Wednesday, October 17, 2007

What's behind door #3?

I had hurt my hand and as the days went by, the pain was getting worse and I finally decided that I 'might' need to see a doctor. Well, I think that when you have 'sharp shooting pain' when you turn a piece of paper over.. that THAT is a hint that you need medical care. Hey, I'm nothing if not 'observant!' :D

I vaguely remembered seeing a sign for a 'bone/joint' type of doctor in my neighborhood so.. that was my plan of action.. find a doctor.

One advantage of living here in Korea, is that doctor offices are open on Saturdays usually from 9:30-4:00pm. On Saturday morning, I left my apartment at 9:15 and walked out to the main street and looked up for signs that would lead me to a medical doctor who could treat my injured hand.

I walked out onto the street right across the street from my apartment and I saw:

A 'rehab' medical place. So, I thought.. "Hummm, that might work. After all, I might need a brace for my hand to stablize it." *Click on the photo to make it larger.

I was pretty happy to find something right across the street from where I lived.

I walked up to the 4th floor, no elevator and no handrail on the last 2 two sets of very steep stairs. My next thought was.. "NOW, what kind of 'rehab' do they do?" "Clearly not physical injuries... after all.. how on earth could someone with a foot, knee, leg, or ankle injury manage to get to this medical office?" I decided that there were many types of 'rehab'.. after all those on drugs need to have 'rehab' to help them get over their dependency, right? So, I decided that maybe there was a better place and I walked back down the stairs.

I walked out onto the main 6 lane street and started looking 'up' at the signs advertising the businesses on the upper floors. I found this sign:

And.. I thought.. well, the beginning of a bone/joint doctor would be ORTHO.. and the way that it's spelled could be a simple mistake. I was most hesitant because, I have never, ever, ever, seen that 19 letter long type of doctor listed before. I looked at the sign again.. and since my hand was really hurting- I decided to go inside and find the doctor's office.

I walked inside and ALL OF THE NAMES listing the offices, shops, doctors/etc. in the building were all listed on the 'directory' in Korean. I had no way of knowing where this doctor would even be found in the building.

I stood there and studied the sign and then I walked back outside to see if I could 'match up' any of the Korean Hangul letters on the sign with the directory sign on the inside. I went inside and outside looking at the signs a few times and since I can't read Korean and was having a hard time trying to find the 'one office' out of the many business names written in Korean. I finally gave up and continued walking and said a quick prayer that I needed some help finding the right place to find someone to help me.

I decided to keep walking in the same direction and as soon as I looked up I saw this sign:

It was now 10:10 and I went inside. There was an elevator and stairs. It's looking better already. Stairs with handrails that weren't so steep that you felt like you were hiking up a mountain. Even better.

I went into the doctor's office and pointed to my thumb- and grimaced with pain to erase all doubt as to why I was there. She pointed to the 'sign in sheet'.. and I wrote my name in English among all the others written in Korean. She pointed to the couch for me to sit down. *Another good sign..

In about 15 minutes I was sent to the doctor's office. As soon as I waked in I realized that I hit the mother lode.. because.. HE SPOKE FLUENT ENGLISH and told me that he often goes to the states for training updates. He X-rayed my hand and told me that I had indeed injured the tendon, gave me a brace to isolate my thumb and I was given an appointment a week later.

The best news of all? He has his own Physical T department and a couple of PT staff working there speak English too! I started 3 weekly PT sessions a week the following week.

The moral to this story? Keep looking up, don't give up, good things come to those that wait. AND, even on 'Let's Make a Deal' door #3 usually had the big prize!

And now you know.. what was behind door #3


susanc said...

That's great that you found a doctor who can help you. I hope your hand starts to feel better soon. Patience and persistence does pay off!

Carey said...

Glad you found the right doctor! In case you ever need to know, otorhinolaryngology is ear, nose & throat. :) Just in case you get a cold...

Sharly said...

Hi! I got caught up on your blog and really enjoyed it! Love the cat story, and I'm wild about your car!

See you around KH! Take Care!


iwouldratherbeknitting said...

Carey.. that's good to know! See, at least.. I knew that 'that wasn't the best place for me'... for a different reason of course.. but, can you imagine what they would have thought-- if I had found them and pointed to my injured thumb w/ a pain grimace for good measure? Ha ha

Thanks Susanc and Sharly.. keep reading.. I'll try to post as often as I can. There's always something interesting/different going on.