Sunday, February 18, 2018

Visit to the Hospital

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We've had a pretty busy nine days, averaging 5 to 7 miles of walking daily and seeing a lot of stuff...and we were going to take a bit slower in Osaka; guess weather having improved opened up opportunities to get out more.  Over the last few days I'd been experiencing a bit of pain in my groin.  I thought I had maybe pulled a muscle.  I sort of ignored it expecting it to go away.

After returning from Nara Park yesterday I took a hot bath in hopes of soaking away a bit of the soreness.  It was then that I discovered a lump where lumps aren't supposed to be.  It is bad enough when this happens to a person in their younger years.  Now that I am older these things have a more significant meaning.  My heart sank.  "Not now, not when everything is going so well."  I shared the discovery with Bobbie who was visibly concerned and allowed myself to dwell in the land of dismay for a few more minutes.  Then as I have always lived my life,  spent no more time on the problem and went right on to the solution.  I put on my "nurse face" and set the emotion aside.

I did a bit of research, shared my finding with my sister who is also a nurse, and got a second opinion. With that I started the process of finding a doctor to take a look.  Of course everything is in Japanese and the English sites are fairly useless for things like this.  After a Google search for "an English speaking medical clinic," I came up with a few choices.  Being Sunday I had to let things lay for a day.

In the morning I made a few calls and found a small hospital clinic that took walk-ins.  It was a twenty minute subway/walk and we found the place easily.  Once inside we removed our shoes and filled out a very brief questionnaire.  We forgot to ask about the cost...although we had already decided that it really didn't matter at this point.  Within a minute or two the doctor approached, introduced himself, and we were led upstairs to a diagnostic room.  The place was crowded with all kinds of folks.  Everything was very orderly.  Minutes later I was on a table with a technician doing an ultrasound.  Fifteen minutes later back in the waiting room we waited for the doctor. 

As I had problem was minor, something that will go away soon, and felt relieved.  The doctor, educated in Seoul, spoke excellent English, was as pleasant as could be, and after rendering his diagnosis and treatment plan, was more interested in talking about our travel life than medicine.  He was amazed at our story, accepted one of our cards, and asked if he could take a picture of us.  When was the last time you had a doctor do that.  After chatting another ten minutes about life and living, he made a few additional notes on his computer database and said goodbye.

At the checkout we were given our bill.  A fifteen minutes ultrasound, several images, physical exam, evaluation, and out the door for about $80.  If I had had a Japanese Health Card, it would have been free.  Wow!

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