Tuesday, October 16, 2007

China Day 25: Update from Jeff & Kallie

Looks like my comment in yesterday's blog got some results – here is the latest update from Jeff & Kallie! :-)
Hey, Dan was reading the blog today for speech therapy, so we heard about how we're in trouble for not being better at writing. :) The truth is I planned to write last night, but I took a hot shower and was so warm and cozy and tired that I went right to sleep.
Yesterday, we spent the day going around with Dan. We went to all his therapy appointments and were with him for everything. You're right about the therapists, they're slave drivers. :-) But we like them. Yesterday the physical therapist was trying to make him do a leg exercise and kept spanking him on the butt to make him do it. He kept trying to tell her that it hurt, because he'd gotten shots there. No matter what we said, she didn't get it. She just kept laughing and doing the same thing.
The therapists, doctors and nurses are all really great. It was interesting to watch each one of them work with Dan. The acupuncture/massage was especially interesting. I didn’t realize that the acupuncture needles are so long and that they go in so far. During Dan’s appointment with Dr. Guam, we asked him about the acupuncture and how it works and why. It was hard for him to explain everything in English…something about meridians and energy flow. Dr. Guam explained that the body knows what it needs and will fix itself by itself if it’s given the right tools. Several of the doctors have asked about Dan’s sleep habits. Dr. Guam especially…he said Dan needs to sleep more in order to get better. A brain injury requires more sleep than other injuries to heal. Dan told the doctor that he has trouble sleeping and asked what he could do to make it easier for him to sleep. Dr. Guam told him he should do breathing exercises, which I thought was interesting. I’d like to learn more about traditional Chinese medicine. They seem to have such a great understanding of the body and how to help it help itself.
Everyone in the hospital is really nice and eager to help us out with anything. Today we went out with Marlene, who we really like. She and her husband are super nice. Marlene took us to the Silk Street Market, which was quite an adventure. The market is like 7 stories high – each story is full of a different kind of market. One floor was jewelry and accessories…that’s where we started. We went through the shop to a back room where they sell the knock offs…Gucci, Prada, Coach etc. It was crazy in there! I looked at some bags for my mom, but couldn’t see her in any of them. Jeff got a nice wallet though. Next we went to a floor where they sell silks...ties, scarves, kimonos, etc. It makes me laugh right out loud to think about everything that happened there. Walking through was a bit of a nightmare with the people all grabbing at you and asking you to come look at their things. “Lady, you need scarf? Come here.” I ended up buying 2 silk handbags, which are beautiful. Jeff started looking at some ties in one of the little booths and had 3 picked out to buy. When it came to price though, the lady was asking more than he wanted to pay and since he wanted to pay with a credit card, she was going to charge 4% more. He finally ended up changing his mind and decided he had enough ties at home anyway (she was asking about $45 for 3 ties once she’d come down as far as she would). When he said never mind and we started walking away, the little asian lady grabbed his sleeve and wouldn’t let go! She literally pulled him back into the store, and kept trying to get him to buy them. We kept trying to tell her nicely that we were leaving, but she was persistent. Then she got mad and said “What’s wrong with you?!” Jeff finally ripped his arm away from her, and she hit him on the back as we were walking away. She yelled “you crazy!” as we walked out of the shop. It was very funny and makes me laugh every time I think about it. The shopping experience is much different in China than in America. :-)
On the way home, we went to Wal-Mart. It was pretty much the same as Wal-Mart anywhere else, except for some of the items, like the meat everywhere…things were set up differently, and we couldn’t tell what a lot of things were. It was nice not to have to dicker with a salesperson though. :-) Jeff was REALLY excited about the carts at Wal-Mart. They wheels on both the front and the back of the carts swivel around, so they’re really good for tight corners and 360s and stuff. They moved sideways and stuff.
(Jeff just went to get Dan…I think he left him in the stand up stretcher thing too long. Woops.)
Anyway, we got back from our big adventure at Silk Street and Wal-Mart around 2, and Dan was in speech therapy with Lily, so we only stayed for a minute, then left again to see the Temple of Heaven, which was much bigger than I expected it to be. We decided that when in Asia, do as the Asians….so we took tons of pictures. We’ll send some of those later.
Some observations about China: personal space is different for us than it is for them. If you’re in line (like at Wal-Mart and the Temple of Heaven) they stand RIGHT behind you…sometimes touching your rear. It’s weird. Also, when we were at the Silk Street Market, the people didn’t just call out to us, they pulled at our arms and tried to physically get us into their stores. The Temple of Heaven taught us what it’s like to be in line here…if there’s a space in front of you, you’d better fill it quickly, or someone else will. Something I think is weird is that the nurses wear masks when they do Dan’s IVs, but they don’t wear gloves. Different culture I guess.
Beijing is a giant city…I’m not sure how many people live here, but is seems to go on forever. Everything is written in Chinese characters, so we don’t even have a chance of understanding what anything (or anyone) says. The people are patient with us though, and try to help us. The taxi drivers all waited patiently for us to try to show them on a map where we were going.
We were thinking we’d go out for dinner tonight, but nobody else here can go, so we think we’ll stay in and go out tomorrow night. It will be a nice chance to relax anyway after a busy day. Maybe we’ll turn on a movie and actually stay awake for it tonight. (Last night we put Cinderella Man on and I don’t even think I was awake long enough to watch a preview…Jeff either).
We’ll be better about writing you every day. We miss you all, but are excited to be here and glad for the chance to be with Dan this week. He sure is a fighter…I don’t know how he can stand all those people bossing him around all day, but he seems to handle it fine and always manages to have a smile on his face. He works hard and is a great example to me. It’s a privilege to be a Balls-Maughan…what faithful, good, happy and helpful people you are.

We love you and hope you’re doing well at home! Until tomorrow….
Jeff & Kallie Maughan
That was an AWESOME update! Thanks for sharing!! :-) :-) [Happy Mom!]


Anonymous said...

HI Maughan Family,
I love that you guys have this blog. Just wanted to know we are rooting for ya!
Love-cousin melissa, jared and harrison

Anonymous said...

K~ I have a question...
Can you see the comments people leave when you're in China? LaNae?

It is SOOO awesome that the kids are able to be there! What an amazing experience! I'm so jealous! I remember the passion Mom had to get Dan better...I know she is so excited for him to have this opportunity...as we all are!
Nate/Heather, Jeff/Kallie, LaNae you are SO great! We love you!

Love you lots Big Brother! Keep working as hard as you are! Maybe you need to learn how to say "Hands off my back side" in Chinese..haha..OUCH! :(

Christi & family

LaNae B. Maughan said...

I couldn't see the blog or our HelpDanHeal web page when we got to China as they filter all personal opinion type content such as blogs, etc. Dan, however, found a work-around and he said he can get to the sites now. This is exciting because it is fun to see all that everyone is commenting! Thanks for ALL your support! We love to hear from all of you!!