Wednesday, September 5, 2018

bugs, infections and hospitals, oh my!


The last couple of days have been a little busy as Elise’s strange mosquito allergy has turned into an infection.  I made her some garlic poultices and rotated them off and on while throwing in my essential oils and, in my defense (Hannah said I was going overboard), the swelling on her arm went away with my efforts.  Our family was very sweet and very concerned about it so this afternoon (after reading about all sorts of complications with infections), I gave in to their insistence that we take her to the 평원 (hospital).  It took me years of freaking out before I found out that when Koreans take someone to the hospital, they are normally just taking them to the doctor.  I used to worry so much every time I was told that my mother in law went to the hospital!  So Elise went to the “hospital”, I discovered how dirt cheap a doctor visit is in Korea and then we all had peace of mind.  Chris' sweet aunt drove us over and did a bang up job of speaking Korean for me. I was warned that without insurance, I would have to pay for the whole bill.  I barely scraped together the $15 to cover it. ;) And then the prescriptions for a few different medications…that came to a whopping $11.  Needless to say, I am no longer quite as concerned about the kids getting sick over here.  As a little side note before you berate the state of healthcare in the United States, this is the same country that said Chris’ grandma was too old for open heart surgery to be worth it some 15 years ago.  I’m pretty glad that family pulled together the funds and that we got to make that decision, not them.

The bottom line is that I don’t have to stay up all night worrying about Elise dying in Korea and, much to her disappointment, she gets to go to school tomorrow.  She was such a sweet patient, always thanking me profusely for anything I did for her and just enjoying our time together.  It was a nice change of pace having her home, beyond the worrying and covering her in garlic all day.  This girl and her darn mosquito bites.  We now put mosquito repellant on her twice a day. 

Before Elise’s infection started peaking, we took a little trip to a riverside park close to the girls’ school.  I thought it would be a fun after school trip but I am now learning how pooped the kids are after a day full of class time.  Hannah lost 7 attitude points at the park!  The other girls only had a bad attitude until they got close enough to the river to see the swan boats.  They quickly perked up as the swan boats were a bucket list item on our last trip that we never got to cross off due to wind.  We came.  We swanned.  We conquered.  But not before our boat died in the middle of the river.  There was a school kayaking team out practicing and I felt really bad not being able to steer out of their way, but help eventually came.  Contrary to Elise’s belief, it died from a bunch of gunk being in the motor, not due to my general incompetence.  Hannah was in a much better mood once our boat died as her sense of adventure kicked in.  She was humiliated when I replied (she apparently wanted me to sit silent!) to some of the kayakers who were concerned.  My korean stinks enough that I told him to please tell my friend that our boat died vs what I was going for, which was “We’re ok.  We told our friend that our boat died.”  He raced over in his kayak and told Chloe all about our boat dying and I realized my mistake while he paddled.  Oops!  I forgot to use past tense AND I didn’t use an object marker.  Korean has very flexible word order but you put markers on the subject and object.  When speaking casually, sometimes they drop either/both and leave it to context.  This was apparently not a good time to do this.  I’ve decided to leave it to the natives to decide when they feel comfortable dropping markers but that I am not quite experienced enough to decide. 

In other good news: The flower bread lady has come out.  She makes little flower waffles filled with red bean in her cart and we’ve missed her immensly.  We had started to wonder if she had moved, but all is well in the world.  

(Also, you're welcome for the cute puppy pictures instead of Elise's gross arm pictures, which I do have plenty of. I thought these were better alternatives.) 

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