Sunday, March 9, 2014

Welcome to Kuala Lumpur!

My running buddy and I arrived in Kuala Lumpur on March 7th. Instead of traveling straight there, we broke up the international journey into more "manageable" chunks because sleep deprivation and Adrenal Insufficiency do not play nicely with each other.

After our wedding, we flew to LAX.

From LAX, we had a twelve hour flight to NRT (Tokyo). We rested a day to make sure my Adrenal Insufficiency would behave.

From NRT, we had an eight hour flight into KUL on Malaysian Airlines. We arrived safely and were taken by taxi to our new home.

Our first dinner in Kuala Lumpur. Eating gluten free is proving to be an interesting challenge.
I'm mostly just guessing and hoping for the best.
Luckily, we have a small kitchen so we will be cooking much of our own food.
We spent Saturday unpacking and finding the grocery store. Today, we walked around the city and explored. It is such a blessing to have my running buddy at my side. He definitely is helping me monitor my Adrenal Insufficiency. I'm learning to trust his wisdom and judgment. Often, I do not realize that I am starting to fade as I experience low cortisol. Having a partner willing to help manage my disease is amazing. I am thrilled he is with me during this Malaysian adventure.

A photo from Saturday as we were walking to the grocery store.
New environments and unknown situations are definitely stressful for me. Although I love experiencing new things, the thought is always in the back of my mind, "Will this make me sick?" Today we had an option of walking up a hill or waiting for a shuttle. Would the walk up the hill take too many spoons and leave me behind for the rest of the day? Should I risk it? Every thing I do is a calculated decision because I understand all too well how energy is a limited resource. I requested we wait for the shuttle instead of climbing the hill. Wait we did, which pleased my running buddy when he realized the shuttle was air conditioned.

An interesting building we passed while walking.
At the top of the hill, we ventured to a Malaysian honey store that was highly recommended by a friend. After we purchased wild ginseng honey (a throw back to my study abroad in Korea), we decided to grab lunch at an Indian Restaurant. From what I've noticed, Kuala Lumpur is weird about their water. The restaurant on Friday wanted to give us about 4 oz and call it good. I drink more water than that. Bring more refills. The restaurant today informed us that they only sell "mineral water" in small or large. I purchased a large 1.5L bottle. The waiter tried to tell us that would be enough to split for three people. Again, I drink more water. Bring us two bottles. I am easily dehydrated and with this humid heat I have to be extremely proactive about my water intake. I did finish that 1.5L bottle. In fact, I have had close to 5L of water and a salt tablet after lunch alone.

Photo taken after lunch. KL is an odd mix of massive city and jungle. We are loving it.
After lunch, we decided to venture to Central Market. We had a map and a general idea of where we were going. As we continued to walk, we ended up in a very different section of the city. Kuala Lumpur is indeed international and for the most part looks like just another big city. This section was different. It was crowded and overwhelming for me. I could feel my body start to shut down the longer I remained in what I considered a stressful and unsafe environment. I needed to get out fast.

I should have snapped a picture of the crazy crowded section but I was too overwhelmed.
I took this picture once we returned to the area of the city I was more comfortable in.
We finally reached our destination after passing through that section of town. I guarantee the next time I visit it, I will be less overwhelmed. It is the initial exposure that taxes me greatly. I was shaky and confused but I had not realized the full extent. Central Market was full of stalls and shops and I decided to wander around. My running buddy kindly requested for me to not make it a point to wander off considering neither of us have cell phones. My first response to his suggestion was one of anger. I thought to myself, "I'm an adult! I can take care of myself! Now I am going to make it a game to try and loose you! Let me make you suffer!" Hint: That is not an intelligent and mature response. That is the response of someone low on cortisol. As my back began to ache worse (another low cortisol symptom) and I realized just how unstable my knees had become, I decided to take an additional 5 mg of HC.

This is the view from our pool.
After the extra HC kicked in, I realized that my running buddy's suggestion was a wise one. I should not make it a game to get lost in an international city to prove a point to my new husband how adult I am. My initial response of anger was inappropriate and illogical. It was a result of low cortisol.

I love the architecture of these buildings.
In the end, we walked over six miles in 90 degree heat. This is such an amazing accomplishment for me as I think back to the time after my nightmare. In May of 2013, I was blacking out after climbing a single flight of stairs. I could barely walk from my couch to my kitchen. Today, I was exploring the new vibrant city that we now call home.

We found a nice mall where I was able to score some new work shoes for $37USD.
I look forward to showing the world how I am still Clearly Alive in Malaysia.

This is the sign by the elevators at our place. Durians have quite the reputation.
(Coming Soon: Wedding Planning with Adrenal Insufficiency!)

6 comments:

  1. Glad you are having fun and doing well. I look forward to reading more about your adventures

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    1. I look forward to having more adventures :)

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  2. but Mangosteen is SOOOOO YUMMY!!!!!!!
    and i love that spoons article :) helps so much to understand :)

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    1. Melody, I understand the ban on Durians but Mangosteens threw me for a loop. Any idea why our place is anti-mangosteen?

      And I absolutely love the Spoon Theory by Christine Miserandino. Her explanation is so helpful. Many of my friends and family check in daily on my level of spoons to see how I'm doing :)

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  3. Thanks for posting! It was fun to get a "window" into your new world. Loved all the photos!

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