When I spent the last week in extreme pain from stomach cramps and a potential infection, people back home asked me: “When is it enough? Huancayo isn’t cut out for you.” There was the implication that I should move back to Canada.Here’s the medical history of my time in Huancayo since 2008:
- A biopsy to diagnose a chronic rash on my forehead caused by the burning heat of the sun at this altitude.
- Over five cases of allergic reactions to mites and the hassle of fumigating the apartment each time.
- Recurring bacterial infections, strep throat and a yellow tongue.
- Allergic reaction to antibiotics.
- The myriad of negative side effects from different medications.
- Tummy troubles from the change in food quality.
It’s difficult for my body to adjust to a new environment. In fact, there’s no promise that my body will ever adjust. Doctors take a trial-and-error approach to treating me because they don’t know what medications may be too strong for my body.
My good blogging friend and favorite shrink, Hajra Khatoon, helped me brainstorm through the predicament with the following questions:
- Will you move because of your health – is it that bad that you need to move?
- Do you enjoy living there?
- Do you enjoy the career you are pursuing right now?
- Are you happier here or will be happier back home or anywhere else?
- Are you enjoying the experience the stay is offering you — personally, professionally, emotionally?
Despite the struggles, I’m not ready to go back to Canada.
What’s more important to you — health or happiness?