Saturday, May 10, 2008


Tuesday evening I came down with a stiffness and soreness in my left big toe.  I iced it up, but that didn't seem to help.  I did some research, and the first thing I came to was a possible stress fracture.  I babied it on Wednesday and it felt better Thursday.  Then Friday morning, it was back hurting as it had.  It was hard to even walk.
I was supposed to move Saturday morning but had to push it back because of rain.  So, I took the opportunity to go to the doctor.  I was still convinced that I had a broken toe somehow.
The doctor looked at it, touched it, and mumbled, "memluhbablh arthritis."

Eh.  Gout has to be one of the ugliest words in the English language.  It so ugly in fact that even try to avoid is phonetic cousin "grout."  Gout. which occurs mainly in men, is caused by a buildup of uric acid in the joints.  This uric acid causes little crystals to form on the joints, which lead to pain and inflammation.
Anyway, he wanted to x-ray to be sure it wasn't broken.  So, I limped over to the x-ray room.  The tech had me sit on the table and then contorted my foot and toes in such a way as to not care if it was broken or not.  In fact, after he finished, it hurt so bad that I thought if he hadn't been broken before, then it certainly was now.
I limped back to the doctor's office after a few minutes.  I saw an x-ray of my foot up on screen.  He started in a chuckle, "Your foot is very big but your skeleton is small."
I thought, 'So he's saying I have a fat foot?  Great.'
Then, he wanted a blood test to confirm his diagnosis and to give me a shot to bring down the inflammation.  So, I limped over to the injection room.  The nurse took my arm, applied a tourniquet, slapped my arm a couple times and shouted, "Pain!"  Then, she plunged the needle into my arm and took my blood.  She gave me a piece of gauze to put over the hole in my arm and shooed me back out into the waiting area.
"Por minutes," she said.
So, I wanted "por minutes" and was called back into the office.  "Hip injection," she said as she ushered me into a curtained area.  She closed the curtain and repeated, "Hip injection."
I know enough Konglish to know that by "hip" she really meant my butt.  She came back with the needle and said again, "Hip injection."
I undo by belt and drop my clothes just enough to let her do what she needs to.  She pushes my shoulder down so I'm leaning across the table and says, "Relax."  Then, takes a cold alcohol swab across my skin a few times.
My almost 26 years of experience as a patient didn't prepare me for what came next.  I'll just say it, she slapped my ass.  She slapped it four times.
"Relax," said firmly between slaps.
"I would be more relaxed if you weren't slapping me," I replied.
With little warning, she shouted, "Pain!"  Before I knew it, she stuck me with the needle.  I didn't feel the needle as much as I felt whatever cold liquid she put inside my buttock as it began to spread out.  Then she grabbed my hand and placed it over a piece of gauze where she had just stuck me, "Hold one minute."
I tried to hold, but I was laughing to hard too do it proper.  My bill came to W11,000 (about $10.80) and included the exam, x-rays, blood work, ass slaps, and the injection.
When I got home, I checked and found what the doctor had been trying to tell me:  metabolic arthritis.  that's the medical term and actually sounds much better.  I might even suggest that a simple abbreviation of M.A. be used.  Whatever you call it, MA hurts.


  1. Congrats you now have gout like me. Welcome to the club of pain.

  2. W11,000 (about $10.80) and included the exam, x-rays, blood work, ass slaps, and the injection.

    Sorry to hear about the pain tho.


  3. I found your blog as I have recently been offered a job position in Geoje and wanted to see what life might be like on the Island.

    I started to get pretty into your writings (ignoring all work I should be doing) when I stumbled upon this particular post.

    My officemates sure were startled when I burst into laughter and yelled PAIN!!



I appreciate comments. If you have a personal message to me, then e-mail would be best.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...