Checking Back In

It has been quite a while since I wrote a blog post. I’ve been a bit of a recluse since I arrived back in the states. I was being prideful- I didn’t want many to know what was happening during my medical evacuation process. I was scared of the outcome. As the days went on I didn’t think I was going to make it back within the 45 days. As a matter of fact, I didn’t make it. I was medically separated from the Peace Corps. When I got that email I was disappointed. My initial thought was why did I ever say anything to the doctors in Cambodia- I could have still been there. Then, after a couple of days I was realistic with myself and faced the fact that I wouldn’t have been living a quality life without treatment. I could barely ride my bike, I couldn’t stay awake during work and I spent most of the afternoons sleeping and reading. I was surrounded by my amazing host family and community but I was hurting.

When these symptoms starting getting very intense about two weeks into my permanent site I wrote myself a letter to open three months later. I basically told myself that if I was reading it and I was back in the U.S. then I needed to give myself grace. I wasn’t a wimp for talking to the doctors and I didn’t completely ruin my prospects of completing my service. I have a chance to be reinstated to my service once I’m symptom free and I can go back to my host family and community and continue on with the life I created there that I loved so much.

Today has been very tough for me. I woke up just plain sad. I’m sitting in Starbucks (just about the most basic American coffee shop) and I’m reciting that letter I wrote to myself over and over. I continue to tell myself that this had to happen- I needed answers. Now I have those answers and I am working to get my body back and to figure out how to manage my flares. I never expected my health to define my service and so far it has but I hope to return and define my service in a new way where my body isn’t getting in the way. For now….I’ll continue to work on my dietary changes, going on my daily walks and regaining movement through my yoga practice.

Thank you for all the support I have received from many of you and I hope to be able to share good news with you in the near future.


Happy Holidays from the Western Hemisphere,

❤ Ren


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