Life in Gangneung 강릉 Life in Korea 한국

Reflections from a hospital bed

Thought #1
Is hospital beds suck. I have never been a patient before and the fact my back, ass, hips and leg hurt for days because of a terrible bed doesn’t sit well with me. Comfier beds would be a great improvement.

Thought #2
Hospitalized grannies are very talkative and entertaining. I have been staying with four of them, one doesn’t speak but nods her head yes or no and smiles. One of the grannies talks a lot to the other granny ‘the room leader'[she has been in the room the longest]. And the other granny is soft spoken and doesn’t talk much.
One of the teacher’s at my school wheeled me to the lobby for a change of scenery where a bunch of grannies were sitting and I felt like the highlight of their day, they started yammering at me. Lots of compliments, questions, and wanting to introduce me to a golf teacher. Thanks granny, I will pass.

Thought #3

The atmosphere of the hospital room is different. Back home privacy is important even at the hospital and you rarely see patients family members interacting with anyone but their family member.  My room was filled with family members who slept the night next to the grannies or  took shifts caring for them. They bring food and almost all food that is brought is shared with the other patients and their family members: like a community. They talk through the day and we all watch tv together as there is only one in the room.

Thought #4

In the USA, nurses shoulder a lot of the responsibility for caring for patients even down to the nitty gritty of helping change sheets, dressing, and bathing them. The nurses here are nice and in instances, I think they help when they are needed, but the primary care comes from visiting family. The families in my room: helped them to the bathroom, changed sheets, bathed them, helped them to eat, etc. But the rules are different as they are allowed to stay the night and come and go anytime. One lady in the room washed my hair for me, which was nice and unexpected.


Thought #5
Friends in strange places. One of my nurses is a year or two younger than me and tried to speak English to me. Today is the last day before her shift ends, so because she won’t see me when I leave, she brought a gift. It was sweet and unexpected to receive some snacks, vitamin C, and a letter in English/Korean asking to be friends and to eat dinner together once my leg is better. I never thought I’d make a new friend in the hospital.


Thought #6
Bread!!!!!! All foreigners like bread. This is a funny one as I do eat rice, and the teachers at school know I just don’t eat a lot of it. Worried I might not like the food, I have received a lot of bread from one teacher.


And I have also received a cheese cake from the science teacher.

Thought #7

Sometimes we don’t know what is wrong but need to take it day by day. The old ladies in the hospital, the elderly back home, and most of the teachers say, ‘it was a snake.’ A few others have suggested a centipede. I never knew those suckers bit people.  So though the doctors can’t tell me 100% yet what is wrong, my leg is getting better slowly and they are taking good care of me. I have another blood test tomorrow and we shall see what the results are and hopefully I can go home.

Thought #8
Be open to new advice. The science teacher and her friend think I should see a traditional medicine doctor as well. They basically draw out the bad blood and it should help the area. She told me to ask the principal and I think I will. Getting better faster is always better and the last  traditional doctor I went to was a Tibetan monk in India, it was the fastest most efficient doctor’s appointment I have ever been to…

So these are some of my thoughts from this hospital stay.  The culprit is a mystery but whats being done now is working and there is always an alternative to try if you are open minded. I will keep everyone updated on my progress.

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