Lola O.
Happy Friday, I hope your week has been all kinds of lovely!!!

This week has been dragging on, with unstable weather and even more unstable students:) but it's coming to an end and I cannot wait for summer camp to be finished so I can go on my vacation. I think this is the first "real" vacation I've taken in my life. It's the first time I've been able to afford one, and I am starting to get excited about it.

Let's start with today and work our way back.

I had a mini-rebellion with my second grade after school kids. It was kind of hilarious but still unnerving. We were doing nursery rhymes and when I asked them to repeat the lyrics of the song, they remained silent. I'm not sure if it was because they didn't get it, or they just were tired, or if they wanted to be little brats on a Friday. I didn't budge and they didn't budge, but they wouldn't explain the sudden attitudes they were having. It was weird, it lasted a few minutes but when we moved on to the next activity they were fine. So I'm guessing nursery rhymes are a no-no with them or at least Baa Baa Black Sheep is.

So after school I ended up going to the hospital. Let's rewind. It started last week when I noticed a rash/skin discoloration on my stomach. I called my mom a little freaked out because I noticed red spots/bumbs under my....she said it was a heat rash due to the humdity and to go to the doctor or get some talcum powder. I figured if it was a heat rash it would heal quickly, and just focused on keeping that area dry. Stupid me!!! I don't know when it started, but it looked like more than a heat rash to me, and I decided I wanted to go to the doctor. I wanted a female doctor. I don't feel comfortable with male doctors (they just don't get it) and for this particular area I wanted a fellow female to handle my case. I've only had male dentists though and I love them.

Doctors, hospitals, anything medical freaks me out, like to the point that breathing gets a bit diffficult. Last night, I felt like I needed to get this checked out before going on vacation, because it would be worse if something happened where I have no medical insurance or anyone to help me out. So I worked up my courage and headed there after school today. The hospital is less that 5 minutes from where I live and is an English/Foreigner friendly one. Hmm...I didn't feel that way when I got there. The sign by the receptionist said English available, but the receptionists couldn't understand me, and for some reason they found this situation funny, all the laughing was grating on my fragile nerves. In the midst of laughter the receptionist I was talking to, found another one who spoke some English. I told her in English and in Korean that I needed to see a female doctor, and she told me only male doctors work here (LIAR). Another man who I assume worked there stepped in to help me out, and told them there is a female doctor, and that they should get my information so I can see her. Thank you kind stranger!!! Note: I didn't have to wait like the other people there, which was nice.

The receptionist kept asking me what was wrong and why I didn't want a male doctor, and I told her that I have a rash on my stomach, which she thought meant I'm having stomach pains. NOOOOOOO. I seriously was getting emotional as we walked and she kept pestering me about what was wrong with me, and I kept trying to explain to her it was a rash and not stomach pain. This male doctor saw us walking, and I assume he noticed the troubled look on my face because he came up to us and asked if I needed help. I was like "I NEED a female doctor, because I have a rash on my stomach and under my boobs, and I don't want a male doctor looking at me ie my boobs!!!! He smiled at me, and kindly said not to worry that I would see a female doctor, and that there was only one available but I would be taken to her. I said thank you and we kept going. The receptionist said as we kept walking that she understood. I just thought, finally.

We get to the female doctor, and I am so happy to be able to talk to her and tell her what is wrong. She understands enough English, and I understand enough Korean to fill in the blanks. Well it turns out I don't have a heat rash. I have a fungual infection/exema. I should have recognized it was exema. I have had dishydrotic exema since high school, but I've only ever had it on my hands, and I haven't had a major outbreak it quite some time. Exema is painful, itchy, and easily infected. Everytime I had a major outbreak I would also get an infection because the skin is so vulnerable, and it was just miserable. Exema is like tiny little blisters in clumps, and usually swollen and painful. Sometimes it would get so swollen and painful I couldn't write or do anything with that hand. The exema I have there is because of this disgusting humidty that is making me sweat so much, and since I have laa rge boobs (thanks mom) it makes this humidity even more miserable. Seriously, my body is my enemy. She asked me if I have diabetes, and I was like no I have anemia, and she was saying how my immune system doesn't seem to be very strong, and blah blah. Stuff I already know. After examining me, she prescribed me one medication, one antibiotic, and an ointment. I have to come back on Monday and see if it's cleared up. I'm glad I didn't wait any longer, and hopefully I'll be all better before Friday. I'm going to go over the meds and stuff with my mom who is a nurse, but I' m sure it's all legit. The female doctor was saying to wear cotton bras and I was like do those even exist, no do those even exist on my size? I'm going to see if my mom can find some and mail them to me. Oh, the bill was less than man won, and then I got the meds for about 7 won. So it wasn't expensive. I don't know if it is cheaper to go to practice rather than the hospital.

One more reason to hate the weather here. Today was especially weird. I woke up and it was pouring, so I put on some boots, took out my big umbrella, and made my way outside, where I was greeted with heat and sunshine. I was like wasn't it pouring 5 minutes ago? That is how insane it is right now. It rained on and off today. I find it uber weird when it rains while the sun is still brighty displayed. As I left school is started to rain and then it began to pour, and as I waited for the crosswalk light to turn green  the rain was sneaking under my umbrella. I noticed that when it rains it seems to be at an angle or something because my legs always get drenched. I cross the street, and rain to catch the bus. In the 5 seconds it took me to close my umbrella and get on the bus I got soaked, but by the time I got to my stop (2 stops away) the sun was shining again, and the heat was intense. Seriously it's like the weather is having pms or something. I just want it to rain all day, and give us a little reprieve from the humidity.

The other day as I was hiking the steep hill that leads to my school, I was thinking I cannot wait till I have a break from this walk to school. In the 10 minute hike/walk up the hill I am drenched in sweat before I get into school. I can't explain how disgusiting sweating is to me. It's just nasty, that wet feeling of perspiration. Humidty is is my enemy, and it seems that I will not be escaping it in Hong Kong or Jeju, but at least I'll be on vacation.

The other day my friend messaged me saying he hasn't heard from me in a while, and did I forget about them. I laughed a bit, because I could never forget the people who have been there for me, but life here gets in the way of reaching out and keeping in touch with people back home. That's not an excuse but hopefully they understand. When I first got here, I was like I'm going to send a postcard every month to everyone, and blah blah blah, but it's easier said than done. You get immersed in your life here, and though I haven't forgotten them, I have neglected them, thinking to myself everything is fine. I don't want to have more regrets and missed opportunities to let people know who they are and what they mean to me. I don't want to be lazy? Or neglectful? So I hope all of you back home know that I'm always thinking of you, cheering you on, and wishing you well. I know that life goes on back home, as it does here, and I wonder to myself where will I be when I go back. I honestly don't know if I will stay in Arizona. Being here, makes me want to see where else I can go in the States. My mom is the only reason I'd make Phoenix my permanent home, but I'm not sure if that is the best place for me. I've always felt a bit out of the loop, and I kind of want to make a fresh start. That's something that will be figured out when it needs to be. I do think I'd rather live in Tucson than Phoenix though.....hmmmm

This week I've been thinking a lot about balance. I want to feel balanced, but at the same time I ask myself what does that even mean. These days I usually end up with I don't know about a lot of things. It's funny how much I don't know about life, myself, and so on. I used to think I knew a lot, but as I get older I realized how naive and confused I am. Everything I was sure about I'm not sure about. I don't know is pretty much my currrent status about everything. I don't know, and I'm figuring it out. I'm learning over and over that not knowing isn't a bad thing, you don't know until you know. When I know, I know, so I won't rush myself into making things black and white, when there are so many gray areas to explore. I'm tipping the scales until I figure out where my balance fits in.

I've also been thinking a lot about fear. I don't know when I became so tangled up in fear. Fear of this, fear of that. I don't want fear of the unknown or what ifs to keep me from dreaming, from reaching, from trying...
I don't want to live my life with fear following me around everywhere I go. I think about Nelson Mandela's quote about not getting rid or fear, but overcoming it and that is what I'm trying to do with my life. To overcome my fears, one at a time. Even if I am afraid, even if I feel paralyzed, I still need to do it. I still need to try, because trying and failing is the worst case scenario, but never trying and regretting it for the rest of my life is an unbearable scenario.  I don't think I'm a coward, but I don't feel brave either. I'm just trying to be better, do better, live better. I'm just trying to figure me out. Being here is giving me that extra push to find my courage over and over again and see what I'm capable off.

I don't want to keep repeating the same cylce that leads to nowhere. I don't want to run away or pretend. I want to deal with it, break it down piece by piece, and usolve it/me/life step by step. I used to think I had everything under control, now I realize that sense of control was only a figment of my imagination. The only thing I have control over is me, everything else is left up to...

Be blessed,
~Lola O.~
2 Responses

  1. chinggu yah Says:

    Hi lola,

    Wow, it's very long story. I think we are in the same predicament regarding the weather. We also experience the same weather here in the Philippines. Rain, shine..shine then rain..