Life in Gangneung 강릉 Life in Korea 한국

A Bug? A Snake?! The Mysterious Sting Ends at the Hospital

2013/07/26 by Nina 16 Comments

Wednesday night at about 9 pm I went for a walk. As I was heading down the concrete path by the school something stung the side of my left foot. Immediately, I used my cell phone to check my foot and noticed a little blood, I looked for the culprit and found nothing. As soon as I put my left foot down again, I realized I could no longer stand on it…so I walked awkwardly back home.

When I got inside I washed it and put ice on it to subside the swelling on half of my foot. After messaging a friend, I contacted my co-teacher who luckily had her boyfriends car. We drove to the emergency room at a small hospital in Donghae. The doctor’s didn’t know what was wrong as the allergist wasn’t in. So they gave me a saline drip for 3hours and 2 shots of antihistamines one in the ass, how delightful. They said come back in the morning, especially if it gets worse.

I went home and did not sleep at all that night. Navigating the house by hopping on one foot or by crutches was not easy. Then there was the swelling which only went to my ankle but was now under my knee by the time I met my co-teacher to go back to the doctor’s. We went back to the hospital and they put a new brace on my leg and said I should go to the other hospital in Gangneung after getting a pain shot.

When we arrived in Gangneung, I was sent to the emergency room as the specialist was not in until Monday. The doctor’s baffled by what was wrong with me took a blood test and x rays of me. I was laying on the cot in the hallway for a long time. My co-teacher said they had no idea what it was so they gave me pain medication and antihistamine shot. I was hooked up to a meal replacement iv. My co-teacher had to leave as someone had to teach English camp. { I was disappointed as today we were going to learn about the USA and make piñatas.} So another teacher would arrive around 3 to look after me.

The doctors were thankful  that I spoke some Korean and they came and took pictures of my foot. Poking and examining it, they told me there was nothing they could see and because I am young, I would be okay. However, I should not be on my foot at all. I need absolute rest for the next 3~4 days. Which means I should stay at a hospital because I live alone, I wouldn’t really rest. However, I couldn’t stay at their hospital because there was no room.

Finally, the department head arrived and took me back to the school. My principal told me that she asked all the elderly neighbors and they said, ” It could only be a snake.” Most of the teachers at my school share this same opinion that it was a snake though  don’t have any poison in my blood stream. So was it a snake? The verdict is still out, but I believe the elderly are right in this case.

I was escorted to a smaller hospital by a few teachers last night. I had to do another blood test and more x-rays. I was hooked up to another iv and given a leg brace as well. No one seems to know why my foot is the way it is. All I know is that it hurts to move and the bones hurt to touch.

My co-teacher and her boyfriend brought me dinner and left afterwards, I was put in a room with a bunch of elderly women. I have realized it is a task to do anything with an iv and bum leg.

The ladies in the room have rotated a bit and their caregivers have been very kind to me. Getting me water, offering me corn, and one lady even washed my hair. We chit-chatted in Korean a bit.

The current diagnosis is unknown and I am here until Monday when they do another round of blood tests. I’m hoping to be discharged then and on my way back home to teach my kids.

Walking on two feet would also be nice.

The leg comparison of swelling.
My regular hospital meals.

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