So I went in to the specialist this morning. I was lucky that I had a Korean friend with me. We got me to the hospital and I had been sitting for nearly an hour when we got to the area (I had gone in to get my stitches looked at), and all the sitting finally got to me and it was so painful that I started crying. Seeing my tears they decided to get me in to see the back doctor ASAP.

This doctor spoke English and he was WONDERFUL and HELPFUL. He asked what had happened, asked me specific questions about the pain, then had me lay down on the medical bed, where he raised my legs, pulled on my feet, asked me to flex my leg muscles, etc.

He showed me my original x-ray and at first said what the ER doctor said – that my vertebrae are a good distance from one another. However, he noted that my lowest one is much closer to my hip bone and that it was VERY possible that the exercise I did had put pressure on the nerve and caused it to swell, and was causing the pain. He directly recommended an MRI and talked about possibilities. Yes, one possibility was back surgery, HOWEVER, he said that it was not likely, and that it can often resolve on its own. He said likely what we would do would be to inject the area with something that will bring the swelling down, and went on.

So I have an MRI scheduled for Friday at 7am. Holy crap they’re expensive. It cost 790,000 won – around US$700. Yikes. Then I have a consultation with him afterward. Also, he prescribed much stronger and better meds. In fact, he gave me a big ole bag o’ pills. No joke.

It came in a plastic bag. hahaha

So I’m on a pain patch – I change it every fourth day. I’m on a big Tylenol, a valium, a “blood purifier” and a stomach pill – because apparently some of what I’m taking can cause stomach issues. I thought this picture was funny because in Korea they don’t just give you a bottle of pills. They separate them out for you with plastic by dosage. This is great for a few days worth of pills – but for 30 days? Ridonkulous.

Speaking of . . .

reruns are nice, except when they’re being held by your stomach.

Yesterday I felt FINALLY comfortable and pain free. I was ABLE to lay down for an extended period of time WITHOUT having to shift because my bones felt like they were crushing each other. But that evening I was feeling nauseated. All night. So much so that I went and bought ginger, sucked on it, and even went to sleep with some in my mouth. When I would drink water my stomach felt too full. Then, waking up this morning I had a dinner flashback, so to speak. I did notice that a pill had not fully digested.

Yuk.

So I’m happy to report that the new pain pills actually work. Huzzah. And I have a doctor who knows more about back stuff than the ER doctor. And again, comfortable and pain-free.