Monday, November 30, 2009

Small Victories.

Well, it's the end of November. Just one month left in 2009.

I returned to TKD this evening after more than two months away. My leg hurts a lot, but it's nice to be able to work out again, even if it's still less than what I was able to do before. I hope to recover by resting well tonight and then going back again tomorrow.

I plan to continue the MWF yoga (although I skipped it this morning because of a monster headache).

The wedding plans are coming together. It's pretty exciting. I'm looking forward to seeing my family and showing them this place that's been my home for the last two and half years. I know they'll love it, though perhaps not as much as I do.

Wow, the leg really hurts. Time to heat it.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Cooking for my In-Laws.

Dried shiitake mushrooms (표고버섯) with green pepper, onion, and sesame seeds. The unplanned banchan.

Today, Min Gi and I invited his mom, brother, and sister-in-law over to our place for lunch. As I said earlier, I love cooking for Min Gi, but cooking for your future Korean mother-in-law is a daunting task. Especially since this was just our second time meeting.

Jeanny posted earlier this week about the differences between Koreans' and Americans' approach to food, and I agree with her general assessment that Koreans just have this worship of food that Americans are lacking, possibly due to our love of convenience and speed. So, I am at a disadvantage here, being non-Korean, growing up with (very busy) American parents who always made sure we were fed, but didn't really make that much from scratch (the main exception being my dad's weekend breakfasts, which are heavenly).

I decided I would make a version of tofu-soybean-paste soup (된장국) that I often make that I taught myself my first year living in Korea, rice (of course), a Korean noodle dish using sweet potato noodles called japchae (잡채) which I had never made before nor witnessed being made, and a Korean style green onion fried pancake called pajeon (파전) which I had also never made before, but watched Min Gi make it ages ago. I spent the morning cooking (while Min Gi slept off his hangover--eyes rolling), and still was pretty nervous cooking all Korean food for Koreans, while modifying it to be vegetarian.

Vegetables prepped to become japchae.

I based my own recipe for japchae largely off of this recipe, as it had lots of veggies, and I am pro-vegetable. However, attempting a dish you've never seen made before is tough, so I am much indebted to Jeanny, Amanda, William, and this blogger of "Korean Cuisine" (who also inspired me to use up the last of the broccoli in my fridge and get some shiitake mushrooms to make two dishes of unplanned Korean side dishes--banchan) for their advice and pictures/recipes about making japchae.

Japchae--It turned out pretty yummy, though Min Gi said I should use more gochujang next time because he likes it spicier.

Our guests arrived 30 minutes early (wow! luckily I was nearly finished), so I didn't get a chance to take a picture of the soup or the pajeon (which came out a little underdone, but still yummy and the sauce recipe from this site was pretty tasty) because everyone DEVOURED the food in a short time. They genuinely seemed to enjoy it, and I got many compliments from his brother (Min Soo) and sister-in-law (In-Shil). They had Min Gi help them be able to say "Excellent!" (to clarify In-Shil made hand gestures for "Good, Great, Wonderful, Excellent" with "Excellent" being at the top).

In-Shil and Min Soo: Aren't they cute in the couple-tees I brought them from America?

Min Gi's Mom (who I will call Ohmma in this blog as it is what we call her--the Korean word for "Mom") kept trying to help, but we finally got her to relax and enjoy the meal. She seemed impressed that I'd cooked Korean food at all. After we began eating she launched into a speech to In-Shil and I about how happy and lucky she is to have such nice girls for daughters-in-law. I was moved. As the meal progressed (and I assure you that I also found it quite delicious), I began to feel like I was having the Thanksgiving gathering that I had missed so much on Thursday.

And just like that... Min Gi's family is becoming my family, too.

And we're all a little silly...

Friday, November 27, 2009

Hospital Series: Admission

I've been out about a month now. I no longer have bruises on my hands from the IV sites. I can walk up a flight of stairs again (actually all four at school) without getting winded. However, I want to capture what my 10 days in the hospital were like. I will collect all of these, as an essay, eventually under the title "The Thinking Bed," but as few expat bloggers (thankfully) get the full-on life in a Korean hospital experience, I thought you might like to see some of the early drafts:

"It's your 'thinking bed.'" Min Gi smiles as he rolls the lever to lower the hard metal hospital bed into a position to prepare me for sleep. I can see the worry lines forming under his grey wool cap. They are not natural. They are my fault.

"What do you mean? I'm so tired and so hungry, I can't think." Hungry is the wrong word. I have not eaten food in four days. The white lipid solution hooked permanently into a tender vein on my right hand keeps me from feeling the need for oral nutrition, but the desire for food--the sensual dreams about eggplant and pasta, the urgent need to tear off the head of my roommate's five-year-old granddaughter to steal her pastry, the incredible loneliness of hospital life without even the punctuation of meals to break up the intolerable tedium--it gets to me.

Again, he smiles, and touches my hand. "You'll see. When you feel better, you'll see."

***

I have a condition called ulcerative colitis. It's been manageable since I first got it in May, but October was a stressful month, and the condition has worsened to the point that I'm in what's called a "severe flare," characterized by 10-15 bowel movements a day with the presence of blood and mucous. I also have a fever and constant pain associated with the inflammation in my colon. It is difficult to maintain nutrition and hydration with this condition, and so I am lethargic. The doctor has tried to treat the condition with oral steroids, but it is not working, so I agree to enter the hospital for him to treat me (he wanted to admit me Friday, but I was worried about missing work so I gave the drugs one more weekend to work; they didn't).

I'm terrified. Although Keimyung University's Dongsan Hospital has a wonderful international clinic, I know that I'll probably be the only foreigner admitted to the hospital. That all the things about living in Korea that are difficult--the language barrier, the staring, the outsider-ness--will be worse and I'm so sick that I don't even know if I can communicate in this language I've been studying. And even apart from the expatriate issues, hospitals themselves are cold and institutional. I'll be at the mercy of doctors and nurses, in the way a prisoner might be at the hands of a warden.

I'm also paranoid about my job. I have good relationships there and an official 15 paid sick days in the contract, but I know foreign teachers who have been fired for a lot less than taking a few days of necessary sick leave. Korea has a strange attitude towards health--both prizing it highly and refusing to miss even one day of work to recover. It seems that most people in Korea either take one day off or six months off--nothing in between for illness.

I feel guilt, too. Because I've been sick for two weeks already, I know my job performance has been off its usual game. And when I go into the hospital, William will have to cover everything for me. It's not fair to him--and I'm really angry at myself that there's nothing I can do to help this.

But since I'm already a victim of my own body, I finally judge that my health is too important. One of the vows I will promise to Min Gi in two months with be to "take care of myself and my responsibilities, so that I can take care of you and our family." In the end, it is this promise that I must fulfill. I can't work if I don't get better.

***

Day 1--Monday, October 12

At five a.m., I send a pathetic e-mail to my co-teachers telling them of my situation and asking for a ride to the hospital in the morning. I pack a bag with some fresh underwear, books, a towel and shower shoes, and my laptop (loaded up with TV shows and movies). At nine a.m., I call the international clinic to ask them about my situation. Nurse Kim consults my GI doctor, Professor Kim, who instructs me to be admitted through the ER for testing until a bed becomes available.

Ms. Lim, my amazing co-teacher of American Culture, takes her lunch to drive me to the ER. She is worried. I babble on and on about how scared I am and the disease and how sorry I am that she has to cover my classes alone. She wishes me a speedy recovery and returns to work.

At 10:30, Nurse Kim escorts me to the ER. The ER is mostly empty at this time. There are a few ajumma and ajosshi in hiking clothes helping one another with minor injuries sustained on the mountains that morning. Nurse Kim finds a resident whose English is passable--her name is Yoon Young, though I don't call her this--and explains my situation. Yoon Young quickly and efficiently moves me through a barrage of tests--bloodwork, x-ray, EKG--and hooks me up to an IV to maintain my hydration and tells me not to eat or drink anything else. The nurses in the ER are efficient, but whenever they touch me with a needle, it hurts. A lot. My left hand is so bruised from the blood culture test that it swells up purple. At this point, I'm feeling so low and tired that I don't even care that I can't eat or drink.

Around noon, a translator from the international clinic comes by to explain that, in order to be admitted, I need to have a Korean person sign a responsibility of payment form.

"But I'm going to pay for myself."

"It is hospital policy. Can your fiance or his mom come sign?" His mom???

I call Min Gi and hand her the phone. He has to leave work to come be responsible for me, the stupid foreigner. I'm kind of angry about this (is my word not good enough? I'm a resident here!), but decide to just let it go.

Min Gi takes care of all the paperwork and stops by to see me around 1:30 p.m. I'm on a curtained-off, uncomfortable bed with a painful IV drip in my hand, wishing I could sleep for more than five minutes at a time. I don't really remember what he says or does, but I remember being grateful to him. So grateful. He promises to come by again later.

The nurses start the enemas in the afternoon. Humiliation doesn't begin to cover my afternoon spent getting the nurses to help escort me back and forth to the tiny guest toilet in the ER waiting room and then grimacing in pain for hours on the bed.

A few times I ask about when I'll be admitted. The translator returns to ask about what kind of room I want. A standard room holds 6-8 patients. For many, many reasons (not the least of which is that I need freer access to a toilet nearby considering why I'm being admitted, nor do I wish to be the object of amusement as a foreigner in a room of 50-70 year old Korean women and all their thousands of visitors), I don't want the standard room. The translator discusses the prices of private rooms (between 140,000 and 400,000 won/night--no thanks!) and 2- and 3- bed rooms. I decide it's worth it to pay 70,000 won/night to have only one roommate.

Min Gi disagrees when I call him to discuss it, but I reassure him that even though he signed the papers that afternoon, I have the money from my airfare reimbursement and "severance" bonus from my contract renewal, and that it is worth it to me. It's our wedding budget. Oh well, I guess we just won't get to do anything fun this winter. It's going to be ok. (In the back of my mind: Unless you lose your job because of this.)

In the evening, the ER gets busy. I hear wheezing not 10 inches beyond the curtain next to my head. A woman cries while she vomits on the floor two beds over. I hear her husband call for a nurse to clean it up. People in various states of injury are wheeled in and out.

At around 4:30, I begin to panic that my doctor will leave for the day before he sees me. I'm getting weak from not eating or taking my meds and having so much exiting my body every 20-30 minutes. I call over a nurse who checks my IV. It's not filled up as much as she'd like so she pumps at one of the levers and pain shoots down my veins, paralyzing my arm. I cry out. She gives me a sympathetic, but all-business look and brings over Yoon Young.

She checks my chart. "You will get a sigmoidoscope."

"When?" I manage. My voice sounds weak.

"Soon." She walks away quickly.

About 30 minutes later, an orderly arrives and starts to move my bed through the now-emptied hallways of the hospital. The orderly doesn't say a word to me. Just hands me my IV bags to hold for the trip. I've been in this part so many times for my regular checkups with the GI doctor, but now it looks haunted and menacing as I stare at the ceiling from my gurney. The people who attached the ceiling tiles didn't evenly space the tacks that are holding them in. There are chaotic and random triangles of every different size and angle at each new joint.

I cannot, I will not, I do not want to tell you about the sigmoidoscopy. I have never felt such pain in my life. I was crying and moaning the whole time. Humiliation is the worst part of this disease. Pain is usually second place to that. But honestly, during those 10 minutes, I didn't even care that I was being anally raped by a video camera--I just wanted the pain to stop. I would have done anything, been anything, paid anything for it to end. I felt bad for how awful I must have made that technician feel.

I lay staring at the chaos triangle patterns on the ceiling, defeated.

The orderly took me back to the ER. I saw a man being rushed through the door as the nurses and doctors were performing CPR on him. I knew he was going to die. I didn't care. Min Gi came. I didn't care.

A sobbing boy of about 11 was lying in the next bed over with his parents. He had broken his leg. The doctor began to remove the old dressing and reset it for a new cast. The boy began screaming with pain. His screams echoed inside my ulcerated colon. Every time he wailed, waves of pain radiated through my digestive tract. I couldn't take it anymore. My apathy broke, and I hated this boy. This 11-year-old boy in agonizing pain and his terrified parents. I wanted them to go away. I hated them. I told Min Gi to get me admitted to a bed, NOW.

Pain makes me a mean, petty, hateful person. I don't like it.

Somehow, by 7:30, Min Gi had achieved what I had failed to for the last 9 hours and got someone from the GI department to see me--a young Dr. Park, a tubby, enthusiastic resident whose English was passable, though not as good as Yoon Young's, and who giggled every time he got frustrated trying to explain something to me in English, though patiently persevered until the communication was successful.

Within 20 minutes of my consultation with Dr. Park, I was out of the ER, whisked away to the sixth floor, and changed into the unflattering but comfortable hospital uniform, where a tall, friendly nurse was taking my vitals and explaining the brochure about the rules of the hospital ward to Min Gi.

In the quiet of the semi-private room I now shared with a 60-something pre-op ajumma, my body began to release the child's screams, the probing camera, the proximity to death and illness that was the emergency room. I began to relax.

Suddenly I was hungry. And tired.

Next installment: Room 6012.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

It's hard to be thankful this year...

...when you got diagnosed with an incurable disease.

(I am thankful that my health is recovering).

...when your fiance leaves you alone in a foreign country on a holiday because he's having dinner with co-workers, and you're lonely and sad.

(I am thankful for Min Gi--truly, he's amazing).

...when your family has faced more than their fair share of health crises this year.

(I am thankful my dad is now cancer-free and mom is recovering from both of her September surgeries).

...when you get hit on the head with a plastic gavel by one of your favorite, but highly misguided students who lost his mock-trial case for lack of preparation.

(I am thankful for my job which makes me laugh).

...when the world economy crashes and ruins your plans to get out of debt once and for all.

(I am thankful the Korean economy is recovering and the exchange rate is finally more reasonable).

Yes, guys... it's been a rough year. I remain hopeful that with a marriage in January, awesome honeymoon in February, and a big repatriation adventure for August and beyond, 2010 will leave me with a lot more to be thankful for. Don't get me wrong, I AM grateful for the good things in my life, but darnit... it can be tough sometimes.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What's for dinner?

As I said in my previous post, I'm really enjoying cooking healthy meals for my biggest fan, Min Gi. However, cooking in Korea can be a lot of scouring for ingredients and finding deliciously acceptable substitutions. My creations are usually veggie-heavy and a mix of different cooking techniques and various spices I've accumulated in my kitchen (most are from Costco or the Global Market next to Keimyung University--they have so many Indian ingredients and Southeast Asian stuff--it is AWESOME).

This week, I made my second attempt a Spanish-style lentil stew, loosely based on this recipe. The first had come out a little bitter (perhaps not enough tomatoes and too much vinegar). However, this batch was AWESOME--I wish I'd taken pics, but it was so delicious, we just ate it all.

So what's for dinner tonight?

Vegetable Curry.


I fried up an onion and some mushrooms with garlic and tons of Indian spices (curry powder, coriander, turmeric, cumin, and cinnamon), then boiled it in a small amount of water with some cubed potatoes, carrots, and zucchini. I added broccoli and tomatoes a little later, transferred it back to the fry pan and cooked until the broth was thicker.

The result? Delicious.


Now if only Min Gi will show up to help me eat it! Darn him and working later and farther away than me!!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Goodbye Single Life...

Min Gi moved the last of his things into my place (our place... I'll work on this, I swear) last night.

Don't get me wrong, he's had most of his stuff here since September and spends about half his nights here, even though the majority of his clothes were at his old place that is much closer to his office job... so it's not like I don't know what it's like to spend a lot of time with him.

It's just that... since we're getting married in a few (less than seven) weeks this means I'll never have my own place again (barring something horrible happening). I'm having some ambivalence about this gaining of a life partner, loss of independence thing.

I'm really excited to be starting our life together, and I love living with a man who does the dishes and cleans the floor as part of his "daily exercise" (I cook and do the laundry--lucky me, the chores I actually enjoy doing!). However, I've lived alone since November 2006 (good lord I loved that first solo apartment) and sharing a place with someone... well, it changes your lifestyle. Dramatically.

For me, it's mostly good things. I go to bed when I say I'm going to bed because I'm actually accountable to keep my word. Ditto for keeping schedules and exercise habits. I don't eat as much junk food because I love cooking for Min Gi (he likes everything I make, even though it doesn't have meat... and again, does the dishes!), and because of that accountability thing (it's harder to sneak off and buy a chocolate bar from the store if someone is asking where you're going as you put on your shoes). And the fact that there's a much greater chance of someone being home to cuddle (etc.) when you need it besides the kitties!

However, some things I miss. Korean news is on every morning now when I come home from AM yoga, which kind of disrupts the peace. Sometimes, I buy things to eat (or plan to eat things I cooked last night for lunch) and when I come home, they're gone. I have to pick up after myself more (it's kind of rude to just let stuff accumulate in corners when other folks live there). He sees me on "ugly days," which I've been having a lot of lately because of the medications (I could just make the effort to not have "ugly days" I suppose, but I don't know if that would be good for my sanity), which I don't like. Min Gi still leaves the toilet seat up about 50% of the time, and (I have no idea how) manages to coat the entire bathroom floor in water every time he uses it. I'm an introvert and my love is an extrovert--good lord he needs to talk--a lot (although, if I must be honest, I love hearing what he has to say at least 95% of the time, which is pretty awesome).

So today, I'm just taking a moment to say goodbye to those single girl, solo-apartment behaviors I've come to love (well, at least be comfortable with) over the last three years (almost to the day--eerie). Will I miss my peace and solitude? Sure. Sometimes.

But what I'm getting in return--cannot be compared. I really am the luckiest girl ever--to have found a man who thinks he's the luckiest boy ever.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Creepy, Sad Coincidences.

Once, in university, I decided to watch the Catch-22 movie (finally, after worshipping the book for years). As I watched it, Joseph Heller died.

This morning, one of our first grade groups had prepared a presentation about Korean models who had made it internationally, including Daul Kim, who happened to commit suicide this morning. (Note that the Metropolitician has a great post up about the bullying that may or may not have contributed to her suicide; I personally have a HUGE problem with the way Korea blames net-bullying exclusively for the suicides of celebrities as it demonstrates their ignorance about how suicide works and the fact that it is often preventable)

Stuff like this creeps me out, even though I know it's completely coincidental.

Debates... and homoerotic amusement.

This week my American Culture students have completed their final projects for second semester--a debate in English on one of four current controversial topics in America: same-sex marriage, affirmative action, standardized education, and health care reform. They've been researching their topics in groups of three or four for a couple months and preparing for the debates. Part of what I HOPED they would learn was the spirit of American discourse--the ability to argue ideas freely and fiercely, but then go back to being friends again later.

Trouble is, Korean students are both too competitive AND too cooperative for assignments like this. They hate working in groups because they think it'll make their individual grade go down (the worst students refuse to participate in the project and just study individually for the test and end up with the same grade as their group members having put in no work--you have to design group projects to work against this tendency), but at the same time, once you get them to work together, they don't want to compete in teams. My co-teacher and I have worked all year to get these kids to value cooperative learning and group projects. So now they do. Great! However, it caused one kind of unexpected problem.

About half of our students worked WITH their opposing team to script the whole debate, including points-of-information (POIs are moments where you interject a question or a point into the other team's assertions to get their response) and counter-arguments. It wasn't bad, it was just... not a debate.

Overall, though, they did a great job. And they were (rightfully) very proud of themselves for this accomplishment. It's not easy to have a debate in your native language, let alone in in a foreign language. Especially in a culture where open conflict is kind of considered rude. I'm very proud of them.

***

In my conversation classes, William and I have been grading our final projects--a powerpoint presentation for the first graders and a mock trial for the second graders. So far, the powerpoint presentations have been ok--great powerpoints, not so great on the presentation skills. The mock trials, however, have been hilarious. The kids are putting students at school on trial for possible school infractions (cheating and bullying) and have made evidence and played witnesses and lawyers as they try to convince their peers of a classmate's guilt or innocence.

The funniest moment was when a young man in the Chinese major class who was playing the roommate of the defendant (accused of cheating) was being cross examined:

Lawyer: Please describe your relationship with the defendant.
Witness: We are roommates.
Lawyer: Are you close?
Witness: Sure. We sleep together. (The whole class starts to chuckle) And we... take a shower together! (Everyone bursts into laughter)

Thing is, I don't think the kid understood what that sounds like. In the dorms, they have locker-room style showers, and he probably meant that they sleep in the same room, but you know... when your language skills are imperfect... it just sounds funny.

Some days, I love my job.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Good News for International Couples

In Korea, anyway. Korea is voting on a new bill that would allow its citizens to possess dual citizenship with other countries after age 22. Current law makes dual-citizen children choose at that age and revokes the citizenship of Koreans who acquire a foreign citizenship and requires foreign nationals who obtain Korean citizenship to renounce their former country within 6 months or two years.

Check out the article from The Korea Times.

So if the bill passes, Min Gi would be allowed to become a U.S. citizen (eventually, if we make it through this whole green card process) without giving up being a Korean citizen AND if we move back to Korea, I could get Korean citizenship without giving up my U.S. status. And our future kids wouldn't have to choose between the two countries. I say this would be a "win" all around.

...and, apparently, mood swings.

I blogged last time about how I'm struggling with the vanity effects of prednisone and moonface (fat gained in the cheeks and neck). I think the psychological effects of this crappy med might be kicking in, as well.

No joke. I walk in to work today, and my boss who sits next to me looks at me, laughs, touches her cheeks (to indicate the enormous size of my own) and says, "These days you look so cute. Like a baby!" Then she laughs some more.

I nearly punched her in the face. See how she likes some "cute" black eyes.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Health Update.

My health is on the mend... and I have been having a lot of ups and downs coping with it.

Downs:

-- Prednisone (the steroid I'm on to tame the flaring beast) side effects are kicking in BIG TIME: (1) I have a really round face now and am rapidly developing a double chin. I've never had a double chin. Even when I was practically obese in high school. I'm disgusted with how fat my face looks (it's gotten worse since the pics I posted from Saturday). My weight is staying relatively steady after it went way up in the hospital and then way down the week after, but my face and even my stomach are gathering more fat than they've ever had before. Ew. I don't look like ME in the mirror, and I'm absolutely terrified I'll still look weird and round and tummy-fat for the wedding in two months. I'm not a terribly vain girl, but I would like to look like myself for my wedding. (2) I cannot stop eating. I'm trying to keep it healthy, but seriously it's this bizarre COMPULSION. Not like when I used to emotionally overeat before, just the need to eat every piece of food in sight, especially salty foods. It's nutty. Exercising seems to help me resist, but that leads us to the next downer:

-- I'm much weaker than I used to be: I've started doing yoga again on MWF mornings, but damn if I can't hold the strength poses that used to be so easy. And Friday when we did five sun series salutations in a row, I was SWEATING a LOT. I can't really jog and walking up stairs winds me a lot faster than it used to. I want my strength back. Even when I was fat, I was STRONG. I miss it so much. I miss being active.

-- Every time I step down the prednisone (weaning myself off it), my UC symptoms ramp up a little bit the next day. It balances back out quickly, but since Wednesdays have been my adjustment days, Thursdays have sucked.

Ups:

-- I'm not flaring anymore: This is key. I'm having normal bowel movements, generally fewer than 4/day (except adjustment days, but even then nothing like before I went into the hospital).

-- I have more energy: I've been experimenting with cooking (not just making something easy) after work, doing chores around the house, and walking around comfortably. This is totally different than 2 weeks ago when I'd come home so exhausted I could barely fix dinner.

-- My strength IS coming back, if slowly. For example, for my walk today on the track near my gym, I did 13 laps in the same time it took me to walk 5 the day after I got out of the hospital, and I even did a few bursts of 30 seconds of jogging. Yoga was easier this week than it was last week. I can walk up the four flights of stairs to my classroom in a reasonable amount of time. I may be frustrated, but I'm making progress. My goal is to be strong enough to resume taekwondo in December.

-- My doctor thinks I'll be off prednisone before the wedding, which means the vanity side effects should be seriously reduced.

-- I'm on a lot fewer meds than I was two weeks ago. Once I'm off the prednisone, it'll just be back to the minor remission maintenance drugs I was on since May, plus one more (probiotics). They have almost no side effects for me (after the first month adjusting) and work really well to keep me from flaring.

So the goods outweigh the bads, but still, some things to worry about. I can't wait until I can hike and kick and dance and look in the mirror and be content. We'll get there...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Pictures from Saturday.

I finally had an excuse to wear the green silk dress I had made in Vietnam.

With my pal Gina, who visited me in the hospital and was in an AWESOME Charleston performance.


With my (getting tipsy) future husband.


Courtesy Dung-ee

Sunday, November 8, 2009

I could have danced all night...

... well, not really.

I went OUT last night. It was the seventh anniversary party for Swing and People and my foot was feeling up to walking without the cane, so I got dolled up and headed downtown for THE swing event in Daegu. I will update with pictures when my friend posts them to the club website.

And it was awesome. Just connecting with people again. Made me feel human. I even was able to dance to a few slow/medium pace songs and didn't die. It felt great.

Today my muscles are punishing me a bit for the workout I gave them, but that's ok 'cause I'm stuck grading and planning five million things for work. My foot still seems ok. I can walk, albeit slowly and with a small amount of pain. I will continue the soaking/heating/massage routine over the next week as I (hopefully) regain full function of my limbs. I do, on the plus side, now seem to have pretty good control over my bowels.

Maybe, just maybe, I'll be back to my old, active self by the time my wedding rolls around in two months.

Here's hoping!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Ongoing Medical Drama

Grey's Anatomy ain't got nothing on me. Seriously, my first week back at work, and I went every day, taught all my classes, and even taught the extra three high school gifted classes that I missed while I was in the hospital. Peachy.

However, my body is broken. Some of the effects of the medications I'm on from my hospitalization include extreme muscle fatigue. So towards the beginning of this week, walking was difficult. Apparently so difficult that by Wednesday afternoon, I'd developed a case of tendinitis in my foot so bad, that I couldn't walk.

So Thursday (after confirming at the hospital it wasn't broken and getting some advice from the orthopedic guy) and Friday, I hobbled around school and my neighborhood with the assistance of the prop cane from the student theater festival competition.

That's right... I have a disease that makes it hard to control my bowel movements and now I'm sporting a cane.

Dammit... I'm like 90 years old.

More rest this weekend. Such an exciting life I lead. Perhaps I will one day climb out from under this backlog of work (grading) that missing two weeks of school and then being unable to walk and therefore too exhausted to think will cause, but I have my doubts about that.

Hope your lives are more pleasant.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Quick Note.

Just checking in that I'm alive. I've been working on a post about my hospitalization in Korea (so many interesting things), but as I'm still exhausted and going through crazy medication regimentations while returning to my job (with the natural backlog of work that's accumulated), it's taking a bit of time.

I look forward to blogging again one day. Thanks fellow bloggers for your well-wishes. I miss you all.

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