Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Long time no see

Well, much has been happening here... let me start from the start.
My mom was visiting us from India. Around Thanksgiving, some very unpleasant circumstances cropped up. I was in France at the time. She was the victim of a hit and run incident. Thankfully, the physical injuries were not that severe, but the impact of it all had her and the kids frazzled. Rather than improving, mom's health began to deteriorate. Our doctor referred her to a cardiologist. This was late December and she was to fly home on 1/5. When the cardiologist checked her, he found her 'unfit to fly' on the given date. Her bp alone was 170/102.

Her visa was only till 1/12 and her passport was due to expire on 3/18. I overnighted an application to USCIS requesting an extension of stay for her till 3/16. I was on the phone for three days on and off, trying to find new plane tickets for the new travel dates. Finding seats in all three connecting flights was VERY hard. I can still hear the waiting music on the airlines phoneline ringing in my ears!

In the mean time, one February evening, Brave and the kids were playing... there was a lot of laughter, running and energy all around. I sounded like a party-pooper every time I said, "Guys, be careful!". Then it happened... Brave stopped suddenly, the kids couldn't... there was a pile on the floor, one wail and another loud cry! Nini's face was all white with fear. Om sat flat. I went to check and Brave hopped into my lap.
They were all hurt and Brave had fractured his leg. He was put in a cast for 8 weeks.

Mom and I were getting her stuff ready as she was getting ready to leave. Then on 3/7, we heard back from USCIS requesting further evidence of treatment. Turns out that it is a standard procedure but we were running out of time. Next few days, I drove around town getting in touch with the doctors to get the medical records, letters, etc. When I was not driving, I was on the phone trying to understand our next step. Thanks to the kind folks at USCIS who explained the procedure, mom started out safely on the dawn of 3/16 for home.

Now if you are wondering what the big deal in all this is, then let me explain. If you entered the US on a Visitor visa and stay beyond your given time, you are considered a defaulter which means you might not be allowed to reenter, never given a visa again, etc. In our case, that means mom can't visit again, the kids won't have this little time they get with her ever again as summers are crazy hot in India, we never get 4 whole weeks of vacation to India, when we get there the time is divided between houses  and no one gets to do what they really want to do. That is unacceptable to me. I had wonderful memories my grandma and my kids deserve the same. So, I fought for it!

Upside, mom is home safe. I now know a little bit more about visa proceedings.
Downside, I'm tired, sick with a head cold and chest congestion, at times I just want to lie down and fall asleep... not the most conducive situation for creativity! Poor Brave still hurts. Kids are sick too. I'm quite a few thousand dollars poorer. Medical treatment is EXPENSIVE without insurance whether its a person or a pet! Airlines charge so much for changing travel dates. Overnight shipping is a killer too. There's a fat fee for everything :(

But at the end of the day, I'm so glad that I was able to coordinate it all, had the money to deal with it, but most of all, had the nerve to not break down and just give up. So many people were so kind to us this whole time, the doctors, the officials, the patient folks at CK, friends, neighbors... I'm THANKFUL!


Tiff said...

Wow, what an ordeal! You are such a strong and patient mother and daughter! You deserve a stiff drink and a day at the spa!!! I hope you feel better soon!

Cindy deRosier said...

I was wondering what difficulties you were facing. Thank you for sharing. I'm glad to hear that things are better now. Good for you for staying strong throughout. My best to all of you.

Nathalie Kalbach said...

huge hugs my dear friend!

Cindy Tobey said...

Wow! What an ordeal. I'm glad things are better and I'm sure your mom appreciates all you did. I hope your sweet puppy mends quickly and that you feel better soon!