Yellow dust

So about this time every year, dust from the Gobi Desert area starts blowing through most of East Asia. I didn't really know about "yellow dust season" before I got to Korea, but boy have I gotten an introduction. While I haven't actually SEEN the dust, I've definitely felt it. Started last week with some wheezing -- I've used my fast-acting inhaler about once in the last year. As severe as my asthma was in childhood, it's mild to nonexistant these days, and I was naturally surprised to find I had breathing difficulties. I developed a slight cough and the breathing worsened, so Monday I went to the hospital.

Korean medical care is interesting. I go see the general doctor, who speaks enough English, tell him I'm having breathing trouble and am asthmatic and all he does is listen to my lungs. It sort of freaks me out how they prescribe anything without taking a medical history, asking about possible interactions or even doing a real physical. Anyway, he gave a "Turbuhaler" to take twice a day and two doses of prednizone and that was that.

My wheezing did get better, but I got sicker. I went back on Thursday and I've progressed to full-blown pneumonia. This time my "physical" consisted of listening to my lungs, temperature and a chest x-ray (this is the nice part of Korea: a $10 chest x-ray!). I got lots of drugs (they don't tell me what they are, and it's a convoluted process of looking up the insurance number on druginfo.co.kr and then googling the active ingredients). Hopefully, they're working.

I did get Friday off work, though not if The Hagwon had had their way. I don't have any sick days left, because I used them both for India-related things, but even if I did the Korean view on illness isn't terribly pragmatic. They try to bargain with you, "well, maybe you can come just for this one class, because parents expect there is foreign teacher--"


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