I was determined to get up and go to school today because I felt about 50% better than I did on Monday - until I got up to go to school - and my room did its spinning thing again. I got back in bed and at around 10:00 got up enough courage to walk out to the street to get a cab back to the hospital.
Down the four flights of stairs - resting, again, at each landing, walking at a slant like I have mad cow disease and a bad back (go ahead and laugh), all the way to Trang Hung Dao, where the taxis are. And, whom should I meet? Yep, there he is, Nam, sitting at his hang out spot, a sidewalk cafe. He is shocked to see me. I don't know what he must have thought about my no- show three days, but perhaps he thought I was mad and avoiding him. What I didn't mention about last Friday when he was 20 minutes late was that he sped home. I kept telling him to slow down, but he would point up to the sky..."the rain is coming." When he dropped me off, he knew I was mad. He pointed up again, and sure enough, the rain started to fall and it fell hard. I told him that was no reason to drive so fast and besides, if he would have been on time...
But anyway, he sees that I am sick and runs over to steady me. He has the most animated face, and today it is full of compassion. I know enough Vietnamese now that I can tell him that I am very sick and that I need to go to the hospital. He sees my bag with back x-rays and asks if my back is hurt from the accident. He looks so sad when I tell him "yes." He tells me to have a seat and he hails a cab for me and helps me into it.
Making a long story short, Jessica, I wish I had known about the shaking thing the other day. A few other people wrote to me about it, too. Today I am referred to a Head Nose Throat Doctor and he says that a trauma like my accident can dislodge that crystal thing - even up to a week after it occurs - and that he could shake it back. So I lay down on a table and he cradles my head and does this figure eight kind of motion for about five minutes. He prescribes some different medication and as I walk out, I can feel a difference. Next, I go to see probably my most favorite doctor ever - she is so gentle and intelligent and soothing- a back specialist - and she gives me some good advice and suggests "radio frequency ablation" - a procedure for chronic back pain. I am going to read up on it and see if my insurance will cover it and possibly go back to have this done in a few weeks. Again, the hospital experience is nothing but positive, but I am there today from 10-6.
When I get home, I am feeling good enough to think about other people, finally. I didn't want Thuy to know I was sick...I couldn't imagine having someone with me, the way I was feeling, especially someone I couldn't communicate with easily. So I wanted to go by her house and tell her where I've been and that K and I would be flying out early in the morning (6:00). I find her whole family on the lower level of their open house, watching TV. Both Thuy and Tan are there, and they are happy to see me. They pull up a chair and I sit with them on their stoop.
Tan says, "Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, we don't see you!" (because I always wave down their alley every morning). I tell her (in my terrible Vietnamese), "Monday, I'm sick, Tuesday, I'm sick, Wednesday, I'm sick...Thursday, I fly to Nha Trang!" They get it and they laugh. I tell them a bit about the hospital and my imbalance and show them the x-rays. They are very concerned.
Thuy says, "Maggie, can I go to your house and play with you, Katherine and Tarn?" (Such a great way to ask). I tell her I can't play tonight, that I must go and pack.
Thuy says, "Maggie, do you eat yet?" and the truth is that, no I haven't eaten, but I have so much to do that I tell her I ate at the hospital. "OK, Sunday next, you, Katherine, Tarn and me, we go to a restaurant to eat goat (this is something she has mentioned to me before). Then we go to ________ Pagoda (didn't catch the name)."
I say, "Perfect!" and she does this gesture that I love, she puts her hand up and waits for me to grasp it- it's such an intimate gesture of friendship. While my hand is up there with hers, I grab Tan's and hold it up there, too. They both tell me they will be "with us" when we fly. I love them.
So, yes, I will get on a plane to Nha Trang tomorrow at 6:00 am. It's a 45 minute flight. The doctor says I shouldn't dance. I'm OK with that. Right now the whole world seems OK, whatever the case, because it is upright and because I have so many good people in my life.
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! I will not be eating turkey, but I will be very, very grateful laying on my Vietnamese beach! Thanks for all of your kind emails!