A hospitable week


So far, I spent my week of awesome adventures with Laura in the hospital.

At around 6 pm on Monday, Laura and I got some pizza after work. At around 8 pm I began violently vomiting. At around 10 pm, the hell that is uncontrollable bowel movements –nay– explosions, ensued. I didn’t leave the bathroom until 6 the next morning. In the midst of this diarrhea-induced delusional grandeur, I went to work that day. My co teachers told me to go to the hospital and get a magical pill that will cure all my symptoms.

I realized I wasn’t going to get this magic pill as they ushered me to the x-ray room. It became blunt when he said that I was going to be in the hospital for a few days. Tears started streaming down my face. Like, the whole time. I cried when the thumb printed me (which I could only assume was the equivalent of signing a medical waiver in a language that I can barely read, let alone understand). I also cried as the had me change in the hospital outfit of superfluous thickness. I just cried. Although the doctor spoke some English, I didn’t really know what was going on. And to me, that was terrifying.

Regardless of the situation, we know how to have a good time. And worry our mother.

I went to the hospital and was there for 52 hours. The doctor said if I ate, I would vomit. If I drank water, I would have diarrhea. Classic catch 22. During my stay, I didn’t eat until my last reaming hour, which was a small, glorious bowl of rice. The hospital was really hot, and there were not private rooms, rather a hall of cubicles.

You win, Korea.

My brain has been so busy denying that I am going through a lot of a changes, that my body had to shut down for me to realize it. I have been like “La La La! New job, new country, new friend (singular), no boyfriend or familiarity, this is fine!” My body is indicating otherwise – that this is a lot of change for me to handle. I’ve had to see the doctor three times in one month. I think it’s ok now to admit to myself that maybe moving to Korea wasn’t as easy as I’ve led myself to believe.

The hardest part about being here, besides shitting myself more than a toddler, is everyone joking  that I should come home. First of all, no. I did not spend all that money and time in my life to be discouraged by the worst, most heinous flu I have ever experienced in my life. Secondly, I came here to challenge myself. Going home would do the opposite for the personal growth that I am striving for. I appreciate the concerns and the humor, but I’m not coming home yet.

I still have a lot going for me here. I really love my job. My students are really great, and their enthusiasm honestly keep me going. I have a lot of bitchin’ travel plans and I am paying off hella student debt. I have so many reasons to be happy to be here. I just hope that from now on, my poops are solid.

P.S. My 52 hour hospital stay, including 3 x-rays, IVs, and three days of medication cost me 70,000 KRW or $61 USD.

4 thoughts on “A hospitable week

  1. I am so glad to hear you are feeling better.
    Love your blog! You are doing a wonderful job dealing with diversity and living outside your comfort zone.
    Stay healthy and only order Chicago pizza not Korean pizza.
    Aunt Marybeth and uncle Jim


  2. I can’t believe you and I just went through the same thing. I just moved this week to a new apartment, which is nothing like your move but still a move and a couple of days later I ate pizza and about an hour later I began to feel nauseated. Then the vomiting & high fever began and continued for over six hours followed by diarrhea that wouldn’t stop. I ended up in an ambulance because I couldn’t even make it to the door. I went to a hospital that kept me in the lobby 3 hours, in which time I went to the bathroom 18 times (yes, I counted). I felt as if I was dying in their lobby, so a friend of mine drove me to another hospital. By the time my labs were drawn my potassium level was critical, which will affect your cardiovascular health. Many bags of fluids later they discharged me, even though I was still having to use a bedside commode because I couldn’t make it to the bathroom in time. It sounds as if the Korean hospital did a better job, because I should have been admitted. 2 days later and still no relief I went to urgent care to get a different prescription. 5 days later, I was finally able to eat solid food. I am still very weak and trying to find everyday things in my house of boxes, all the while trying to care for my dog.
    As far as saying you should go home, I think you are making the right decision. Living in a foreign country helped broaden my mind about how others live in the world and I feel as if there is no better education or experience. I had great difficulties, since I didn’t speak the Czech language, but somehow got by. Things were not always easy, but I wouldn’t change my experience for anything. I wish I could continue to travel the world (with a t-shirt stating I didn’t vote for Trump), actually not just travel but live in different countries, so I am very jealous of your exciting journey to the East. I will continue to look forward to reading your blog and live through you. Hopefully you will feel better soon, so that you can enjoy your new surroundings. I wish you the best of luck and say hi to Laura.


  3. I really love a good poop story! You have the best one yet!
    It also sounds like you are having a grand adventure……CARRY ON! Just don’t worry your mother



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