I only had four days in Iowa City before I had to move into my apartment in Grand Rapids. The majority of my time was spent at the dermatologist. On my last course, I got bugbite/pus-oozing spots on my feet and legs and Pi Ben (course instructor) cleaned them and bandaged them up, but then I continued to get more and more... a total of 10 nasty spots on my body. They were pretty painful and constantly oozing. (Pi Ben put me on augmentin for 5 days) When I got home I showed them to my mom, who then took me to a dermatologist. My dermatologist had to do a punch biopsy, which is where she cut out a section of the skin for testing and then she followed up with stitches. I was put on Cipro and another antibiotic because they were concerned that I might have a parasite. The following morning, I woke up unable to bear any weight on my leg and the biopsy area swelled up to bigger than a golf ball. I was put on crutches and sent back to the dermatologist. She took a blood sample and culture and was worried that it might be Pyroderma Gangrenosum, which causes skin ulcerations and then we waited for 5 days to hear the results of the biopsy. Luckily, the results showed that I had staph infection and then I was given a stronger antibiotic, but similar to augmentin. The stitches were in for two weeks and had to be covered 24/7 because they constantly oozed. Pretty disgusting... but today I am STAPH FREE!!
My first few days in Grand Rapids were filled with moving into my apartment and wedding plans. My brother got married on June 22nd to an amazing woman. The wedding was beautiful and a whole lot of fun. Everyone from the Hausler clan made it, too!
Since the wedding, my days have been filled with job searching, filling out resumes and applications, interviews, etc. And still no luck! It is not exactly the summer that I had planned out, but it is still quite enjoyable. However, all of my free time has allowed me to explore Grand Rapids, make a surprise visit home to Iowa City, catch up with friends, house sit, hang out with my Young Life girls, and even go to Traverse City with my cousins. It has also given me time to think and process everything I learned this past semester.
Some of my thoughts I would like to share with you all:
First of all, I loved my experience in Thailand, but I don't want to go back... at least not for awhile. The experience I had was amazing because of the people I met. My instructors, host families, and fellow students were incredible because I learned so much from each and everyone of them. I was challenged on many levels and sometimes pushed beyond my limits, but I grew a lot from it all. Today, I am more independent and confident in myself. I have discovered new passions and affirmed old ones; I am more informed on environmental, political, and social issues and I care about my place in it all. I am blessed to have been able to spend 4 1/2 months in Thailand and I would not have been able to do it without trusting God. There were times when I struggled a lot, but God was always faithful.
I cannot thank you all enough for your support, encouraging letters and emails, and prayers. I would love to share pictures and stories with you all!