Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Today was not quite what I expected. I knew that once I got here, before I could have my alien registration card, I would need to go to the hospital for a medical check. I figured I would go, they would look at me, ask if I had any particular diseases, etc. And really it would be no big deal. Um, no. It was much more than that. Fortunately, and also to my embarrassment, the guy from the school, Jin, accompanied me. We got to the hospital and checked in. They gave me a cup to pee in. That was my first clue that this was a little more serious than I had expected. I asked Jin if I what I was supposed to do with the cup of pee once I was done. He told me just to bring it back out and bring it to the front counter. Uh… yuck. But ok. I am ok. I remember that Chile was quite similar in its dealings with body fluids and such things. So I went into the bathroom and peed into the cup. I stared at the bright yellow pee in the clear little Dixie cup and shook my head trying not to laugh out loud. Seriously? I have to carry this back through the lobby? There wasn’t even a lid! I took a deep breath and walked out of the bathroom, after washing my hands thoroughly! Next, blood pressure and pulse. Thanks to my dad’s side for the high cholesterol, my mom’s side’s low blood pressure is a nice healthy number. Next height and weight. Height, average for Korea. Weight, not so average for Korea. Maybe for a large Korean man… Then I was given a colorblind test, and a sight test. It was like at the DMV with numbers on a white board instead of letters. I guessed that it was ok to use the English names for the numbers since my Korean doesn’t extend that far. Evidently I am at 91% in my left eye and 82% in my right. Good to know. Next, a dentist kind of man looked in my mouth. Wasn’t sure if he would find anything interesting. Evidently not. Then to a “consultant” who finally did what I thought they would be doing: asked me if I had any number of diseases. He checked my ears. All good. Did I mention that some hot flash had hit me this morning and this whole process was done while sweating profusely? So gross. Anyways, then to the lab tech who took 4 little tubes of blood from me. Who knows what kind of tests they will be running. Finally, it seemed like we were done. After waiting a few minutes for my body to recover from giving blood, we walked out of the building. I thought we would be going home. Nope. We went into the next building where a little man led me to a room and spoke quickly to me in Korean. I looked at Jin who told me to go into one of the little booths, take off my top and brassiere and put on one of the little robes because I was going to x-rayed. Whoa. Yeah. I did so. And sheepishly came out of the dressing room in my robe. After a few minutes a little man led me into a room with a huge x-ray machine. They x-rayed my chest. I think. Who knows. And then into the little dressing room to put my clothes back on. And it was finally over. The school will get the results back in a few days and then Jin will go apply for my alien resident card. Amazing. All of this made me tired (and still sweaty) so I’ve come home now, to my nice little apartment. I showered and got into comfy sweats and into bed. From where I write to you. On that note, I’m due for a little siesta. Chau!