Sunday, September 6, 2009

Medical Attention

Sorry for the lack of posts nowadays. Life has been a little crazy. For the past month now I've been to two separate doctors trying to get, what everyone thought was a UTI, treated. After a month of antibiotics, two different ones, one being the strongest and newest on the market, plus an antibiotic injection giving me only minimal improvement and still showing high white blood cell count in my urine samples, I was finally referred to a hospital for further examination.

I know that I am an adult, and fully capable of going to a hospital with English translators to accompany me on my hospital adventure, I felt a lot more comfortable going with someone I knew. For that reason, my boyfriend took me to the National Medical center at Euljiro-5-ga (right by dongdaemun stadium) because it is next to his office. Being a smaller, public hospital, there were no translators or doctors that are referred to international patients because of their language skills. That actually makes me feel better, I'd rather see a specialist that can't speak a word of English, than some doctor who isn't the best in the hospital, but is bilingual. On the other hand, this is a small, public hospital, so you have to wonder how good the care really is...

Anyway, after a rather stressful Thursday afternoon, going to the hospital just to make an appointment and being late for work and slightly ticking off my boss, Friday morning I went to the hospital for my consultation. After a rather uncomfortable waiting room experience, surrounded by Korean men at least 40-60 years older than me, I went in to see the top doctor in the urology department. He was very professional, and coincidentally, spoke English very well. He agreed with the gynecologist I had been seeing and told me that this was not a UTI. No UTI could survive a month course of antibiotics. He had some guesses as to what it might be, but sent me in for further tests to be sure. I took another urine test, three cups of urine this time (two of which had no cover, and all three were left on a counter top to be examined later... lovely) and an X-ray, presumably to check for kidney stones. Monday I have an appointment for an ultrasound and then Thursday I'll go back for a diagnosis. Monday and Thursday I'll have to miss some classes, but when my boss realized that it was not some ordinary problem, she seemed much more sympathetic to my case. Koreans are very health sensitive, I find, and going to the doctors during work hours has never been a problem for me.

I'm hoping that whatever the problem is, that it is not too serious. Though I was in a lot of pain, mostly in the lower abdominal area, still, just early last week, since Wednesday I've had almost no pain. Maybe whatever it was has run it's course. I'm off the antibiotics and I feel a lot better. If you've ever had any similar experiences, let me know, I have no idea what the problem could be...

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