At 3 o’clock I went to the hospital hell bent that I would not be admitted and no one could do anything to make me stay. Seriously, what would they do?
Because there are no hospitals in our area we had to drive about 30 minutes away into proper-Daejeon. I’ve only been to a Korean hospital once last year when I got my renewal checkup. They’re all laid out pretty much the same, it’s pretty well organized. Because of the sheer amount of people you take a number for ______ (take a number to be x-rayed, take a number for blood drawing, take a number to pay, etc). You wait and then come up with your number. This hospital was better than the old one because you plugged your patient number in and then you took a number. When it was your turn the person already had your patient number on the screen and there was no need to keep introducing yourself to keep your file figured out.
The clinic that had x-rayed me gave me a CD with all my images on it. We had to submit it to the new hospital. They took 6 minutes to copy it onto their own disk then we went back to the Cardiopulmonary area of the hospital. They took my temperature and decided I had a fever, I was given a mask to wear. We didn’t have to wait long before it was our turn. The other doctor had been much younger and nicer but that’s also pretty typical for where we live vs proper-Daejeon.
He said hello to me in Korean and I just said “hello” in English. I’m not in the mood. He listened to my lungs and decided I would take antibiotics and would come back in 5 days. That’s it.
On the way out he came running after my co-teacher to talk to her about something that was never translated for me. When I came back next week I would get a blood test and more chest x-rays and if things were still bad I would be admitted.
It just so happens that I need to get a major checkup this week or next so I can renew my contract. I asked – well I have to get a chest xray to check for TB and I need to get blood tests for AIDS and drugs, could we just do all of it at once?
“Well then you should be admitted tonight for a week” he said suddenly. I rolled my eyes which was literally the only thing he could see since I was wearing a huge medical mask that went over my nose and mouth.
“We’ll start you on an IV and you’ll get better for the medical test.”
“My health checkup for my employment isn’t checking if I have pneumonia or not, it’s checking for AIDS and drugs. I’m not going to admitted to the hospital just for that.”
My coteacher helped translate how bad of an idea admitting me into the hospital would be.
“Well okay, see you in 5 days then.” Damn right you will.
The receptionist for the Cardiopulmonary area made up my bill for today and for next week. It would be easier to just pay now which I found interesting. We went and took a number and scanned my bill so they knew who I was. It was only a 3 minute wait for about 6 other people.
- For the doctors appointment today: $8
- For the doctor’s appointment next week: $6
- Chest X-rays next week: $4.80
- Blood work next week: $21.80
- And while this comes to $40.60 I paid $35.35 after my insurance.
I got this huge list of medicines to pick up. We walked across the street from the hospital to a huge pharmacy. We took a number and waited. They called us and we paid first then waited again. The pharmacists were running all over the place filling up these huge paper bags (like a packed lunch) full of medicines for everyone.
- 팩티브정 – “Factive” LG brand antibiotics, $7
- 큐란정- a kind of antacid, $14
- 엘도스캅셀 – dissolves mucus in lungs, $14
- 락토바이장용캅셀 – stops the diarrhea I don’t have, I imagine this is to counteract the side effects of the other medicines, $14
- 시네츄라시럽- Cough syrup, $21
- Pharmacy Total $56
This is what it all looks like, its a mess. I’m interested that my cough medicine comes in a pouch. It’s a little wasteful compared to just selling it to me in a big jar but then I can only take what I have, no more, no less. So I guess it makes sense. I usually really hate liquid medicine but this one is orange flavor so it was actually okay. Plus it has these terrified guys on it:
I take one of everything 30 minutes after breakfast. 30 minutes after lunch I am to enjoy just one cough syrup and 30 minutes after dinner I get to have cough syrup and the trio packet.
The biggest annoyance besides the lung destroying cough I have is that I have to eat. I’ve really lost my appetite (except for sprite and pringles. Those are okay). I have to eat when I take the medicine so I begrudgingly had a bowl of Frosted Flakes (except they’re called Corn Flight/Corn Plight) with my meds.
My supplies last until next Tuesday but I have my appointment to get chest xrays and blood work on Monday. It feels like a trap a little since if I’m not better by then I’ll have to be admitted. The antibiotic won’t even be finished on Monday.
Also if at any time my fever and aches come back between now and then I’ll have to go back and be admitted to the hospital. Boo.
My coteacher explained all the medicines. “Oh they may make you really tired so if you want to call in sick tomorrow you can just text me.”
Meanwhile my other coteacher has been constantly, “oh are you sure you don’t want to go home?” She was pretty worried about pneumonia and contagiousness.
So I took the hint and called in “sick” today. I don’t have a single class anyway so it makes sense. Just sitting or laying at home is better than walking to school, sitting at my desk and being exposed to everything else. Sitting at home is probably best. Anything that can keep me out of the grips of the hospital. That’s the only goal.