Lucky to be Alive

15 11 2010

There really is no place like home. After 10 days in the hospital due to an emergency surgery I finally fully understand what Dorothy meant when she said this.

I was one day away from death. One more day without seeking medical attention and I would have died. That has really given me something to think about. No 22-year-old should have to face what I went through and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

The hospital is a lonely, dreary place.  There isn’t much there to keep you motivated. There is definitely a need for a good interior decorating hospital business. But with the loving support of my family and friends I was able to find the strength to work toward making it out and back home. I looked forward to coming home to my dogs, a real shower and clothes that covered my backside. I never realized what a privilege it was to get out of bed and walk to the bathroom on my own or to get a full night’s sleep without nurses poking and prodding you for your vitals or blood every half hour.

I have so much to be thankful for this holiday season: for my sister who brought me to the hospital and took off work in order to care for me and make sure my hair wasn’t out of place, for my parents who stayed all during visiting hours and made sure I was getting the best care, for my friends who visited me and brightened my hospital room with beautiful flowers, stuffed animals and thoughtful cards, for Dr. Shah for saving my life, for my favorite nurse Carolle, who treated me as one of her own, for food (no judging – I wasn’t able to eat for a week), and for my dogs for giving me something to look forward to when I got out.

I will now remind myself everyday how lucky I am to be alive, because I truly am. And if I ever find myself in a sticky situation and feel like clicking my heels for home, I know its never too far away.


22 or 12? That is the Question.

2 08 2010

Since moving back home in May I have been having somewhat of an identity crisis. I find myself fighting to keep my independence as a capable 22-year-old college grad, while at the same time struggling not to retract back to the simpler times of age 12.

After quitting my job as a retail salesperson to pursue my greater goal of a career in book editing, I have returned to a daily cycle of sleeping in, applying to jobs, spending the rest of my day going to the beach and/or playing with my dogs, followed by staying up late watching Friends DVDs. Occasionally I will venture out of this daily ritual to meet my friends for a night out in AC, Philly or NYC. However most of my stories tend to start with, “So I was hanging out with Bogie and Chip. . .” (Bogie and Chip are my two dogs’ names).

Living with my parents has only helped spin me further into the downward spiral that is now my life. I have gone from fending for my own meals three times a day to getting healthy and delicious home-cooked meals most nights of the week. The most I’ve had to do for a meal since graduation is set the table. I find myself giving an attitude if my mom asks me to do anything more. I don’t even know why I do it. It’s more of an innate reaction. You want me to scoop my own ice cream? ARE YOU CRAZY WOMAN?! DO YOU KNOW HOW HEAVY THAT SPOON IS?

I recently changed my student checking account over to a regular joint checking and savings account. My mom’s name was taken off the account and now I am solely the only one responsible for the money inside it. Big step, I know. When the man who was helping me set up my “Big Girl” account asked if I wanted to get the overdraft-security feature I was grateful for his thoughtfulness.

While away at school there have been several occasions where I have gotten the dreaded phone call from my father screaming at me about all the overdraft fees I had collected the month before. After the second time “I didn’t know,” and “Sorry Daddy,” just didn’t cut it. Now I will no longer have to fear the wrath of my father when his name pops up on the caller ID. Although this also means I will have to be more aware of the goings-on in my account, because I won’t have him to bail me out. Facing the parents or responsibility for my own actions? I have yet to figure out which I prefer.

Since I refuse to carry around a checkbook and write down my every transaction — for fear of losing interest in the act altogether and because I simply see it as a waste of time — I have conveniently added the mobile online banking app to my iPhone and signed up for an online banking account on my computer as well. So far I have been quite successful in not obtaining any overdraft fees, and I have even managed to collect some savings, as well. Aw. Look at me, growing up so fast.

Of course, I made my mom come with me to the bank. But in my defense, I knew I wouldn’t understand all of the bank language and I did not want to get taken for a ride. I mean, you don’t just go in to a dealership by yourself when you’re buying your first car, do you? No! Those salespeople will eat you alive.

Suffice to say, I still have a lot of growing up to do. And while living at home with my parents might help slow down the process a bit, I am fortunate to have two great parents to fall back on. I am lucky that they put up with my acting like a 12-year-old when I don’t feel like dealing with the realities that being 22 brings. But believe me, they are pretty good at giving me a kick in the back when I am getting on their nerves, and hopefully one of these days their threats that I’ll be living on the street soon won’t become a reality. Or else, I’ll just be moving in with my sister who has an apartment in NYC.