Friday, November 20, 2009

Rest (Part 1)

It has been a good long while since I have written any encouragements. Allow me to give you a glimpse of my struggles in the past two months.

I have been swarmed at work since my Sydney holiday trip on 1 Oct. I have been working at least 55 hours per week including weekends. My customers are UK-based, thus conference calls usually start at 7:30pm and end around 9:30pm.

I had a new assignment to a project which had gone off-rails. My job is to get it back on track. All sounded easy until I realised the huge financial impact for the year if this project fails. All other projects within that account are tentatively ‘put on hold’ until this project goes successful ‘live’. To miss the deadline is to miss two major payment milestones. Now that something the executives do not want to hear.

This means there is absolutely no room for any failure. The drop date is 14 Dec (which recently got changed to 7 Dec). There is barely two months left when I came aboard! Within moments, I discovered numerous outstanding issues and risks. Furthermore the project team members were distraught and unmotivated because the previous project manager was not a team player. He had been quite unresponsive to technical issues and escalations. Key project members had left the company because of him and his style of management. There were huge technical gaps due to the exodus that needed filling in. Even if new resources came aboard, they would need time to assimilate into the project team. Time is something I do not have.

During this period I was so stressed that I accidently burst my right eye capillaries while rubbing my tired eyes too hard. That resulted in a corneal abrasion. The GP doctor diagnosed it as ‘sore eyes’ and gave me a wrong medication which resulted in swollen eyelids for a few days!

Nearly every morning waking was an agonising effort. The intense pain to the optic nerves whenever sunlight enters the eye had caused a dull throbbing headache. My sleep had been interrupted because I often woke up from the pain and ceaselss flow of tears. I practically had to wear sunglasses all day and night. Any sort of light hurts the eye. I was basically mopping around at home. I could not watch TV and I could not look at my laptop for too long.

After two weeks, the eye got a little bit better. However recurrent corneal abrasion symptoms followed in which the healing wound on my cornea would open again whenever I wake from sleep.

Has the thought of being blind ever crossed my mind? Absolutely yes! I kept browsing the internet and reading up on the medical articles and stories on corneal abrasions. I felt I was going to end up like the bad cases described there.

Good news is that you will not go blind in a corneal abrasion except experiencing a lot of discomfort. In worse cases there might be a remote chance of infections which can lead to blindness. The cornea healing takes just 72 hours. However the restoration of vision can take several weeks. Or months. Praise God, my vision is nearly complete even I write.

In all these struggles I still had to continue my project work with one eye. As each day pass there is mounting pressure from the senior management to deliver. I cannot recount how many times I was asked if we could deliver. At this moment I felt like quitting work, lay back and rest. And that’s what God revealed to me – REST.

(Part 2 continues...)

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