Live Long and Prosper

3 Mar

Now I will share the tale of how I found confidence in the Korean healthcare system, with you, my viewership of zero.

All foreign teachers need an alien registration card. In order to be a registered alien you must prove that you are not a pedophile(which my black market contact…erm I mean RCMP representative already did prior to my departure). You also must prove that you don’t have AIDS, hence a health check is required at your local hospital upon arrival. So a day or two after I arrived I along with my new boss visited a nearby hospital. I was grateful to have her with me as the entire form was in Korean. This also mean that she had to ask me some very personal health questions. When she arrived at this part she broke into a cold sweat and mumbled the question at a volume of 0.5 decibels. “Pardon?” She then cleared her throat and repeated herself, still trembling “Do you smoke?” It was one of the cutest things I’ve ever experienced; she was earnestly afraid to ask me if I smoked.

After completion of the form, I was required to complete what can only be described as a health check decathlon. For the first leg I was presented a flimsy dixie cup and what appeared to be a stir stick, then was shoved in the direction of the ladies room. After finishing my business I had to jog my uncovered cup-o-urine to a desk of eager nurses waiting to give me instructions about my next leg in Korean. Which of course I didn’t understand so they resorted in briskly dragging me (at min speed of 9km/h) from one examination room to the nest to conduct a series of tests.

The following is what solidified my trust in the healthcare system:
– The hospital employs a dentist who apparently has xray vision “Ah how are your teeth” *shines light in my eye, glances at face* “ooohhh excellent, everything is normal”. What??
– My meeting with the general physician was incredibly thorough . I sat down at a chair about 6 feet from his desk “Hello! oh you are from Canada” *long tale about something Canada related* “No health problems right? Ok thank you”
– Of course I decided to wear my long expired contact lenses plus drink the night before. Needless to say my vision was not at top form, causing my eye exam to go as follows: “Read this line please” erm…a…z…uhhh…..f….I dunno……a…….z “No the correct answer is c d k o r. Let’s try a different approach. What is this a picture of ?” uh a fish? “No that would be a house. Ah good news you have excellent eyes!”
– Last but not least was the blood test. The nurse used an alcohol swab to sterilize my arm, then proceeded to massage it with her bare hands in hopes of finding an adequate vein. This was the same nurse who earlier handled my uncovered urine sample. There was no sink behind the nurses desk. Just a pile of used medical supplies she probably had just finished fondling. Ok probably not but still.

The results of the tests were meant to arrive in 5-7 days. Mine took 1. My boss took this as an indication of me being in super excellent health. I think it’s more likely because this hospital uses the highly reputable sniff technique to check for AIDS. Either way I’m now a registered alien. Mission accomplished. And to be fair I’ve had similar experiences in Canada, so I feel what this experience truly solidified is my distrust of health practitioners on whole.



3 Responses to “Live Long and Prosper”

  1. Chris March 12, 2011 at 7:51 pm #

    I used to think friends didn’t really want me to read their blogs because they came across sounding so different from real life. And it seemed too futuristic knowing what had happened between get-togethers.

    But I’m turning over a new leaf as a supportive commentator and you my laughter at your doctors is echoing through the empty condo office. I’m so glad life’s keeping you amused! Cher and I have discussed doing a skype double date whenever you’re more settled.

    That baby is ADORABLE. x

  2. kris March 12, 2011 at 11:14 pm #

    i hope you didn’t get aids!!!

  3. Shauna K March 13, 2011 at 1:54 pm #

    No aids woooo. and lets please do a skype double date asap. Kris would you like to join and make it a triple date????

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