The Eve of my Birthday was spent in a Chinese emergency room.
Since coming back from Russia, I’ve had a sharp pain and an increasingly growing tingling in my chest. Naturally my mind turned to the worst possible outcomes (heart attack, ruptured spleen, pulmonary infection?). I tried to ignore the pain, hoping it would pass, but it only got worse, and by Thursday night, I sat at my breakfast table (at last, in my own apartment) and could barely move or breathe. Panicked, I called T&T and they spent the next six hours with me in a Chinese emergency room, as I bawled and underwent test after test, going in and out of rooms oscillating between stifling heat and winter blistering cold.
The emergency room I went to – Huashan Hospital located in Xuhui – is supposed to be in one of the best hospitals in the city, which as I learned was still not saying much. In the ER, I was greeted by rows of feverish Chinese people under colorful blankets (the hospital is BYOBlanket apparently), an entire room full of people getting IV Drips (which is supposedly a very accepted practice in Shanghai and elsewhere in China), and men spitting into bags (because in the hospital, you’re not supposed to spit on the floor).
This year was a year of really high highs, but also of incredibly low lows. For once, my career and my professional life seem to be on track. My personal life? Well, that’s another story. So, my highs and lows for this year, presented without further comment:
- Sobbing outside of St. Mark’s Place in New York.
- Sobbing in Brookline at 5am.
- Sobbing outside of Plaza 66 in Shanghai.
- Finding out I’m allergic to wheat
- Really, any of my airplane experiences.
- Living full-time in a country where English is not the native language.
- Visiting five different countries – US, China, Japan, Thailand, Russia
- Leaving New Haven on my own
- Not letting fear hold me back.