Thursday, January 12, 2006

I know nothing

It becomes very clear when I step out of my comfortable and relatively English friendly routine to try to operate in Korean society.

I'm losing my voice. So after work today I went to the doctor to see if I can stop the loss before it's gone and I'm screwed for a week like in September.

First I wasn't even sure if where I was was indeed the doctor's office I wanted. Then the rosy cheeked receptionist giggled incessantly at my approach. She spoke to me in Korean and I shrugged my shoulders helplessly. She could at least have tried some hand motions or something. At a loss, she ran across to the pharmacy to fetch an English speaker.

"Do you speak Korean?" She asked me. What do you think, honey? She asked for my Korean name. Umm... Je-shi-ka is pretty much how it's pronounced, though I suppose I could have given her the name my kids gave me earlier this week: Kim Mi Hyon.

When I got into the examination room, which is really just down a short hall in full view of the waiting room, a gaggle of elementary aged girls just about followed me in and sat on nearby chairs watching me. Give me a little space, please. I just had a bad day with my dumb elementary school kids. I actually hate this new boy I have.

The doctor speaks a fair bit of English and asked me about my symptoms, and then proceeded to prod me with metal and spray strange sprays into my nose and throat. "You will experience mild discomfort". Noo! I think he might have spread Tiger Balm on my throat. He sucked out the contents of my nose. Then he told me to rest my voice and gave me a prescription for who knows what that comes in a crazy-like package. Mini packets of a variety of about six pills to take three times daily.

The doctor's visit cost me three dollars and the drugs cost me four. If another coworker wasn't already taking the day off tomorrow for a genuine reason I would stay home and really try to rest this sucker. Instead I'll see how teaching without talking goes.

5 Comments:

At January 12, 2006 7:33 AM , Anonymous JJ said...

I READ YOUR FUN BLOG SOMETIMES READ THIS BAD NEWS~

THERE'S THIS ANOTHER STUPID KOREAN SAYING AND IT GOES "IT'S THE WORST WHEN YOU ARE ABROAD AND ALONE, AND GET SICK.'

HOPE YOU GET WELL SOON WITH YOUR THROAT.

 
At January 12, 2006 2:48 PM , Anonymous Katie said...

Feel better soon Jess, I can only imagine how you feel. I am at home sick with leringitis even though I just got over the flu last week. I've missed the first week back to classes so it's a little stressful. Take care of yourself and I hope you feel better soon.

 
At January 12, 2006 6:00 PM , Blogger Jessica said...

Hello JJ, thanks for the comment. Luckily I don't feel THAT sick, I just have to deal with this silly lost voice business.

Katie, we've caught the same cold an ocean apart! Aren't we lucky. I hope you get better soon too so you can get back to studying!

 
At January 13, 2006 1:30 AM , Blogger Tony Lawless said...

Jessica:

Be careful taking all those pills. I rarely think they are all necessary. If you know which ones are which only take the ones you need. Otherwise, you may end up feeling giddy. (I know I did this when I first arrived here, against my better judgment.

Naive Sick Foreigner:

"Wow! Do I really need so much medicine? I didn't realize I was that sick. But why else would the doctor have prescribed so much?"

 
At January 13, 2006 5:48 AM , Blogger Jessica said...

Sadly I don't know what's what in my packet o' surprises. But I don't mind giddy...

The other time I went to the doctor I didn't take all my pills and was sick for over a month so I guess I'll see what happens this time. What's wrong with a few extra drugs here and there?

 

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