Saturday, May 23, 2015

Korean Hospitals

So tonight/this morning I would like to explain how easy and simple life is, in a Korean hospital.  Now I am used to military hospitals so civilian hospitals in the states could be very similar but for me, this is worth sharing. 
I have been to two different Korean hospitals and they both seemed to be on the same level of efficiency, and although both International Clinics were awesome, Severance Hospital had the better hospitality the entire time, whereas Seoul National University, Bundang Hospital had very little bed side manner.  Which I should add that Koreans are not trained on bed side manner but to find the problem and fix it.  Your pain, injuries, and discomforts are all that matters.  You don't have to like your doctor or your nurses because they are there to fix you.  This post will be talking about Bundang Hospital as I have had more tests and dealt with more people there than at Severance.

Now, to get to Bundang we had to take an hour subway ride which also included two transfers and about a $7.00 round trip cab fare to get to and from the subway and hospital.   We finally arrived and realized we were about 30 minutes early.  As I walked into the International clinic Jonah, the lady behind the counter, immediately called me by name and welcomed us to the center.  After getting us checked in we took a seat, she called down to the dr. and they sent us on our way.  Collin assured her that if she just wrote down the name of the clinic we could find it, and we didn't need escorted.  Sure enough we found our way back down to the 1st floor and to the correct clinic with no problem. 

Once we entered the Podiatry office we were seen immediately  no waiting or anything.  There was a dr. who sat in the main chair with the computer and once I was seated another dr. entered and it was clear this was an English speaking doc.  He asked me where it hurt, I showed him and and he quickly applied pressure and watched me squirm.  After about 3 hard pushes and seeing me squirm in pain he diagnosed me by saying that I had, what he believed to be, a benign tumor in my foot (he called it something more interesting but I can't remember his medical terms he used).  He did that just by pushing on the pain 3 times?  The doctors at 121 (our military hospital) had sent me to 3 different appointments, took x-rays and still couldn't find ANYTHING wrong with me.   This doc was already scoring points.

We were given instructions to continue on with some x-rays and a sonogram and return in one week!  They didn't send us back to the international clinic but sent us to the payment center first, which my insurance had me covered.  However just an FYI, a doctors visit, x-rays and a sonogram at Bundang costs about $400.00.  Once getting the whole insurance thing straightened out we headed to X-ray.  Again no bed side manner but they were very efficient and I honestly think my instructions on how to stand and lay took longer than anything else.  I was in and out before Collin could play 1 game of Candy Crush!  The sonogram obviously took a bit longer as there were lots of pictures involved, but I got seen by the doctor, two trips to the international clinic, insurance stuff, x-rays and a sonogram in 1 hour!  I don't know how fast your hospital is but I was amazed! 

Now this past Friday I went back to the hospital for my results.  I was seen at my exact scheduled time and after talking to the doctor he concluded that he was going to have me wait 6 months and then be evaluated again.  This did not work for me as I had already spend 7 months of being told, we don't know what is wrong so if it continues to hurt come back in.  Although this doctor did correctly diagnose me with those three painful squeezes of being a benign tumor, I was not please with the waiting of 6 months.  I explained to him that I was in a lot of pain at times and he seemed to not care and told me I could probably deal with it.  We talked to Jonah in the international clinic and she walked down with us and basically translated the following. 
This has been an on going issue for 7 months and she wants the pain to be gone.  She does not want to wait for 6 more months and would like you to fix the issue. 

Next thing I know they are setting me up for the removal of my pain.  Now within the next 25 minutes I was set up for surgery, had 5 tubes of blood drawn, had an EKG, then changed and getting more x-rays by the time I was done changing and walking out of the hospital I had to stop and ask Collin if all that really just happened in under 30 minutes.  It was amazing!!!  I still can't believe the efficiency of how these Korean Hospitals work.

This will be a simple outpatient removal and hopefully will remove all foot pain that I have been having.  Pain that our hospital couldn't figure out and pain that everyone who knows medical stuff tried to diagnose on their own. 

Now I just pray that Tri Care will work as efficient as the hospital did and get my final approval for the surgery.  Collin and I will be down in the Tri Care office jumping on tables and begin nagging them until we get answers!  They have 1 week to get everything approved or I miss my surgery date! 

Anyway I hope the efficiency was something that amazed you as much as it did us :)  Have a great weekend... and Happy Memorial day!  Please remember why we celebrate Memorial Day and that it isn't just about the bbq's and gathering of friends and family!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

It's been a hot minute

Hello friends and fam... It has been brought to my attention that I have indeed let too much time slip since I have said hello!  I was headed off to bed a bit ago but can't seem to sleep... so here I am! 

Just a quick update for the people who still send me messages about baby updates... Collin has been gone for 5 weeks so it has been totally put on hold, but I am starting back up on the meds soon, so you never know :)

Audrey and I have been keeping pretty busy while Collin has been away.  We had Easter, a trip to the aquarium, several trips to different parks, several walks, I have tried new places to eat, we have tried some really yummy cup cake places, we tried to make a new snack (that didn't turn out so well), we have planted flowers, I was on crutches, we have been bowling, we have watched movies and ate popcorn, I have been slammed with an unimaginable amount of homework lately, I had 2 main Scentsy events, and we won a hello kitty bike.  Oh yeah and potty training has been a huge success!
Time has flown by while Collin has been gone and I totally believe it is all thanks to my precious daughter.  Her and those crazy two's have kept me on my toes.  She has learned a lot of new songs and "teaches" them to me often. 
Her newest addiction is talking on the phone... even if she doesn't have a phone she will find something and make it a phone.  She calls up all her friends and will either carrying on lengthy conversations about ice cream and pull-ups being a crossed the street, much like our phone conversation today, or she will simply call each friend just to say hello then hang up! 

A couple nights ago a friend text me that her daughter and my daughter were apparently talking at daycare and decided that Audrey would have a party.  Audrey's friend would not go down for bed easily as she was insistent on finding a dress for this party!  With everything going on I seriously had to stop and wonder if I planned a party for the kids and then totally forgot about it!  Luckily I found that it was all in their little minds.  Minda, my amazing daycare provider, did tell me later that night that they were indeed discussing the party.  I love being Audrey's mommy!  There is never a dull moment... and with that... I am ready for Collin to be home and get back to being the daddy... because really, he is so much better at it than I am :)

Now that May is here all I can think about is the plans for our summer trip back to the states!  The exciting news is that I am still coming and will be at the reunion and will be in the states a few weeks after the reunion as well!  Plus I have a planned trip to New York to visit a friend since she will only be 5-6 hours away!  The downside to all this is, as of right now, there is a chance that Collin will not be filling your hearts with joy and laughter during the family reunion.  Which will make for a very long flight with a 2 1/2 year old who just simply wants to walk... run and talk... and demands attention when jammed into the tiny seats of an airplane!  However, please don't fret, for I have a back up plan.  If Collin can not fill your life with his awesomeness, I will put Audrey up to the task of filling the void!  I am positive with her cuteness and charm she will be up for the challenge... as long as the jet lag has worn off and her night becomes day and her day becomes night!

To the family of the reunion I hope you are anxiously awaiting the time of departure for the trip as I am! 

America brings so much to my life that I miss!  There is so much I plan on doing or want to do.  The first on the list is of course Chick-Fil-A.... followed by (and not in this order) other American foods, shopping, American baseball although Korean baseball is pretty sweet, the luxury of a mall (that I can actually afford to buy the clothes and fit in them), and the option to speak to whoever I want whenever I want for no reason at all except that they will understand me and I can understand them without question!!!  I miss all my friends and family who I will not be seeing this trip, but for those of you who I will be seeing hold on to your hats because the SHOREYS are coming!!!

And now that I am all hyped up thinking about vacation that is well over a month away.... I must depart to bed!

Monday, March 2, 2015

moving forward with positive outlooks

So it has been awhile since my last baby update.  Because of the negative pregnancy test a couple weeks ago I held off on posting until I knew what my next plan of action would be.  After consulting with my doctor we have decided to go ahead and send me back to a Korean hospital.  I am hoping to return to severance as they are straight to the point and already know my history.  Plus the doctor there has pretty awesome English.  Sarah is also wonderful, and although she is just the lady that checks me in and gets my prescriptions she treats us like family and like we are special and with all the drugs, injections, and blood work it is nice not to be treated like just another patient!  With that being said in 1-2 weeks I should have progress to share.

I wanted to also share a little about Audrey and her growing imagination.  Today at nap time she refused to lay down without owl and bunny.  In the past two days she has become very attached to these two stuffed animals.  When asking her if she wanted to say her night night prayers she informed me that she did not but Owl wanted to say them.  So I started with, "Now I lay me...." and she repeated, "Now I lay me, Owl," and continued in this manner until prayers were complete.   Not thinking I said, "Good job Audrey," which got a reply of, "No mommy, good job Owl!"
Tonight while getting ready for bed, she made sure that we each grabbed one of Owl's wings and walked her to bed.  Although uncomfortably hunched over taking baby steps all the way down the hall so owl could "walk" to bed I couldn't help but be impressed by this new imagination that Owl was indeed a true friend! 
Earlier this week I had asked her if Owl was a boy owl or girl owl, I was very surprised to not get the simple boy/girl answer but to be told that, "A big girl owl!"  Which now leads to Owl sitting on the potty with her and as of this evening needing to wear big girl panties! 

Tonight we were getting ready for bed and she came up with the imagination that the laptop could be a mountain for her cars and specifically her Bubble Guppies school bus.  When I asked if she was ready for bed my dear child told me, "Just 5 more minutes."  Then playing with her school bus she was amazed and very happy that her bus could drive over the laptop.... I mean mountain! 

I cannot believe the amount of vocabulary this kiddo has and I am becoming very impressed with her imagination.  I look forward to Easter being a month away.  I have already bought the majority of her Easter basket and I bought the supplies to color eggs!  I think she is at that age where she will really grasp the idea of her basket and enjoy coloring the eggs.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

baby adventures

For those of you following up on the process of how the baby medications are going, here is a quick update. 
Round two has been completed and still no ovulation.  I was on double the medication this last time and still nothing.  I know that I need to relax and all the other things people say to a woman who struggles with becoming pregnant. 
I struggled with this month because pumping my system with these meds and still not even ovulating is frustrating.  It would be different if I ovulated and I just missed the peak timing.  Yes missing the timing is frustrating as well but at least half of the problem would be solved.  Although when the medication doesn't even take effect, you are sitting with nothing except the realization that you will put your body through another round of medication. 
I called the Dr. today and left a message in hopes that I can go in and receive a referral to be seen at Severance, a Korean hospital, as my next option instead of playing around with the same medications for a third month.  I am hoping to receive a phone call back by the end of business today and hoping to set up an appointment to be seen. 
This really shouldn't have me so frustrated because Chlomid didn't work in the past while trying to get pregnant with Audrey either.  I was on much stronger drugs, shots, and every other day ultrasounds that were monitoring my progress.  Military facilities do not have this luxury, hence needing to find an outside doctor. 
I miss Dr. Magerelli and his practice greatly, but from what I have experienced from Severance Hospital and from a friends recent success I know I am in good hands with them.
Ultimately I know that it doesn't matter which drug I am on, which doctors I see, because our greatest physician is not here on earth.  It is really up to Him and His timing.  What I pray for is not ultimate success.  I pray for God's favor, His will to be done.  I pray for peace and comfort for whatever the final outcomes are.  I pray for knowledge on when to stop this journey and I pray for direction on how to proceed.  No matter how frustrated I get I praise Him for he has already given me so many blessings.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Round two, Ding Ding

Oh my goodness, life has been crazy.  How have you all been? 
Last week I had to finish up my Classic Christmas class, and started Math and Marriage and Family classes.  It was a busy week.   On top of the classes I started the visits to the orphanage every other week, PWOC started back up (Protestant Women of the Church), and we had our first on site Shalom visit.  Yesterday we also went to the Morning Calm Garden, which was exciting!  It was cold and snowing, it wasn't that wind blowing snowing falling everything is wet and nasty snow.  Well once you were in it for a couple hours it got everything wet, but it was that calm peaceful big flakes type of snow.  Seeing my daughter look up in awe of all the snow falling down around her face made time stand in still.  It was the most memorable moment for me.  She was all smiles and loved the snow more than the million of lights.  She kept saying, "Mommy it's snowing!"  Her eyes on the sky almost the whole time.
It has been a great week!  Now as Monday has approached us again, it is time to start over.  Today we actually have a photo shoot taking place in about an hour for a small family of four.  My actual PWOC class starts this week, and school will continue.  7 assignments, including a quiz and paper will be due by Sunday night.

Now for a baby update.  As most of you know by now round 1 of baby medicines have not worked.  The first medication makes me sleepy and I can become a pretty boring person, the second medication doesn't always agree with my but is the most important part of the process.  After 14 days of meds and ovulation testing we realized we would be forced to start another round in a couple weeks.  Sure enough the pregnancy test was negative.  However, if I am given the chance to mother a second child I know that it will not happen in my time.  Sound round 2 here we go!  I have already started, what I like to call, the sleepy medicines, and will be starting the ovulation meds in the next couple of days.  The prenatal vitamins are always a nice touch as it helps my hair to grow nice and thick!

Just wanted to shoot a quick update every one's way and I hope and pray you all have a splendid week.... or two.... or possibly three since I am not very good at finding the time to sit down and write.  I remember when I started this, it was to share our journey of our travels in another Country, and since we have been here I have noticed after a few months our travels slowed down and because of that so did my updates.  I am hoping that 2015 will bring lots of travel, news, and excitement, so that I will have lots to write about!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Motherhood: Some think I'm crazy

This post is going to be an honest one.  Some of you may think I am off my rocker, others may think I am absolutely correct, and some of you might feel for me.  Whatever you think or whatever you feel that is fine.  I know that there are some people who will understand where I am coming from and this is for those of you who love me enough to accept my path and will walk through it with me even with all the frustrations, happy tears, sad tears, all the waiting periods and all ups and downs. 

 There are ladies out there who know that they don't want children.  There are many excuses why they don't want children.  Some don't want children because they don't want their bodies to be stretched out, tore up, swollen, and sore.   Some don't want children because they think having kids means life stops and changes so much and they just can't handle the thought of that.  Some just know they won't have the patience or attitude to have little ones.  I am sure there are many more but these are the most common I hear. 
To that I say, I may never be skinny again, heck I may never be back at my pre-pregnancy weight, but that is OK for me.  My husband and daughter still love me unconditionally.  I might have crazy stretch marks, but those are just stretch marks made from love!  It just means my body can handle anything that is thrown at it because let's face it.  Any woman who has carried a child has put their body through war! 
Now moving on, my life never stopped after I had my baby girl!  In fact it got that much better.  Not only do I love her like crazy, but I have experienced things I NEVER would have without her.  Some moms like to keep their child on a schedule and that is wonderful, however I don't.  This way we don't have to work life around nap time, nap time works around us.  Obviously, like a few days ago I knew that before I did anything else I had to get cranky girl down for a nap, but it doesn't stop my life, it only shifts my order of doing things.  We hike, we go out to eat, we go to sporting events, we go on random weekend vacations to random places (while in Korea, you never know if you will get a bed or the floor).  Life keeps on moving and now it is more fun with little feet.  Plus date night means so much more, because it doesn't happen as often. 
As for the frustration and patience.... remember I said this is an honest post... NO ONE HAS THEM!  Not all the time anyway.  Just yesterday I found myself snapping and going crazy because my Princess turned into a crazy, crying, cranky, needy, hitting and kicking the floor DRAMA QUEEN!  Oh and this wasn't just a little thing, this went on for hours off and on all day!  Yes I lost my cool.  But then she brought me over a book sat on my lap and said, "mommy read please." and half way through the book my heart was melting with more love and patience then I had all day!  Being a mom is rough I get that, but it better be a really good excuse for you to not want such amazing blessings in your life. 

With all of that being said, I am back on the fertility journey.  Most of you, if not all of you, know that my first child was a fertility baby.  Hubby and I went through a wonderful fertility doctor and after lots of tests, drugs, and shots, I became pregnant with my little princess!  Today, right after I finish this blog, I will be starting medication yet again!  Prenatal vitamins, provara and in a few days Chlomid.  Some of you may be shocked right now that I am so openly announcing this.  However, I have been down this road before so I know I need my family and friends as a support group even if we aren't in the same country.  I have gone this route before and nothing happened so we proceeded to an off post fertility doctor who through the IUI was successful!  Going in for procedures are more pills, injections, tests and in the end a lot more money.  So we are going to start off with just the 3 medications for now.  If this doesn't happen then Dr. Ma would like to continue trying this way for 3 months.  If those 3 months are up and still nothing then we will be looking at going back to the Korean hospital.  Which in all honesty I loved!  This will be my 4th time going through all this, so friends and family I ask for prayers that we won't have to go further than our first round of meds!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Tres Dias.... without saying too much

So I sit here and re write this because, something happened and I deleted the last one.  Some might be thinking, why didn't you save it, but I assure you I did.  When I went to edit a few things that is when I hit something on the keyboard and it deleted everything.  So I begin again.....
Some of you know that I last weekend I went on a ladies retreat called Tres Dias.  They have weekends for the men as well, which I will now be sending the hubs on when that arises.  As the days got closer and closer to the Thursday, the day to leave, the thought of leaving my daughter behind became frightening to me.  I have left her with the sitter before but even then I still was able to receive pictures and updates via my phone.  Well that and I have never left her for 3 whole days.  Anyway, I found myself coming up with more and more ways to get out of it.
Audrey will never go to sleep for daddy...
What if something happens, even though there is an emergency number to tell me it will take me forever to get home...
Audrey is getting the sniffles, I better stay home...
I will get too far behind in school...
There was even a car accident, well a fender bender, at an intersection RIGHT behind me and I remember thinking, "If only that was my car they bumped" (Audrey was not in the car), "It would slow me down and possibly make me miss going."
No such luck.  I have 2 very important people in my life who pushed and pushed for me to go.  They pushed so hard that I showed up at the church a few minutes earlier than needed.  Going into this thing I just kept thinking, "If we don't get on the bus soon and out of here, I am turning back."  The clock kept ticking and soon we were on the bus and well off to our destination.
 Thank goodness it wasn't called Uno Dias, because my first 24 hours was not what I thought it would be.  I was missing Auder-Pop terribly and I just really wanted to see her face.  I was ready to go home.  Then slowly as Friday progressed I started feeling a little better as time moved on.  Once Saturday came, I was a changed girl!  Happy and peppy and feeling joyful!  Then time was moving too quickly and the day was slipping by.  I was so blessed, I grew in my faith, I learned a lot, I talked with so many wonderful and beautiful ladies, it was amazing!  I am so happy those two people pushed me to go!  I had such an amazing time that I am going back to the next one as a volunteer.  I want to relive that weekend but I want to do it from the other side of things. 
So many people, including myself, get turned off by the secrecy of what happens on this weekend.  Really there are no secrets, but you wouldn't want me to tell you to much.  I was very annoyed to go into the weekend not knowing anything, but I came out of it so glad that no one told me anything that would go on and I got to experience every moment without anticipation!  If you want to be blessed, if you want to learn, grew closer to Christ, form new friendships, get away from the worldly ways, laugh, dance, cry, be there for others, and all around have an amazing time.  Then you need to become part of the Tres Dias family!  Notice I keep using the word amazing..... well to be honest, its the most amazing word I have for the weekend.... words can't describe what an amazing time I had :)
Last but not least, I want to thank all of you who had such kind and loving words for me throughout the weekend and the ones who prayed for the weekend.  They mean the world to me and I will treasure them always!  You know who you are!
Love and Blessings!