Thursday, December 29, 2011

Bad News, Bad News, and Good News

Okay, good news first:  According to the doctor whom I saw at the hospital today, I'm not just imagining things -- there actually is something wrong with me!  (Yes, this is good news.  Few things are as annoying as pain or other symptoms with a cause that a doctor cannot locate.)

The first bad news:  My ankle is worse off than I thought.  I thought that I just had a stretched ligament, from all of the sprains I've had over the past nine years.  Wrong!  Apparently, somewhere down the road, I managed to tear that ligament.  And, there is a problem with my leg that I never knew about (the muscle has had damage and weakening owing to the ankle problems, and it is in turn contributing to the ankle problems).  I wound up being at the hospital until about 3:00 today, and in addition to my two doctor appointments, also squeezed in a radiology visit.  Thank goodness I have really good insurance now!

The second bad news:  I have to stay in Korea a bit longer than planned, because I need to do more testing to determine what is to be done with me.  I definitely have to have physical therapy, both for the ankle and for the leg, but I also am probably going to wind up having surgery.  I'll find out for sure after some more testing and related mafan on the 4th of January.  Until then, the doctor warned me "No unnecessary walking."  Not sure what that means, in a country (continent, actually) where one walks just about everywhere, but I guess that means no more cross-country trips this week.  Good thing I did Gyeongju yesterday!

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"Passage—immediate passage! the blood burns in my veins! Away, O soul! hoist instantly the anchor!
Cut the hawsers—haul out—shake out every sail!
Have we not stood here like trees in the ground long enough?
Have we not grovell’d here long enough, eating and drinking like mere brutes?
Have we not darken’d and dazed ourselves with books long enough?

Sail forth! steer for the deep waters only!
Reckless, O soul, exploring, I with thee, and thou with me;
For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared to go, And we will risk the ship, ourselves and all.

O my brave soul!
O farther, farther sail!
O daring joy, but safe! Are they not all the seas of God?
O farther, farther, farther sail!"

~Walt Whitman, "Passage to India"