Thursday, February 21, 2008

How's My Leg Doing?

Ode to the leg. Or specifically, the shin.

A vital part of the whole body thing. Without the shin, life is less exciting.

As some may remember, I have been recovering from a nasty infection of said shin for the past two weeks. The infection, named Cellulitis, is disappearing and swelling is almost non-existent. I am still using crutches to walk, but I am beginning to hobble about (allowing me the use of my hands, an amazingly useful and needed ability. Especially if you need to do dishes. And we NEED to do dishes!)

Last week, my daily visits to the hospital were decreased to every second day, indicating improvement in my shin and a reduction of the need for antibiotics. I am still taking an antibiotic cocktail of three mystery pills three-times-a-day after every meal, so I am not completely free to do a jig, but it does look like I am out of the woods. (Hmm. A mixed metaphor...though one can dance in trees!)

With my improved spirits, I'd like to take a humorous look at Korean Hospitals, called:

Things I noticed while going to the doctor in Korea:
  1. "More improvement." is all the doctor (the ONLY person who speaks English well) says. Everyday, "More improvement." "How much more improvement is there?" I ask. "More improvement." he always says. Right...
  2. This private hospital believes in the "Conveyor Belt" system of medicine.
    Start: taxi to hospital ($2) -> wait #1 (20 mins) -> receptionist #1 ("Go there.") -> wait #2 (50 mins) -> nurse #1 ("Come in now.") -> wait #3 (5 mins) -> doctor ("More improvement.") -> wait #4 (10 mins) -> pay (~$10) -> WAIT #5 (10 mins) -> bandage nurse (get wound cleaned and re-bandaged) -> WAIT AGAIN #6 (5 mins) -> shot nurse (antibiotic jab) -> run away, to pharmacy next door -> WAIT #COME ON@#$ -> get pills (individually packaged) -> GET IN FREAKING TAXI AND GO HOME ($2). End.
  3. Sometimes, I meet by a 'Reception Manager,' whose job it is to look good by talking to the white guy. It is a sign of status to be seen talking with a foreigner. Luckily, he does speak passing English, and I quickly learn too much about him (He is 47-years-old, divorced, dating a Japanese girl, spends his free time learning kick-boxing, has had 6 competitions where he won three and lost three - losing seven teeth in one knock-out, which he showed me. He has been kick-boxing for three years and plans to teach next year. He wears sandbags on his ankles while working to tone and train his muscles and speed. He showed me those too.)
  4. I am surprised by the inability of some nurses to give me an injection without jabbing me 5 times to find a vein. Come on! You're professionals! One time, honestly, she jabbed me four times in one inner-elbow and twice in one hand before she succeeded with a vein on the other hand.
  5. In the waiting room, there is a pamphlet about the hospital with pictures of severed hands, figures, feet and toes - illustrating the many possible reconnections available for your pleasure. Yummy!
Suffice it to say I do enjoy my 1 hour plus visit to the hospital, but I also won't miss it. I was told on my fist visit that it should take 3-4 weeks to recover. It has now been 2 weeks, leaving only 1-2 weeks left!

I will have a wicked scar though. It will probably look a lot like Chile...

"Where did you get that wound?"

"I got it in Korea."

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