My second visit to the doctor was as easy as the first, back in December. Last Sunday I had the misfortune of tripping while visiting a temple, well, really, my foot slid off a step sideways while I was distracted and walking (blonde: and chewing gum, a deadly combination for a blonde!) Luckily, it was a minor sprain, unlike the other two times I've torn ligaments and been down for a year. Ugh!
Luckily for me, the clinic is right next door to my Academy, and the MD speaks excellent English. After an examination and discussion of my symptoms, he instructed me to refrain from running and hiking for two weeks, walk carefully, and go next door for a "Chiropractic" treatment. I'm unsure as to why it's called Chiropractic, but perhaps that's the closest English word--I'm guessing only, and don't know the true reasoning. The Doc's Assistant, who is a Physical Therapist, as my Director claims, directed me to one of 5 or 6 beds while he gathered supplies. One woman was resting supine, undergoing a pressurizing treatment for her legs. I've seen these "bags" while in nursing school: they envelope the lower extremities and enhance circulation by alternately filling with air and then emptying. Another patient was prone, with "suction cups" on her back, connected to a machine that looks similar to a TENS Unit that provides electric current stimulation to muscles. I believe the "suction cups" provide a treatment similar to acupressure/acupuncture. I was about to find out!
First, he brought a heated pack for the bed, had me lie down on it, and covered me with a blanket. how nice! Lying on the hot pack was so relaxing, inducing a sense of relaxation and calm, and I'm sure, encouraged the healing process to begin. [If only US medical facilities offered such treatment instead of the conveyor belt, rushed, stressed feeling accompanying a medical treatment.] Then he prepared my ankle with some salve before placing the cups on my ankle and lower leg. As he adjusted the suction, he asked if it was too strong or acceptable. It was definitely an odd feeling, but not one I would describe as uncomfortable in any way. You can see the result in the photos.
The medical facilities are so modern (more modern than in the US, in my opinion), and there is never much of a wait, even when the waiting room is full of people. Again, I am not yet covered under the Korean Health Insurance so my visit was "quite expensive": $10 for the visit, and $8.50 for the meds. Yeah, $18, that's right! While Americans are being FORCED to pay into the so-called "Affordable Care Act", costing citizens of the US $200-300 PER MONTH (which will go to Insurance Companies and Drug Companies, not to the Docs or Nurses who provide care by the way!) Don't get me started on the US Health Care Debacle. In Korea, the health insurance costs are income based. When I'm finally signed up, I think it's going to cost me about $50/month, then my Dr. visits will be $3-4 and meds the same.
My ankle has healed quite quickly, so I'm really pleased. And the health care and health care system of Korea is superb! Just another reason it's a great place to live here!
...is moving to South Korea to teach English, fulfilling a dream of many years.