Archive for the ‘They Stole A Piece of Me’ Category

swollen elbow

March 5, 2009

My elbow is fucked.  Instigating tussles when you’ve had 2 bottles of soju and enough whiskey to kill a buffalo isn’t always the brightest idea.  Going to get it drained today, which should be fun.

I have one horror story involving Korean hospitals, surgery and tactful doctors.  Last year, I noticed that I had a big lump that was located up and to the right a little bit from my groin.  Being such a healthy person, I automatically assumed it was a tumor and I had 6 months to live.  So I went in to DDong Hospital in Yangsan.  At first, the doctor didn’t know was it was and following the doctor’s manual here, just gave me a shitload of antibiotics and said come back in a week if it doesn’t work.  Didn’t work.  The lump was twice the size and had several new friends.  Back to Yangsan.  Different doctor this time.  Mind you, none of these guys speak English and there’s a nurse translating for them.  Doctor number 2 says it could be nothing or I’m fucked, gives me option of “biopsy”.  The nurse explains the biopsy procedure.  According to her rendition, it involved inserting needles into The Leader of the Lumps and getting some tissue samples to test for malignancy.  I can recall thinking, “No problem, needles aren’t bad.”  My guess was that they would do the operation sometime in the following week.  So 10 minutes later I’m all prepped for surgery…

The Operation.  I’m lying on my back, staring into those big three lights that you see all the time in the movies and my stomach begins to sink.  I couldn’t see that well from lying down on my back, but am alarmed that I don’t see a single fucking needle anywhere.  Nurse informs me that they must shave around spot to be excavated.  Korean man, ajosshi, doctor, whatever you want to call him begins shaving pubes with pink disposable razor.  Made a joke motioning to one of the 4 female nurses of whom, 3 are staring at my junk, that I’d prefer their delicate touch with the razor.  Everyone laughs, doc keeps shaving pubes.  He held this head very close to the razor while doing so, thinking that maybe he has bad eyesight.  Wondered how much this would cost me with a very strange, most likely non existent Korean male prostitute who does fetish pube shaving on crackers.  The pubes are finishy.

Standard Procedure.  Alcohol swab and area is covered with a blanket that’s missing a little square.  Staring at lights.  My Korean listening ability was shit and still is.  Get distinct feeling I’ve been abducted by the aliens from Mars Attacks and they’re experimenting on me.  Everyone is babbling at the same time.  Staring at lights.  Doc gives me thumbs up and a hearty “OK!”, and it begins.  Local anesthetic kicks in, but develop distinct itch on balls that I can’t scratch.  Want to ask nurse for assistance, wishing I was fluent.

Goes Downhill.  The doc is doing something, I can’t see.  Area is numb, but I’m pretty fucking sure that I’m not getting poked with needle.  Tugging sensation.  Sound isn’t right.  Staring at lights.  Tug, tug, tug.  Stops.  Now pulling.  Now gross noise.  Starting to hyperventilate, panic, and desiring a cigarette.  Out of the corner of my eye I see a bloody surgical knife get passed to one of the nurses.  I imagine the eyes in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre fleeting back and forth.  Nurse hands doc tweezers.  Up to this point, doc hasn’t said one word in English.

He clasps my swollen lymph node in tweezers, waves it in front of my face and says with a big shit eating grin, “LOOK WHAT WE CUT OUT OF YOU!!!”  Too much for me.  Staring at lights that are beginning to go dark.  Passed out.  Wake up to nurse who didn’t shave my pubes smacking my cheek, and about 6 medical staff yelling, “OK?! OK?!”  Was OK?!  Not happy, but OK?!  Usually, I’ll lose my temper at the drop of a hat if I feel I’ve been fucked over, but I was a bit more concerned about my grape sized lymph node that  had just been FUCKING STOLEN.  Spot where they hijacked part of my anatomy really hurts.  Stitches in groin not sexy, not cool. 

Gingerly put clothes on.  Limp through lobby.  Get in Korean friend’s car.  He immediately starts giving me shit, and asking if I miss my “mommy”.  12 gauge.  Need a double barrel 12 gauge.  Look at hospital that stole my lymph node, make mental note to call in airstrike.  This aggression will not stand.  Friend drives me to SuckTown hagwon.  Wince and swear through 3 classes, go home, smoke 400 cigarettes and plot revenge.

End of line.