Lola O.
So after my last semi-sad post life took a nice upswing. I danced the night awayin Hongdae on Thursday. Had a picnic in Olympic park on Friday, went shopping in Myeon-dong on Saturday (got some great deals), and had brunch and found a book to read on Sunday. Life was going well and seemed like things were getting better. My head felt less foggy and I was finding my clarity again.

Yeah, in the next moment everything changed. But that is life, a moment to moment kind of journey. I felt a bit yucky on Sunday but thought it was just the rainy weekendI woke up Monday morning feeling like death has run over me, but being me I headed to school. I have never taken a sick day in all the years I've been working. I know, I'm stubborn. Well I got through Monday...barely. I thought with a good night's sleep I'd be fine on Tuesday (I slept from 5pm to 7am). Nope, on Tuesday I woke up feeling even more crappy, but determined to make it through school and then find myself a doctor with the help of another teacher.

I mean this is the fourth time in 3 months that I've been sick. I think it has a lot to do with the constantly changing weather, the germs that run rampant with all these kids, and just adjusting to a new place. It turns out I have tonsillitis, not sure if it is acute or chronic or whatever. Everything hurts, my body aches, my whole throat is swollen which makes eating a pain, I keep coughing like its my purpose in life, and I just want to curl up and sleep. All I've been doing is sleeping for the past few days, and that is what the doctor says I need, lots of rest. He also said no talking, but my job is all about me talking. I have open class on Friday, and am hoping to be better by then. I wanted to take sick leave today, but I have afterschool and tomorrow is practicing for the open class. I would feel bad to leave it all in the hands of my co-teacher and wing it on Friday. So I am sticking it out, and planning for a weekend of resting in my apartment to regain my strength. There is something about being sick that makes me homesick. If I was home, my grandma would be watching over me till I felt better. I come a family of nurses so I know I'd be in good hands back home.

I feel a bit at fault that it got this bad. The doctor was looking at me like wow, this is serious. I kind of have a fear of going to the doctor ever since last August, just because it tends to end of being really bad. Even so, I should have went after I got sick for the second, or even third time instead of waiting till it got this bad. I didn't think I would get sick again, but still I should have gotten it checked out. I always had a sore throat each time, and it should have clued me in to what could have/was going on. I also felt nervous about going to the doctors here alone, not sure whether they would speak English or not. Everyone seems to think/say that most doctors speak English here...who knows. I definitely would like to find a regular doctor I feel comfortable with, and one that specializes in stomach issues.

Lesson learned, don't be like me and wait till the last minute to see a doctor whether you are in Korea, or back home, or wherever you are in this world:). I'm really thankful that I had a Korean teacher with me, so don't be afraid to ask a co-worker or Korean friend to tag alone. My biggest concern was that I cannot have anti-inflammatory medications like aspirin and the like (which ruled out a lot of the meds he wanted to give me) so it was nice having someone there to make that crystal clear to him. If you have an allery or whatever it is write it all done and let them see it. It will make things hopefully a lot easier and smoother if they can see it, especially the medical terminology.

One thing I am learning among so many, is that everything here or anywhere is moment to moment, breathe, to breathe, minute to minute,...and so on. One moment life is good, and in the next moment things can go on a different path but it doesn't neccesarily have to be a bad thing. I feel like I am getting back to my pretty cheerful self again. The sun shining brightly outside today really helps to lift my spirit and my overall attitude. My students really helped, so many told me to feel better, and one kid drew this super cute picture of me...it just made me smile.

So like someone told me, on the bad days just remember all the good days, good memories, and why you came here in. My advice to myself and you is that bad days will come, but they will also go, so will the good days. Hopefully/Most likely there will be more good ones that bad ones. One moment in a series of moments doesn't have to define your whole outlook. It's just a moment that disappears before you know it. I know if a few days I will feel physically better just as I feel emotionally/mentally better these days.

I owe all of you soooo many pictures. So since I plan on staying in this weekend, look forward to more photo diaries and less of me whining:)...lol. I hope your day is going well, and if you are sick like me feel better sooj. Sending positive thoughts your way.....can you feel them:)?

EDIT:
I totally spaced out that today marked 3 months in Korea. It feels like I have been here a lot longer, which is a mostly good feeling. I feel comfortable with my life here. I like the independence I have, and I like figuring life out on my own terms and in my own way. I've realized though, that no matter how long I stay here, no matter how much Korean I learn, no matter...I will never fit in here. It's not even that I want to fit in, I guess I just don't want to stand out so much. I don't want to be stared at, and pointed at like a side show act at the circus. I need to learn more Korean, but learning more Korean won't make me Korean. I don't want to be Korean, but my point is I will never belong or be fully accepted here. Every Monday I sit with all the other teacher's in the meeting, and I just zone out. I have no idea what is said, or what they are laughing about. I'm just there taking up space wondering why they make me come in the first place. Same thing on Fridays, I really wish I could talk more with the other 6th grade teachers (they all seem like cool ladies) but I can't. I just sit there, eating the yummy food and smiling when they look my way with a face that says she must be so bored, and in my head I reply yes. I like how things are right now for the most part, and hope each month is filled with discoveries, adventures, growth, and most of all just me shaping myself and being shaped into the person/woman I want to be. I'm finding that person(me) to be clearer as time goes by.

At the end of the day I am glad to be here, and am doing this. Korea like every country isn't black and white. It's filled with shades of gray, some a little darker, others are little lighter.

PS. My Korean name for the time being is 하늘 (Sky)....as chosen by my afterschool kids and I. They also liked Moon, Hair, Bulgogi, Kimchi, Dukbokki...etc. It was like they wanted to turn me into a food and eat me:)!

Check out: We Own The Sky

Be Blessed
~Lola O.~
3 Responses
  1. Hey hang in there.
    I think all this sickness is the adjustment to the country and teaching. Yes being around kids is like working in a germ factory. I'm not sure which medicine you are taking for your stomach troubles but the ones I take are an immuno-suprresant so I can get sick easily.

    However I was sick alot the first 5 months here in Korea. Especially from the stress and working till 8pm at the hagwon. Luckily you work at public and can take off sick days and it won't be the end of the world for the school.

    Try to get some Korean Jook. IT is great on the tummy and the health. Ask your coteacher about or maybe u know already.

    Also I go to a great English speaking doctor for my stomach disease in Seoul. He works at the YOnsei Severance Hospital near Ehwha. They have an excellent Foreigner clinic that can refer you to him. :)

    Ok feel better ^^ at least there is no rain in sight for a while.


  2. Lola O. Says:

    Yeah, I've been eating lots of juk these days. I think my immune system isn't very good. I've been taking an acid reducer and then meds for anemia. I will have to go to this clinic over the summer to do my checkup.

    I'm feeling better, and hanging in there.


  3. HennyPenny Says:

    I understand the feeling of being an outsider no matter how hard you try to fit in. It's hard, especially when you've been there a few months and are feeling a little homesick. :(

    Chin up!