South Korea Day 3: Myeongdong Medical

Diary: Monday 28 March in SEOUL

Normally I am a very cheerful person.


Everyday is a day filled with sunshine and flowers.

Today, however, the future doesn’t look very rosy.

I struggled through Sunday thinking that Monday will be a better day. However, throughout the night I was in sharp pain each time I tried to swallow.

The way I can describe the pain is like this: imagine you have scraped the skin off your knee and the flesh is exposed. Now pour some acid on it and that is the kind of pain I have.

It is sharp, raw and relentless. The problem with it being in the throat is that you can’t avoid it or cover it with a bandage.

I sit through breakfast not being very good company at all. All I could was to think about what I could eat yesterday, which was all this and a bit more. Today, even drinking proves to be a trial and I avoid eating anything.






SS did the very Korean thing which is to call another doctor who fortunately is down the road in Myeongdong.

Dr Kim is an ear, nose and throat specialist and his calling card features a small stylised elephant’s head. The fun starts and stops here.

In the consultation room there was a lot of prodding of ear, nose and throat. I won’t go into detail but you need to imagine the ENT version of going to the dentist. There was some serious investigation because, as I said earlier, Korean doctors take their patients very seriously.

After the assessment there was a session to help unblock my nasal passage. Hot steam came out through a pipe attached to a steam machine, which I had to inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth.

Dr Kim says I have laryngitis and something else to do with the nose, caused by the initial bout of flu. Another round of medication is prescribed with further advice that I must continue to eat and of course, avoid caffeine and alcohol.

I’m so desperate I make myself eat lunch and don’t even wait for the meal to be over before taking the medication.




I sleep through the afternoon then decide we really must go for a walk to Insadong at least, to stretch our legs.






Despite our best intentions, I am too tired to visit my favourite Kyobo Bookstore after dinner. I haven’t packed and I need to sleep.

We head to Jeju Island in the morning and for the next leg of our trip. The weather is predicted to be sunny and I really hope my disposition improves too.

Addresses: we had a lunch of noodles in Gran Seoul and dinner in Insadong, and the details will be listed in a separate post at the end of the holiday.