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Monday, June 18, 2012

Parasite

Warning: This post will be very personal, probably to the point where you will know way more about me than you ever cared to. Also, don't read if you have a weak stomach.

A few things first:

One: I'm writing this only to show how hilarious my life is on a daily basis. I think everyone should know.

Two: I typically only share this kind of information with my mother and closest friends.

Three: I love the Google translate app.

I am a self-diagnosed hypochondriac. My Google history can account for that. A few days before I left for Thailand I was watching an episode of House on my Korean television (which had just resumed use because my remote control was lost in my apartment for about two months and the stupid TV can't be turned on without the clicker) and ironically the plot involved a couple who were both infected with a parasite they had contracted in Thailand. This probably falsified information was not helpful to my hypochondria. 

My stomach had had... "issues"... during the trip but they were pretty minor. Although I actually had a Charlotte moment (reference to the Sex in the City movie, but I won't share more than that). So on and off once I returned to Korea the... "issues"... continued. When Ashton told me that he was sick, I was convinced that we had both contracted a parasite. 

(I'm not proud of this.) I then typed into Google: "House episode Thailand parasite"

Not surprisingly, I had each and every symptom of this particular parasite and self-diagnosed myself. The was a statement that it can cause weight loss. I decided to allow the worm to remain inside my body for a while. (Movie reference to The Devil Wears Prada, "I'm one stomach flu away from my goal weight.)

After my symptoms seemed to disappear for a few days, the un-hypochondriac Heather decided to let go of my parasite diagnosis. I still joked with my friends and family about it, only half serious, but now it could be serious.

I'm drafting this post after only a few two-hour increments of sleep in the past 48 hours. My Kindle has a new home in my bathroom, next to the toilet. It gets moved to the medicine cabinet while I vomit. At first I chalked it up to be the fact that I consumed twelve hours worth of $10 drinks and fatty western food in Seoul over the weekend. When I was woken from a deep sleep to be sick after 24 hours of said sickness, I decided it may be more. Speaking with my mom and friends, we've together tried to come up with doctor-like diagnoses. Doctors in Korea never actually give me a diagnosis anyways so I have no need for them. 

Now is when this post gets gross and I share too much information.

I have no problem going to with with diarrhea. Some people have a complex where they can only poop at home. I'm not one of those people. I do, however, have issues with vomiting in places other than my own toilet when I'm sober. Since all night and morning I had to take turns while foreign matter expelled from every opening my body has, I called in sick to my business class. I didn't feel comfortable making the guys wait on me while I was busy in the bathroom.

Luckily today I only have to work a total of three hours so I'll go to work. To prepare myself to leave my apartment and not get sick on the streets of my neighborhood and/or my school, I decided to break down and get medicine from the pharmacy. This is how that conversation with the pharmacist went:

"Ahn-yang-ha-say-oh (Hello), ummmm, [point to stomach, make a sick face and imitate vomiting and diarrhea]. Ummm... Tay-guk (Thailand)... Gee-saeng-chung (parasite)? [imitate 'I don't know' hands]"

Pharmacist looks confused and says a bunch of stuff I don't understand. Then she said some things I do understand and my Korean translating ability decided she just confirmed that I went to Thailand, I might have a parasite and I need medicine for vomiting and diarrhea and did I go to the doctor yet.

"Byeong-won (hospital)? An-ay-yo (No). [Imitate taking a pill]"

Pharmacist brings me two boxes of medication and tells me to take two of each pill twice a day before meals. 

Who needs doctors when you have Google, Web MD and a translate app? And on a serious note, cross your fingers I either get better or lose like 15 pounds.



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