It is been well over a year since I have taken more than a day off from the Kunming SCI program … that is, taking off time from rehab just for fun and not solely on account of pain or other medical issues.
So last week I decided to play hooky from the rehab program on account of my sister, Tiffany, having come all the way from Raleigh, North Carolina to visit me.
Jenny Liao, our trusted Kunming administrative assistant and now very good friend, made us a happy threesome.
So Tiffany, Jenny and I headed out into center city Kunming to do some shopping, have lunch together and to go explore generally.
Most of the pictures that accompany this post are pretty self-explanatory, but we did find our way in several little novelty shops with “Chinese characteristics” as the popular saying goes!
And, as you can see, we even discovered a local branch of the American Toys R’ Us. Great move on their part, as the Chinese are equally crazy about toys and about spoiling their really adorable children.
When we entered the big Toys R Us, you could see right away the sales staff were wondering what on earth we were doing there. Well, in short, we’d come to play!
When my sister comes to visit, it seems we always revert back to our teenage selves. Why not? Beats current reality by miles!
Chinese Shopping Plaza
Right in the middle of a shopping mall!
Boys will be boys? Well, girls will be girls …
Never too old to play Spiderman!
Jenny and Tiffany at “hide and seek”
Hehe … I couldn’t resist!
Middle of a shopping mall is a huge pool with goldfish.
… Where adults + children can go fishing!
Changing Topics … Fear of Dentists!
I mentioned in one of my previous blogs that a porcelain tooth inlay had fallen out about a month ago, and a local dentist actually came to my apartment to glue it back in … twice!
You really get one-on-one service here in Kunming, and my dentist even came over with his assistant late one night when I was in bed to help me out after the inlay came out a second time. I doubt you would find dental service like that anywhere else in the world.
Anyway, my dentist convinced me that it would be best to replace the inlay with a stronger traditional crown. I struggled for days with this decision, because I am quite terrified of going to the dentist and had never had a crown before.
Indeed, I am so terrified of any dentist that when I did decide to go ahead with the crown I had my sister hold my hand the whole time and sing me songs. No, I’m not kidding!
Home Dental Service
Again … at night in bed!
All Smiles in Dental Office
I know this is hard to believe, but I think I was less scared going into spinal surgery last year than I was over getting a crown fitted last week.
Cool as a cucumber I was when rolled into the Tongren Hospital operating room for my spinal cord surgery, but I had to take a pain killer (Tramadol) in order to feel slightly loopy to go to the dentist last week. I guess there’s something about that drilling sound in my head that rattles me psychologically every time.
Anyway, actually getting into the dentist and transferred into the dental chair was quite a challenge on its own right, even with Tiffany + Jenny + Shao-Lin + Shao-Yin all skillfully assisting.
We had to overcome multiple steps, narrow doorways and then there was the hurdle of actually transferring me into the dentist’s chair. As there were no lower side rails on the chair, we even had to tie my legs together so I didn’t fall out.
My young dentist is very skilled … quite a superstar in my book. What I did find rather hilarious was that at the end of the dentist’s ground floor office there is a huge glass window, so when I transferred into the dental chair passersby outside on the sidewalk could walk up to the glass and watch the procedure!
China … no problem … everyone’s very curious about many things!
Okay … that’s it for today.
Looking Ahead …
I’ll take the next few weeks to sum up thoughtfully the multiple Kunming Walking Program blogs I have written over the past two months in order to offer to prospective international participants the clearest possible picture based on my personal experience here.
Going forward, I am thinking about shifting my blog focus to be primarily educational and informative with respect to a wide range of SCI issues and challenges that I, in addition to many other SCI survivors, deal with on a regular basis.
I regularly receive e-mails from blog readers who have been reporting that from my blog they are frequently learning new things about spinal cord injury and suggesting they would welcome anything further I think would be of community interest.
So, while I may still do personal blog posts from time to time to keep you up-to-date with what’s going on with me in China, I hope to have a general practical focus on making this blog a useful SCI educational site.
If readers have any comments or particular suggestions on other issues I should focus on, please feel free to e-mail me directly (email@example.com) or via my blog.