Monday, August 3, 2009

Doctors and lack of sanitation...

For the past two weeks I've been having some bladder issues... more information than you need to know, but I need to give some background to this story. I waited so long to see a doctor because I was in Bali with no insurance and little faith in a medical system on a tiny island in the south pacific. Finally today after waiting so long I went to a doctor in the same building where my hagwon is located. I would have sworn someone told me that this doctor spoke really good English so I decided to go there instead of an international clinic. I went in and, as usual, didn't need an appointment, and I was seen in 5 minutes later.

I sat down in front of the desk... because doctors offices resemble a real office more than any examination room, though there was a bench to lie on in the corner, if necessary. He looked a bit nervous when I walked in... then he asked me in Korean, if I could speak Korean... I told him.. just a little... I didn't really want to risk screwing up a doctor's visit with my 2 year old level Korean. I have no idea how to say things like urination and bladder. So, I explained my symptoms in English, and at first he didn't seem to understand, but in the end, his English started to sound better as he probably became a little more relaxed. He prescribed me some antibiotics, pain killers and something for the digestion of the other pills because he said it might upset my stomach. Then he asked me to pee in a cup so that he could check, and tomorrow he can give me the results. Seemed reasonable enough to me.

He brought me out to the front desk and the receptionist gave me a plastic cup... with no lid. Then she told me to go to the bathroom down the hall... aka outside of the office, down the hall to the public bathroom for the building. Pee in the cup with no cover there, then bring it back. Ok... fine... gross and awkward to carry an uncovered cup of your own pee down a hallway in a building with lots of other, non medical buisnesses, but ok, fine. She gave me no disinfectant wipes to wipe the cup with either. So, I did it and brought it back. She took the cup of pee, and with no gloves, poured it into another tube to do tests.

Would something like this fly at home?? I think not. But then again, I did pay 4,500 won ($3.60) for the exam, then another 2,900 won ($2.30) for two days worth of prescriptions until I get a real diagnosis. I guess I can't complain. Lets just hope that this thing clears up with the drugs. That will be the real proof. Although, I would help if I didn't leave my pills at work...

1 comment:

  1. oh boy, that's exciting, and scary! i hope you get better soon, and that you don't get caught up in some medical entrapment that happens to american tourists!