Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Getting My Leg Up

This is a story of warning - Always get your injuries checked out at the hospital, as to avoid infection.

(WARNING: this post is not for the squeamish.)

I am currently lying in bed with my right leg elevated and bandaged. Thus, I have a lot of time to regale you with my story. Two and a bit weeks ago, I was walking back from work on a cold and icy Thursday night. Along the sidewalk here in Sinchon are cubes of granite one foot tall, thick and wide. I stepped on one and my foot slipped out from under me, causing my shin to contact the sharp 90 degree corner of the cube. A bloody cut a foot long sliced my right shin.

The cut was not deep and was tended to at home by myself and my friends and our first-aid kits. As the days progressed, the cut began to scab over. It was healing very well. Soon, the entire cut was scabbed and healing properly.

Then, two weeks later, the area of initial impact at the bottom of the cut began to get red and tender. Soon, it began to swell. Infection or broken bone, I thought.

I went to the hospital here in Seoul on Monday, and after taking a number (there are no appointments here at this private hospital), I was called to the doctors office. Inside were six other people, waiting to be seen by the doctor who was at his desk in the corner of the room. Two nurses worked another computer and juggled the patients. On the walls, were pictures stills of when the doctor was on TV saying something important.

Soon it was my turn and the doctor checked my leg saying it was an infection - cellulitis, to be exact. So I was put on antibiotics and my leg was put in a splint and wrapped up tight. I am going to the hospital daily for check-ups on crutches and I have been off work since Monday. Cellulitis can lead to other serious infections like meningitis, so caution needs to be taken.

Tuesday, the doctor lanced the swelling, causing me the most pain I have ever experienced in my life! (If I knew how much child-birth hurt, then maybe I could compare them. But I don't, so I won't.) Strangely, every time the nurse injected me with antibiotics (three times so far), she has done it a different way - injection, IV, and injection through an IV tube into the hand. Curious.

Overall, I am very impressed by the Korean hospital system. As a private hospital, there is more money available and excellent service. The doctors speak English and are very efficient. I am also half-covered by my work, so the experience is probably cheaper than in Canada.

So it's staying in bed for me with my leg up. Be sure to get your injury checked out asap and avoid those darned infections!


Paul Clarke said...

So sorry to hear that, Peter! Glad to hear that you've had it attended to by a doc. Keep us posted as you heal. Hopefully no more lancing!

Mitch said...


we managed to hot hurt ourselves in 3 weeks in Europe, but you manage to slip and fall in Korea???

Take care of yourself!!!

The Flying Trilobite said...

Take care of that leg! Make sure to read plenty of vapid magazines and watch lots of daytime t.v.

(Or stay online and be far more engaged. Whatever makes you better. )

Bond said...

Thanks Paul, Mitch, Trilo, for the sympathies!

I have been spending the week in bed, updating the blog and catching up on movies (The Bucket List, Ratatouille, Mr. Brooks, Blue/Red/White...)

Hope you like the new look!

leslie said...

I want to know what words came out of your mouth as your shin hit the granite...