the universe really does work in mysterious ways, and you catch feelings when you least expect it. Like stomach flu, but in a good way. No?

So, ladies and gentlemen, here’s Mr. PB!

It started from a state of being absolutely and totally over any kind of dating, including online matrimonial portals. I had met another boy(#7) that I haven’t written about who was eerily similar to Boy 6 and deserves minimal mentions. Yet, I gave him a few chances and the last dinner date at his place and a walk on the beach confirmed that I never wanted to see him again. Well, the cringe that I felt inside when he touched me, should have sealed the deal, but I was still giving him a chance of redemption. Anyways, I was done and I let him know that.

But me being me, I opened the Coffee Meets Bagel app for ‘one final time’ and came across this one profile. I cant say much about his pictures because to be honest, I wasn’t sure for a few dates which one was I dating! The dude had most of his pictures in sunglasses, OR with his similar looking brother! Sheesh. But something about his profile caught my eye and I decided to try and connect with him. Alas, that lasted for a day because once we exchanged hey’s, he asked me about my non-profit work, and I was blown off with a ‘That’s a nice story but I worked way too hard and I gotta crash’ text after my reply which was more or less like a 250 words essay. I was convinced that it was a lie, because, err, I may or may not have used that in the past. A few days later, after no communication between the two of us, CMB reminded him that it was the last day before the line was closed off. I had assumed this interaction to be the end of it, just like many other missed chances. But the notification seemed to have prompted him to leave his number to get in touch later. I saved his number, with no intention of texting back. Because, hey! Ego! Y’all know me well enough already.

A week or two later, my grad school buddies were in SD for the weekend, and I had S+A’s wedding to attend that Sunday in OC. Hilarious drinking ensued on all 3 nights with some heart to heart talks with my favorite girlfriends(and the boys too) across the table as well as continents, who somehow convinced me to give dating another shot. Some incidents on Saturday night, and the wedding itself, pushed me further towards his profile’s direction. The boy’s profile was looked at and judged by the girls ‘during’ tequila shots and I was hit in the head for not texting back. So I did. 🙂

As soon as we started texting, he asked me out for a drink and I suggested one of my favorite places for a Brewery event that I already had planned on attending that Saturday. Because God forbid, I have to change my plans for anything or anyone. Now that I think of it, I set the date up to be a failure, unknowingly. There was all that beer(he is a whiskey kind of a guy), the brewery is stuffed at that time(he prefers places we can talk in peace, or dance at!), my friends could have been there(dumbest idea ever, duh) and the event had only vegan food(only PB was a happy bunny here). I had already reached and was waiting for him to show up, and then he did…

I don’t really know how to express it all in words, but the fact that we spent almost 6 hours together, should tell you enough how the date really went. We left the brewery within the hour and walked over to a cocktail bar next door, and that place stands as witness to the most beautiful turn our lives were taking together. We spent the next many hours sitting on barstools there, where we had assumed we would be spending just the next hour perhaps. We drank cool charcoal cocktails, ate some yummy food, talked about all things sundry, while my heart did backflips everytime he laughed and clapped his hands together! His eyes caught his smile and it was making me flutter. He drove me back home and dropped me just outside my apartment. We said bye, I went in and I panicked. I had caught feelings…

We met, and we couldn’t stop meeting. I missed him when I couldn’t see him, and when I saw him, I couldn’t have enough of him. And, he really was busy at work and not bluffing, as I initially thought. Dude’s a workaholic! I haven’t told him this yet, but I was falling so hard for him, that I was losing sleep! We attributed it to stress at that time, but I knew what was up with me. I was losing my appetite(that’s the most obnoxious sign), I was failing to understand jokes and I could not stop thinking about him. I really hoped that he was feeling the same way about me, like my soul depended on it. Post some amazing cocktails, an adoption event by my dog rescue, a movie where I tried hard not to cry, a beautiful evening at Mt. Soledad, a Cinco de Mayo with homemade tacos, some Ramen and Pho, a dash of dancing, some weekend trips to snow clad mountains, a first international trip together, here we are.

We have had an amazing year together, and I still have the giddy school girl feeling inside me when I think about him, see him and snuggle into him. He loves reading, traveling and sports, and plays cricket for the local league. He has a curious and intelligent mind, with a will to leave more positive impacts on the world. He has never lived with dogs before, but his compassion towards them, and towards people, makes me happy. One of the best things about him is his emotional availability that makes him very expressive with words and they have so much sincerity in them. He is an absolutely wonderful friend and family boy. He loves to laugh freely, sing loudly and is not afraid of showing emotions. He is very expressive about showering me with love, irrespective of us being alone, or with another hundred people. When he squeezes my hand, or me, I feel that all is right in the world. And, oh so handsome! This gorgeous and wonderful boy is mine, and I am his.

I feel like he gets me. He gets my silences, and my laughter. I have opened up like never before, and although this vulnerability freaks the bejesus out of me, I don’t mind it. I do have my moments though, of course. My famously thin skin, the ability to take each and every word to heart and then stewing over it and my bucket loads of insecurities are making this all pretty fun too. Ask him! He calls himself an overcommunicator, and I tend to shut down, so he is making me come out of my shell. I am learning to express myself in ways that I never have. The calm that he brings over me, remains unmatched. He is the stillness to my turbulence, the words to my silences, and a perfectly suitable ear to my rants. We couldn’t be more opposite to each other, yet we somehow ‘meet in the middle’, and will hopefully continue to. So, this was what the heavens had planned for me, and I truly am grateful for this wait. We are in love with each other, completely and hopelessly.

Finishing up this story that I have held to my heart for almost a year now, I feel a beautiful energy surrounding me. Being newly engaged, and so deeply in love, I somehow cannot think of having it any other way. He is the most spectacularly amazing thing that is happening to me, and I cannot wait to see how we shape up together. Our story has just begun and hopefully we live a beautiful life together. Me and mi amor…

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If I could be…

I am having an extremely productive day at work. I am running a simulation and have so much on my plate that I cant think straight. So I have let my mind wander. My brain is capable of shutting off when there is a huge list to be tackled and I cannot do anything about it. Either I need to take a restroom break or actually catch a few zzz’s if I need to get back in order. Anyways, I digress.

I went down a beautiful whirlpool of what other living creature could I be if not a human. Dog is an obvious option, but I must be a dog of Moony’s stature or better or I am screwed. I thought of a number of options. I have actually been told that I remind someone of ferrets. Wiggly-woogly, mischievous ferrets but not like the one Draco Malfoy turned into.

And then I started thinking about seagulls. Yep, the rodents of the ocean. Imagine an unlimited capacity to swoop and steal a kid’s icecream and no one can really do anything about it, unless they have a gun! The way seagulls just stand by the beach looking around with suspicion for an unsuspecting fool with food, reminds me of myself in the break room looking for free snacks. Also, the ability to just scream randomly, is awe-inspiring! I would love to run around and just go Keeeekkkkk at anyone while staring in a different direction altogether. They just chill in the sand, till they have to fly a bit and swoop and catch a fish. Or they could just poke into the sand to catch bugs and crabs. But with all the french fries littered around, I think a seagull’s life is quite set. I could be wrong, but they don’t even really have a definite predator. All they have to do is fly to a pole or something high. The eggs and chicks get eaten up, but nothing out of the ordinary.

Being a seagull, would be pretty cool, wouldn’t it? I am hopeless.

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Never too old to miss mummy…

When I am bored at work, I start looking at recipe videos to take a break from my mundane simulations. There is something about watching cooking videos that gives me a lot of comfort. I feel like I am almost eating that and it also inspires me to cook up a meal as and when time permits. I really enjoy planning on what to cook that evening and the weekends and that is why pre-prepping for meals does not work for me.

When we were 20-21 year old, fresh of the boat, grad students, most of us had never stepped into the kitchen before. I had a couple of roommates who were already adept at cooking, but for some of us, it was an absolutely new ball game. The only things that I knew how to make were some fancy things that I would look up and make at home. I had zero idea about the basic curries and rotis. In the couple of months that I had between my final exams and leaving home for good(cue: fresh set of tears), my mum tried to teach me some recipes. I picked up the basic steps then, but even then, cooking largely remained a challenge for me. She tried hard, hiding her own emotional state about my imminent departure, and put her soul into prepping me for my journey ahead. She even made a little diary with recipe notes for me.

One of my biggest support during my endeavor to overcome that challenge was and is, a Marathi(my mother tongue) cookbook gifted by my mum’s best friend. ‘Ruchira’ remains a cult favorite and every so often, I bring it down from the shelf, specially during Diwali and other festivals. The other big supporter was obviously, Youtube. I can’t describe my obsession to look up all the recipes and jump from channel to channel, taking mental notes. Some of the channels that were my favorite were Veg Recipes of India, Madhura’s recipes for Mahrashtrian food, Sanjeev Kapoor for popular recipes, and one quaint channel called Nisha Madhulika. I used to follow her videos for traditional recipes because she actually used very classic, typical cooking methods and they worked for me. These channels took me over the mountain, and slowly, I really started enjoying cooking. I am not a Master Chef, but people appreciate what I make. I have also started enjoying potlucks and spending time thinking, prepping, and cooking for 10-12 people. I have hosted dinners for my non-Indian friends and cooked fun things for my Indian friend’ parties. Turns out, that my mom has also discovered youtube now and follows Nisha Madhulika and Madhura’s channels.

On a whim today, I looked up a video to make something that mum makes. The first video that I saw was Nisha Madhulika’s. Nisha auntie, I feel like fondly calling her now, went over the recipe step by step. If anyone has seen her videos, she has a peculiar, slow mannerism where she explains each step and teaches with a certain softness in her. By the time that video was done, I was a ball of tears and snot. I am not totally sure why, but I felt this gush of emotions towards her. And my mummy.

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The way Nisha auntie was explaining the recipe, was like a mother taking pains to teach her child how to cook. She explained what ingredients to use, any substitutions, the right way of adding them, and so on. I have seen countless videos by now, and no one has the mannerisms of this lady. It feels like she has put her emotions and passion into it. I started thinking of my mum, who taught me in the same way, and even now will answer my doubts when I FaceTime her while cooking. My mom isn’t actually that detail oriented so she will forget about some or the other thing and then I have to question her again! But nevertheless, I can tell that my mum loves the fact that I take pleasure in cooking now. In her new videos, I felt this jolt of realization that she even looks like my mummy! Her hair pulled back into a ponytail, her kurtas with long sleeves, and the way her face lights up when a recipe is done, is so much like my mama! Obviously this did not help my emotional state. My mum taught me a lot, and is still teaching me. But most importantly, she is teaching me to enjoy the process, and put love and care into it. I know she wants me to do more and so do I. I feel there should be someone to keep taking the small traditions ahead. The small rituals that make up Diwali, Holi, etc, also make our lives sweeter.

Image result for nisha madhulika

It’s surreal how memories of home can rush back all at once, when you are least expecting it. I never thought that watching a cooking video will take me back into my home kitchen and refresh my senses with all the wondrous aromas. I was not prepared to have goosebumps watching someone like my mom talk, and then remembering my mom standing in her petite self, by the kitchen counter. The images of her making fresh rotis, stirring the curry, insisting on all of us sitting down and serving piping hot food, are all dancing in front of my eyes now. The lady takes immense pride in whipping up delicacies for people she cares about and making sure that no one leaves with a dot of space in their tummies. She thinks her job isn’t well done, until you lick your fingers and are deep into food coma. Oh, how I miss her!

This is my unintended mommy appreciation post. Here’s to my mom, and all of ours, who moved mountains to turn us little monsters into what we are today. They taught us with love, patience, and a little whack here and there, to give us this life. These are important life skills, and they taught us to mix them up with TLC and pass it on. Mamas are really the best! Give them a squeezy hug today when you see them, even if virtually! ❤

My sweet mummy, even if I achieve a 10% of what you are capable of putting on our plate, and in our lives, I will consider it my biggest achievement.

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N-N-1 February 2019

(Hosted by Norm)

This picture speaks of missed plans, but with no regrets at all! Snow didnt happen, but dumplings and punchbowls did!

Classical Gasbag

It’s time for you to enjoy another N-N-1. Once again we have people in different locales sharing their different contemporary lives with a picture and words. One thing they have in common is an interest in sharing (giving and receiving) with others. 

Natalie Garvois sent this picture and description (surprisingly not in verse). You can find her blog at Wild Rivers Run South.

A Day for Poetry

I visited Nana Julia this afternoon. She invited me to look through her treasure trove of books and pick out a few for myself. I found this textbook of poetry she had saved from college. I shall never be a Whitman; but I can read and appreciate the greatness of others. My Nana never wrote in her books. She didn’t want to ruin their pristine condition. I only wish that she had saved her notes, so that I could also have those…

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What not to eat on a V-Day/First date…

Here comes my most favorite time of the year after my birthday, parents’ birthday. Moony’s birthday, Diwali, Holi, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, New Years’s, random street aunty’s birthday, random uncle’s anniversary. You get the gist. Years ago, I started a campaign called Single Awareness Day also lovingly called S-A-D(may have been inspired but whatevs) and although I think 3 more people joined my SAD celebrations, it has been a resounding success. We are going to ignore my mum’s taunt from last year about how there could be one way I wouldn’t have to sit alone at home that day. Again, whatevs.

I think I have covered the gift suggestions in my past posts and you may have a fair idea on what to not give so as to avoid receiving a beating. While having my lunch salad, and then fishing to take the green pieces out of my teeth, I decided to suggest some food options to desperately avoid the said fishing in public. These also work fabulously as first date options.

Shall we?

  1. Green salads: I understand the need to not be bloated, but what to do. Imagine a nice big smile, and seeing a lovely piece of green stuck over your front, top incisor a la Ani and her cilantro in college. Right? Nope. Stick to Caesar salad if you must. You may fancy out to quinoa and stuff.
  2. Burger: If you are eating at a fancy place, chances are that the burger is going to be super loaded, and there will be dripping, the wrong kinds. And somehow I dont enjoy opening my mouth like a cave to devour all that stuff in one go. Also, I am not prissy enough to use a fork and knife for burgers. Just not ladylike, whatever the hell it means.
  3. Pizza: A date got into an argument with me because I usually have my slice folded up. I was not having it and argued back like my life depended on it. He wasn’t a tough loss because well, he chewed with his mouth open. But otherwise, a rather good option, if you can avoid the stupid arguments. And also if the date isn’t picky about toppings. Otherwise, you may as well have toasted bread with ketchup and cheese thrown on top.
  4. Seafood or Bbq: Homegirl doesnt eat meat and seafood places have, probably, ONE thing to order, and mostly created for the menu as an afterthought. Also, many *cough* girls refuse to kiss meaty mouths till they have brushed their teeth.
  5. Indian food: Unless you are going with a Desi guy, or someone who has experienced and enjoyed the cuisine before, it’s a bad idea. I have a tendency to focus on other people’s reaction at every bite if we are eating something or somewhere that I suggested. I will forget about my food and get jittery if I feel that they did not like it, and then will start a passive aggressive defense of the food. It’s quite mental actually and combined with my utmost love of desi food, chances are that i will take it personally. So if you are like me(i hope not!), pick another spot till a comfort level has set in and your craziness has been accepted.

These are kind of my top 5 not-to-have when out on a first date to avoid looking sloppy. The frizzy hair covers that aspect quite well. There are plenty of options that you could go for. Craft cocktails or breweries, as long as you are not falling of the bar, are always a good idea. Get some munchies, good drinks, and you are set for the next 5-6 hours. Thai food is good and tried and tasted. Sushi is nice, clean and pretty light on the tummy. Just be mindful of the wasabi because crying on a date is awkward, whatever the reason be. Italian is cute, romantic, and paired with wine, works out well. Mexican food or Ramen is definitely a winner because tacos and ramen are life!

Anyhoo, Happy V-Day to the oddballs who celebrate, and extra hugs for SAD celebrators, because y’all are way cooler anyways.

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N-N-1: How Are Your New Years Resolutions Holding Up? A Check-In!

Right at the beginning of the year, Norm and Anju got in touch with me to kickstart our fab N-N-1 picture series for the brand new year. Anju took charge and compiled all the posts and pictures. What a great theme this was! I am definitely not a resolution person and I am exceptionally annoyed by the Reso-losers hogging the parking lot and the machines at the gym right now. Jk, I support everyone who embarks on the fitness journey whenever and wherever. But just don’t sit and text on the machines.

My post had to be about the massive challenge I took upon recently. I have finished with the hardest category, and a couple of laundry sessions after. So far, the folding and sorting has been quite successful! I want to ideally finish the checklist(they are freely available online if you simply google KonMari checklist) within the next month. I highly suggest getting started. It can be a little overwhelming, but it feels so good! The whole idea of de-cluttering is to keep only those things that truly give you happiness, that ‘spark joy’. Needless to say, a LOT of the xBF stuff was dumped out.

So, here is my entry and please go to the link to read up on the rest.

Sparking Joy

One fine day in the first week of January 2019, a little Japanese doll-like lady with a quiet demeanor and a calm force, came into my life. Marie Kondo in her Netflix special ‘Tidying Up’. Within the next few days, I had watched every possible #KonMarimethod video on YouTube and had printed out a checklist on how to follow her de-cluttering method. Last weekend, the closet and the dressers looked like a hurricane passed through them. But by Sunday evening, things that ‘sparked joy’ were hung in the right place and stashed with a higher level of organization. There were two bags of clothes to be trashed and three to be donated. Time to move to the next categories!

One fine day in the first week of January 2019, a little Japanese doll-like lady with a quiet demeanor and a calm force, came into my life. Marie Kondo in her Netflix special ‘Tidying Up’. Within the next few days, I had watched every possible #KonMarimethod video on YouTube and had printed out a checklist on how to follow her de-cluttering method. Last weekend, the closet and the dressers looked like a hurricane passed through them. But by Sunday evening, things that ‘sparked joy’ were hung in the right place and stashed with a higher level of organization. There were two bags of clothes to be trashed and three to be donated. Time to move to the next categories!

I may not have fancy resolutions, but now I know how to fold my clothes like Sushi. 

This Labyrinth I Roam

We’re almost at the end of the first month of 2019 (WHAT!!!). All of the carefully thought out goals, ambitions and resolutions are well underway. As part of this year’s first N-N-1, we’re checking in with our favourite bloggers from around the world to see how they’re faring.

READ: The N-N-1 Collaboration

Sparking Joy – ASplashOfMyLife

One fine day in
the first week of January 2019, a little Japanese doll-like lady with a quiet
demeanor and a calm force, came into my life. Marie Kondo in her Netflix
special ‘Tidying Up’. Within the next few days, I had watched every possible
#KonMarimethod video on YouTube and had printed out a checklist on how to
follow her de-cluttering method. Last weekend, the closet and the dressers
looked like a hurricane passed through them. But by Sunday evening, things that
‘sparked joy’ were hung in the right place and stashed with a…

View original post 972 more words

10

Some more randomness

1. In a drying rack, post washing dishes, I insist on keeping all the spoons, forks, butter knives with the handle down and eating part up. In my head, the bottom of the drying rack is teeming with cooties and muck and the eating side must never touch it. There have been countless arguments with the father and mother about this when they were visiting me. Of course, the question remains, why would I not throw away such a mucky rack?! The short answer is, it’s all in my head, people.

2. I keep count of how someone treats the gifts I give them because for me, that is directly proportional to the feelings involved. I keep all gifts, even buttons of old dresses, like precious items. Ani knows this very well, and yet she made the mistake of not keeping the flowers and card that we sent her on her wedding day. Preserving the flowers should have been her top priority on that day, obviously. It bothers me, way more than I admit, if I see my gift going unused, or worse, left behind. I am totally judging the gift-receiver at that moment. And it bothers me even more, if I give something and that is given away. I had given a bunch of makeup bags and makeup from Sephora to my mom, and all it took to blow my lid off, was to mention the idea of giving something out of that set to some family friend.

3. I am feeling very abandoned by some close friends and I hate how much it has affected me in the last one year. Anyhoo, this topic shall not be touched here.

4. My aversion to phone-calls still continues. I still find myself wishing, while the other side is ringing, that they miss the call! Oh Ani, I am sure you remember this!(2nd mention in the post, waah!) I get clammy, I feel tongue-tied, and I get just so awkward every time! Is there a phone-call-phobia, or any word for it? Even while I was attempting to date, I would get jittery when the guy would ask to talk on the phone. I have almost asked to continue dating on Whatsapp to keep things easier. Phone-calls are bad, and talking to people who I don’t really know well, makes it even worse. Also, thank god for online food orders now!

5. I have started enjoying collecting fun mugs. I don’t quite drink tea or coffee, but weekend mornings feel extra special these days as I get to have tea or filter coffee in a cute, hand-picked mug. It just feels nice to sit cozily with a nice mug. You know what I mean? Weekend rituals, perhaps.

Alrighty, that’s all for today folks! We shall continue with this random silliness when my brain freezes the next time.