On Being Sick

For the past month or so I’ve been sick. Yesterday, the sick got extra bad and I ended up in the hospital to find out I have bronchitis. I should consider myself lucky that I was released from work for the rest of the half shift left to complete. I should consider myself lucky for getting a few extra hours of sleep.

There’s one positive thing I have to say about being sick in Korea: the cost of healthcare is cheaper than buying lunch. I spent a total of $8 on the doctor’s visit and prescription medication. It’s something I still can’t wrap my mind around.

However, there are lots of negative things I can say about being sick in Korea:

• No one cares (with the exception of Rastko and Jazz, thanks guys) – There are over 15 other people who work with me. All of them witnessed how sick I was. Did I receive help from any of them? NOPE. Why? Beats me. I feel awfully self-entitled to expect help from them, but I genuinely thought someone would care. Now I know better. I showed up to work this morning looking  wretched as ever and they all tried to save face. I couldn’t even bring myself to be courteous because I was so annoyed by them. Yes, I had to come into work, the day after I’d gone to the hospital and been diagnosed with bronchitis. It goes without say that Korean work ethic is hard-fucking-core. This brings up another thing…

• It sucks to be alone – Last night, in all my drowsy dizziness, I wanted so much to call my mom and cry and complain and be heard. I wanted someone to be there. I wanted to not be alone. But I knew that if I did, she’d simply say, “Angela, I’m sorry you feel sick, I wish I could help, but YOU chose to be there. YOU chose to leave and so now YOU have to deal with this on your own.” My mother is a hard woman to say the least. She’s right, absolutely right. I did make this decision and now I have to pay the consequences. My lungs are paying for it real bad.

• Its a never ending cycle – Where I work, there’s a unanimously believed myth that ventilation must remain turned off during cold weather otherwise it makes people sick. Little do these believers know that by keeping the ventilation off, they are henceforth creating the perfect environment for germs are permeate into a mad cesspool. This is exactly why I’ve been sick for a month instead of the normal 2-5 days. But hell, I’m no doctor, so what do I know.

Anyway, I’m very sick, and I’ll probably stay sick. I need care but am too proud to beg. Here’s to wishful thinking and strength.


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