day #10. ten days already?

today was such a great day.  in the morning my preceptor let me give medications!  i felt like a little kid on christmas.  they have way too many demands on their time and rarely have the time to let students do anything.  {we tend to move slowly and therefore slow down their whole day.}  up to this point i had only helped to turn patients.  so i was pretty excited.  after doing nothing but watching and asking questions for eight hours each day, it was nice to have something to occupy my time.  

then we went to see the chinese medicine department of the hospital.  they have a completely separate building for chinese medicine.  we listened to a lecture about chinese medicine:  the fourteen meridians of the body, qi, yin and yang, triple burner, breathing, and many other concepts that completely don't make any sense to me. then we each got to have a needle stuck in our body {they chose a spot on my leg, supposed to help with cramps, because they remembered that i was the one complaining of menstrual cramps.... haha} and also a suction cup was placed on our shoulders, producing a large hickey.  aka acupuncture and baguanfa.  i actually think that there is something to both of these therapies.  my shoulder actually felt way good after the cupping.  i'm still not sure if the acupuncture point worked....

these are acupuncture points on the body.  they have several of these statues in the chinese medicine building.

lunch was a sweet relief from the cafeteria food.  we found a noodle place where you get to choose what meat and veggies you want in your dish.  oh my gosh it was so wonderful!  i feel like i haven't had decent vegetables for over a week and these were perfect.  i also really liked the tofu.  the secrets to eating good food in taiwan:
take your time.  if you try to rush finding something to eat, you will buy something gross and be super disappointed. 
learn how to say "noodle" "fried rice" and every single name of animals and fruit.  you can grunt and point the rest.  
be brave!  if you aren't willing to try things, then you'll never know what you like.

after lunch i went and learned some chinese from the doctors.  they take every chance they can to talk with us because they like to practice their english.  it makes me feel special.  they actually are fantastic at english, and i really enjoy our conversations!  after a long talk with the doctor and intern, jim, my instructor, taught me a bunch of things about medications, the heart, ct scans, and physical assessment. he is such a great teacher.  

and here is the craziest part of my day:  a young woman about my age came up to me and said, "you are so beautiful.  you must be a supermodel" and went on and on about how beautiful i was until i was red as a beet with embarrassment.  i asked her questions about her life, and she told me about her grandfather in the hospital, who is in the same room as the patient i was caring for.  her tenderness touched me.  she asked me if i would watch after her grandfather tomorrow, since i would be there, and i told her i would.  then she grabbed my hand and asked if i would say something in english to her comatose grandfather.  i don't know what i said, but it must have given her some comfort.  i was relying on the Lord with each breath - hoping and praying that i would say the things that she needed to hear.  after i was done speaking to her grandfather she said, "thank you, you are so nice.  you are the kindest person i have ever met.  i love you."  

seriously, tears came to my eyes.  i did practically nothing for this girl, but my hugs and calm reassurance might have been just what she needed at that moment.  she didn't go to the taiwanese nurses for comfort, as you may expect.  she came to me, an obvious foreigner, who doesn't even speak her language.  it made me realize that the healer's art knows no cultural boundaries.  there is no limit to the healing and comforting power of His Atonement.  

i am grateful for this opportunity to learn and grow from these amazing people.  i have been touched by them, their goodness, and their spirituality.  i have been touched and taught by the holy ghost.  i never expected that i would say, on day ten of being here, that i am a changed person.  but i truly think i am.  i hope i can bring that love, genuineness, and tenderness that i have been touched with here, to the people i serve back home.  

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