Friday, September 5, 2008

Here's something you don't want the hospital to say...

..."They found something on your chest x-ray."

On Wednesday, I went to the hospital for my mandated physical to be allowed to stay in the country. The blood test and urine test were fine, even though I hadn't studied for them. But my systolic blood pressure was 170, which is ludicrous. (I'd pop like a tick.) I tried to explain that I was exhausted and nervous and had had several cups of my boss Hee-Duk's coffee, which is literally three or four times stronger than I'd ever make. But the nurses barely spoke any English. That in itself is unfortunate in a medical situation, I'd say.

Yesterday, Thursday, Hee-duk told me the hospital had called and wanted me to return right away. "They found something on your chest x-ray," he told me. So immediately I started thinking about malignant growths and such, and getting kicked out of the country, and, well, dying.

It was an anxious ride back to the hospital. It only makes everything worse when nodoby speaks your language, and I had a bit of a wait, during which nobody would or could explain to me what the problem was. Eventually I got to see a doctor who spoke a little English, and he showed me the x-ray and said that it showed that my heart is unusually large. That may come as a surprise to the waitresses I haven't tipped liberally. (Actually, it's the only thing I don't do liberally.) But you can imagine my gigantic sigh of relief. I'm not being deported, I'm not dying. As Martha Stewart would say, "It's a good thing."

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