ER in the ROK

d@mn. now I know what 응급실 means–emergency room.
going to a hospital in a foreign country was not on my overseas to-do list.


take heed.
if you scrape your finger or toe, sanitize that digit stat.

I let my toe get infected and now I’m hoping I can keep all 10.

usually, if you scrape your finger, you let it go, right? I always do. for example, if I have a hangnail, the side of my finger might be pink and tender for a day, but my body tackles it. not this time.

I scraped my toe a week ago, and four days later, it turned red.

red toe

each day it got a little worse. I thought one of these country-@ss Yongin mosquitos had bitten it. then the top of my foot became tender, and I started reading about wet gangrene. holy sh!t.

so I took a taxi to the closest ER, and the staff confirmed the toe was nickety nasty.
next thing I know, the doctor’s sticking a gimungous needle into my big toe and jabbing it with scissors.

I couldn’t feel my toe and was afraid he might be cutting it off. (yo. I need that toe!)
in broken korean:

“커팅 하고 있어요?!”
“is he cutting?!”

“no, he’s only opening your toe,” the nurse said.
then she makes a hand motion like someone pulling open a Ziploc bag.
in spite of this, she was very kind. great bedside manner.

the doctor on the other hand squeezed my toe like a near-empty tube of toothpaste.

“고름이 나왔어요?” he asked.
“i’m sorry, my korean’s so bad,” I said in Korean.

“pus. pus come out?” he asked again.
pus sounds far less disgusting in Korean.
no, only water came out of the toe. idk if that’s good or bad. so four shots and an antibiotic IV later, I was told to return the next day.


I went to a hospital in my hood after work today.

the PA gave me another antibiotic IV, examined the toe and told me to come back again tomorrow.

I asked:

“what will happen tomorrow?”
“we’ll look at your toe tomorrow.”

“will we be finished after tomorrow?”
“you’ll have to continue to come back.”

I’m getting nervous now.

“will there be any cutting tomorrow?”
“we have to see.”

I want to keep all my piggies!

3 thoughts on “ER in the ROK

  1. Tri says:

    Does this mean we need to cancel “Rene’s Welcome Home Shindig / ho-down / bugaloo”?

    Well, certainly means you won’t be joggin for a bit. Hope you feel better and keep those bandages fresh!

    • susanrene says:

      (what’s a bugaloo?)
      now’s your chance to train, so you can kick my @ss through the forest.

      i went back to the hospital today for another shot and look-see. they said come back again on monday. i asked if i’d get to keep 10 toes then. they said we don’t know, we have to see.

      don’t you think they would have cut it off today if it was worse?
      or given one day instead of three to return after? that’s what i’m telling myself. i hope healthcare providers are just more conservative.

      • Tri says:

        Your foot hasn’t turned black has it? Likely they are just being cautious to ensure the infection doesn’t spread, but most times the foot has to get REALLY nasty or REALLY swollen for the to amputate anything.

        Then again, I’m no medical professional.

        Oh, and I don’t need help whoopin your tookus in the woods! I fully expect to stomp you… for 3 weeks after you get back. Then you will regress to your Durham Feral Running side.

        **hugs** Feel better!

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