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Going to a Doctor in Korea
Updates: Shout out to my fellow EPIKers for passing the 2 month stretch! b) Amanda’s blog confession totally rocked and I thank her for the mention! She’s a tough cookie, yet I didn’t know she was undergoing a culture shock, as well. c) Christo’s 2 month battle without a budge is heartbreaking and angering- we’re all rooting for him! d) Since moving here, I’ve experienced both, good and bad and it’s not my intention to Korea bash. Everyone has different stories to tell. Some have very happy stories, some not. This is luck of the draw. e) I promise I have some fun blogging about my travels around Korea, I do! I do! It’s been overshadowed until now; f) next weekend, I’m off to Seoul, to pick up my family who is flying out to visit me!
So I finally did it.
I went to the hospital for my cold.
I even got that “shot in the butt” that other expats have talked about.
Yes, the nurse lightly tapped on my tushie and gave me the needle.
I felt incrementally better .
Getting sick while traveling is one adventure. Getting sick after you’ve just moved to live and work in Korea is another!
The ‘Yellow Dust’ cough attack
I was coming down with a light cough over my two-day weekend in Busan and thanks to a particularly bad yellow dust day a couple of days later, it blossomed into cough-attacks, coughing-fits and even heaving convulsions. I can feel it when it hits my lungs. When I went into a coughing fit, it felt like I was trying to unearth a deeply lodged itch; but in essence, it was dust.
All of that cough was enough to strip my throat raw and it ultimately opened the door to a raging cold.
It’s the worst case of dry itch-cough I’ve every experienced. I suspect it’s worse than smoker’s lung.
I realize now, the Korean Crud is another term for Yellow Dust.
Although my apartment feels like an air-tight tomb at night, there are some nights that itch in the back of my throat comes and I feel prone to it. That’s when I wear my yellow dust mask at night and …yes, while I’m sleeping.
How to avoid catching a cold from Yellow Dust
There’s actually no way you can avoid Yellow Dust. The best is avoid inhaling it or getting it in your throat. When you know it will be a dusty day, close your apartment windows and don’t go outdoors without a sick mask.
Don’t know when the Yellow Dust alerts are?
I find observing other Koreans helps. If you see an unusual amount of people wearing sick masks, especially children, that’s a sign there’s been a ‘Yellow Dust’ alert.
These days, I stash one in my office desk and one in my bag.
Going to the doctor in Korea
When you’re going to the Korean doctor for a cold, it’s common practice to receive a shot in the butt.
If you’re wondering why the extreme measures, let me explain…
Seeing the doctor or going to a doctor’s clinic in Korea, is referred to as “going to the hospital”. Don’t ask me why…
And ” a shot in the butt” is a mild exaggeration.
To be more specific, the “butt shot’s” insertion point is below your hip and above your butt so removing underwear and bending over was not something you have to do.
Nobody knows what’s inside these shots. Some say it’s a vitamin booster. Many profess to feeling immediately better.
But my voice was still feeling raw.
As my voice and coughs were getting noticeably worse, my co-teacher kindly drove me to the hospital during school.
The hospital was only five minutes away and around the corner from my apartment. But it was a bad ‘Yellow Dust’ day and my co-teacher was concerned my symptoms might worsen, especially as I forgot my sick mask at home!
My hospital visit consisted of a doctor’s consultation, two x-ray exams (yeah, really), a diagnosis that there was nothing serious, a booster shot to the butt and a three-day medicine prescription.
After medical insurance -which covers half my expenses- my total landed at somewhere under $4 USD.
This is my packet of medicine. $4USD for a 3 day supply
My face mask collection is slowly growing
I’ve wanted to grow my sick mask collection.
Love Story was the name of my first mask and it’s made me curious about the circumstances that might draw my second. Well, my second mask is for my first hospital visit, but unfortunately, the hospital’s pharmacy offered very little option! pbbt.
Okay, so there you have it.
Anti-climactic, but a fully functional Kitty Pink ‘Yellow Dust’ mask.
My new pink Yellow Dust mask (mousepad not included)