I finally got some inspiration to update my blog. And you are forewarned… the inspiration isn’t necessarily a positive one! As of five minutes ago I gave myself a medical diagnosis and I looked it up on Wikipedia, web Md and all the other places hypochondriacs go to self-diagnose. And I also called the PCMO (Peace Corps Medical Officer) and she told me to calm down and she’d call me in the morning since it wasn’t an emergency. But, let me tell you, I’m thinking this is an emergency and all I want to do for the next 24 hours is sit in the shower.
And of course the first thing I do is skype my mom to tell her my diagnosis and she was like, “Oh no. That’s what I was afraid you were going to say.” Then I called the bestie and told her my situation and she was like, “How are you staying so positive in this situation?” And I’m thinking I have no clue! Ha! But, actually I think I do because this is totally what I signed up for. You know, learning a new language, new culture, living overseas and just adjusting to a new pace of life. And then there are the things I knew I was also signing up for but figured would be ok and totally part of the experience. For example; lots of diarrhea, learning a new language, no tv, malaria dreams, sparse internet, no pop culture, no cheddar cheese or Whataburger or Reese’s peanut butter cups, boiling my water, putting my used toilet paper in the trashcan, marveling at the fact you can literally fit 30 people in minivan and then still riding in the unsafe situation, and did I mention no Whataburger or Reese’s peanut butter cups? And now to add to the list is my new medical situation.
And really it’s probably not a big deal. I think some medicine will fix it. But there is a definite stigma, probably to most Americans, about this situation. And if I had a bathtub I’d totally sit in it all night long. But alas, all I can do is blog about it and try to avoid going to bed and sleeping in my bed tonight. But this situation is probably going to follow me regardless if I go to my bed or not.
And can I say… that when I found out I was moving to Guatemala I googled all sorts of information and read current Volunteer’s blogs. The one that was the most unsettling to me was when someone announced on their blog they got bot flies. I was like, I’m going to die. Especially if I get bot flies which burrow into your skin and lay eggs. The word burrow is just gross sounding enough without thinking of the actual activity behind it.
And furthermore… sometimes I think I’m a hypochondriac so I avoided calling the medical office because I didn’t want them to tell me I was overreacting. I figured the situation would fix itself with some bug spray, itch cream and a little bit of patience. But then I talked to my host mom again and she constantly tells me it’s an allergy. And I’m like it’s not an allergy. But then she said something else different tonight, and I can’t remember what exactly, but then I had a big “oh poop” moment. And I actually didn’t say poop or the “sh” word… I said something much more uncouth in my head because I was remembering a certain medical training during our first three months in Guatemala. And then I googled, and then I called my mom, and the PCMO, and the bestie, and then paced around my room for a good ten minutes trying to figure out if there is a way to literally crawl out of your skin because I’d really like to.
And in conclusion… I totally signed up for the glory and the not so glorious parts of service. We really are pretty nice and bubble wrapped in the US. Everything is clean and sanitary and safe. And we can safely walk the streets of our towns after 6 pm (I’m indoors usually no later than 6:30). And in the US children get a free education with a constant abundance of electricity, water, bathrooms, sinks, water fountains, lunch, oh and a roof and a floor and four walls. And aren’t chronically malnourished. So I guess I’m trying to say is that we should be thankful of the automatic privilege we have being born and living in the US. And I figure that if I got scabies because I hugged 100 little kiddos and made their day a little bit better than I’ll keep staying positive and working for them so that they can have a school with water, electricity, and legitimate walls/floors/ceilings.