A captive wish..

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While browsing the internet, I came about a picture showing a small ticket with the word “Wish” written on it and locked in a prison cell. This picture took me in an emotional ride. Do wishes come true, if not, then what ..

When I was young, I used to day dream.. a lot. Wishes and dreams range from silly and small to the impossible. But, I never stopped dreaming; day or night. I think dreams help me keep going. The more difficult the dream is, the tougher I get and the more assertive I am.

It is easy to dream, but to make it happen, it needs a lot of work, may be a little bit of luck and patience. Some people get disappointed if their dreams don’t come true, I don’t. I strongly believe it is simply meant to be. In some cases, we want something so badly and when we get it, we easily let it go …

For me, I will not stop dreaming.. and I will not stop trying to make my dreams true, at least some of them.

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Love me, love me not

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People tend to gauge how much someone loves them in many different ways. It could be how much time they spend with them, how much sweet talk they say, or even how much do they spend on them. Life sometimes limits our capability to provide the previously mentioned; so does that mean love is doomed! Not really.

People express their emotions differently based on many factors such as age, origin, culture, and capabilities. The most important thing is that you should not allow love to be dependent on things that can diminish. Money, beauty and social status can and will change with time; so don’t rely on them for love. Love people for what they are and expect that one day they might look different, but they are still who they are.

Life can push people to behave differently if it is tough, don’t let go of love.

Bad News.. How do you handle them..

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This week, my mother in law had a serious lung infection which resulted in some medical completions which required her to be in the intensive care unit. The medical issues were manageable but there was one thing that really bothered me a lot and caused a lot of problems to a lot of people; which is breaking the news that someone we love is really sick.

Someone, felt that the easiest way to let people know that their mother, grandmother, sister is really sick is to send a message through social media! That someone made it even worse by not even drafting the right message so that people don’t get chocked with the news. Due to the nature of our Arabic culture, which is emotional in away, the results were devastating. Some people almost had a heart attack, others collapsed! Add to that, the patient herself, seeing her family crying around her, made her even sicker.

I have gone through a similar situation during my father’s episode of kidney failure and I learned few tips on how to handle bad news myself and how to safely deliver the news to others including the patient him/herself.

The most important thing is that you have to be strong; regardless of the news. Take a deep breath and clear your mind to be able to focus. Let’s start with the individual himself/herself; here are few tips you can use:

  • Collect as much information as possible on the issue and make sure it is true and genuine not just a rumor.
  • Control your emotions and body language; you can vent alone but not in front of anyone especially the patient.
  • Observe the suffering individual’s emotions. This may be tearfulness, a look of sadness, silence, or shock.
  • Make sure you show your empathy but not send a message that this is the end. Always, keep the hope channel open; regardless of the facts.
  • Start explaining the facts and plan forward; the plan should not include giving up regardless of the facts.
  • Assure him/her that he/she will not be alone and support will be provided to overcome the issue at hand.
  • Once you see him/her emotionally stable, explain to him/her what is next.
  • Continue the moral support and facts sharing until the issue is safely over.

Now, how about letting others know; for example family, friends and loved ones? First, you need to take permission from the individual him/herself to tell others. He/she might not want people to know. Once you get clearance, you can go ahead and let people know. For that, here are few tips:

  • NEVER EVER use social media; twitter, facebook, WhatsApp and others. You might cause a great damage and shock someone to death!!
  • Inform only those that need to be informed; start with the strongest individual that you believe will not emotionally react in a negative way. That individual might help you to convey the message to others easier.
  • You might want to seek the help of trustworthy and respected people within the family or even within the same community.
  • When informing someone, make sure they are ready to hear the news. Start with some opening statements that hints to a problem; for example “as you know XZY has been sick for a while and his health has not been improving … today, doctors did some additional tests and found that …. etc”. Never say “Hay did you know, XYZ is dying” !!

Conveying bad news is not easy, it only needs some focus on what to say and what not to say. Be strong and well aware, and then take the individual into that emotional ride. Keep close to him/her until things get better.

Feeling the Pain

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My father was diagnosed with kidney failure 5 years ago. Thankfully, he had a kidney transplant 6 months ago. Even though the transplant operation was successful, for my father, going through the experience was painful from start to end. During the whole trip of agony, I handled it from common sense point of view. Being an engineer, I was trying to make sense and logical explanation of everything he is going through. I was puzzled why my father is not feeling better psychologically even after the operation. I failed to recognize that it is simply the pain. Pain that I am not feeling, but my father is; continuously.

When I started to understand that even if we know where the pain is coming from, it won’t make it go away. So let me share with you few tips that I found useful that helped me comfort my father during his trip of agony of a long-term medical condition. I will refer to the patient as a “he” but this covers both genders.

Know What You Are Dealing With
Both the patient and his family around him should educate themselves on what they are dealing with. Doctors will not be able to spend the time with the patient to explain the details but will give highlights of the medical condition. Read as much as you can as it will help you explain to the patient why he feels the way he does. It will also broaden your vision to alternative solutions and treatments.

Don’t Keep Reminding Him That He Is Sick
Try to avoid asking him how he is feeling every day. It is a reminder that he is sick. Ask him about his day as you usually do. Don’t tell him stories about how others made it or did not make it through for the same medical condition; it is depressing.

Be With Him
Life is demanding, but a sick close family member should have a priority. Be with him during the key clinic and hospital visits. He needs comfort, support and encouragement. Don’t overdo it as it might give him the feeling that he is not going to make it through. Encourage him and assure him that it is only a short trip of agony that will be followed with a lifelong happiness and living well life.

Don’t Allow Him to Give Up
Pain pushes people to give up. Don’t allow that. Keep encouraging him and help him to adapt and handle the situation. Help him to get closer to God; it does miracles.

Make Him Busy
Make sure he has something to do other than feeling sorry for himself; a hobby, a group of friends, a job or anything else for that matter. Sitting doing nothing will definitely take him into depression.

Celebrate Millstones of Treatment
When you reach a milestone in the treatment, celebrate with him, the family and friends. The celebration will give him a push forward and energy to continue the journey.

Finally, love him and show that you do.

Men are from Earth, Women are from Heaven

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People wrote books and guides on how to deal with women; yet still people complain that they don’t understand women. So, let’s first start with women around us and look at their role and then dig deep into how we can understand them better.

How about we start with the one and only, Mom. She is that human being whom we have started life inside her womb. Then, for about 40 weeks, we feed from her body and then come out to the world. She continues to feed us from her body for couple of years, then raise and groom us into young adults. She spends the days and nights to take care of us in sickness and health. Her tenderness, care, love is second to none.  

So, is she expecting something in return from us? No. However, she deserves to be treated with respect. When she gets old and needs support, we do the least by making sure that her needs are taken care of. Simply, she should be the queen of our lives.

At some point of time in life, we start to look for love, passion and a companion. We start to look for someone to share happiness, sadness, and successes and to help us standup when we fall short of achieving our dreams. At this point of time, we get married to someone we love. Are women and men equal? I am sorry to tell you No, they are not. Physically, emotionally and psychologically they are not. So, don’t deal with your wife like your buddy friend. She needs more of your attention, time, love and care. She is your second queen; don’t lose sight of the first one though.

 Few years after getting married, here comes that little angle called your daughter; now you are in trouble. I challenge you if you can hide your smile when you see her jumping into your lap and landing that soft kiss on your cheeks when you get home. She simply looks at her father as the guardian, the role model, the man in her life. So, don’t you ever let her down. She looks at her mother as life; she learns everything from her mother. She deserves all the attention, love, care, and everything she needs. Parents should spare nothing in an effort to groom their kids into contributing members of society.

While we are busy with life, there is one more woman who is watching us from far, smiling and ready to jump in to support us when we need her equipped with love and childhood memories, here she stands the sister.

And finally I say, Men are from Earth, Women are from Heaven.

Midlife Crisis .. Is it a”Crisis”..!

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Here I am passing the age of 40 where some people call this stage of life “Midlife Crisis”. Well, is it really a “Crisis”?

Actually, to me, I feel it is more of a reality check. After going through 40 years of self-exploration, physical and mental turmoil and personality development, it is the time to assess; “Am I going in the right direction or not”.

A lot of questions should be answered at this stage of life to make sure that you are living a happy, healthy and productive life. Life here is not you alone, it includes everyone around you especially your loved ones, your parents, wife and kids.

Now, what if you are not happy, not healthy or not having a productive life! Should you start panicking! The answer is No. Actually, you should start working on how to change your reality or at least maneuver around life challenges to achieve satisfaction.

If you are not happy, start by looking at what is making you so. If you are married with children, your parents are getting old and need support while you are working in a demanding job, this is not an excuse to feel bad or unhappy; this is life the way we know it. You need to live it one day at a time and plan to make it better the next day.

If you have a health issue or a disability, think twice before accusing yourself or others for that matter that it is your or their fault that you are the way you are. Everything in life is simply meant to be. It is tough, unpleasant, and painful, but never say it is unfair. I strongly believe it is a challenge that we all should accept and work around it to have a happy life as much as we can.

How about your dreams? How about your achievements in life? If you haven’t achieved your targets nor made your dreams come true, is it time to give up! No way..!! Not after 40 years of hard work. Keep dreaming and keep trying until you reach where you want to be or get what you want. But, before doing so, you need to reevaluate your targets and make them more achievable. You can still dream, but when it comes to reality, you need to be practical but never be shortsighted.  

Starting now, go back to your life, love your wife, love your kids, love your parents and enjoy every second of it. Work hard, learn something new every day, and don’t give up. Need help, ask for it; start with God. Communicate your feelings but without hurting others. Be free, but without denying freedom to others.

Simply, Live your Life.