When life hits you in the face | Life

This year is almost over but the end seems so far at the same time.

Back in September, I started my redaction year for my master. Like I said in a past blog post, I didn’t know what to expect but I was ready and motivated to jump into that madness of what is a master’s degree. What happens tho was NEVER what I imagine nor expected. My man got sick. Really sick.

It was a Friday morning. I had the day off and he was at work. In the middle of the morning, my phone started to ring. The ID was my man’s cell phone. He was breathing heavily and sounds like he was unable to catch his breath. That’s when he passed the phone to the doctor at his work location:

‘’Hello Dominique. I’m Doctor XYZ and your husband is with me because he doesn’t feel so well. We called the emergency and we’re waiting for the ambulance. We’ll call you back when we know to which hospital the ambulance will bring him.’’

That’s when the **** hit the fan! I started to panic a little not knowing what was going on with him and knowing that suddenly I had to leave the house to go to a hospital ASAP.

He was brought to the Institution de Cardiologie de Montréal (btw, thank you to their caring and resourceful staff!). I arrived a few minutes after him. After consultations after consultations after exams and me taking care of the papers, we learned that he has cardiac arrhythmia but the doctors weren’t sure of the type that he had. We were able to leave the hospital by the end of the afternoon. The next day, he started some medications to help his heart beat on a regular and steady beat. He will have to take those for the rest of his life.

Although the medication is helping him, we didn’t know the type of arrhythmia he had so the doctor asks him to take with him a little machine that monitored his heart. So far he had 3 machines to carry with him. After the first one, the doctor wasn’t pleased with the results from the machine and the medication. That’s when we learned that he had to go through a heart surgery. Luckily for us, the technology these days made the surgery less dangerous and easier on the body (aka it wasn’t an open-heart surgery but a heart surgery nonetheless). The surgery helped and didn’t help. The surgery’s purpose was to provoke an arrhythmia to see what part of the heart was impacted and hopefully burn that part. Unfortunately, the doctors weren’t able to do provoke anything. But, by doing that, the doctors were also able to tell us what type of heart arrhythmia he had. It’s not an electrical but a physical issue. Like they told him: ‘’You have a heart of a 76-year-old man who he’s in an extremely good shape.’’

He’s 33…

This surgery happens almost 2 months after his hospitalization at the Institution. He is now in recovery. He had a week off at home and 4 weeks of sedentary work and resting at home. No training, no lifting heavy things, no nothing. We are in week 4 of the 5-week resting period.

He still has his medications but it’s not bulletproof. Just yesterday, he had a crisis (or a period ?) while he was in traffic because being in traffic frustrate him so bad. So when he arrived at home, we had dinner and he went straight to bed after.

I know that living with someone else would not be a piece of cake all day every day. I knew that one day one of us would have to take care of the other… but I never imagine it would happen in the first 5 years of our life together even less while he’s 33 and i’m 28.

Unfortunately, the story doesn’t end here. A few weeks back during all that, we found a little mass behind his ear. The health technician finally took a look at it and my husband is now on a 6-month waiting list to pass a scan-kind of thing to figure out if it’s tumor or not… but because it’s not the oncology department that takes care of that kind of scan, technically it’s not cancer which is good news, right?

At this point, i’m tired, exhausted, stressed and no longer motivated for almost anything… but I love my man and will be by his side no matter what. I just hope at one point that we will be able to find a way back to an almost normal life with some time together elsewhere than at home, work or a hospital.

 

I just can’t wait to 2017 to be over.

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Museum and good food | Looking around

Last weekend was a big one for my social life, haha! Here’s a quick look around to the museum exposition I went to and the restaurants as well.

Friday – Révolution + MKT
On Friday, I went with my family to see the Révolution exposition at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. I was a very busy Friday afternoon but it was worth it. The exposition is about how the 1960’s and 70’s changed our ways here in North America and Europe (and probably elsewhere in the world as well). It focused at first on The Beatles and was named after their song of the same name. The exposition truly shows us how social movements can really impact our lives, our rights and our opportunities in general. Révolution is exposed until October 9th (next Monday) and suggest you go take a look at it if you the chance. If not, maybe check your local museum if ever they’re next to host the exposition. 🙂

After that, I suggest to my family to go eat at the MKT restaurant in downtown Montreal. The first time I went there was last year during the MTL à table event (which is coming back next month!!) with my girlfriends. I’m not a professional on food but I do love it and believe it’s a modern twist on Italian food and the decor is just beautiful with the open kitchen at the back of the restaurant. Although my man didn’t like his meal – he chose to go with the chicken but it was marinaded with olives which he hates – everybody seemed to like what they ordered and enjoyed their time there. Like last time, the service and ambiance were great!

 

Sunday – Ginkgo + Love is love
Sunday is usually food prep for me, but this time, it was a girls day with one of my best friend. We know each other since almost 7 years now and try as much as possible to see each other so we can talk about pretty much anything 🙂 So this time, we went to brunch at Ginkgo Café Bar. It’s a new place that just opens at the beginning of September and let me tell you: it’s awesome how it’s good there!!! Wow!! Whether it’s for brunch, breakfast, lunch, dinner or simply a night out – they just got their alcohol permit – just go there, you’ll love it!

We then go for a walk (about 20-30 minutes) to get to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts – yes I went there twice on the same weekend – to see the last exposition of Jean Paul Gauthier that is called Love is Love. This exposition is a presentation of the most beautiful, artistic wedding ensembles and dresses from the wonderful fashion designer that he is.

Hope this has given you the taste to discover your own city as I do in mine!
Have a nice day!

Megabus hell | Life

I’ve worked in customer service for many years like most of us I believe and maybe that’s why I’m a little bit harsh when I’m on the customer side. But, I’ve never had such a bad service! Let’s start at the beginning.

If you’ve read my blog last week, you know that I went to Whitby, Ontario for the weekend last month. To do so, my man and I chose to use Megabus services. They were the cheapest and one of the few to offer that round-trip that weekend. One of the bummers is that their tickets, once purchased, are non-refundable under any circumstances, so be sure that you’ll go where you go with them. You can always exchange them before the original trip. You need to do so by exchanging for another trip within the next 3 months… with additional fees of course! Megabus is owned by Greyhound, a company that offers refunds under some conditions, but didn’t offer the trip we needed. The other option we had been Via Rail train. Although more flexible and almost the same time to travel as Megabus, it was more expensive.

Our first bus was on Friday morning in Montreal around 8h30. That day, it was raining a lot. When we got to the bus second level, we sat down and realise that the seats were wet. The ceiling was leaking. We switch seats, but my husband already had already his bum wet… We then left for the next stop which was in the west-island area. Before we even got there, we had to switch seats again because, this time, it leaked on my head! Other than that, the trip went well and we arrived on time in Whitby.

The ”hell” part of the experience happened on Sunday morning. We left the marina for the GO station to be there around 9 am. We were there around 8h45. The bus was supposed to be there for 9h20. At 9h40, the bus still wasn’t there so I called customer service. My first attempt to contact them went dead because of a weak connection I believe. I called again and took 10 to 15 minutes before I had the chance to talk to an actual human being. I was then told that the bus had broken down and needed to be replaced for the trip which concluded by a 1-hour delay. I asked why they didn’t inform us by the alert system they have on their website. I was told they don’t use it and usually wait for the customer to call them so they can tell them !!!! After some arguments with the representative – I know, they’re not refundable – I ask to be transferred to the department of complaints to left a message on their voicemail. By the way, I feel the need to tell you all that when you call them, you do have the option between English and French… but there’s a catch! The French option is always a voicemail and they say that it’s going to take them between 3 and 4 days before they call you back. The English option will connect you to a person all day, every day. Luckily for them, I speak both. :@ After my call, some of the other persons waiting – between 15 and 20 persons – asked me what the person had told me. Around 10h20, we then finally saw the bus on highway 401. We saw that the bus didn’t take the exit to pick us up!

After some arguments with the representative – I know, they’re not refundable – I ask to be transferred to the department of complaints to left a message on their voicemail. By the way, I feel the need to tell you all that when you call them, you do have the option between English and French… but there’s a catch! The French option is always a voicemail and they say that it’s going to take them between 3 and 4 days before they call you back. The English option will connect you to a person all day, every day. Luckily for them, I speak both. :@ After my call, some of the other persons waiting – between 15 and 20 persons – asked me what the person had told me. Around 10h20, we then finally saw the bus on highway 401. We saw that the bus didn’t take the exit to pick us up!

During that time, I was also texting my aunt and our family friend what was going on. They decided to pass by the GO Station to pick us up (I LOVE THEM!). We left around 10h40 to go to the Oshawa train station. We were lucky enough to be able to buy ourselves 2 tickets on the next train for Montreal. We weren’t next to each other and not even in the same car, but it didn’t’ matter. My husband was working the next morning and we needed to get home.

On Monday, the next day, I still didn’t have a call back from them so I left another message on their voicemail of the same department. I also tried to contact the Office de la Protection du Consommateur of Québec without any luck since their lines are always busy and there’s no voicemail or email to leave a message. As of today, I still didn’t have the chance to talk to someone there. Megabus finally called me back a few hours later. The conversation started by them telling me that I left a message at 10 pm and not 10 am. I said that it didn’t matter, what mattered was that I didn’t receive the service I paid for. So I gave them my reservation number so they can verify my version of the event (the bus was late and didn’t pick us up!). They needed 3 to 4 days to verified the bus GPS and to talk to the bus chauffeur to know what happened. To me, that meant I was going to receive a call from them on Friday, maybe next Monday. Boy, was I wrong!

No news. No compensation. No communication.

I called them back on last Wednesday. I left – again – another message on their voicemail.

No news. No compensation. No communication.

I gave the last call today (Friday), the last voicemail. I told them that this was my last voicemail for them and since they don’t cooperate, I will call and complain to the Office de la Protection du Consommateur of Québec and Ontario, as well as sending my situation to the show La Facture. I also told them that unless they call be back soon with a solution, there will be other procedures initiated.

Let’s hope the solution will be resolved soon.
I’m tired of their stupid and childish games.

Now, let’s enjoy our weekend and hope that I receive a call from them on Monday 😉

Back to school without classes | Life

For many of us out there, it’s that time of the year when some of us can’t wait to go back to school and others that couldn’t run fast enough to escape it. For me, summer was always too long before going back to school. Some people might call me a nerd for that, but I don’t really mind. I enjoy school and I still do! I’m actually doing my master’s degree and debuting my redaction year right now. For some of us, summer didn’t really happen either since when you study at that level you keep studying and reading all year-round.

So yes, this semester I’m still at school… but without actual classes. And, yes, you have to pay to do so. It actually blows my mind: how can I go to school without classes, schedules or even deadlines?? I talk to my mémoire’s director and actually asked her that very question. At first, she started laughing. She told that it was totally normal to feel how I was feeling but that she wasn’t worried about me and, when you think about it, she’s right about how I feel! It’s been what, 21 years now that I go to school with classes, directions, schedules, projects, and evaluations on a monthly basis. Nothing really prepares you to keep going when all this is gone except the actual physical school and yourself. I’m actually by myself for everything this time!

That also confirms what I’ve been thinking for a while: team projects doesn’t help you for the future. I understand that learning and knowing how to work with others is crucial in a school environment, but it’s also crucial to learn and know what you’re able to do by yourself. I believe that our school system totally forgot about the fact after school, we are on our own in the work life. Yes, you will work with others, but it’s your pay check, not ours.

Which brings me to my next point. It’s not because I don’t have classes that I have all the free time in the world, oh no! I cannot really know how much time I will need to do my mémoire, but I can try to plan it! That why I’m planning a school-like schedule for the semester to come – we start on September 5th and we stop in December for the holidays. The plan is to do like I was having actual classes and starting to work on my paper at the same hours, as well as for my jobs. Since I work at the same place that I will study and train, it should be ”easy” to stick with my schedule. But I know myself and my own brain. Even though I will tell myself that I start at 9h30 whatever I have planned for that morning, I will also tell myself that there’s no teachers or other students that are waiting for me and eventually stay in bed until too late.

I NEED to find something that will force me to get out of bed.
Anybody have an idea out there?

 

 

I’m on a boat! …was on a boat. | Life

Last week-end, my man and I went to the Whitby Marina in Ontario. A family friend (more like a member now!) owns a boat out there. To go, we had to decide how to get there. Car? Train? Bus? Plane??

We decided to take the bus with Megabus since they were the only one doing this trip this week-end with low prices. The other option was the train – much pricier – or drive ourselves – didn’t think much of it since my man doesn’t like driving.  Unfortunately, it was the worst decision I could ever take. Yes, the prices are affordable, but those tickets are non-refundable and we had the worst service. Our first bus was on Friday morning when it was pouring outside. The bus was leaking on the second level on the seats. We didn’t see it coming when it leak on my head! Lukely, we could change seats – the bus wasn’t full yet. We arrived at destination about 10 minutes later then schedule which is not bad.

The week-end was great and we had the chance to go out on Saturday on the Ontario Lake. The waves and the wind were strong. Perfect for a ride on the Philosophe (the boat). My man and I also realised that when at MArina and on the boat we didn’t have any breathing or physicial issues. We both have knee issue (I had a surgery when I was 17 and he broke his last year) and difficulty breathing with our allergies and the city air. We never really realise the city impact on our breathing capacity before that since we live and work withing the city. We really enjoyed ourselves there with my family. 🙂

The ride to go back thou was a pain in the butt! We paid for round-trip tickets and was suppose to leave on the bus at 9h20 Sunday morning. At 10 am, the bus was no where to be seen. I finally called customer service to know what was going on and the representative told me that the bus had broke down and needed to be replace and so they do. The bus would be an hour late. Around 10h20, we actually saw the bus on the highway but the bus didn’t take the exit to pick us up! I was pissed! We finally made it to Montreal by paying and taking the train. Since Monday, i’m trying to get a hold of the company to get a refund and compensation (aka paying for my train tickets). They were supposed to called me yesterday (Friday) but they didn’t. Next Monday is going to be fun on the phone with them 😉

Here are a few pictures from that week-end and when we went out on the Ontario Lake. Those waves!

 

Life is not fair! Or is it? | Life

I knew that starting  a blog wasn’t going to be easy and, clearly, I didn’t expect to skip a whole week already. But , like all of you, I’m a human being full of all sorts of emotions with a past, a present and a future. So let’s say that I wasn’t at my best during July.

Work-wise and study-wise, July was a month where nothing happen. I was on ”vacations”. I’m not good with vacations and its been years that I had a real one: if I didn’t have school, I could ”rely” on work or vice versa. And no surprise here when I say that I do more stay-cations & weekends out-of-town that actual destinations – vacations on credit doesn’t really appeal to me and my man. To add to that, I’m alone on vacations. My husband is working which I don’t blame him for it. At least one of us has to work, right? So, yeah… July sucked! Well… maybe not, it just wasn’t the best.

Some studies say that North Americans (more than Europeans) defines themselves by their occupations or work. I fit right in that conclusion. July felt like I didn’t have an ID for myself even tho I’m still a student and an employee at my university – I just didn’t have work hours. But, I didn’T study nor work that month which, to me, results in the same thing as not being a worker or student. I’m also a person that feeds from other’s energy. I need people around me almost constantly.

I know I wasn’t totally alone. I was seeing my man in the evenings, I could talk to my friends and family via text messages or social media, but during the day, I was usually by myself at home with Winston, our cat. So, yes, technically I wasn’t alone but talk all you want to a cat, you won’t have an actual conversation (sadly).

People told me that I should get out more and not wait for people to be available to come with me or try something new. They’re right about it. On an idea level only. It’s summer, which means there’s a ton of activities everywhere, everyday and at anytime. Plus, it’s Montreal’s 375th and Canada’s 150th. There’s only 2 things that doesn’t quite add-up: money and time. I know there’s free activities but let’s think about it for a second. I’m looking for free (or close to free) activities that I can go to by myself during weekdays in the actual day AKA good luck with that! While I was looking for those unicorns online, I realize a few key points:

– most free activities that I looked up were at night;
– I don’t have kids;
– I’m alone and not with a group;
– I don’t have a personal income right now.

By the way, thanks for reminding me of all that Google, MTL375, Eventbrite & y’all! To me, it doesn’t feel right to use money for activities by myself when I’m not the one earning that money – it’s not like I was at home taking care of our kids or something like that. Basically, I fell into a state of laziness and discourage 😦

Unfortunately, it’s my husband that receive all my rage and pain in the face. He didn’t deserve it. I do badly on vacation – as in nothing planned – and I’m not good at taking it easy or relaxing. I’ve been told that I should embrace it since it’s probably that last time it would happen to me to have time by myself (as in no kids and no full-time job). I don’t know how to do that. I’m simply someone who needs to be busy. That dark grey cloud was bad, but brought some good too. it’s never all black or all white. It did help me to realize that I need to talk more openly to my man (letting out emotions is hard) and start (again) to go out by myself like I used to do at the beginning of our relationship. He’s the one that reminded me of that.

So, what now?
Well, it’s August (!!) and we fell much better. One thing that really help out was going to Ripon, Qc. That’s where my father’s family comes from. It’s beautiful, peaceful and feels like home. It has been almost ten years that I didn’t go.

Ripon 02

I had the chance to go back & see my grandfather’s resting place. He passed away 9 years ago and I still miss him a lot. My great-aunt also took my father and I to all the older family members. It was so peaceful…

I’m lucky after all.

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I tried many times to start a blog. I never really knew how to start or what I would talk about since it would be open to the world..!

Today, I’m 27 and I just started my second year of my master’s degree which means I don’t have any classes to attend to anymore and that I have a memoir to do. I have until August of next year to do so. Like many of you I imagine, I’ve been in school since I was 5, but it’s the first time for me (at least) to be a full-time student without any classes or seminars… I personally find it uncomfortable et a little bit scary even. My director told me that I will be fine and that she’s not concern about me, my motivation nor discipline, which is reassuring.

I also work at my university as a research assistant for one of my professor and at the sport center. But since, school is out for summer, I don’t really have a job for July, which, again, is not something that I particularly enjoy but I have to learn to live with it in a way. I applied to many jobs and I just got a response yesterday: I have an interview in the beginning of August (fingers crossed!).

So, the question that I don’t have the answer for right now is : what to do with my (too much) free time? I’m already doing house chores, seeing my friends and training 2-3 times a week. I cannot just buy stuff or going to eat out everyday since I don’t an income for myself right now. My husband is working hard everyday and also went back to school so he’s very busy himself. So I need something that I can do by myself that’s not going to break the bank…

So what’s the answer you ask me?

It’s simple really.

I now read all the books that I never had the time for, I go for walks, I’m decluttering our home gradually … and I’m starting a blog. This blog.

I hope you will enjoy what I’ll offer you on Dominique’s ways and that it will help you too to balance all those titles that life gives us : a woman, an army wife, a student, a daughter, a sister, a worker, a coffee addict, a foodie…!

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