911 – Korean hospital!

16 Mar

911 – Korean Hospital experience

On Sunday Nicola continued to complain of back pains, so I suggested that it could be problems with her kidney, either a kidney stone or kidney infection. I googled what to take for kidney infection but everything deemed useless because I did not even know where a pharmacy was. Nicola phoned her co-teacher just to let her know that she is not feeling well. The next minute her co-teacher arrives at her apartment. She brought 24 rolls of toilet paper with and give it to Nicola as a gift! I just smiled because this is the first time I witnessed toilet paper being given to someone as a present! So apparently it is Korean tradition if you visit someone in their home for the fist time after they had moved you bring them a gift such as toilet paper or washing powder or stuff like that! So Kelly (Nicola’s co-teacher) was really concerned about her and wanted to take her to hospital straight away. Nicola refused and said that she will she how she feels on Monday and then decide. So Kelly insisted that she take Nicola to a pharmacy so that she can get something for the fever and pain! On Sunday night Nicola phoned me and said that she felt worse and that I should come over. So I went to her place (which is about 500m from my apartment) only to bring her to my apartment as I still had to do some ironing and stuff! She started shivering although her face was burning up. I knew that I had to take her to the hospital but she reassured me that we will go in the morning. We didn’t sleep at all on Sunday night! Nicola was very sick! So on Monday morning I waited until 6.30 am to phone my co-teacher to inform her that I will be late for school because I have to take Nicola to the hospital. Now in Korea there are no private practices like back home so if you want to see a doctor you have to go to a clinic or hospital. On Sunday I looked for a hospital in Daegu that has English speaking staff. I came across a hospital that has a international health section for foreigners. It was Youngnam University Hospital which is on the red line about two stops from downtown. My co-teacher phoned me at 8.30am to see if everything was ok? I told her that we will be going to the hospital now. When she heard that we weren’t already at the hospital she sounded kinda mad. Now this can just be my imagination or just the communication gap. So I had to explain to her that Nicola ca barely walk and she needs my assistance. Also Nicola has a general phobia of hospitals and needles. She needed me! (ha ha) Also for us to get to the hospital we had to walk to the bus stop (about 500m), it took us almost 15 minutes. Then we had to catch the bus and then the subway and eventually fine the hospital. All in all it took us almost 2 hours to reach the hospital. We coul only go after 8.30 am because in the morning the busses here are absolutely packed with school kids! It is chaos! So when we arrived at the hospital the international health desk immediately called us and we were assisted in a flash. Nicola had to open a file and then she was consulted by the chief of the international health desk. In no time we were in the doctors office and Nicola being examined. So the doctors concluded that she hade contracted a very serious kidney infection and that she might be hospitalised. She was devastated. After her examination she was taken for blood work, and other tests. Everything going very smooth! Then they asked her to pay for her tests. After the tests she went to see a specialist and he confirmed her diagnosis and admitted her to hospital. They said that there aren’t any beds available in the hospital but Nicola should go to the injection room so long and they will let us know. We headed for the injection room and Nicola got an IV and two big injections of antibiotics. She laid in the injection room for about three hours. By lunch time I realised that I will not make it to school and I phoned my co-teacher. She asked me about three times if I was coming to school today. And every time I explained that I was still at the hospital and that I cannot leave Nicola. So she told me that I should come to work on Saturday to make up for the hours. Now I completely understand that, but jeepers she could’ve told me today. I mean in a distressing situation such as this one things like that upsets me! “Hi my girlfriend is really sick and she is in the hospital now, I won’t be able to come in today” “aah that’s too bad but come in on Saturday then” . That was just not on! But then again, small things upset me very easily.

So after Nicola had her IV we were informed that the hospital was full and that there are no beds available, not even in the private rooms. So we headed back to apartment, in a taxi this time because Nicola felt too ill. So today she has to go back so that she can be admitted. They phoned us and informed us that there is a semi private room available. I will leave work early today to assist Nicola.

All in all I am very impressed t\with the Korean health system. Just hope that Nicola gets better soon!

Cheers from dodgy Korean Ally!

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2 Responses to “911 – Korean hospital!”

  1. kaalvoetinireen March 16, 2010 at 14:37 #

    Hope she is doing better soon! Koreans can get soooo upset when you miss school. A friend of mine just got fired because she spent 3 weeks in hospital…

  2. boerinballingskap March 16, 2010 at 21:19 #

    Baie sterkte! Ek hoop regtig sy’s sommer gou beter! Dink aan julle!

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