Saturday, September 17, 2011

Food Poisoning

            We’ve all been there out having fun, hanging out and getting something to eat oblivious to the destruction occurring within our bodies as we finish the last of that glorious chicken.  Within a few short hours we’re quickly aware of what’s happening to our digestive system and we are not happy about finding out either.
            That’s exactly what happened to me Wednesday night and it was a long night for me.  I’ll spare the details but I will say that it’s the first time since I’ve gotten here in Korea that if a plane ticket was offered to me to go home or stay here and fight it out I might’ve taken that damn ticket. The next day I showered up, drank some water and headed to work.  A more accurate description is that I dragged myself to work because I didn’t want to call my boss and ask to have the day off so I could sleep.  I’m a firm believer that you don’t quit until the ref blows the final whistle and I wasn’t going to let my boss think that I was just hung over and didn’t want to come to work.
            Well I made it to work, went to my classroom I share with my co-teacher, Josh, and promptly fell asleep at my desk.  An hour later my boss woke me up, asked what was wrong, I told her and she immediately took me to the local pediatric clinic.  Now I think that this is an excellent example of how efficient Korea is at something but completely useless if you don’t speak Korean.  We walked up to the clinic and within 30 seconds I was seeing the main doctor.  There was no medical background check, no major questions about my diet or medicinal use, all the Doctor asked was if my stomach still hurt, “No” I answered, and if I was still experiencing some symptoms.  “A little” I answered again. 
            Fortunately my boss was there to translate for me and after his examination he successfully concluded that I needed a shot and an IV line to rehydrate.  I understood the IV but I asked my boss, “Why the shot and what’s in the shot.”  She translated to the Doctor and he said that it an anti-viral shot.  Now I’m no medical expert but I am one of those annoying people who asks the Doctor exactly what I’m putting in my body and for what purpose.  Even though I could barely walk I still knew that food poisoning was bacterial in origin and that if a true anti-viral shot exists then the common cold would be eradicated. 
            But it was better than a steroid shot so I took the shot, in the cheek and not the one on my face mind you and then laid down to let the IV do its work.  Later my boss came and got me and we went back to the academy and she decided to let me go home and rest.  I expressed my gratitude got a ride home from one of the secretary’s and promptly passed out once I was on my bed.
            I don’t know if it was the shot, sleeping for a day, or the IV and drinking lots of water but the next day I felt much better and was ready for work.  To date here in Korea that was the most isolated I’ve truly felt.  I had no clue what to do, who to talk to and then how to recover.  There’s no jell-o, no applesauce here and I was eating watered down rice and green bean soup instead.  Those aren’t exactly comfort foods and I hated lying in bed all day with barely the energy to go pour some water.  However it would’ve been much, much worse if my boss and her secretary hadn’t helped me out, so I’m very grateful to them for putting color back in my cheeks, but on my face this time.
            Anyone else have any experiences similar to this and for all of you medical experts out there I ask what was in that “anti-viral” shot I was given?

Friday, September 2, 2011

26th Birthday!!

            This past weekend had the good luck of my birthday falling on Saturday night.  Clearly, this birthday was a bit different since I’m not home in the States but I decided to make the most of it by bringing a little bit of home out with me. 
            First, I was fortunate enough to get some birthday packages in the mail from friends, family and TL.  I have to say thank you to each of you who sent me a package, card, email card, Facebook post and Skype call to wish me a happy birthday.  It means a lot especially since I haven’t seen anyone, TL excluded, since March. 
My boss bought me a White Chocolate cake and it was delicious.
Inappropriate birthday cards for inappropriate wallpaper.
My new Kindle or Crackbook because I am already addicted.
            Now that you’ve seen my atrocious wallpaper and how I’m trying to cover it up I’ll fill you in on what I did on my birthday.  It was a beautiful day and I took advantage of it by going for a run, buying some groceries and deciding that I would wear an outfit to celebrate my 26th year on Earth.  So I bought some tight jeans, a flannel shirt and a proper cowboy hat to complete the ensemble.  I cut the jeans into jorts, ripped the sleeves off the shirt, added some orange to support Pat and voila I brought some of the South to Gwangju.
Birthday Suit
            I met up with Jonathan and his girl and we went to the Gwangju World Music Festival.  There were some pretty cool shows but the best one was a Korean band.  I was very impressed with how good the band was and how charismatic the singer was.  Remember the culture here is similar to the US in the 50’s, so when you see a Korean singer here in Gwangju that absolutely tears the stage up without being popish you take notice.


            After that we went to German bar to hang out with one of the coolest guys I’ve met here, Song.  He’s an officially licensed German brew master who started his own bar here in Gwangju, named appropriately, German Bar.  I always have a good time hanging out with him and his bar was the first place I took TL to as I knew she’d love it too.

Of course he has a matching cowboy hat since that's how he rolls.
            Next I went to another foreign bar and met up with Dan Henrickson and James.  We threw’em back, played some games and then I finished the night a couple of hours later.
         To end I want to congragulate Josh and Kali Righter for their wedding this weekend.  I know I'm missing out on a great wedding but I love you guys and have fun.
 Go Vols!