I have now entered the Twilight Zone...

Trip Start Jul 06, 2005
Trip End May 31, 2007

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Flag of United States  , Wisconsin
Tuesday, January 3, 2006

Happy New Year!! I hope that this year will bring peace and happiness to each and every one of you. This time last year, I was home celebrating Christmas at home, the New Year in Mexico, and preparing for my journey to Uzbekistan. What a wild ride it's been, I wouldn't have expected to be awaiting my return to Jamaica at the end of it.

Much to my surprise, I'm still at home in Green Bay, even though my original plans were to be back in Jamaica on January 2nd. Well I guess I should begin by telling you that my Christmas break didn't really go as planned. Not at all.

I arrived in Wisconsin, happy and content on December 21st, ready to ski and play in the snow. By Friday I was not feeling well because of lower abdominal pain, and the temperatures were in the low 30s and the snow was silently disappearing. Saturday, I woke up feeling even worse. Lower abdominal pain, nausea, boy oh boy, what was happening? I know a little bit about the body because of ER and "Trauma, Life in the ER", and since the pain was in the lower left side, I thought appendicitis. After some deliberation, my parents and I decided to go to the emergency room. By 4pm that same afternoon, I was prepping for surgery to remove my swollen, infected appendix. This wasn't supposed to be happening. I had to go skiing the next week, so I couldn't possibly have surgery NOW! No way! But it was happening, and I just had to go with the flow.

Luckily the thing hadn't ruptured so the surgery was clean and I was able to go home the next day. Spending Christmas Eve in the hospital is a strange feeling for me; my parents and I have wonderful Christmas traditions that would have to wait until next year. If my appendix had ruptured I would have been in the hospital until Wednesday. The surgery was done laproscopically with small incisions, but initially it was very difficult to move around. I didn't know how involved the abdominal muscles are in almost every movement that the body performs. Now I'm feeling good, getting up and down is easier but my pace has slowed dramatically, now maybe the Jamaicans will have a chance keeping up with me. (They walk very slow and leisurely.)

Unfortunately I won't be able to ski for another 6 weeks, too bad I'll be in Jamaica by then. My running group will be postponed until I can get back into more rigorous exercise. I forget that I've had major surgery since externally I'm healing well and feel good. I'm reminded of my removed appendix when I lift too much or go too fast, I think it will take awhile until I'm 100% again. I decided to stay home another week because I didn't feel comfortable traveling and resuming my regular activities only one week after this ordeal. Peace Corps and American Airlines have been very supportive of this decision and cooperative with the change of schedule. I also didn't want to go back after being jipped out of my Christmas break...he, he, he. So back to Jamaica on January 8th, and I think by then I'll be ready to get back to the sunshine and warmth, and leave the foggy gloom of Northeastern Wisconsin.

Well, I guess I'm just happy I was home during this journey through the twilight zone. I have no idea what kind of medical treatment I would have received in Jamaica, but I'm just glad to have my family near to take care of me. I want to wish you health and prosperity in this year 2006. Peace to you all.

One Love,

p.s. Does anyone know what causes the appendix to all of a sudden rupture??
p.p.s. Pictures soon come
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