Friday, December 15, 2017

Day 115: Two shots one butt

First thing in the morning I went back to Severance to get checked.

I feared having to wait as long as I did last time but everything went smooth. Isabella told me they'd taken her pretty serious when she came in with the same symptoms.

I just walked up to the counter and told them I thought I was having an allergic reaction.
Then my blood pressure and pulse was taken. I'd brought my notes to study for the our last final today but I'd barely opened my book when I was called in to see a doctor.
The doctor (or doctor student) was the same who'd checked me last time I came in with the sore throat, which was good because she'd seen me before when I looked normal and also now that I was spotted and swollen. We excluded outside factors like new products I'd used or any new foods I'd eaten and then she asked to see my back even though I told her that the legs were the worst part.
Then she left the room for a few minutes before she and another doctor came back.
While I was alone in the room, I though I'd snap a picture for the memories.
 When the doctor was trying to figure out how long I'd had these symptoms, she looked at the calendar, got all flustered, and covered the man on the ground in the picture. The foreigner shown is Horace N Allen, who founded what is today known as Severance Hospital.
 The next doctor came and this was actually the doctor whom I'd gone to the very first time Celine and I went to Severance to have our tuberculosis tests taken. She, too, was interested in seeing my back for some reason. This second doctor told me that yes, it seemed like I was having an allergic reaction, and that they would prescribe antihistamine and steroids to stop the redness and swelling. Furthermore they'd give me a shot. In the butt cheek.
Say what?!
I've come to terms with my fear for needles but I'd never had one in the butt and I asked if there was anything else I could do to avoid the shot. I COULD technically eat a third kind of medicine but this would ultimately be the best and work the fastest.
"It's an injection in the muscle so it will work quickly. But I will tell the nurse to do it slowly so it won't hurt so much," she said.
I'm pretty sure I've heard somewhere that the ones in the muscle hurt the most.


So I was sent out and had barely sat down when I was called to the counter to pay.
This time, once I sat down again, 2-3 whole minutes actually passed before I was called again. This time to the room where I would get my shot.

It turned out that I had to get not one bUT TWO SHOTS. ONE IN EACH BUTT CHEEK.

The nurse was super nice and did a good job. She gave my butt a few pats before inserting the needle so it really wasn't bad. I felt them both but none of them were bad at all!

The medicine was already ready for me to pick up when I'd gotten the shot. Everything was over in less than hour. I will repeat myself here: I have only had good experiences at Severance and they are so impressively efficient.

So I told you that Hajun had planned to join me, right?
Well.... he didn't get to Sinchon before it was all over. But no that he was already here and we had a couple of hours before my final, we might as well meet up and study.
On my way out, I walked past these signs. Korea is so high tech.

I'd taken a picture in front of Severance when I was on my way down to Sinchon and while I had been on my way, Hajun had walked to Severance and we had somehow passed each other.
My butt had started hurting from having used the muscle and spread around the injection by now so we decided that I stay and Hajun should come back to where I was.
When we met, he had to help me stand up because I was laughing too hard from the soreness in my butt and the ridiculousness of it.

We went into the café that we'd gone to with Jeongtae (정태) and ordered strawberry 설빙 (seolbing = shaved ice). I took this picture when we left. When we'd first come, there were only two other girls in the café so we'd been able to find a table in the back where we could eat and study.

Here's the 설빙!
The bottom was shaved ice covered in slices of strawberry and strawberry jam. The top was not whipped cream but a sweet white cream that is often put in street food stand waffles. And then a piece of cheesecake!
 Why is Hajun like this every time I try to take pictures of him?

After having stayed here for a while, we decided to grab some Subway before heading back to my dorm. We got there just in time for me to drag my sore butt into the language building and take my final. Today's final was the very last Korean final we had and it was on Korean grammar, which is my strongest point. I'd prepared well so I didn't have too much trouble. Overall, it was a nice feeling ending our finals with this one.
 After this, Isabella had asked me if I'd like to go for sushi with her one last time before she goes home and also shopping for an extra suitcase. Her parents have bought her an earlier ticket home so she'll be leaving on the 19th.
At the sushi place, I found yet a fake tree to add to my collection (I honestly don't remember if I've snapped this one before).
 We went to 현대백화점 (Hyundai Department Store) but after having cast a look at the price of one of the suitcases we found there, we decided that this was probably not the place for us. We'd found a smaller suitcase that cost 389000₩ (> 350$ / 2200 DKK). Nope.

Next stop was U-Plex right beside the Hyundai Department Store.
Their assortment wasn't impressive either but at least the pricing was better.

Isabella bought what she believed was an extremely ugly purple suitcase but it was while we were waiting for the store clerk to bring her a non-demo model that we saw the absolute ugliest suitcase ever. Look at that gray one in the picture below. Isabella also got a sheet of ugly stickers with her purchase.
 After this, we split up so we could go home and work on our assignments. We have one last final left that is the paper that we have to write for our Media Communication class and turn in Sunday night at 23.59.
She told me that she'd put the sticker on the suitcase and send me a picture, showing how ugly it was, once she got home. She delivered.

On my way home, I noticed something touch my skin. Was it a fly? No, it was a tiny ball of snow/hail!
We had a minor shower before it stopped again. The weather now is dry and we're constantly below zero degrees (celsius). We've still got snow lying around that came down more than a week ago and the tiny hails today stayed in their little ball shapes once they'd come down. It was pretty interesting. Speaking of the weather, I saw that we're supposedly getting snow tomorrow so hopefully I can be there and ready with my camera to snap some pretty pictures!

Once I got home, I changed into some more comfortable clothes. When I dropped my stockings and accidentally passed the mirror, I discovered that the nurse had left a band aid on each of my butt cheeks where she had given me the injections.
Look at these little wolves hahahah. Even band aids are cute in Korea!

On my way home, Chris, my old roommate, had asked if I had time for a Skype/Facebook call that we'd discussed having soon.
Yas! It turned into a 3.5 hour conversation - so no working on the paper tonight.
We talked about how we'd been, my adventures in Korea so far, his new job and apartment, the ONE OK ROCK concert he went to, and my plans for the future. And then I showed him a bunch of weird Korean snacks I'd found in the GS25 connected to my dorm.
We haven't talked in a long time so it was nice to catch up.

I felt a LOT better when I went to sleep tonight. The spots were not nearly as itchy and the swelling had subsided quite a lot. But butt was still a bit sore though.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Day 114: Reading final did not go well

You read that right.
My reading final was pretty bad and I honestly hope I've done well on the other exams (and will do well tomorrow) so the scores from those can even out the bad grade that I will probably get on today's test.

After yesterday's final, I took the rest of the day off to relax and clear my mind. The plan was to wake up early today and study before the exam (at 16.00) since I'd be able to remember the texts much better if I'd recently looked at them.
But things didn't turn out how I'd planned and I'm not exaggerating when I say that I didn't prepare for today's test because I spent the entire day leading up the the final, in my bed crying and hating on absolutely everything because I couldn't take being inside my own body.

The red spots on my body had gotten much worse.
My ankles almost didn't exist from being so swollen, the skin on my elbows was thick, sore, and red, every single place on my body was filled with red spots now.

My legs were the worst and the spots on them were starting to swell up, making the surface super uneven.

My ears had swelled up and were bright red, and my face was so swollen that there was not a single wrinkle on my lips, my nose seemed to have grown in size, my eyes appeared to have shrunken, and my entire face was red and shiny except for two big white circles around my eyes. I looked like a red inverted panda. Absolutely everything on me was itchy and wouldn't stop whether I scratched or not. I could sit in but one position because every time I moved, something new would touch my skin and make everything itch again.

Today was also the last time we'd probably see our reading teacher so we'd agreed in the group chat to stay after the exam and ask for a group picture with her.
I slapped on two layers of make-up and hoped to turn out presentable on the picture.

I came to the classroom early to find Isabella already there. We had some time to chat before the final began and I complained about my skin and showed her. She told me that that was exactly what her skin had looked like when she first came to Korea and got sick and THEN got an allergic reaction to the penicillin she was given here.
Could it be an allergic reaction? She convinced me that I should probably go to the hospital after the final to get it checked.

So yes. We took the exam, which, of course, went horrible due to me not having studied + every time I looked away from the paper and to my spotted hands, I'd get distracted by the though of having to go to the hospital afterwards.
It happened and then it was over and we got our picture.
I believe this is the first time I've posted a full picture of our entire class so let me introduce our friends!

Left to right: Tiffany (American), Andrew (American), Yu-Hsuan (Taiwanese), Kael (French American), our 선생님 (teacher), Misaki (Japanese), Isabella (Danish), Sandra (Danish), Hana (American), Raquel (American), and me.

I love this picture but dislike how uncomfortably awkward I look on it. I wanted to smile but if I'd done that, my bloated cheeks would have squeezed my eyes out of existence.

After the exam, I went straight to the hospital.
When I arrived, it was probably 18.30 but there were barely any people and when I went to the information desk, I was told that they'd closed for today and would open again tomorrow at 09.00.
What is this? Koreans seem to never sleep and EVERYTHING is open until late.... except their hospital, which closes super early. I don't understaaaand.
Defeated, I returned to my dorm.

That evening, I made plans with Hajun for him to go with me tomorrow. It's always nice to have a local with you just in case.
Although everything was still itchy but I hadn't taken the last of my pills and potentially knew the cause of this mess so I was able to relax and actually sleep the entire night when I finally drifted off.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Day 113: Misaki is brutal

I'm still catching up. Here are the latest posts in case you haven't read them!

Day 111: Last Korean class! (Posted December 12th)
Day 110: Snowy night at Holly's (Posted December 13th)

I can't say that I've done too many interesting things today.

Today's final was the interview with our new teacher. I won't say that I was as nervous about it as last time but I always feel a bit uneasy before oral finals.

I felt uneasy today as well before the exam but for a completely different reason. About 1.5 hour before my turn, I wanted to grab some melon bread from the bakery. I put on pants, my jacket, and was ready to go except I couldn't find my card. I searched my entire room but it was nowhere to be found and there wasn't enough time to go back to where I'd last used my card before the final so that would be my first stop afterwards.

When I arrived, Sandra, Misaki, and Kael were waiting in the classroom across from our testing room.
Sandra had been the first and had messaged our group chat that the teacher was super nice and that it'd be easy. Cue Andrew asking if it would be easy even if he hadn't studied and this Misaki brutally telling him to go die for slacking.

Now Misaki might be one of the sweetest girls I have ever met. She has the prettiest smile, the cutest style, and if there's anyone who could pull absolutely anything off and still look good it would be her. Seeing her joke like that was hilarious ( ´ ᗨ `͈)

The atmosphere completely changes on exam days. People talk about it in the elevator in our dorm and suddenly a lot more people are using the study rooms. 5th floor of the KLI building where we have class was full of life as well with people waiting for their turns.
When Kael came out, she gave me a thumbs up and assured me that I'd do fine. Kael seems just as nervous as me about speaking so it's always great to have her backup. She's awesome!
And my final went fine!
Our teacher had told us that even if we didn't use too much of the new grammar or the vocabulary we'd learned in class, we'd be fine as long as we could have a casual conversation with her. And that was pretty much what I did for 8 minutes until she told me we were finished and that I could leave!

When I came out, Isabella and Yu-Hsuan (어훤) were waiting outside and soon Raquel came as well. I spent a few minutes talking to them before going back to my room to dress in a bit warmer clothes before embarking on adventures to find my lost card.
Luckily it was exactly where I figured it would be - the supermarket where I had bought bananas last night.

Since I was already outside, I might as well buy a moisturizer.
My skin has been killing me lately and today was exceptionally bad. Hajun's guess is that it's due to the very sudden and very brutal change in the weather since it gets 100 times worse when I go outside.
Today we had less than -10°C (actual degrees) and a humidity around 20%.
In comparison, Denmark had 5°C (real feel -2°C) and a humidity above 80%. No wonder my skin is freaking out.

I woke up around 05.00 this morning to scratch my ankles that had been exposed to the icy cold wind yesterday. It's these red spots that I'm dealing with almost all over my body now. I really hope this moisturizer will work.
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