Food poisoning


I'll start by saying I'm better now...

Apparently I'd gotten food poisoning a few weeks back. A stomach bug was going around, so I attributed the mild fever/nausea to that. Nothing too severe.

However, I just couldn't get back to feeling right. I couldn't keep anything in me... kept feeling worse and worse. At first, I thought it was probably just my system adjusting to the new foods, etc. This went on for about 3 weeks. At the end, my stomach became very bloated/distended to the point it was painful to even sit down due to the pressure it put on my abdomen. I was looking like I was pregnant.

Sooo... I went to the hospital.

Korean healthcare has very high standards. They probably rival the quality of care in the United States. Instead of seeing a general practitioner, I see an Internal Medicine specialist. I had an appointment at 9:20am and was advised it's best to get there a few minutes early because if you're not there they'll give away your appointment. I arrived at about 9am and an english speaking nurse escorted me to the waiting area for my appointment. At just about 9:20, the nurse came back and went with me into the exam room. The doctor examined me... with the nurse acting as a translator. The official diagnosis: acute colonitis resulting from a bacterial infection. In other words, I'd had food poisoning for the past 3 weeks that was gradually getting worse. I guess that's what I get for eating all that street food!

The doctor gave me 4 prescriptions: antibiotics and other things (not sure what they all were, honestly). I left the hospital and went to the pharmacy 2 building over to get them filled. Then walked back to my apartment a block away. All that and got back home by 10:00. Cost? Seeing a specialist at the hospital cost me $21,000 KW and the prescriptions were another $7,000. That's about $23.00 US.

An interesting thing about prescriptions here... when you go to the pharmacy, they package them for you according to your doses. You get this long plastic strip with each dose (however many pills you should take at that time) in an individual pouch.


Anyway... that was last Thursday. Finished up my meds yesterday. I've been sleeping a lot... letting my body rest up and recover and I'm doing MUCH better. Almost back to 100%...

Now... anyone seen one of those vendors selling the chicken skewers? I'm hungry!


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Rick is an English teacher currently living and working in Seoul, South Korea. If you have any questions about life in Korea, feel free to email:

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