The Diagnosis

The answer to Writing on Weakness and a Hospital StayA FallComforting the Downcast, and This Is Me.

A few weeks ago, as I was throwing a couple of bags into the trunk of my parents’ car, my hat fell over my eyes. I lost the sense of where the trunk door was and slammed my head on it.

Three hours later, my knees gave out when I joined the line at our local fairgrounds for pancakes and sausage at the Maple Syrup Fair. I jolted forward and clutched a vendor’s table to keep myself from falling to the concrete floor.

Last week while feeding the livestock, I walked quickly from the corn wagon to the feed room and caught my foot on the ledge. I crashed onto the concrete. I wasn’t hurt badly, hands just sore, but I couldn’t figure out how to rise. I grasped at feed barrels and sacks before thinking to bring my right foot forward and lean to gain upward momentum.

The rest of the evening, I moved slowly, disoriented.

Continue reading “The Diagnosis”

Crowded in Corridors of Cornfields: Reverse Culture Shock

Crowded in Corridors of Cornfields: Reverse Culture Shock

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Cornfields buried under snow on a record-breaking cold day: the low was -14, and at the time I took this picture, it was hovering around 0.

The first Facebook post I wrote when I returned home was this:

Thursday, I was up for 24 hours straight, only able to sleep for half an hour on the trans-Atlantic flight from Dublin to Dulles. Landing in Indy didn’t seem real. Yesterday, I opened (or tossed) 51 pieces of mail, used a hair dryer for the first time in nearly 16 months, and went to the final High School home football game. I’ve got a list going of things I haven’t seen in over a year, and there are American words that I’ve forgotten. I don’t think I have an accent, but I did say “Sweet as!” this morning in reply to something about breakfast. I went to the grocery store with Dad and found candy corn, marshmallows, Twizzlers and peach rings. We also found a sign that said “Kiwi’s,” but sadly there were none around. There was only kiwifruit. Now I’m eating a Bridge Fest buried beef sandwich. The leaves are changing, the colt is bigger than I remember him to be, and man is it good to be home.

I didn’t know it then, but those experiences when I first arrived home were some of my first incidents of reverse culture shock. Continue reading “Crowded in Corridors of Cornfields: Reverse Culture Shock”