Wednesday, January 03, 2007


This morning I was back at the local hospital (Asan Hospital) for more blood tests and a another doctor's appointment. The doctor is tapering one of my meds: a steroidal anti-inflammatory (solondo: prednisolone). I started out in July with 4 pills a day. Now I am down to 1 a day. I am still taking several other pills, though: calcium supplement (Health Cal)(2/day), stomach protector (Gaster: famotidine)(2/day), non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (Mobic)(2/day), and a muscle relaxant (Exoperin)(3/day). Today he added ANOTHER kind of med; a painkiller. So now I am taking Ultracet three times a day, which is a combination of acetaminophen and tramadol. Now... tramadol is a narcotic-like painkiller. So... I am going off of steroids and onto narcotic-like drugs. Yay for me. I started taking it this afternoon. It made me feel a bit strange, actually. Nausea is one of the common side effects (there is quite a list of them, really). The doctor said that if I get really bad nausea, to taper the drug, or stop taking it. Well, I felt a bit sick a while after taking it, but that went away. I still felt a bit odd, though. After the second dose, the nausea was less than after the first. I guess I shall see how it goes; and see if it makes a difference.
The lab tests and visit with the doctor cost me 31,000 won (C$39/US$33.38). A month's worth meds cost me 55,240 won (C$69.51/US$59.48).
And then it's back to the doctor in another month.
For some reason, many Koreans think it strange that I know what meds I am taking, and what they do. Koreans don't seem to care. They just do what the doctor orders.

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