22:02

Today my cousin came to speak to me at church and said she had a small gift for me. It was something that I had mentioned a few months ago and I was genuinely surprised she remembered. She said when she saw it in the store she had to get it for me because she remembered how much I liked it.

There is a heart-felt joy when people are reminded of you in day to day things. I am very thankful for loved ones and unexpected sparks of joy!

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22:13

This morning at 04:15 my brother came into my room and woke me up. He was complaining of a sharp abdominal pain on his right side (just under his ribs). He said he had phoned an ambulance and they would be there within an hour. I quickly snapped out of my dozy state and got ready.

We waited for 30 minutes and there was no sign of the ambulance. My brother was clearly still in discomfort and was resting on the sofa. Whilst we were both relatively calm I started getting more anxious and paced about from window to window, looking out for the incoming ambulance. At 04:50 the ambulance arrived and we went inside to get checked.

After the usual questions and checks were completed, my brother was given some morphine to ease the pain. He started to feel a bit disorientated but soon we were on the way to the hospital.

We arrived at the hospital at almost 06:00. My brother was wheeled into the hospital on a chair and we were assigned an examining room to wait. A student doctor came to do a check up but seemed very unsure of himself. Another doctor also came to look at my brother’s condition but seemed to think nothing of the symptoms and thought it not serious. We were assigned another room and paracetamol was given to help with the pain.

At around 06:30 the student nurse came back to do a blood test. He joked about missing the vein and having to repeatedly stab patients. My brother and I didn’t think it was funny given the situation. The bloods went off to be analysed and we waited for the results.

It got to 08:10 and we still hadn’t been informed of anything. My brother had fallen asleep lying on the trolley and I had dozed on and off. I also contacted our mum to inform her of what happened and stayed relatively calm so not to freak her out. The blood results came in about 08:20 and a consultant told us the blood results were normal, and there was nothing to suggest internal problems. The verdict was ‘non-specific abdominal pain’. The consultant talked us through the possible reasons for the pain and what to do if the pain recurred. At this point my brother’s pain had subsided considerably. By 08:35 he was discharged. Thank God he managed to rest more during the course of the day (as did I) and ate a little.

One of the doctors commented on how calm my brother was throughout the whole process. This also led him to believe that it was nothing serious. The whole experience was a huge learning curve for me, not only into how the medical care system works but also of how I deal with emergency situations. I kept my calm in the ambulance by reassuring my brother and also saying prayers in my heart. Had the sirens been blaring and the ambulance been going faster, I would surely have been more panicky. Luckily it was early morning and the pain was bearable.

In emergency situations always remember to be logical, prepared and informed. We both managed to stay calm, I packed some food, water and an external phone charger in my bag, and I took a photo of the medication my brother takes. Though I certainly would not like to experience the situation again I would like to think I could handle it well.

23:10

It’s been a fair while since I’ve posted so I feel a little update is overdue!

I moved into a new flat mid-January which has brought about new challenges and exciting times! I have discovered a new love of cooking and planning meals, setting aside time to clean and do chores, and truly embracing down time. I have also been introduced to paying house bills, travelling further to work (thus waking up earlier), and fitting everything into different time schedules.

I have also truly learned to embrace family time at home. Over the holidays I got to relax and catch up with my family, whilst also being busy with gatherings with various friends. I rang in the new year with some of my oldest friends and learned to lie my way through many many games of Secret Hitler. I set up fireworks and screamed out of excitement (and fear) as the new year rang in!

Apologies for the less frequent posts but I am still here working my way through my twenties!

20:25

Currently undergoing trying and testing times due to a family member being in hospital for major surgery and recovery. It made me reconsider the things I hold dear to me. Last week I took an unexpected day off work to go to the hospital with my family. Previously I would have considered how my colleagues would feel picking up my work in my absence, or the fact that I have used all my annual leave already. However I found that I did not think about work that whole day because my heart was concerned with the matters of my family. Worrying about trivial things is not healthy or beneficial. Yes, we need to consider these things in the long run but it is also important that we can drop them at a moment’s notice.

23:15

Last weekend I was able to return home to visit my family for a few days. Though it was a short ‘long weekend’, it was definitely worth it to travel 5.5 hours home and back just to see them. I miss simple home comforts now and again so quick bursts of home satisfy my yearnings.

I am thankful for time with family and friends and the rare times I get to return home. It makes me cherish those times all the more.

22:44

An emergency trip home to visit my grandma in hospital has been the wake up call that I needed. I have been so engrossed in my own matters, my own satisfactions, and my own pleasures, that I have forgotten the things which are most important.

Hearing about the difficulties of my grandma’s operation and hospital stay brought to reality how much I had neglected my own family. Throughout the summer I have been out watching shows, getting dinner with my friends after work, visiting European countries without telling my family… the list goes on.

While I prefer to withdraw myself from people for my own comfort, I do not always remember to check in with my family. I have realised how selfish this is, how my recluse ways are not ideal, and how this affects my own mental health. As I live 300+ miles away from my immediate family, it is very important that I alter my thinking (not only for my family’s sake but also my own).

22:15

In between all the family gatherings and friend feasts I have finally had an evening to myself since I travelled home for the holidays. I had an early and quiet dinner with my mum and my brother before soaking in a hot bath.

As work keeps me busy during the day I have gotten used to having the evenings to myself. I do not mind having the odd event where I need to be out of the house longer than usual, but for the most part I like to be showered and ready for bed by 21:30! The work lifestyle has got me in a set routine, so once the holidays hit it was quite a shock.

As visits home go by so quickly, it makes sense to cram them as to make the most of my time. It has been lovely to catch up with relatives and friends over the past few days. As I do not know the next time I will be able to travel home I shall endeavour to fill my days a little more!

21:51

It is almost the time of year where I get to travel home! Working life is completely different to studying life. I have only a limited number of days for my Winter break now whereas my student semester break seemed almost endless. Tomorrow I will be taking the train back to my home town to visit my family and friends. I will be working a half day before travelling for a half day. The feeling of not returning to work untilv the new year is a good one!

23:40

My last post was 5 days ago… I see that my aim to keep this blog updated is not being fulfilled. It has also been a while since my last original post.

My father was in town today so we had a catch up over a sushi lunch, relaxed at home in the afternoon, had a chilled out dinner and then I took him to the train station. My father travels around the UK for his work but he is no longer based in Edinburgh so I do not often get the chance to see him. As with anyone who has moved away from home; a big city can be a lonely place. I am thankful for the relatives that I have here and also for the opportunities to spend with my immediate family.

As a teenager I always wondered what it would be like to move away from home. I pondered on how my life would be without my parents watching my every move, and not having to be bothered by my brothers. Now looking back I see that those times may have been easier, and that I should have cherished those times when my whole family was together in one household. It is funny how things change.

00:06

Working in a takeaway has taught me many things; one of which is tolerance.

The saying, ‘The customer is always right’ is only sometimes correct in the food industry. People feel entitled to free food, people can be rude and demanding, and people can complain like there is no tomorrow.

At the end of the day the business I work in consists of 3 people: my uncle, my aunty and I. I take the orders (either over the phone or in person), give these to my aunt and uncle in the kitchen, and they cook the food. I receive money from the customers, then help pack the food up in the kitchen, and bring the food to the customer. When there are delivery orders my aunty drives there herself leaving only my uncle and I in the shop. It is a small business and is family run. When I am not available to help them out; my cousin works. The business is lacking in staff but we get by.

Thus I find it frustrating when people do not seem to appreciate the hard work that is put into providing (what seems to them to be a simple) service.

Of course I cannot express my annoyance or frustrations at the customers but need to internalise these thoughts. I have learnt to tolerate people who may act rudely and not let others’ misdemeanours affect my service. Luckily there are more pleasant customers than unpleasant, who appreciate the time and efforts put into preparing and making their food. As with any job there comes a learning process, and learning to tolerate customers is a valuable skill which will benefit me in the future.