I’ve got Seoul but I’m not a soldier

Caution! Slightly whiney post alert!! 🙂

Apologies for the leap forward in time without an update! Following on from my hospital bed post, the surgery was successful and I’m well on the way to recovery although I still have to wear a back brace for the next 3 weeks and stairs are still an issue (although truth be told, being so out of shape they were an issue before the opp! I’m spoiled in Korea with the number of lifts and escalators!)

The recovery is going so well that happily I’ve been able to fulfill a trip to Seoul that was booked and paid for months before my spine turned to play-dough. Now over the years my back problems have caused me many things. Job instability, missing friends weddings, bankruptcy, years of extreme pain, mental health issues, painkiller dependency and many more, so the fact that I’m currently staying in a hotel with a swimming pool, sauna, gym and screen golf, none of which I can now use is a drop in the ocean in the grand scheme of things. Yet emotionally, it still hurts.

Despite my ‘gammy’ (undeveloped) leg meeting the criteria of a disability, I’ve never considered myself disabled as, throughout it all, I’ve continued to find ways to function. But faced once again with a multitude of simple things that I can’t do, it’s difficult to think of myself as otherwise. I’ve just spoken to the hospital again and I can’t even take a bloody bath! I was really looking forward to that, it’s one of the reasons I booked to stay in this hotel but no, another simple pleasure denied. It’s a complicated blow to my self image to try and process and honestly I’m still not sure if or how I’ll come to terms with it.

Now I know I’ve been very ‘lucky’ to find myself where I am today (I use inverted commas there as I’ve had to work really bloody hard to get here so it’s not all luck) working and living abroad, traveling as much as I do including now while I’m writing this. I’m on holiday in Seoul ffs! In a really nice hotel with 4 days to explore due to the Korean holiday ‘Chuseok‘ (it’s kind of like Korean thanksgiving but, inexplicably, everyone gives each other spam gift sets!) But again the reason I have 4 days free is ’cause I’ve had to cancel all the plans I had to run around exploring, I can only manage gentle walks and the 15 min stroll to the hotel wiped me out so now I have to rest for a while. Again.

There’s a good chance once the scars heal and I’m working and hopefully bouncing about traveling again that my mindset will change once more and I’ll consider myself, for want of a more appropriate term, ‘normal’ (whatever that means!) But from where I’m laying now that feels a long way off.

I’ll follow up to let you know what I did manage to do with my time here soon and I promise the next post will be funnier and less whiney, just felt the need to try and put my thoughts in order!! 🙂


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