Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Okay, I Lied

Okay, I lied. That previous "Last Shout Out" post wasn't my last shout out. And, learning from that, I'll only go as far as saying this ~might~ be my last shout out to the awesomeness that is the South Korean medical system. Who knows what might happen between now and getting on the plane.

I had a few things on my list I wanted to get done before leaving. One was to go through the gauntlet of medical exams I have to get that ranged from exams everyone ought to get on a regular basis to the specialized ones I need because of my two auto-immune conditions.

However, there are other things. I figured out when I got here that prescription eye glasses can be a bit less expensive out of pocket than back home. I'm near sighted, so for most things, I don't need glasses. However, even though I rarely drive in the States, I do sometimes and I ought to wear glasses when I do. It's not required...yet, but why take chances? I got two pair of mad stylish frames and prescription lenses yesterday for less than I'd pay out of pocket for the same frames back home. Frame shops are everywhere in Korea. If you're curious, I'll say I got mine in Myeongdong in the underground center next to Lotte Department Store, and I probably paid more than I would have if I'd gone to a different part of town. I just wanted something on the high end of the style scale and, frankly, I'm out of time. So I went where I know the drill.

Also, regular readers know that I got a bad toothache over the summer that ended up being a deep cavity that needed filling and during the treatment, which took a few days, I ended up loosing the temporary filling. That required a late night run to Yonsei's Dental Hospital. My love for my primary dentist dimmed over time because, like a lot of medical professionals, he was much more used to talking than listening. Also, I think just being in pain and having him take that pain away caused a bit of euphoria. This all happened about 8 months ago, so it was time for another dental cleaning. Yonsei was definitely where I was going to go.

It was easy. I called the day before and was told to just come in, no appointment required. I got there and asked where to go. I was escorted upstairs, even though I asked the woman to just tell me, she insisted leading me upstairs to the second floor. I payed for the initial visit, went back down to the first floor and waited maybe 10 minutes to see a dentist. He checked my medical history and asked me the basics. There was a bit of running for x-rays and a blood pressure check. A thorough exam, including a bit of consulting with senior dentists, proved things were normal to his satisfaction and he put me through a fairly gentle dental scaling. I'm sure some of you have experienced the teeth cleaning that felt like it was done by Marquis de Sade. I've got to say this was almost painless - not completely, but almost. After, I went back to the second floor cashier to pay up for the x-rays and scaling. Virtually painless.

So for those I'm leaving behind and to those that will find this after I'm gone, when you need your teeth cleaned (that's every six months, BTW - yes, the Freakeconmics guys might not agree), try Yonsei's Dental Hospital (click the picture to go to their home page, then click "English" if you need to). It's new, it's huge and you can easily get lost but the basic services are on the first two floors and there are enough staff members who speak enough English to point you in the right direction.

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