Sunday, November 23, 2008

The 2008 Flu Shot Chronicles

On Friday I got my yearly flu shot. Although medical professionals recommend that diabetics get flu shots yearly, just a few years ago I'd not gotten into the habit of it. During my 2003 winter vacation, I was one day from getting on a flight to Paris to spend a month taking a French course. The problem was I felt absolutely awful. I went to the doctor to see what was wrong and the doctor told me I had the flu! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

However, that was the first time I'd ever had the flu. Being ignorant of the real dangers, I took my prescription medicine and I chose to get on the plane anyway. I mean this was Paris! It ends up that the day I flew in, it snowed in Paris. So we had to spend the night in Frankfurt. I felt awful, and it was just a crazy mess. The next day I almost missed the flight to Paris because I had my laptop plugged in to access the net from my hotel room. I'm assuming that when they rang the line was busy and no one thought to send someone to get me. I finally got to my destination and, for the first few days I was there, I didn't feel well. My gracious host was astounded that I had la grippe. It was probably connected to having the flu and just being out of it, but I was so tired one afternoon that I took an insulin shot and ended up falling asleep before I ate anything. My blood sugar, of course, dropped to a dangerous level. I went into convulsions, someone heard it, called the paramedics, and I was rushed to the local ER. That was scary!

Lesson learned. Now I get a yearly flu shot.

This year, I waited until mid-November, so the hospital where I usually go was already out of vaccinations. Instead I went to Soonchunghyang University Hospital's International Clinic. I went there because it's close and, these days, I'm too busy to run across town when I don't have to. I'm glad I didn't because the people there are both efficient and friendly. I had a brief consultation with Dr. Byung-wook Yoo and he was great. The clinic's efficiency and friendliness along with Dr. Yoo's great "bedside" manner probably has a lot to do with great training coupled with the medical center being in the Hannam section of Seoul. For those who don't know, Hannam-dong is the area where diplomats and high income foreigners reside. There is a level of care these people expect. It did have that feel about it. So, here is another option for international care. You can contact them at 02-709-9114.

I figure the more health care choice options foreigners are aware of here, the better.

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