Tuesday, February 17, 2009


OK so I know it's been a long time since I've updated but I've now had a NEW AND UNIQUE experience abroad: surgery!

So here's the story:

On Friday 13 February I was due to go out to dinner and bowling to celebrate my birthday. I had felt sort of iffy all day but after a nap I attempted to man-up and make the most of it. I met Katy at about 6:30 and after one Long Island I REALLY started to not feel well. I had completely lost my appetite and didn't even feel like drinking. Red flags all over the place! I managed to get through the bowling (which I, of course, WON) but then I really had to go home. I got myself in a cab and got home. Walking up the three flights of stairs to the flat has never seemed quite so agonizing as it did right then.

So I climbed into bed and basically suffered from fevers and chills all night. I normally sleep on my front but I was so uncomfortable that I couldn't, so I had a very miserable night sleep. Over the course of Saturday morning I felt an increasingly severe and localized pain in my abdomen. I couldn't walk standing straight up, I didn't want to eat, and I was absolutely miserable. I called my parents every two hours begging for them to come up with something to make the pain go away. They asked about my symptoms and stressed that I drink a lot of water.

Katy came over for some 6 Nations action at about 2:30, and she confirmed that I didn't so much look well. I sat through the first game, but after about an hour of nagging from Katy we decided to call NHS Direct. They said the phone lines were really busy, so we entered my symptoms into the website and it basically said, "CALL 999 IMMEDIATELY, GET AN AMBULANCE AND GO TO THE HOSPITAL." I called my dad and he was like, "Laura, you're unemployed. What else are you going to do with your time there?"

We took a cab to St Thomas and Guy's Hospital at Waterloo, where I went through the A&E (ER). I had a fever, sweats, and abdominal pain. By this time I strongly suspected I had appendicitis but was hoping to come into the hospital in order for them to tell me I had a stomach ache and go home. WELL, I saw a 2nd year resident first who went through all these diagnostic tests which I knew were to check for appendicitis (and hernias, etc), and she was like, "Soo... do you have your appendix??"


So I saw a few more doctors, had an IV put in (OMG I HATE NEEDLES), and they moved me to the ward at about 11pm. I saw an anesthesiologist, another doctor. Katy was with me the whole time which was awesome, and by about 11 my cousin Elissa and her boyfriend Shawn caught up with me. They stayed as late as the nurses allowed them to, and I was taken into surgery at about 1:30am on Sunday morning. I had a laproscopic appendectomy, which means I have three small incisions in my lower abdomen as opposed to the standard 2-3" incision over my appendix. It went without complication and I was back up in my bed (and next to the crazy lady - a story for another day) by about 5am.

Now I have been recovering for a couple of days and I am starting to feel better. I feel less like I was hit by a truck when I stand up (now it's more like a slow moving car), and I'm on less potent pain medications. I have been told I won't be able to run for four to six weeks (oh. holy. jesus.), but I'm hoping I'll be able to be up and walking around by the end of this week because lying around is booooring.

So, there you have it. My body is on a mission to slowly but surely remove all my extraneous organs. Tonsils, appendix... I still have an extra kidney so we'll see when that goes. ;)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


Okay. So through the grapevine I heard that one of my previous posts resulted in a misunderstanding of my intentions. When I attended the USA v England soccer match, I wrote "America...Fuck yeah!" Rather than INSULTING America, that is meant as a CELEBRATION of America. It's from a film "Team America: World Police" and it's meant as an indication of how much I LOVE the US. I assure all that I was well decked out in the American flag and was face painted with the red, white and blue. So anyone who reads this and/or reports to others... PLEASE clarify! :) Trust me, ask anyone who knows me in England... I am America's biggest fan.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

All these things that I have done...

Nothing too thrilling has happened in the last week, but I'll share it anyway. On Saturday I went out with Andy and some of his friends that he went to school with, including Chris Smith who I had met last summer in LA. We went out in Clapham, and I probably drank a little too much wine (shocking, I know). The most amusing part of the night was when I started chatting to Dave, the flatmate of one of the guys Andy knew. He asked how I felt about GWBush and I said I, well, hate him and what he's done to my country, particularly on the international stage. He proceeded to tell me he thought Bush has done a good job, in Northern Ireland (thank you Bill Clinton, Tony Blair and John Major - NOT BUSH!), and he was forced to go to war with Iraq because we were being threatened with nuclear war. Needless to say, I sort of lost it, and Andy started giggling at me. He turned to Chris and Kay and said, "She'll kick his ass..." It was a little upsetting that someone could be so ignorant, but still... kind of funny at the same time.

On Sunday we went out to Andy's parents' house in Amersham for lunch. They live in such a cute little English town - sort of in the country... kind of like Lexington, really. Bigger lawns, large hedges, 40 minutes outside of London. His mother cooked lamb, pototoes, broccoli, carrots, and we had wine and cheesecake, and watched cricket and took a walk. It was a lovely afternoon despite having shitty weather.

That's pretty much it. I'm mostly moved to Andy's, which is good. Tonight we're going to see USA v England football at Wembley! America... fuck yeah!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Cranium and Champions League

Marina came back in from Europe yesterday for a 18 hour trip to London before heading off for home. After dropping her bags off, we walked up to Ciao Bella, an Italian food place near Russell Square tube to meet up with a bunch of my coursemates. We had an Italian feast before playing Cranium at Marc's dorm. In addition to a raucous game of Cranium we watched the Champions League final. The Champions League is the best club teams in Europe play in a tournament throughout the year. For the first time ever, the final had two English teams: Manchester United and Chelsea. It was a 1-1 draw at the end of regulation time, and it ended up going to penalty kicks. Very exciting match, and Man U pulled it out in the end (Chelsea is something like the Yankees of the premeireship).

A visit to Oxford and Hogwarts

Tuesday afternoon I took the train to Oxford to see Alison, Mary's junior year college roommate. She is doing a second BA and then an MPhil from Oxford in English literature (with a heavy emphasis on Middle English). We weren't close friends in college, but it was fun to see her. We walked around the town a bit (Oxford is very small, only about 140,000 people) to see the sites. We wandered through a couple of the colleges. Magdalen College had a lovely trail and natural gardens throughout the back, as well as a flood plain. We wandered through another college, and Alison took me into the Hall (which is where they eat), and as I looked around, I stopped dead, turned to her and said,


She laughed, and she said she couldn't believe she forgot to take me there. The Hogwarts entrance hall and great hall are filmed at Christ Church college at Oxford, so I got to go and SEE WHERE HARRY POTTER EATS. No joke. Where the magic happens! I will post pictures as soon as I get a chance.

Other than that, we also went to the top of St Mary the Virgin, to check out the view (you can see much of Oxford from there), had some tea in a very quaint garden, and went to the Ashmolean, which is a anthropological and art museum of sorts. We went to Evensong in the Exeter (Alison's college) Chapel, and ate second dinner in her hall. Very cool - very Hogwartian. I was psyched. We ended the evening with a round of cider, but I had to get back to London. It was a relatively unexpectedly great day, and hopefully I'll make it back out there soon. It's always nice to be out of London!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Cricket devirginization

Yesterday I had my first cricket experience at Lords, which is the "Home of Cricket" and basically a religious mecca for Andy and his father. As cricket is a cousin to baseball, we all figured it'd be a good day out. We saw Day 4 of the test match between England and New Zealand. To be honest, I couldn't really tell you much of what happened during the actual match, because the whole game is really lost on me! What I did learn, however, is THEORETICALLY, nothing can happen all game. They can bowl (pitch) the ball, and even if the batsman (batter) hits it, he doesn't get penalized unless he gets thrown out, the ball gets caught or the stumps get knocked over (there's no such thing as a strikeout, etc). So one guy can literally bat all day with nothing. I guess it's kind of like hitting a foul ball all day. Weird. Anyway...

Cait and I met up with Andy at about 10am yesterday. The seats that Andy chooses are only available to members (Marylebone Cricket Club) and their guests, so they're quite good. Lords only seats about 30,000 so it's a small ground (aka stadium, though they hate that I call it that). Rich and Anna met up with us around 11, which is when the match actually started. There was a picnic (set up by Andy), wine, champagne (which Andy managed to get all over himself, classic) and Pimms (yummy and dangerous). I learned a bit about the game, enjoyed the sunshine and the company. I'm not convinced about cricket though. Baseball really is much better, there's a better pace to the game. However, cricket is so charmingly English with its lunch and tea breaks, and a drinks break every hour! And Andy seems to love it, which is quite cute. I told him I'd give it a few more chances before I reach my final verdict, as I think I'll have tickets to a few other matches throughout the summer.
Andy covered in champers

Drunk before noon!


Cait and I taking the match very seriously through our free paper binoculars

Us late in the afternoon...3 o'clock haze?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Exams exams exams

I just finished my first exam. One down, five to go! WOO! I was the first one done, AS ALWAYS, and it went fine. I hope I got good marks but it's out of my hands now! I have another one tomorrow - boooo. But this weekend I can relax, work on my dissertation, watch some cricket, it'll be good. So, I apologize in advance for the blog silence and the boring nature of everything, but I spend most of my time revising or complaining about revising, so... yeah. That's all! :)