Wednesday, 23 May 2012

My first trip to the clinic...

If anyone knows me well, they will know how clumsy and accident prone I am. It isn't surprising that this week I was faced with my first trip to a Korean medical clinic, if anything it's a bit of a shock I've lasted this long. Add into the mix the Korean's love of unnecessary bandages for minor medical ailments and you can imagine Tasha got quite a laugh out of this whole debacle.

Last week I mentioned that I went to a masquerade ball. What I didn't mention was that I was tackled to the ground on the sand and landed right on my shoulder. It'd been hurting pretty consistently, and when I went upto Daegu this weekend I realised that I couldn't play derby because it was that painful. So I thought I had better bite the bullet.

My co-teacher armed me with a map drawn in felt tip pens. I don't know what I was expecting, but when I stepped inside the clinic there was nothing weird or fantastical about the place. There was lots of beige, nurses in pastel uniforms and a few glossy mags strewn across the waiting room.

It was a whirlwind of being ushered from room to room. I met a massively fat doctor who spoke admirable Konglish. The hospital bed I was lied on was covered with pink, silky sheets with weird cushions dolloped on top. I was told to lie down and 'relax' while I had heat therapy on it. The nurse drew a curtain around the bed, which was pointless as it was about 4 inches wide and did nothing to hide anything. I laid there, my feet stupidly hanging off the bottom of the bed as it was definitely manufactured for someone at least a foot smaller than me, until I heard a 'ping' go off and she shuffled back.

Next, Electro therapy was deemed vital to my recovery and I started to get worried about how much all of this was going to cost as these weird sponge cylinders started making my arm involuntarily spasm. 20 minutes of that and she told me to go back to the doctor.

I walked straight in to witness some other guy being jabbed in the arm. Apparently it's normal for a couple of patients to just hang about in the doctor's room while they're waiting for treatment. My eyes went wide as I noticed the nurse cutting off a metre of plaster as they put it over the tiny pin prick of a jab wound. He ducked behind a curtain to drop his trousers while I was given a shot in the shoulder.

I was then told that I also needed one in my derriere, so was asked to go into another room and reveal all. I don't think I mentioned it in my last post, but I fell asleep on the beach on Sunday morning, for a good long while, and awoke with a seriously burnt behind. Not only did I feel a fool showing her my tan line (it's not tan yet, still a bright shade of red) but when she started slapping me, I had to bite my hand not to scream. It was so painful.

Finally, just to ensure that I didn't leave with any dignity intact at all, the metre long plaster was whipped out and stuck onto my shoulder. As I walked out Tasha reassured me she had seen someone leave with at least 3 metres of plaster wrapped around a leg.

To be fair, they only charged me 12,300 won to get rid of what pride I had left, which equates to about 6 pound back in the UK. And realistically, I would have been made to wait at least 6 weeks before I got any treatment.

As I walked home, the shoulder not even a big deal to the Koreans on the street who're constantly mummifying themselves in plasters I added the ripped tendon to my ever growing repertoire of ridiculous injuries...