Back To It - Skillful Cook
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Back To It

Well, I am alive.

Boy walking on the street.

And I am thankful, even though I didn’t say so on this blog exactly on Thanksgiving Day.

Last week I made my first and pray-to-God last trip to the hospital here in the Philippines. That sounds more dramatic than it needs to, but can’t a girl just play the drama card for at least a few days after? Just between us, the drama factor was actually pretty low. I didn't stay overnight. But yes, I did have to go to the hospital and it was one of the more overwhelming living abroad experiences I’ve had thus far.*

*When did I start saying “thus far?” Was it before or after those peanut butter chocolate chip oatmeal cookies? Hm.

Neighborhood in the city.

Hospital story: I came down with a mystery virus last week.

Maybe you remember that I am not the kind of person who is really tough with sickness and pain. I am the kind of person who gets a 3-spot rash on her arm and knows that she has a severe case of Unknown Tropical Disease and is, in fact, dying. If this is the part of the story where you start feeling sorry for Bjork, then you're getting it.

I went to the hospital and found out that I was not dying but I had a super low white blood cell count. Hey, Meanie Virus. Nice to see you on the week of Thanksgiving because I was hoping to lay around on a sore back and eat crackers all week. NOT.

After the whole runaround with hot waiting rooms, syringes {EW} in a tiny curtained booth, a crowded doctor’s office, and giant purple mystery pills from the warehouse pharmacy, I can say with deep-seated passion that I’m so thankful that I have always had access to clean, comfortable, and personalized medical care throughout my life.  What a gift.

And I would have really said all that last week, when it was actually Thanksgiving, but I was sweating through all my tank tops, drinking pink Gatorade, and compulsively checking my arm rash every 5 seconds.

In honor of missing Thanksgiving, and feeling a heck of a lot better, here are some other things I’m thankful for:

Happy kids with cute, crooked glasses.

Young girl wearing glasses.

Adorable neighbors.

Young children peeking out of a door way.

Neighbors that are adorable.

Young boys.

Baby eyes.

Baby smiling.

A kind and gentle community of people.

Man and young boy in the street.

Also, the internet. It’s an amazing tool, isn't it? And you! You who email, you who comment, and you who check in on this little corner of the internet, just because.

You're the best. XO.

Now. Whaddya say we make up for all those crackers? I say yes.

Filed Under: Living Abroad

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  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    Omg I am so sorry to hear about how sick you were and I can only imagine what the hospital and medical care was like….I hope you are on the right track now and feeling better and things will improve for you with your white cell count!

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    Glad you are feeling better! It’s no fun being an ocean away from home and not having mom close to make you some homemade chicken soup. I spent time living in Africa as a missionary and being sick was definately a little (lot) scarier abroad than stateside. Love all the smiling faces in your pics!

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    Bless your heart! Glad your back “to it”:). Love your sense of humor and the fact that your post made me smile, while at the same time feeling terrible you had to go through all that…yikes!

  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    I follow along with you on here and am thankful you are feeling better! I have experienced the type of conditions you describe before in a hospital and yes, it does make me thankful for the wonderful care and conditions I am lucky to have in the U.S. Those photos make me happy by the way, as I am sure they do for you.

  5. Skillful Cook Logo

    I’m so glad that you’re ok! Needing medical attention really is one of those things that makes you appreciate the things that most Americans at one point or another have taken for granted. I hope you can get some retroactive celebrating in. 🙂

  6. Skillful Cook Logo


    I’m glad you’re better! and that the MYSTERY VIRUS was defeated! I’d say throw all the crackers out and start chomping down healthy overdoses of chocolate, nuts, cream and what-have-you! In Mandarin, there is a saying that goes something like this “kill poison with poison” – in this case, kill the nasty little germ with tons of carbs, sugars and sinfully delicious foods!

    take care!
    love from buenos aires,

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    I am so sorry to hear about your hospital visit, and glad to know that you are ok! Hang in there!! I can only imagine what it would be like to be in the hospital so far away from home! 🙂

    Also, your posts have continued to look wonderful. I am constantly amazed at your beautiful photography and ability to adapt blogging to your environment and lifestyle in Cebu. Keep it up, friends!!! So encouraged by you guys 🙂

  8. Skillful Cook Logo

    Gahh! When I saw that kid following the jeepney, it was like looking at my past! Although this scene is very peaceful. Trying to get a jeepney in the city involved shoulder jabs and ninja skills. It was a great training opportunity.

    Do you mind if I use this as my FB profile picture? Of course, photo credits go to you, and I will put a link to go to this wonderful blog of yours.

    Glad you are feeling better. Still loving your blog! :]]]

  9. Skillful Cook Logo

    Those darn viruses! Glad yours is on the way out. I think chicken noodle soup helps but I know dark chocolate works even better!! Words of fatherly wisdom!?!
    Love – Dad

  10. Skillful Cook Logo

    oh sorry to hear you were so sick…no fun…and I could not imagine what the hospital was like there…the pictures of the kids are so precious…that really brings everything back into a nice big smile 🙂

  11. Skillful Cook Logo

    I’m sorry that you were sick enough to have to go to the hospital. Can only imagine how frightening it must be to be living in a country far from you own and to have to rely on the skills and knowledge of a medical team that you are to familiar with. Very happy to read that you are on the mend and hope you have made up the *lost Thanksgiving dinner*
    Thank you for sharing these photographs of your *new* home, fiends ad neighbours. Your shots are wonderful and very moving.

  12. Skillful Cook Logo

    Glad you are back to feeling yourself. Truly a bummer to be sick for a holiday, especially one as devoted to food as Thanksgiving!

  13. Skillful Cook Logo

    You certainly had a Thanksgiving Week to remember! Glad you’re on the mend. Many of us take for granted the great country we live in and hearing your experience surely makes us all think twice about the benefits of living in the USA. You are having a great life experience, the photos prove that – and you will look back on these days with so much love! Take care and hope you’re cooking something wonderful!!!

  14. Skillful Cook Logo

    So sorry that you were sick last week! Ugh! I’m thankful that you are feeling better…

    I love the pictures, as always. And your neighbors? absolutely adorable!!!
    Blessings to you!

  15. Skillful Cook Logo

    I will never complain about waiting in the doctor’s office again! Thank you for sharing. So glad you are back!

  16. Skillful Cook Logo

    So sorry to hear about your hospital trip, that must be one of the worst parts of being so far from home. Hope you are feeling better now xo