Saturday, October 30, 2004


It's around 5pm now and I have slept most of the afternoon. I have felt really tired today. I wanted to climb a hill around here called Gobonsan. It is steeper than nearby Jeongbalsan which is where I do hill repeats.
I am eager to be well, and it seems the common cold is not leaving without a fight. It seemed like a very low level infection, as the sniffyness and sore throat passed after only a day or two. But in its place is a feeling of some malaise. Just tiredness. The kind where you think you will do something and then wake up and find the afternoon has floated away.

It's interesting that Osama Bin Laden made a public annoucement today. It is incredible that someone responsible for flattening two buildings in New York is still giving it to the American President. I believe there is a lot of corruption in Washington, because corruption makes it hard to get simple things done that need to be done. And the escape of Bin Laden and recently the huge weapons cache that disappeared, I think it happens because some important people are trying to make money, trying to do things that are not the most important priorities, and then they have to explain what are they doing. Bin Laden is a wily adversary. I'm not sure if that's a word that springs to mind when I think of Bush or Kerry.

I have written a children's story, called I am in Hospital, which is a short representation of my earliest, and possibly most traumatic experience. It was a 10 day stint in a hospital that started with an extremely high core body temperature of 104 degrees fahrenheit. To give you an idea, simply having a temperature this high for long enough can incur brain damage.
I remember being put into a bath filled with cold water and ice cubes. Imagine how that feels when you are shaking and shivering because you feel so cold, yet your skin is burning with fever.
I remember the oxygen tent too. I spent a few days in it, the oxygen meant to boost my system, and cool me down. And it also provided a barrier to prevent me from spreading the infection. I had a very bad case of food poisoning. The medical term is gastro enteritus.
The worst was being fed through plastic drips because the doctors wanted no food in my stomach, because there was a risk that whatever poison was in there would revive. So I did not eat for several days, and although I suppose physically I could handle it, my mouth, my mind, craved food. There were other nasty experieces in the 10 day period that I won't go into here.
I remember coming home on an incredibly bright day, and my bed seemed very low, and my room seemed very big. Those were the longest 10 days of my life.

What I enjoy about these times when you are down, slowed down, is it allows you to consider how the grass grows on the other side of wellness. Being sick asks you to take a new approach to, and have an appreciation for, wellness. (Is this last sentence grammatically correct? I wonder...) It gives you a chance to do things like write a children's story or draw a picture, or just read. And I guess debate the grammatical correctness of sentences.

What I don't enjoy is the negativity that sometimes sneaks up behind that. I got two emails recently that didn't make me feel very positive. In one, an email from an ex-colleague who I haven't heard from in a year, he tells me his step mother has terminal cancer. He says he may soon have to leave Korea. I remember he was one of three teacher's that left my school, and when I questioned where he was going and how it came about I got an answer that, to be frank, was not true. They went to work at a university, and they were really secretive about it towards me. I only found out because I saw one of the application documents. It does bother me that people misrepresent and mislead and then expect you still to take them on face value.
So do I care that his mother has terminal cancer? Am I going to catch the first flight to see her? Of course I am. But before I do I need to see that Kerry wins on Tuesday. If he does, I'll go and see his ailing stepmother. That's how much I care.

Tammy just MSN'ed me and told me she is going surfing tomorrow, and that I must lose the beard. "Yuck", she says. Do I care? I'll have to think about that one and get back to you.
She had an interesting comment that I really liked today. She said, "It's Saturday, so I'm not thinking."
I'm going to try that tomorrow.


nikki said...

Interesting that you titled your post Suedehead.

Nick said...

What is a Suedehead?