Where have I been? Oh, just the ER

Hello all, long time no talk to.
It has been quite a while since I’ve updated, though not necessarily on purpose. I have been lying around, but not in the lazy kind of way but more the incapacitated kind of way.
Let me explain.

About the first week of June, I suddenly started feeling sick. I couldn’t place a finger on it. It was odd. It was right after a beautiful picnic at the Han River with some old colleagues and a lovely lunch with another old colleague as well. It felt like a cold, a stupid summer cold. Except no stuffy nose or anything like that. Just general shittiness. So I went to the doctor and he was like, let’s run some tests. But quickly after listening to my symptoms and a urine test later, he told me I was having problems with my liver/kidneys and if over the weekend, I felt worse, go to the hospital. I was like, Umm, sure. Well, sure enough, that weekend, I went to the hospital. I was in so much pain, I thought I was going crazy. I had told some swimming friends how I felt and that I might go. So luckily, they messaged me and met me at the hospital. They were nice enough to stay until 3:30am until I was released. Poor guys…. They gave me some medicine and told me to come back in about a week to do a check up. I was like, fine, whatevs. I felt better. So I started the meds and then did a week.

But then, that Thursday, I caught tonsillitis. It wasn’t too bad at first, just uncomfortable. But by Friday, I was so uncomfortable, I went home early. I figured, I’ll just sleep it off. I had gone to the doctor again on Thursday and he was like, “Yeah, it’s tonsillitis. Just take the meds you’re taking and you’ll be good.”

Over the weekend, I got worse. So worse than by Monday, the day of my follow-up appointment, my tonsils and uvula (that hanging thing) had swelled so much that it was cutting off my airway. I couldn’t speak starting Friday. I spent the whole weekend silent. And by Monday, I couldn’t speak normally even if I really wanted. It was awful. I had an appointment at 1 and I had called out for the day. I tried to just be a champ about it. “It’s just tonsillitis. Tons of people get it. I will be fine. I’ll get better!” I’m that kind of person. Yeah, by 11:30, I couldn’t take it and went to the hospital by 12. I had to do a urine and blood test before I have my consultation so they can see if I’ve improved. But I went to everyone, asking what to do to get help for my throat. Everyone just stared at me. In a hospital, nobody knew how to help me. Even the lady taking my blood was like, “Are you OK?” and I was like, “No.” I was practically in tears because nobody would help me.

I finally asked one desk and they were like, well, you could just go to the ER, but you’d void your appointment. I told them I didn’t care. I couldn’t breathe. So I moved as quick as a person without energy or air could to the ER. I went to reception and they quickly rushed me along. When the ER nurse/doctor saw me, she was shocked at the condition of my throat. “There’s no hole to breathe!” She exclaimed. And then, “Stop talking!” she kept yelling at me when she was rushing around, trying to admit me. She kept asking me questions and she just wanted the simple answer but the answers are never simple. She didn’t mean it in a mean way, just she knew I wouldn’t be able to breathe if I kept talking.

So they rushed and admitted me in immediately, putting me in on a stretcher. I felt weird. Then she started talking about surgery and stuff. I started getting worried. They started talking blood from everywhere, even my ankles. Literally grabbed both at the same time, and stuck needles in for blood. That hurts more than the arm because there’s no fat.

So they moved me into another room and kept asking me for a guardian. But I live in Korea alone. What do I do? I call my Korean friend from high school who happens to live only 20-30 minutes near by and is a medical student. She doesn’t come right away, her sister comes first and talks to the nurses for me.

So they prep me for surgery and get me into the operating room. I’ve never been in one before but it didn’t seem too scary. After 15 minutes, thry give me the gas. I’ve always been afraid of this part because I’ve always worried “what if it doesn’t work and I feel everything?” So we wait for me too be knocked out. 4 minutes pass and I’m still awake. They’re a bit confused. Then someone says, “Wait. She can’t breathe so the gas won’t do.” Genius. So they use an injection and within thirty seconds I’m out until the next day basically.

I wake up and I have tubes in my throat. Supposedly, after the surgery, I wasn’t breathing on my own so they had to tubes and a catheter in to keep me going. How nice of them. I also wake up to arm restraints. I also apparently fought back and they had to restrain me. So they only way I could communicate was through a dry erase board the nurse let me use sometimes if I flailed.

All my coworkers came to see me, my swim friends too, and another good friend. I was in the hospital for about a week and then went home. Going back to work was hard but i went back just two days later. Now I feel much brtter.

So we are all wondering what caused this ridiculousness. Well, what happened was is I caught a cold and then bought some OTC cold medicine. But, my kidney can’t handle NSAIDS. These are things like aspirin, Tylenol, normal OTC cold, flu, and pain medicine. It makes my kidneys go nuts. So that just kept piling on. And supposedly, tonsillitis is easy to get during this period too. So it all just stacked up against me.

Now I’m a healthy, albeit very sleepy, person. So that is how my month has gone. I just started swimming this week. But it is so tiring. So I will try and take my time. But I must say, if I get sick again, SNU hospital is definitely thr way to go. I had a really sweet male nurse in ICU. I tried asking for his number while i was there but he told mr to come back and ask again. I’m tempted but I doubt it would work out well. So I shall just dream of the what could have been…
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