We’ve all been there out having fun, hanging out and getting something to eat oblivious to the destruction occurring within our bodies as we finish the last of that glorious chicken. Within a few short hours we’re quickly aware of what’s happening to our digestive system and we are not happy about finding out either.
That’s exactly what happened to me Wednesday night and it was a long night for me. I’ll spare the details but I will say that it’s the first time since I’ve gotten here in Korea that if a plane ticket was offered to me to go home or stay here and fight it out I might’ve taken that damn ticket. The next day I showered up, drank some water and headed to work. A more accurate description is that I dragged myself to work because I didn’t want to call my boss and ask to have the day off so I could sleep. I’m a firm believer that you don’t quit until the ref blows the final whistle and I wasn’t going to let my boss think that I was just hung over and didn’t want to come to work.
Well I made it to work, went to my classroom I share with my co-teacher, Josh, and promptly fell asleep at my desk. An hour later my boss woke me up, asked what was wrong, I told her and she immediately took me to the local pediatric clinic. Now I think that this is an excellent example of how efficient Korea is at something but completely useless if you don’t speak Korean. We walked up to the clinic and within 30 seconds I was seeing the main doctor. There was no medical background check, no major questions about my diet or medicinal use, all the Doctor asked was if my stomach still hurt, “No” I answered, and if I was still experiencing some symptoms. “A little” I answered again.
Fortunately my boss was there to translate for me and after his examination he successfully concluded that I needed a shot and an IV line to rehydrate. I understood the IV but I asked my boss, “Why the shot and what’s in the shot.” She translated to the Doctor and he said that it an anti-viral shot. Now I’m no medical expert but I am one of those annoying people who asks the Doctor exactly what I’m putting in my body and for what purpose. Even though I could barely walk I still knew that food poisoning was bacterial in origin and that if a true anti-viral shot exists then the common cold would be eradicated.
But it was better than a steroid shot so I took the shot, in the cheek and not the one on my face mind you and then laid down to let the IV do its work. Later my boss came and got me and we went back to the academy and she decided to let me go home and rest. I expressed my gratitude got a ride home from one of the secretary’s and promptly passed out once I was on my bed.
I don’t know if it was the shot, sleeping for a day, or the IV and drinking lots of water but the next day I felt much better and was ready for work. To date here in Korea that was the most isolated I’ve truly felt. I had no clue what to do, who to talk to and then how to recover. There’s no jell-o, no applesauce here and I was eating watered down rice and green bean soup instead. Those aren’t exactly comfort foods and I hated lying in bed all day with barely the energy to go pour some water. However it would’ve been much, much worse if my boss and her secretary hadn’t helped me out, so I’m very grateful to them for putting color back in my cheeks, but on my face this time.
Anyone else have any experiences similar to this and for all of you medical experts out there I ask what was in that “anti-viral” shot I was given?