So, for those of you who don’t know, Allegheny Health Network is a Pittsburgh area health system. Here is a link to its website, where it claims to have “received numerous national, regional, and local accolades for superior outcomes, quality care, and positive impacts on the communities [they] serve.”

It also claims that many of its hospitals are “ranked #1 in the market for delivering the highest quality of care in several clinical categories according to the Quantros’ CareChex® 2017 Hospital Quality Ratings.”

Finally — and this is what makes me laugh the most — its site states that its commitment is “providing Health For All” and that its dedication is “to delivering high quality care to [its] patients each and every day.”

That’s the real Living Proof of the difference we hope to make in the lives of our patients, and in our community overall.

Because in the end, while it’s wonderful to be recognized for our quality of care, what we truly celebrate are the outcomes – the Living Proof that each day, across our seven hospitals and hundreds of care facilities, the physicians, nurses and staff of Allegheny Health Network are providing patients with exceptional care.

My best friend has been ill off and on for six months, and consistently, this hospital system has refused to provide him care. Why? Because he’s a foreigner visiting the country and only has travelers health insurance. And if you don’t have American insurance (or any insurance at all, for that matter), then, apparently, this health care system really doesn’t care to serve you.

Here’s a few more details to back up my claims:

My best friend came to this country to travel for a bit, and at the time he left to come here, he was experiencing some infrequent, mild stomach discomfort (think too much acid or a sour stomach caused by eating too much of one thing).

After a few weeks of being over here, the infrequent discomfort had turned into constant, severe heartburn and acid reflux, extreme fatigue, crippling pain within the stomach, fever off and on, nauseu, irregular bowels — the list went on and on and on.  My friend thought all of this was brought on by a change in diet or a gluten intolerance, so he switched up his eating habits to make them super clean and more like the food he would eat at home. Still, it didn’t help, and it got to the point where he couldn’t even sleep because all of the symptoms were so bad.

At this point, we tried acid reducers, thinking it was just a stomach acid problem. When none of those worked (even the types that completely block acid production), we took him to an urgent care (that was not related to the Allegheny Health Network). When that doctor was incredibly unhelpful, we started doing research on our own and came to the conclusion that my best friend probably has a stomach ulcer (which would make sense considering his doctor from back home found a cut in his stomach last spring).

So we began implementing an ulcer-friendly diet for him. Meanwhile, I reached out to the Allegheny Health Network in order to try to get my friend an appointment with one of its GI’s.

Why did I choose the Allegheny Health Network? Because it had always been my family’s hospital of choice. My dad worked for it for, oh, I don’t know, almost 20 years, and with a laundry list full of medical problems that he has faced throughout his life, my family had never had any negative experiences with the system. (Maybe it was because they knew my dad, and my family always had insurance. 😀 ) So, thinking the system was good, I wanted to take my friend there, too.

I called three times to try to make an appointment with the same GI that my father goes to. Not once did anyone call me back. At that point, my friend’s symptoms were going away, so he told me just to forget the doctor. It was gonna heal on its own.

But after about a month, the symptoms returned full force, and I tried to get an appointment again. This time, someone called me back after only two calls to the scheduling center and an attempt to schedule online. My friend gave his information to the lady but needed to get back to her about insurance, because she wanted the information, which he did not have on hand (which didn’t make sense because he was going to self pay anyway, since his insurance works by reimbursement, like most travelers insurances).

She told us she’d call back, and she did — at 8 a.m. the next day.

First of all, who calls about insurance at 8 a.m.? Obviously, people are either sleeping or driving to work at that time, so they aren’t going to be able to give the information. (This lady had to have known that.) My friend told her he was still waiting on the info, and she said to call her back when he had it. Once he got it a couple of hours later, he called the lady back, but she never answered. We both called five times and left three messages, AND SHE NEVER CALLED BACK.

I wonder why?

Once again, my friend said to screw it and forgo the doctor. So we did, until he started having breathing problems after he would eat. That’s when I made him go to an urgent care again. This time, it was one associated with the Allegheny Health Network.

The service was wonderful, and all of the doctors, nurses, and assistants were so kind. The doctor we saw said that we were probably right about the ulcer and that my friend would need an endoscopy as soon as possible. He gave us the number to call to make an appointment, and sent us on our way (cause at an urgent care, that’s really all they can do.)

Finally satisfied with this health system, I called and spent 40 minutes answering questions and making an appointment. We told the guy about how the insurance works, and everything seemed fine.

Until we showed up to the appointment.

We sat down for registration, and the lady asked if we had brought the proper checks.


“Yeah, you need three checks. Didn’t they tell you about the kind of checks you need to bring?”


I told her I didn’t have checks, and she told me there was nothing they could do. I asked her if they could bill it, because Allegheny Health Network always advertises their online billing, and she said no. But she at least called someone and verified that they indeed could not bill it.

Why couldn’t they bill it? She wouldn’t tell me. “We just can’t.” And since she deemed my friend’s condition wasn’t life threatening, she said we had to go. And we did.

Talk about high quality healthcare for all, eh?





So, to conclude this very long post:

Allegheny Health Network straight up denied my best friend service because he didn’t have American health insurance. They have done the poorest job possible in treating him, and because of this, I will never, ever use this health system again. I really hope that some people out there see this and learn from my experiences to also never use this health system, and I hope that maybe this will be a good lesson for the system on how to make improvements so that it can actually live up to the things that it so proudly — yet falsely — claims.



New Beginnings

Hello ^^ I realize I haven’t posted since July, but I just wanted to come on here to give a little update and hopefully break the silence.

It’s been quite hectic since I returned from my trip this summer, with school finally finishing up and me still juggling multiple jobs. But it is all finally over, and I couldn’t be more grateful to be starting 2018.

I’m pretty sure I’ve done New Year resolution posts for the past few years, but if I made this a post dedicated to that, it would already be over.

You see, 2017 was a hectic year for me in more ways than one, and now that I’m at the end of it, I’m completely drained. I can tell you all the reasons why, but I’d rather not dwell on them. The only thing that matters here is that it’s been a struggle, and for the past month, I’ve been slowly tearing.

But I’m sick of living in this fragile state; it’s too draining to continue this way. So my resolution this year is simple: to finally start living for myself.

I’ve spent my whole life trying to make others happy, almost always putting their feelings and happiness over mine, doing everything I can possibly think of to protect their emotions and feeling incredibly guilty myself when I do not. It’s why I’ve ended up like this, but I’m not going to be that way anymore.

I only have one life, and if I waste it trying to please every person I meet, that life is going to be very short. I need to start living for me and no one else, doing what makes me happy and being proud of it and not caring what everyone else will think and say. Cause at the end of it all, there are only two things that I will always have: God and myself. So why try to live for everyone else?

I have a good feeling about 2018, even though I’m starting it off a bit unsteadily. But I guess we shall see how it all turns out.

I hope to post frequently again now that I’m graduated, but who knows what will pop up in the future and keep me from actually doing that.

Thanks so much for reading, and I hope you have a happy, blessed new year that is dedicated to you and no other person in the world.

Until next time ❤

What’s Taking So Long?

With every noise,
I jump.
Is it you coming back at last?
With every jump,
I can’t breathe.
Why would you do this to me?
What are you saying?
I wish I could know.
I wish I could follow you out of this home.
But privacy is your right,
and I trust that this time,
you’ll do what you have to do.
Just please come back soon.

Just had a little spark of inspiration to write this poem. Not my best, but I hope you enjoy it nonetheless.

Until next time ❤

Another Travel Update

So I’m here with a little update on how my trip is going.

As always, I wish I had more time to be writing and pursuing the things that I love to do in my spare time, but I have so much on my itinerary that I can’t do as much as I wanted. Oh well. Story of my life. One day I’ll master time management. Just not any day soon. 

I can tell that my Korean is slowly getting better, though. However, it’s still hard for me to understand most things that people say. I have an unbelievably small vocabulary, so that’s the main source of the problem. And because of it, I’m forever indebted to my friends (especially my girl Jenny) for providing a constant interpretation service, without which I would be an utter buffoon 24 hours of the day, seven days a week. 

With my friends, I’m just an idiot for maybe 12 hours each day. A huge improvement, no?

I still really love it here, though. The more I am seeing of the country, the more I am in awe of it. It’s really quite a beautiful place, and I recommend that everyone travels here at least once. The food is wonderful, the people are too kind, and the atmosphere is so wholesome and cozy and safe. Really, it’s a wonderful place to live, and I am so glad I have decided to spend an extended period of time trying said living out. It’s truly one of the best decisions of my life.

But it’s a tad bit more expensive than I had originally thought. That’s probably just cause the first leg of my trip is in Seoul, but I’ve definitely spent more money on food than I had hoped I would in the first three weeks. Oh well. Guess I’ll be more prepared next time.

Which reminds me to say: There will definitely be a next time. When I graduate, I am for sure trying my hardest to move here for a bit. I want to travel the world some once I finish school, and I’ve officially decided that this country will be the first leg of that adventure. 

But that’s really far in the future (six months is far, right??), so let’s not focus on that. Now I just wanna update you by saying that I’m loving it here. And I also find myself starting to involuntarily use Korean exclamations quite a bit more than English ones, which is something I really didn’t expect to come from this.

But yeah, that’s all for now, I think. I’ll talk to you again in a bit when I have time for another post (which will probably just be another silly update).

Ps – Sorry my blog has gotten so boring, lol. I never intended it to be this way.

Until next time ❤

Hello, friends. I’m in Seoul!

Yup, that’s right, everyone! I’m in Seoul!!


(^ The view from my room)

It doesn’t actually feel like I’m here. It kinda just feels like I’m somewhere in America that’s not my house. But alas, I’m on the other side of the world from where I grew up, and it’s so hard to get used to.

Jet lag is only messing with me a little, thank goodness. I didn’t sleep for two days straight thanks to my plane rides, so when I got here yesterday evening, I didn’t spend much time out and went to bed at like 10. I thought that would help me avoid jet lag entirely, but I only passed out until the sun rose around 5:30 am. At that point, my room was filled with so much light that I woke up and couldn’t go back to bed despite the fact that I was still exhausted and still needed like five more hours of sleep.

Around, 8 am, though, I figured out how to turn the blinds into actual blinds (watch my vlog to see that), and I ended up falling back to sleep until 1. Oops. That’s the latest I’ve ever slept in til in my entire life (but I so needed it, lol).

Despite the many hours of rest, though, I’m still really tired and sore from traveling over here. The 14 hour plane ride definitely exhausted me, and I’m going to be taking today (Saturday) as my R&R day. I might go out for an hour or two this evening just to walk around and explore, but for now, I’m just relaxing. I got some vlog editing done and have a ton of other things I plan on getting done throughout today, too. So I’ll for sure be able to keep myself occupied.

But for now, I just want to blog and tell you a bit about my overall experience so far.

The plane ride here was crazy. It went super smooth and didn’t actually feel like 14 hours, but I couldn’t get out of my seat at all because literally everyone around me was sleeping the entire time. It was terrible. All I wanted to do was stretch and walk and use the bathroom and get my freaking things out of the overhead compartment, but I couldn’t. So instead, I kept fidgeting in my seat and doing little leg exercises so I wouldn’t get blood clots or anything. (Cause that apparently happens.)

But because all of my personal belongings were above me, I read the little book in my purse for two hours until one of the flight attendants passed out headphones. Then I watched like 7 movies, some of which ended up being way too inappropriate for the plane (aka nude scenes), and I had to turn them off halfway through. Good thing everyone around me was sleeping, lol.

The plane landing and then me walking through the airport wasn’t really as special as I thought it would be. I thought it would feel like I was finally arriving on the other side of the world, but it literally felt like I just landed back in Pittsburgh, except I was the only white person there for some reason. Same with getting on the subway. I was like, I’m in Toronto again but every single person except for like two is Asian. Weird.

(Random interjection: The really cool thing about the flight was flying over Alaska and Russia and Japan. Never thought I would actually get to do that in my life.)

What really felt different from home was getting off the subway. Literally as soon as everyone exited, they sprinted as fast as they could for the elevators, and I was like woahhhhh, what is happening???? But my friend and I just casually waited for the madness to disappear, and then we got on a much less jam-packed elevator maybe a minute later.

Which made me strongly question these Seoul-lites’ philosophies. Why do what they did when they would only have to wait a few more minutes if they didn’t? They couldn’t all have been in that much of a hurry where an extra 60 seconds would have destroyed their plans.

Patience is a virtue, Korea. Slow your roll.

But moving on, everything after that just kept feeling less and less like home. First of all, it is so clean here. I don’t know how they do it, but there is literally no trash anywhere whatsoever (and there aren’t even trash cans on the street), and all of the buildings are kept in such pristine condition. (I’m staying in Hongdae, btw). Coming from America, where everything in every city is a little dirty in at least some way, I’m in awe. Tell us your secrets, Seoul.

Also, all of the streets here are so narrow. I really can’t believe just how jam-packed everything is. There must be 200 buildings on my one little street alone. The alleys are so small and long and winding, and it makes for this crazy, crowded, otherworldy feel.

For example, when I got off the subway, I was shocked to be in this little back alley that was probably barely big enough for three people to walk side-by-side through yet was still painted for traffic and had decently sized cars parked on it. That road would have never existed back home in Pittsburgh — or at least would have been for pedestrians only. Which really makes me curious: Is there any sort of zoning here, or do they just build things wherever? Because zoning would have probably helped keep the clutter down and allowed for wider streets.

But the way everything is now doesn’t make it less appealing. It almost adds to the appeal by making it just a little more unique.


Everything here is so cute and quirky, too. I step outside, and I instantly want to explore every single inch of everywhere cause it’s all so interesting. I know I’ll never be able to actually see everything, cause the city is impossibly large, but I’m definitely going to try my hardest to see as much as I can.

Anyway, moving on a bit, the guest house I’m staying at is really nice, but it’s so, so, so small. It’s much smaller than I expected it to be given how much I paid for it. But being that it’s in Seoul, one of the world’s biggest, busiest, and most popular cities, the price really isn’t that bad, I guess. And it’s super clean! (The host is actually here right now cleaning, which is why I’m writing this post, to kill the time until I can use the bathroom and thus get dressed). Apparently most guest houses in Seoul are really dirty, so I am so happy that this one is not.

The host is also so kind! I haven’t left my room to go meet him, cause he’s busy and I don’t want to be a bother, but right before he got here, he messaged me and asked if I like watermelon. When I said yes, that it’s one of my favorite fruits, he told me he would put some in the fridge for me and my friend (even though she isn’t here yet lol but he doesn’t know that) with a label on it that says “for Leah” so that no one else will take it. How nice!!!!!

The only thing I’m not a fan of is the bathroom situation. There is a small room with two toilets in two stalls and a sink. Then, there is a different room with a traditional Korean shower (aka a giant room in which you stand with a wall-mounted shower head that you can take down to spray yourself off, etc.). It’s clean and not bad, really, but what I’m not a fan of is that the door to the bathroom with the toilets is always open. There are two pairs of shower shoes sitting right in the doorway, and that leaves me unsure of if I’m supposed to close the door or leave the door open when I use the bathroom. Because more than just one person is supposed to be able to use it at one time, so I don’t know if I will hinder that by closing the door. But I also don’t want sounds of me peeing echoing through the house. So, yeah. It’s an issue. Once the host is done cleaning, I’m gonna explore closing the door so that maybe I can relieve myself in comfort next time around. I really hope that I’ll be able to!

Another thing I don’t like that much: The only fridge in the house is a mini fridge in the kitchen. The host restocks it with food and drinks, but that leaves me with the question of where I’m supposed to put my food and drinks.

Luckily, I don’t have to rely on bottled liquids while I’m here. I read into it, and the tap water in the city is safe to drink. So I really don’t have to use the fridge if I don’t want. But still, it would be nice if the fridge was bigger.

And I guess the last strange thing I wanna mention is that it is so weird seeing only Asian people everywhere. You don’t realize how diverse America actually is until you leave it. Back home, I blend in, but here, it’s just all Koreans. I stick out like the sorest thumb there ever was.

But it also makes me really excited to see people of other races walking around, too. There are definitely less minorities here than I expected, but there are still enough where I see a few every twenty minutes or so. It makes me smile when I do.

Ah, but (this is random, sorry haha) I accidentally forgot to bring my adapter for my chargers (South Korea uses the same wattage as Europe), so I had to go out last night and buy one. I ended up getting it at this dollar store-type place, and it was about $5. Not bad, but I think it would have been cheaper in America  😦 Sad day.

And now it’s almost 5 pm, everyone back home is still sleeping, and my host is still here cleaning. I JUST WANNA USE THE BATHROOM BUT I CAN’T. Oh well, haha. That’s what I get for sleeping until 1.

The jet lag is really killing me, though. All I wanna do is sleep, but I can’t. I didn’t think it would be this hard leaving Eastern Standard Time for the first time ever, but it is. My body is not okay XD

I’m definitely gonna hold off on sleeping until 9 or 10 tonight. It’s a good thing I have a crap ton of work to get done, as well as a lot  of places to explore, or else I’d be in grave danger of falling into my normal sleep pattern.

But basically, to sum it all up, I’m literally living in the future compared to back home, thanks to time zone changes as well as major technological advances here (which I’ll talk about later), and it’s amazing. I haven’t seen much of the city so far (obviously), but I already love it. I just wish I could enjoy it with my family 😦 I miss them all so much already ❤

But I will see them soon. Seven weeks really isn’t that long, right?


Anyway, that’s all for now! Pretty sure the host is still here, ugh. I really screwed myself over today. I will not make this mistake again!

Thanks so much for reading, and I’ll be back soon with another update ❤

Thought Roulette

I’ve wanted to post on here again for quite some time, but I honestly haven’t had a clue of what to say. I’ve been a little overworked and thus lacking in the creative department lately, so I’ve just been pushing this whole blogging thing aside in hopes of getting a giant spark of inspiration at random that causes me to drop everything I’m doing simply so I can come on here and write.

Well, that hasn’t happened and probably is never going to happen, so instead of continuing to wait, I’m just gonna start rambling on about anything that pops in my head. I think I’ll call it idea roulette, for reasons that are hopefully obvious to everyone out there. This’ll be fun — probably more so for you than me, but fun nonetheless. So let’s get started!

First up, I’m heading to South Korea this week. Yup, South Korea, about as far away from Pennsylvania as I can get. This is a trip that’s been several years in the works, and I’m so, so excited for it to finally be here. Like, it doesn’t even feel like it’s actually happening. But then again, it does, which really stresses me out.

I’m gonna be traveling with a friend who lives there the whole time, but it’s still a little freaky to think about being so far away from home. Like, for the next six weeks, I’m gonna wake up in the morning, and all of  my family and friends will still be living out their lives in the day before. What?? I’m gonna be ahead of basically everyone else in the world time-wise. Isn’t that insane?? I’m so used to being behind everyone else! It’s gonna be so freaky!

But I guess I’ll get used to the change pretty fast, so long as the jetlag doesn’t destroy me first.

Oh, but I’m going to be taking so many pictures while I’m there, omg. (Super sorry for continuing to talk like the 20 year old that I actually am in this post.) I literally can’t wait for all of the beautiful things I’m going to have the chance to photograph. It’s gonna be INSANE. So follow me on Instagram if you like photography, cause there will be a ton of [hopefully] awesome travel pictures appearing on there every single day.

Shameless self promotion, I know. More to come in a bit.

I’ll also make a conscious effort to blog multiple times a month while I’m there, so don’t worry about me falling off the face of the earth once again. I’ll probably be exhausted from walking around so much everyday, but I’m gonna force myself to get up early and blog (as well as edit vlogs and talk to my family back home lol). And I’m sure my homegirl who I’m staying with will also help me stay motivated and actually make me make posts lol. (Love you, Jenny ❤ ) So have no fear this time around. I promise I’ll still be here!!

So yeah, I’m going to Korea. That’s a thing. What else?

I’m still single lol, no surprise there. Cute men abound, but I just can’t bring myself to try to date any. I don’t want any of them. It’s very hard to explain the exact emotion that I feel toward relationships right now, so I’m not even gonna try. But just know that I’m still all mixed up and confused about everything. However, despite the constant confusion, I don’t hurt anymore. That’s a glorious thing.

And while we’re on the topic of relationships, I also want to take a second to share with you a great quote that I saw the other week: “Don’t fall in love when you’re lonely. Fall in love when you’re ready.”

(Sorry if I somehow quoted it wrong. I penned it off of memory. Anyway…)

I’ve obviously felt pretty lonely and down at times over the past few months. Now, I am very, very, very much an introvert who enjoys being left to herself to do her own things, which means that being single has really never bothered me, even when it’s lead me to feel lonely. Even now, despite everything, I’m virtually unfazed and thus have been very good at resisting the urge to simply choose a random suitor and start up a fling in order to fill the void. That kind of thing just doesn’t appeal to me — or normally doesn’t.

This time, however, due to all the circumstances surrounding my singleness, it appealed to me for just a second. I got a little too lonely and thus decided to break free from my norm of ignoring guys and try going out with a dude I met online (not through a dating website, just randomly online).

I never explained all the details of it on here and probably never will, but the dude, who’s the same age as me, started out great and then turned into a total DISASTER. We had two dates, and I left in the middle of the second one, stressed and anxious and reminded of the reason why I don’t want to try dating again right now. Or maybe ever. Who knows. It’s kind of nice not having to answer to anyone but God, tbh.

But anyway, that incident proved that the quote I showed you a few paragraphs ago is true. Anytime you try to find love just because you’re lonely, it’s never going to work out. You have to be wholeheartedly ready to find love, and so does the person you’re with. If both of you aren’t fully ready, it’ll never work. Ever.

Trust me, cause I know from experience.

Ah, but while we’re still on the topic of dating, I guess I should talk about the vacation I just got back from.

I spent 10 days in Aruba with some of my family, and it was amazing ❤ It was one of the best vacations I’ve ever had in one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. I vlogged the whole trip and have been posting the videos as often as my crappy computer is letting me. Check the vlogs out here, and pretty please subscribe. Pretty, pretty please. With more sugar on top than has ever been on top before ❤ I only have six subscribers. That’s pathetic and speaks nothing to the quality of videos I’m actually posting.

(Told you there was more self promotion.)

But anyway, while I was in Aruba, I got asked out on a date by a bartender at my resort. We had become friends over the days, and us going out was definitely more of a friend thing than anything (even though he made it clear multiple times that he thought I was beautiful and awesome and yadda yadda ya).

Well, he ended up hardcore standing me up, and we haven’t really spoken since lol, except for an awkward fake apology he tried to give me in front of my sister. What a guy XD

There was also this dude staying at the same resort as us who was super cute and who I could tell was interested in me. But nothing ever came of it cause he was from the Netherlands and spoke no English, and I speak no Dutch. Sad day 😦 (But also not really lol because he probably sucks, too. Or he’s the greatest guy in the world, and I should’ve tried to drop a “hallo.” Who knows. Only God does.)

And speaking of God, the past few months have basically been me just sitting back and letting Him take total control. Cause what else can you do? Our choices only intervene with the plan He already has set, so why not just let go, relax, and follow the course? He can only take us higher than where we are now.

Anyway, that’s all I can think of to say right now, other than happy Sunday, and isn’t Harry Styles beautiful???


Thanks so much for reading my little game of thought roulette. Hope you enjoyed.

Until next time ❤

One More Semester

My sister graduated from college on Friday, and I have just one more semester to go. The thought of this terrifies me. We are both becoming official adults within the same calendar year. How is this even possible?

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Every Single Thing I Do Not Know

For every single thing I do not know,
there are 12 more things I don’t know I don’t know.
You may be confused, so to make myself clear,
I know that I don’t know just why I am here.
But on top of that, there are 12 missing links
that I never thought I ever would think,
like the next great invention
or what was your intention.
And what things I know that are actually wrong,
or if she really was there all along.
Or maybe even if nothing is real,
including the way that you said that you feel.
And how about when the world will end,
or the reason why I am still your friend?
There’s also what makes up the stars and the moon,
plus what I will do now that I’m without you.
And here are two that I cannot forget:
Why you love me so strong yet have so much regret.

My Fiance(?) Left Me

A.K.A. the real reason why I haven’t blogged in months.

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A Preview: “Run”

The following is a brief preview of the novel I have been working on in my spare time for about five months now. I don’t want to explain what it is about. I just want to offer you a snippet for your (hopeful) enjoyment. If you would like to give any feedback, please feel free to do so in the comment section below.

Now without further ado, please enjoy the first chapter of the book I plan on fully writing within this year:

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