Friday, October 21, 2011

Korea is a Silly Place Episode 2: You Want What Now?

This is an actual conversation that I had with my co-teacher the morning I ended up going to the doctor about the stabby hurty:

Caroline: "Hey, are you doing anything this afternoon?"
Mrs. Kim: "I have a meeting after our last class, why?"
C: "I have a pain and I want to go to the hospital." (For those of you who don't live in Korea, they go to the hospital for everything.  It's like when we go to the walk in clinic at the doctor's office.)
K: "You have a pain?  Where is it?"
C: "It's here.  It hurts when I move certain ways and when I cough or sneeze and I want to make sure it's not my appendix."
K: "Your what?"
C:  "It's a thing on your intestines.  Anyway, I want to go to the hospital."
K:  "Ok, do you have an appointment?"
C:  "Uh ... no.  I don't speak Korean."  (She knows this.)
K:  "Well, which hospital do you want to go to?"
C:  "I don't know.  I was hoping you could help me with that."
K:  "Do you want to see my husband?"  (Her husband is a surgeon.)
C:  "No, I just want to talk to a doctor to make sure that I am ok."
K:  "So ..." She looks confused.  "You want to go to the hospital but you have no appointment?"

Pause while I think about how to rephrase my request for her to help me go to the hospital.

C:  "I know an English speaking doctor.  I will just go to him."
K:  "Yes, I think that would be best."


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Love/Hate/Overworked/Look what I got!

There are days when I am absolutely, madly in love with Korea.  Days when it can do no wrong.  The weather is perfect, my kids are happy, my co-workers make me laugh.

There are days when I am not so in love.  Days when I would give anything to be able to walk into a store and buy come frosting in a can.  Or maybe some vanilla extract.  Or some black beans.  Or green beans.  Good beer.  Pork chops.  Or being able to find nice specialty shops, like {nice} yarn shops.  OH THE YARN SHOPS.

This week I have been overloaded with work from a special project I have volunteered to help out with.  I didn't realize that it would be this much work when I signed up.  I have been feeling slightly under valued while being horribly overworked.  I'm pretty sure that I have already worked over 40 hours this week - normal working hours plus all the extra time I'm putting into this other project - and it's only Wednesday.

I asked the other people who are involved to help me out - that I am on the verge of being burnt out.  I'm sure they will come through.  They are good people.  This is a good project.  I'm jazzed to be a part of it; I'm just hating the amount of work that I have had to do in one week

The work has made me horribly cranky.  I have no patience for some people ... some students too.  I feel angry and sad and tired and empty all at the same time.  But I know that this week will never repeat itself (I am going to make damn sure of that).  This is a one time push and then it's easy street for the rest of the project.

I will show you what I've been working on, I promise.  I am too impressed with myself to not show you.  But that is a post for another day because I'm still not done working on it.

On a happier note, I got a fish!  She is a betta.  Her name is Star Shine.  She lives in a big jar.  She likes to stare at me when I eat breakfast.  Long story short: she totally rocks.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Ouchy Stabby

Last week I had a bit of a health scare.

The short version of it is that I coughed one day and it hurt.  Really hurt.  Like, stabby pain in the area where my appendix likes to hang out.  When the pain didn't go away after a few days I took myself to the only English speaking doctor I know of in Gwangju (he's in the university backgate area - email me if you need the info) to see if I was going to die from a ruptured appendix needed to worry.  I ended up getting a sonogram of my entire torso and the happy news that my appendix was totally not trying to kill me.

As of now I still don't have an official diagnosis of the stabby pain.  But Ryan (being the sporty guy he is) had me do some stretches and we are both pretty sure that I just pulled a muscle.

 Fact:  When you are an expat in Korea you will drink.  You will drink like you have never drunk (drank?) before since university. 

Fact:  Drinking like you are still at university won't do much for your girlish figure.

Bonus fact:  You will also start calling college university because no one from outside the US will know what you are talking about if you don't.

I decided that I didn't like the direction my waist was going (out and over the top of my pants) so a couple of weeks ago I decided that I would join a bootcamp.  I'm pretty sure that the super intense ab workouts we did were the cause of my stabby pain.

The best part of all of this?  The doctor declared that my liver function is normal.  Which I wasn't worried about but is always reassuring to hear from a medical professional.  Especially when you live in Korea.

AND I now have a foot long print out of crappy sonogram pictures of my insides!  I'm thinking I might frame them - but I'm open to suggestions.