Monday, April 25, 2011


There are a lot of strange Korean colloquialisms, particularly the adoption of English (or other language) words or phrases and twisting them just slightly.

Some of my favorites are: "handphone" for cell phone, "skinship" for touchy-feely-ness (skin + kinship = touching), and "arbeit" from the German for 'work,' which means part-time job or after-school job in Korean (it's really pronounced "aurobeit" or "au-lo-bye-eet-uh" in Korean). There are a plethora of others, since Koreans are constantly studying English and incorporating English into their vocabulary (not always correctly, but still- it's an effort).

Another Korean slang term is "wellbeing," one word, pronounced "well-bing" (yes, two syllables, not three), which encompasses anything healthy. "This organic green tea is wellbeing!"

I decided to wellbeing my life a little while ago, after my nosebleeds. I'd never been in the emergency room before; I'd never felt quite so helpless before. Thanks to the nosebleeds, I was forced to deal with something that I knew was a problem- high blood pressure (hypertension).

I've always had high blood pressure, but I ignored it. I don't like doctors or hospitals, and I didn't want to be told what was wrong with me. When I had my nose stuffed and packed, my blood pressure rocketed to insane levels. I was told that the constant pain and stress my body was under would continue to raise my blood pressure, but my pressure got so high that at least one doctor mentioned the word "stroke," which frightened me.

So I started doing my research. What causes high blood pressure? How can I control it? What changes do I need to make?

Turns out, it's not difficult. I cut out red meat, added brown rice and oatmeal to my diet, started eating breakfast, stopped eating past 7:00, consciously started drinking more water, and forced myself to go to bed earlier, so I would get at least seven hours of sleep. It sounds like a lot of drastic changes, but since I started after my nosebleeds, and I had stopped eating altogether when I had my nose packed, it wasn't difficult.

It upsets me that I needed such a big reality check to become concerned about my health, but I'm very good at denial. I think a lot of people are, especially when they know that something is wrong and they don't want to face it.

It's been over a month, and I am much better. I think the water and sleep have made a huge difference in my energy and my skin. I was never a good sleeper (I had relied on melatonin for a couple years when I was sleeping really, really irregularly) because I'm a complete night owl. I love nighttime. I love not being in the sun. I love the lights, the mood, the way things look. I hate mornings.

It took a few weeks, but I'm now on a more regular sleeping schedule, and try to be in bed before midnight. I find that actually sleeping has helped my stress levels and made it much, much easier to actually get out of bed in the mornings without wanting to punch puppies.

I also started taking vitamin B complex (it includes all eight of the vitamin B types), which seems to help me fall asleep and sleep well. I was never a vitamin taker, other than vitamin D while I was taking melatonin, but I'm sticking with the vitamin B complex for now, as it does seem to be making a difference.

I'm turning 29 this year, which is not a good number. I want to be healthy (or healthier, at least) and not plagued with sleeping problems and stress-related issues by the time I turn 29 and officially enter the last year of my twenties, after which I will have to deal with turning 30 (shudder).

At least if I blog about it, it will hold me (somewhat) accountable for what I do. I hope it will, anyway. It's been a struggle for the past six weeks, but it's gotten a bit easier now, so maybe I'm over that initial hump. Just wait until I plateau....