Speed Bumps: They Slow You Down But You Still Go Over Them

Peace Corps service is a very individual experience. Only I know what I’m experiencing every day and while I might show glimpses on my blog or social media no one actually know what it is like to be in my community, in body, in my journey. This is were I have to be selective of what I share with you- I want to share culture, foods, daily life, relationships, etc….but then there is the fine line of which illnesses do I tell you about or what range of emotion is suitable for sharing.

I’ve been on a very confusing and exhausting path for the last several weeks. I have had some long time undiagnosed problems that have always been a mystery to doctors and once people got stumped they gave up. I had a lot of people tell me it was “normal”, “you’re just growing”, “your in (high school or college) you’re just tired it’ll pass”. I’m 23 years old now and it still hasn’t passed and I’ve handled it the whole time I’ve been in Cambodia but a few weeks ago symptoms got significantly stronger and some symptoms I couldn’t ignore anymore. I finally discussed this with my doctors here and that resulted in a few trips to the capital that I briefly discussed in my last post about tory rides. After many ultrasounds and blood tests this showed up with a few leads but still a perplexing case for staff. Headquarters got involved in my case I received the call saying I was going to be medvac-ed to the United States for tests and treatment. This is a policy within Peace Corps that allows volunteers to return home for a period of 45 days to get medical issues resolved that can’t be best resolved in country. So as I write this to you now I’m on a plane. I had to say bye to my host family and assure them I would be back and I am trekking back to my American family now.

I look fine from the outside- that’s a really confusing thing for everyone (Americans and Cambodians) to wrap there minds around. But in the inside I’m in pain and not feeling myself. At this point you are probably all confused and hell I’m confused too. The idea of coming back to the U.S. for a short amount of time and then going back to my Cambodian home is hard to understand but it’s reality. This experience has become a very significant part of my service- it has inhibited me from a lot of things that have normally never been an issue for me and I look forward to coming back to Cambodia in much better condition ready to hit the ground running.

Somewhere in between the Eastern and Western Hemispheres,
❤ Ren


4 thoughts on “Speed Bumps: They Slow You Down But You Still Go Over Them

  1. Lauren,
    You and your family are in my prayers. This 45 days should give the doctors some time to really study your symptoms and get some answers. Hopefully the Peace Corps will throw their weight around for a sense of urgency to get you back to your mission in Cambodia.


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