Tuesday, September 23, 2008

That Was Hillarious, As Always

Ahhh, the joys of doing things in Korean. First off, we were supposed to start at Door 2, Radiology, however the door was closed with several signs in Korean that looked important. We knocked, but nobody answered, so I voted for skipping to station 3.

Station 3 was classic. Pee and blood. While we got lovely closed containers to put our pee in, the area was mostly filled with urine in what looked like the kind of Styrofoam coffee cups you get out of those horrible machines in subway stations. Anyone or anything could be contaminating the samples, since they didn't even have lids. Of course, since we were in a public bathroom unsupervised, it could also be anyone's pee. Korea may need to look into how drug testing is actually done. As for the blood, it took quite a while and they could not find my veins.

Next up was the color blindness test (am good there) and the hearing test. I couldn't hear several of the beeps, but I sure as hell could hear everyone talking through the earphones, so I'm going to guess that I'm good on that front there. Couldn't figure out what was going on with the eye chart - she kept pointing at completely random numbers in different rows rather than having me read the last row I actually could and didn't seem to be listening to carefully to my answers at all. However, one must assume they aren't startled if I did a bad job on that one, what with my glasses and all.

Next the blood pressure. In Canada I am always told that I have slightly high blood pressure, but that it is within an okay allowance for white coat syndrome. I really can have an almost full blown panic attack while waiting to see doctors, so this seems right to me. However, in Korea, I have perfectly acceptable blood pressure - whether this means that Koreans are physiologically different, if it's okay for them to be a bit more stressed out, or if the factor of being bizarrely amused by all the randomness just causes me to relax, I don't know.

After being weighed and my height measured and tape measured around the chest line, we went and talked to someone about our medical history. That was interesting as it started out in Korean. When I say that I speak only a little Korean, I should learn how to state that none of my little Korean has anything to do with medical terms. I thought I knew how to say that my toe was broken, but it turns out that the word I use is really only meant for inanimate objects, not people's bones.

Finally we were ready to try door number 2 again. That was a laugh and a half. The radiologist did speak a bit of English, but he kept forgetting to do so. There was a scuffle about who would go first. There had been a man sitting waiting, because one might assume that a closed door in a hospital would indicate that you should wait outside. When nothing happened for a while, Shaun and I decided we were going to take the initiative and open it. Turns out that was exactly what you were supposed to do, but apparently it wasn't what was written on any of the signs in Korean because even the Korean guy didn't know what to do.

So, we changed into our gown thingies - that caused some confusion when the man seemed unsure if we were willing to share a change room or something. Then there was the fun of trying to get all my hair to stay up with a very tiny clip. A random Korean girl who was there with her English speaking boyfriend was recruited to translate and pin my hair up while I was chinned up to the machine. Two attempts later and they had a picture of my lungs.

That done, we were left standing around with our forms, unsure as to what to do with them. We attempted to give them back at reception, but she gave us a look that clearly said, "What are you two doing back here again???" Finally someone took pity on us and came over to take them. We were told that the results might be back as early as Friday.

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