Monday, July 11, 2005

From one to the next

Another teammate was brought to the hospital today. He's developed rashes all over his body and his knuckles especially hurt. They've determined that he's had lice biting him at the YC, and they're probably in his bed. This is actually good news, as the English team was worried that it was chicken pox (which didn't make any sense, since the guy had been vaccinated as a child). But lice would explain all the bites on my body, as this particular guy is my roommate. It's just that his reaction to the bites has been far worse than mine so far. We're going to do stuff to the room today to rid it of lice, or they'll move us to another room. But even if they move us to another room, it's apparently pretty hard to escape the lice. The nurses gave us a rundown of lice avoidance strategies. I remember my uncle telling us about when he was a kid back in Korea, he'd wake up every morning with bleeding lice bites all over his body. He didn't think anything of it back then, it was pretty normal. Today he looks back and thinks it's kind of gross. Hehe, I experienced that, and it's kind of interesting.

And I thought my diarrhea was bad. A nurse was telling us about the time when she had dysentery. There was this little girl who peeled a walnut and offered it to the nurse in the street. The girl obviously needed a good bath, but she was so cute, the nurse didn't want to hurt her feelings at all. So the nurse ended up with dysentery and an IV tube stuck in her for a while. This was when the nurse first arrived in the area a couple of years ago and didn't know any better.

While I was in the hospital, H.O.T. Fangirl (my TA) had to take care of the class all by herself. Some of the team came to visit Bidetofevil and I in the hospital (Bidetofevil is the other guy with a major case of diarrhea, I call him this name because he looks like Hanson Ho). H.O.T. Fangirl brought the notebooks of all the students. She had them all write an intro of themselves for me. Hehe, it was so cute. They all went something like this:
Hi, my name is ______. I just got an English name today, it is
______. I like _____ and _____ but I don't like _____. I have father
and mother and two sisters. My parents are _____, my sisters are
_____. I hope you get better. I like you!

Hehe, or something like that. Lots of variation. One common theme, so many of the students don't like soccer (or football, as the rest of the world calls it). Why is that? But judging from what was written, the kids did not follow any sort of template, they just wrote whatever was on their mind any way they could. So I think I have a good gauge on their English skills. Extremely broken grammar and vocabulary, but I should be able to work with it easily enough. And my Mandarin is slowly coming back. Far from perfect, mind you, but enough for me to catch the important phrases.

I should be able to go back tonight, and then I'll get to personally meet the students tomorrow. So things got switched around and my class is actually 7th to 9th graders (which is closer to their actual ages). Bidetofevil needs to stay at least one more night, and Roomie (I'll call my roommate Roomie, ok?) probably will as well. I'm told that two more team members are developing cases of diarrhea, so we might have to move them to the hospital.

And water is out again at the YC. Some pipes got damaged, so they're trying to fix them right now.

I had two dreams last night. The first was about my brother and I. The second was more normal for the dreams I usually have. I forget what was happening, but me and this guy end up going to this truck. Except it wasn't me in the dream, it was more like I was playing a role in a movie, and I was that character, not me. Get it? So anyway, we talk with the driver and say we need to get on the truck. And he's like, "Why, who are you guys anyway?" So I say, "Don't you know?? He's knows famous people!" And I point to my partner. And the truck driver asks, "Yeah? Who?" So I'm thinking quickly, and say, "Korean movie stars!" The truck driver looks at my partner curiously and asks, "Really?" So thinking fast again, I blurt out, "Yeah! James Kwan!" James Kwan is the name of a Chinese guy who was a co-worker of mine at a coop practicum with the PWGSC. I'm thinking, "This guy will never buy it." But the truck driver gets all excited and says, "Really?? How can I meet him??"

So it turns out that the truck has a go-kart in the back. We roll the go-kart down to the ground and get the guy to put on a yellow t-shirt that says on the front in black letters, "James Kwan!" and on the back, "Please come meet me!" Then we tell the guy to drive the go-kart down the street, and he'll meet James Kwan. So the guy drives away. Then my partner and I (I don't know what his name was) get into the truck and drive it away. For some reason we were all at the airport and the truck was in the area where you drop off people for departure. We end up driving the truck through a bus, through a maze of cars, and zoom to the end of the departure area, where we have this old 80s Honda Civic waiting. We hear sirens coming up, as the police are giving chase, so we hop out quickly. The Honda Civic is leaning up against (vertically leaning) a Christmas tree. My partner starts talking to a passer-by about the weather while I get the Civic to the ground and drive away down the ramp. For some reason, the deal was for my partner to take care of everyone following us.

The weird thing about the Civic is that I had to drive it while lying on my stomach, like in Batman Begins, when Batman turns the Batmobile into weapon mode. As I drove away through the city, I flipped on the radio and changed the frequencies until I came to CKWX News 1130. That's when someone at the news station was saying, "... probability of 1 in 30 million! He wants to buy one bus ticket and hope that it will bring him to his parents!" I looked up at that moment and saw a flying pirate ship. At the bow of the ship stood a pirate with a little boy beside him. The boy was holding a bus ticket and asked the pirate, "Do you really think we'll find my parents?" The pirate says, "Don't worry, we will!"

And then I woke up because Bidetofevil had to go to the bathroom.

How to Recover from Diarrhea

There seem to be two main schools of thought for treating diarrhea. One is to use medication to speed the process and attack the trouble points. The other is to flush the dietary tract out naturally. The nurses here prefer the latter method. Bidetofevil was asking for acupuncture, but they apparently only have that in Xichang.

1. Fast and have nothing but hot or warm water. Stay in bed and rest; sleep as much as possible. Going to the bathroom is a good thing. Since you will be going a long time without food, it is important to mix electrolytes into your water to get nutrients into your body. If you do not have access to electrolytes, salt and sugar will suffice. Avoid cold water.
2. After the fasting period has finished, commence eating hot or warm congee, and some steamed white bread (both western white bread and Asian steamed mantou will do). Anything with more substance or fibre are definite no-no's, as your gastral tract is not yet able to handle such dense foods. Food heavy in fibre can be especially abrasive and cause your gastral tract to have a relapse. The key is to flush out the system as smoothly and cleanly as possible. Congee and steamed white bread will do this quite nicely. Avoid cold food.
3. After your diarrhea has stopped, you can graduate to extremely light fibre foodstuffs. Examples include boiled liquid or soft tofu (liquid is obviously less fibre). High fibre foodstuffs like oats are still prohibited at this stage. The goal for this stage is to regain strength, as the condition and recovery process will sap your strength.
4. Check-up. Go home. Transition slowly back to normal life.

Throughout the process, moan and groan as necessary. Recovery time should be about 48 hours, but results may vary, depending on severity of diarrhea.

Class will be interesting tomorrow. Much thanks to daddy for his help.

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