Korean kiropractor

So guess what 11 hours in an airplane and 25 hours of sitting around does to Jodi Teacher’s back? Frigs it all to hell, that’s what. Now, for those of you who don’t know, my back bugs me on and off anyway. But it has been horrid the last couple of days, and today it was so bad that I asked Ellie (a Korean teacher at the school and the person who made the decision to hire me) if there were chiropractors in Korea. This became an experience like no other.

So at lunch Ellie takes me to the doctor. Good thing, because I have NO idea what the hell they are talking about. When we get in to see the guy, as he is talking, Ellie is making faces and going “oh no…. oh no…. oh… oh” and looking over at me like I’m going to drop dead at any moment. She finally translates 5 minutes of discourse into “he says it could be serious”.

Now, he had me lie down and moved my legs around and poked me in the back to see where it hurts. Much like how a Canadian doctor would do it. Thus endeth the similarities.

Next thing I know I’m being taken for x-rays, at which point I try not to poop my pants. If someone wants to x-ray your SPINE, typically it isn’t a good indicator of what’s to come. (I found out later that afternoon that the chiropractors here x-ray everyone, which is actually not a bad idea). So after x-raying I go back into the doctor’s office – good news is that there doesn’t seem to be serious damage. WHOO HOO! But it is still hurting.

I get dragged into another room, told to lay on my left side. The nurse (or woman doctor??) massaged my back with a… thing? I don’t know what the hell it was. Ellie says “waves”, and all I can tells ya is that it was cold.

Then I had to lay on a hot pad for 40 minutes. The nurse (or woman doctor???) comes back and gets me up on my side. I wish I could tell you accurately what happened next, but alas – such is the barrier of language. She stuck things on my back – four of them I think. And then turned on “the machine”. I think it may have been electricity… it sort of felt like a bunch of needles (the way your leg falling asleep feels like needles). It felt good and wrong at the same time.

And yet… it was NOTHING compared to what came next… “traction treatment”. I thought they were kidding, until they took me to the rack.

I had a harness slipped under my shoulders, and a belt-thing lashed tightly around my pelvis. That part they hooked up to a machine that pulled on my pelvis while my arms were trapped in the harness.


All in all, the treatment took 2 hours. And cost me $30. And if I had my alien card, it would have been free (although Ellie tells me if I get cancer I’m fucked – cancer is NOT covered). If you are wondering, my back feels like hell… but it feels like the hell you endure before something gets better. Also, they gave me a prescription for drugs. They didn’t even cost $10. I’ve taken the first dose, but just moments ago so I can’t report yet how they work. If they suck, I have Robaxicin and beer is so cheap it is nearly free. I’ll let you all know how this fiasco turns out….

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