So how goes my job? Well I have been off for the last two weeks thanks to having influenza or pneumonia. It all started on the Thursday of the first week of me starting work. I didn't feel entirely well all day but thought it was just down to tiredness because I have been so exhausted never before have I been so knackered..... EVER! However, when I finished at 1500 and we got in the car to head home I just couldn't shaking, I was so cold, yet the car had the heater on full. By the time I got home I was shaking so bad that my chest hurt from it, breathing had become hard and I felt like total crab (yes crab, it is worse than crap). Tanja was already at home and I just got into bed, I normally went straight into the shower, I continued to shake constantly for another hour and a half before I was finally convinced to get into the shower to try and warm up. Well the shower helped a wee bit but the getting into and out of was so painfully cold. Eventually we went to the hospital, where I was stabbed twice with needles (the first time I completely broke down, I don't like needles but with high temp etc it is even worse) and was x-rayed. We got there around 1800 but didn't get home till 0400 the next morning. Some tests came back clear but others showed something there, so eventually I was put on meds for influenza and pneumonia. I rang my boss and explained the situation and was fully expecting a sacking because it is only a short term job, but they were very understanding and told me to get better and ring when I was ready to come back. So I am going back on Monday 18th, so will hopefully have 3-5 weeks work. I am feeling much better, but it was so bad, could hardly breath and moving about made me feel like I was running a 25 mile marathon every time.
Last week I went to go to see a doctor about my knee, this time it was a specialist. Now back on the Island I had been waiting 13 months before I left and still no sign of even getting an initial assessment, in Finland I have only been here 6 months and I have seen a normal doctor who then got me on a waiting list, which led to to getting x-rayed and then seen by a specialist. The specialist has now concluded it is a meniscal tear and in the next 3 months I will come in for an operation to get it sorted. So the Finnish system is a lot faster than the NHS back home, but before many UK folks take my side, just remember that the NHS is free and the system here is paid. Every visit to the doctor is €13, meds cost a fortune (Tanja is on some meds that she needs to take for a while, a 5 day dose is near €50). So it is not until you are out of a free system, that you start to appreciate it, even if it is slow and a pain at times.
What else have I done since I last wrote on my blog? I was asked to give a talk at a district meeting for the missionaries. I was to tell them about my conversion story, so I did. I'm an interesting case in LDSism I am sure, a resigned member, two baptisms, been on both sides of the fence as in terms of spreading both anti and pro Mormon information, coupled with my interesting personal life and my not so easy to accept demeanor. The Missionaries present seemed to enjoy my story and some even said it has helped answer some questions/ things they have going on in their life at present. Also I got my letter to apply to Finnish School, which starts in May and lasts for a year, so looking forward to that, means I can get some headway for integration here and impress the folks back home when I come on holiday.
One of the funniest things to happen recently was when Tanja and I went to the bank to sort out my Tax rebate cheque from the Island (which was just a complete hassle), they had my name as Laurance Kenneth Ronald Maljanen Robinson, which was very funny. The reason the mistake happened was my Passport only has an M and when I registered in Finland they could only take the M, so naturally when I married Tanja they thought I had double barrelled or added her surname into my name. We got it sorted out and also ordered a bank card for me to use, now I live in Finland.
Went to the swimming baths for the first time since arriving in Finland. After only 14 lengths in a full Olympic size swimming pool (first time in one, always been in competition size pools) and some time in the relaxing pool, I got some time in the Sauna. Appears I have become climatised to Finnish life better than I had thought, because I had no problem being butt naked in front of strangers and in the Sauna, which is completely normal here in Finland but would be a big no no back home.... we are to prudish.
Well today I am going to see some Reindeer racing, so will tell you how that went. Have fun friends, talk soon.