Saturday, 7 February 2009

Reality bites (or stings)

Nursing a hangover, today I travelled to the doctor in search of diagnosis and treatment of a foot problem that has this week got worse. One hour later I returned home after having ten injections in my foot.

It seems (as I knew) that I have a verruca or maybe ten plus. I've had a verruca before and it was definitely an unpleasant experience, but having so many really seems like a bad break. I had noticed something wasn't quite right some weeks ago but thought it was just a result of constant training at Hapkido but this week I started to feel discomfort and pain and saw the problem spread to one of my toes. It actually looks like I have holes in my feet, clearly not an ideal situation.

The doctor was fantastic, and I'm not being sarcastic. He spoke very good English and reassured me that no matter what treatment I would have it would definitely hurt. I had two choices but settled for the injections because it was explained that was the best option. I really do not like needles, though it wasn't as bad as I had feared. It was supposed to feel like acupuncture which I have had many times in Korea, but was similar to being stung by a bee or wasp.

I have to go back again in two weeks to assess the progress. Oh, and to begin treatment for the verruca/s on my other foot. At least I am now getting the problem sorted. I am still trying to work out how I got 'them'. I haven't been swimming in over eighteen months, and the doctor told me that I couldn't have developed them my going to Hapkido. I probably will never find out the source but I suppose that doesn't matter now. I have to put my feet up and rest for a week when I am not working.

On a side note, once again one of the differences between Korea and Home was more than noticeable. There was a problem, I went to the doctor, she sent me to another doctor who directed me to a skin clinic. That clinic was busy so we went to another one just two minutes away and we saw the doctor within one minute of arriving there before having treatment. In the UK doing this would take at least a week, but this took thirty minutes. Fantastic. While the NHS is free back home, this costs money, but with insurance it is very very cheap and well worth the price. The medical teams that I have seen during my time here have been great and the treatment is seemingly more advanced than in England. Hospitals and doctors clinics are on whole streets here so you have plenty of choice, all very different to how I am used to. People smile at you and make you feel like you are going to get better and treat you with a bit of respect. It will certainly be a culture shock going back home and seeing a doctor again. Korea wins hands down.

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