I'm not one to complain.
Actually, that's not true at all. I love a good whining session. Though, it's not really the fact that I really feel very upset about a situation. Mostly, I think, it's because it's just something to talk about. I don't mean to sound needy or upset or irritable. For example, if I'm super duper hungry, I'll say it over and over. But that doesn't mean that I have to eat THAT second. If we're walking along together and you don't like the first few restaurants we come across, it's not a problem to continue on our way until we find something agreeable.
There is a limit, however. And there is a point at which I'll say, "Ok. Enough. Let's eat here."
This is also true with my pain threshold. You see, for the past week or so, I've been experiencing a lot of pain in my throat whenever I swallow, or talk too vigorously. It's been weird though. It's definitely not a sore throat: I have no fever, no soreness in the rest of my body, and I haven't had any other symptoms of being sick. It was almost like there was something underneath my tongue that was hurting me.
I told my host mom. I don't know if I've said this before, but my host mom is a message therapist by trade, and believes wholly in holistic/natural medicine. The first thing she said to me was, "that means that you have something stressful in your life, or that you have something that you need to talk about. Something weighing you down." Ok, Carmen. Whatever you say.
But bless her heart if she didn't make me some ginger tea, give me some extract of echinacea drops, and then sit down with me at the table and discuss everything that was happening in my vida. "Are you stressed with your classes? Are you nervous about moving to Granada? How are you getting along with the other students? When's the last time you talked to your parents?" She was very concerned. It was very nice.
So I talked to my parents later that day, told them what was going on, took some advil, drank lots of ginger tea and water, and within a day or two, things felt all better.
When Friday rolled around, however, things started up again. Except this time it was the right side of my throat/mouth/tongue. I decided to just wait it out for a few days and see what's going on. This isn't usually too bad of an idea, except for when things just get worse after a few days. This was the situation in which I found myself yesterday. The night before I couldn't really sleep super well because whenever I had to swallow, I would wake up in pain. Eating food hurt. Drinking hurt. It wasn't fun.
Finally, I decided that action had to be taken. I went to the pharmacy but all they had was Ibuprofen, which I had taken already, and it didn't make any difference.
So, I finally decided to try out going to the doctor. As long as I've lived in foreign countries, I've never been sick enough to go to the doctor. Thank goodness for that, too: I don't even like going to the doctor in my home country!
I was very hesitant to go to the doctor. Spanish isn't even my second language. However, after a few phone calls with my program, and finding that I could actually understand about 90% of what they were saying to me over the phone, I got renewed confidence, and I headed out on the adventure.
When I finally got to the office, a good 20 minutes later, I stood in front of the door trying to figure out how to get in. It was just a normal apartment building, with a sign outside that said, "medical farmlww."
As I was standing there, I got another call from the lady at the program telling me that the office doesn't open until 9:30. It was 9:15. To kill some time I stood on the street, like a creeper, listening to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and trying to blend into the surrounding Spanish culture.
I eventually got into the doctor’s office and got checked out. Everyone in the office was very nice, and very patient with me and with my Spanish. It was great. There’s nothing worse than trying to talk to someone who acts like they don’t have the time for you. In the end, the doctor told me that I have “llagas.” My Spanish, such as it is, has not prepared me for the wide world of medical maladies. I asked her what a “llaga” is, and she went into her office and brought back a dictionary open to the word “llaga.” Apparently I have a little sore in the back of my throat that’s making my life miserable. So she gave me some prescriptions to get filled for various things.
At this point, I’ve been writing this post for about four days, so I’ve been taking the medicine and have been following all the advice that she gave me. I feel about 150% better. And, I just woke up from a super siesta. So I’m ready. I’m ready to go running, I’m ready to go out with my friends, but most importantly, I’m ready to go to Portugal!
Yes, I’m going to Lagos in Portugal this weekend with a bunch of people from my program. We’re going cliff diving, shore cruising, beach sitting, pool swimming, and all sorts of stuff.
I’ve bought a new camera for the occasion: