Bye Bye Baby: Part 2

For the last 10 years I’ve had a hernia about an inch or two above my belly button. Check out ByeByeBaby for more information on that. 

Well, the surgery is done. It has been just about 3 weeks since I had it taken care of. 

I heard a lot of ‘Wow. You’re brave for getting surgery in a foreign country’ and ‘I hope you didn’t contract anything in that Korean hospital’ – – – Let me tell you something right here, right now. Korean healthcare may not be what us “Westerners” are used to… but I would be in massive debt right now if I had this surgery in the US. My school provides insurance and perhaps that covered a good chunk of it, but I was not insured in the US. The last time I went to the hospital in the US was for a kidney stone that I couldn’t tolerate anymore. that cost nearly $10k. I was in an emergency room for 3 hours maybe? I had blood work done and possibly an xray? or ctscan? Frankly, I can’t remember. The medication cost well over $100 that day as well. 

This ordeal included a CT scan, blood work, urine test, chest xray, 2 ultrasounds, the surgery itself, 2 nights stay in the hospital (shared with one person and had a bathroom), included meals and medicine, plus the medicine after I left the hospital, 2 follow up visits, and a minor surgery to remove excess fluid from the treated area. 

           The total cost: ~600,000won – – – less than $600USD. Even if I hadn’t had insurance this wouldn’t have cost more than $1,500USD.  

So what was the experience like? It was fine. The doctor, Dr. Im, was fantastic. He had a light sense of humor and spoke decent enough English. When he didn’t know a word, he’d look it up or just draw the surgical process. He joked that US doctors couldn’t do the surgery because of their fat fingers – “Asian doctors? We have small hands. Good for small surgery.” 

They briefed me on my pre-surgery do’s and don’t’s. I checked in and had an ultrasound to properly locate the affected area. Then waited in my room for a bit. They stuck an IV in my arm and wheeled me to the surgery room. They gas-masked me and eventually I fell asleep. I dreamed that I had slept too long so when they woke me up, I tried to sit up in a start. Note to self: NEVER SIT UP AFTER SURGERY ON YOUR STOMACH. It was incredibly painful. They brought me back to my room where a friend had been waiting for me. She helped me back into the bed and then I spent a few days in a bed. No, the hospital room wasn’t as accommodating as US hospitals maybe. The bed was hand-crank and I had to get up and do it myself. The phone and help button were on a table that was just out of my reach, so I had to stumble out of bed when I needed help. The IV was put in at an awkward angle and filled my elbow and upper arm with fluid to the point that I couldn’t move my arm. Then they put it in my hand and the same thing happened, and then they put it in my other arm. Luckily before that could do damage, it was time to leave. Each morning, afternoon, and evening they brought Korean food and medicine. The nurses were too afraid to speak English so they just spoke Korean at me and laughed and walked away before I could try and explain my pain levels. That was honestly the worst part – – the lack of English communication by the nurses. They apparently knew basic medical English but were too shy to use it. 

Anyway, 3 weeks later, I’m allowed to ride a bike and clean my apartment and do normal life activities. It still hurts if I eat too much or when I’m bloated.. And when the occasional fuck-face pokes, rubs, or hits my stomach. Otherwise, I’m doing okay, and I look forward to dropping some weight. 

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This is what the waiting list looked like. I was 06. it reads ‘swha-noen’ – – Shannon.

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Breakfast and lunch. IMG_20140801_183719    

 Scar after the stitches were removed and the healing process has begun.   IMG_20140811_093228  

Bye bye baby

 

 

alien baby

 

I’m pretty sure it started in 2003. During the LBHS fall production of “The Crucible.” I was both set running manager and playing the part of a ‘possessed’ extra at the beginning of the show. Between these two roles, I had to push and pull large and heavy set pieces in a timely fashion and, also, scream my head off. These actions gave birth to my ‘alien baby.’

It’s actually an epigastric hernia. I call it an alien baby because when I put strain on my stomach muscles, a smallish (but noticeable) bump appears above my belly button. 

What’s a hernia exactly? Well, when the stomach muscles are weak, your intestine can start to push the fat and muscle through. It forms a small bump. This isn’t detrimental. But when the intestine starts to really push through, it can get trapped and cause serious pain and also screw with your digestion. Mine didn’t get THAT far.. just the first stage or two. 

Why didn’t I get this fixed before? Well, I tried. A few times, I went to a doctor and inquired and their responses were ‘It’s too small. It’ll go away by itself.” or “Tape a dime in your belly button and then work out” – le sigh.

So I came to Korea and happened to be at the hospital for various reasons. I brought it up to my surgeon and he said “Sure, let’s operate on it. How’s next week?” ZOMG!!! Really?

So tomorrow I will go into the hospital to stitch it all back up. I will say farewell to this alien baby.. for the whopping price of 800,000won (Aka less than $800). Screw you American healthcare.

 

Wish me luck!

 

O no he didn’t!

This is quite possibly one of the most embarrassing stories from my massage history (both for me and the client):

In Spa Unrejuvinated, I was booked solid for one whole day. Yay! I grabbed the client intake form with my name on it and called to “Mr So N So.” A black gentleman stood up and shook my hand. I introduced myself and the lady next to him stands up immediately and says  “Wait! I requested you! You’re Shannon, right?” Oops, our stupid-ass owner doesn’t know what a “request” is apparently so I switch the papers out and bring back “Mrs. So N So” (aka the wife of black gentleman). Mrs. So N So wanted a 75 min deep tissue massage and so I give it to her. And she LOVES it. She just can’t stop smiling and sighing, she even slept at some point. After the massage she just RAVES about me. I’m SO happy to have given her the massage she had been looking forward to. I have NO idea who told her I was good at what I do, but she said they told her correctly! And to show her appreciation she left me a $5 tip (on a $115 treatment!). Whatever, cheap-ass, she just enjoyed my massage and that’s all I can truly ask for.

The next day I get a “request” again and this time it’s Mr. So n So. His wife was so pleased with her massage that she sent the hubby to come get a 75 min deep tissue massage. The massage commences and he doesn’t really say much. He asks a question here and there about where I’m from and the typical “should i be talking?” questions. I had concentrated the majority of massage on his back since he had requested that. I provided 20 minutes or so to the supine (stomach-up) position. I’m working on his neck and I notice his eyes are open, well that’s a little strange because most people close their eyes. I offer him an eye cover and he declines. So I (feeling more uncomfortable than normal) move on to work on his arms and legs. I’m doing deep tissue on his quads and I notice he’s starting to shake. I ask if the pressure is too much and he says no, keep going. So I do…and then he starts shaking more violently.
I look up and immediately take a step back: He has the “O” face going on.
I had not even NOTICED that he had some excitement going on (you’d think I would considering I was on his LEG!!) probably because we had double blanketed them and it’s not easy to see the shifting unless he’s huge (obviously not, in this case).
((as a side note, in this spa we had specific draping policies and I wasnt even halfway up his thigh))

I stand shocked for a minute and Mr. So n So sighs in pleasure and then begins apologizing profusely:
“It’s just you’re so beautiful and I couldn’t help it. You’re so voluptuous.” WHAT!! I had to wear baggy black shirt with white shorts – how is that even remotely attractive!?
I explained that the massage had to end early because of his ‘issue’ and that he still had to pay in full. My advice to him was to go home and show his wife a good time and not come back or request me please. I also requested that he put the sheets into the laundry bin himself.

And in the faithful pattern following his wife’s, he left me $5 for that crap. Thank you Mr So n So.

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