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Medicine Dodge

Ha ha! I dodged a camp meeting… well, not really. It’s more like this: the last time I waited until after the camp meeting to go to the doctor, I ended up paying $30 for the consultation and meds, plus it involved about two hours of waiting at the ER in the local big hospital closest to the university, and the doc looked at only one of my problems instead of both. Since normally the consultation and meds for one visit total to about $3-5, I thought I’d miss a meeting and save myself a lot of money. I hardly feel guilty for that, considering how much extra time I’ve put into things like worksheets and the Trading Game. Not to complain, I’m just saying I don’t feel bad missing a meeting. Anyway…

So right after Comic Book Drawing Club time, I left campus and went directly to my regular hospital, the True Love Hospital. Despite the weird name, I like the place. Not because a couple of the nurses are all goofily fascinated with me, but rather because the doc there doesn’t screw around. Okay, he also sometimes doesn’t really understand me, but he tries. An except of the conversation we had in Korean, rendered in English:

Doc: Yes, it’s tonsilitis.
Gord: Okay, so, do I need a tonsilectomy?
Doc: Hahaha, no. It’s like a cold. You just wait a little while. It sometimes takes a while to go away.
Gord: Okay, but I having many.
Doc: Yes, it hurts a lot, but it will go away.
Gord: No, I mean, I sick since winter am muefmwa blabla.
Doc: Winter? Yes, you can catch it in winter, or summer, or fall, or spring. There are four seasons in Korea.
Gord: Okay, but I have it again and again and again and again.
Doc: Your medicine?
Gord: No, since six months I’m.
Doc: No, no, it takes maybe a week to get better.
Gord: But every month I’m tonsilitis. Again. Again. Again, I’m tonsilitis.
Doc: Yes, and you take medicine and you’ll be better. Now go get a butt injection.
Gord: Okay, thank you.

Of course, I wasn’t really thinking, “Okay, thank you,” I was thinking that I would have to go to the huge hospital where she studies and ask a doc, sans language barrier, whether a tonsilectomy would be reasonable after six months of repeated occurrences of tonsilitis, and whether, after the camp, the removal of the wisdom tooth (which has been troubling me almost the same amount of time) might help and make the tonsilectomy unnecessary. But the guy gave me enough meds to last till Friday—yes, my second short-term antibiotics prescription in a week for the same gum inflammation—and something for the tonsilitis. However, he couldn’t give me any new medicine for my skin, despite the fact I obviously need it for an outbreak on my ears—is it stepping over the lines of online boundaries to mention the condition is psoriasis, on my ears?

Well, by that time it was almost 6pm and I had decided already, to hell with it, Korea might be humid as hell in the summer but the heating systems make interiors dry as hell in the winter, and that a humidifier is a worthwhile investment for me. So I decided to go to E-Mart, and realized something which, well, it scares me a little that In was right, but here goes:

  1. A lot of younger, hipper ajummas go to E-Mart.
  2. Younger, hipper ajummas are quite worried about their skin, which is something often regarded as emblematic of Korean femininity according to what’s expressed by both men and women I’ve talked with.
  3. Probably, if I looked around in front of E-Mart, I would find a decent dermatology clinic right there.
  4. I figured that I might as well see a dermatologist while I had the time, and messaged Lime to find out the Korean word for dermatologist. She replied that 피부과의사 is the word for the doc, so I knew to look for 피부과—과 meaning something like “-ology”. Makes sense, since 피 is skin.

    Well, what do you know: there was an absolutely excellent dermatology clinic, with a doctor who spoke excellent English (though she nervously apologized for not being better at it) and who was really helpful. She even said there might be a proper treatment available for my fingernails, though we’ll sort that out after my skin condition and other health issues are sorted out.

    I picked up the meds—and happened to find a pharmacy with another guy equipped with absolutely excellent English, though he asked a few too many of the stock questions foreigners get asked—and then got the humidifer at E-Mart.

    After that, I was ready for a hot bath, but you know, I can’t just take a hot bath anywhere. So after I got some dinner, I decided that I’d go to the local public bathhouse, get a good hot soak, sit in the sauna a while and heat myself up, and maybe get a scrub-massage. All of which I did, but only after one collossal flub: when climbing out of the big open bathtub, I slipped and fell and slammed my back against not one but two big stone stairs. I have a couple of big red bruises on my back to show for it, but the physical scarring is less than the psychological scar of looking up to see a bunch of naked men standing around me, asking if I’m okay.

    I just hope I am okay. My right eye is fatigued so badly it’s all red and I can’t see well from it, and since that’s the only eye I see with, I figure it’s time to get some sleep after a snack or something. But I have this nice feeling that tomorrow, provided I’ll be able to walk, all those nice pills I’m taking will kick in and I’ll start feeling a little better.

    Ooops, but before I sleep, I need to prep the Trading Game stuff. Ooops! Trading Game… ah, I’ll explain that thing another day…

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