Saturday, January 27, 2007


So my breathing difficulties continued all week and on Thursday I had to go back to the doctor's when my constant gasping was exacerbated by my inability to sleep more than three hours a night. I hadn't been out all week due to the advice to avoid polluted atmosphere (i.e. Busan), and the short walk to the hospital only confirmed that hiding in the relative cleanliness of the apartment had been a smart move.

Before long I'd had a chest X-ray and ECG, confirming that the relatively good news that while the bronchitis was now an acute case it wasn't pneumonia or a heart problem. So, after another three inch needle in my ass and more drug cocktails from the pharmacy, it was back to the one-room apartment to continue my experiments in stir-crazy. The doctor said to give things another couple of days, but after that we'd have to consider hospitalisation.

I tried to take some rest, but the drugs kept me wide awake - a known side-effect with some people - so I kept my eye on the financial markets on the grounds that it was less stressful watching my FTSE shorts than lying in bed watching Korean TV wondering about them.

This morning the pain in my back - probably from my lungs - was too much to bear and I spent my day sleeping and sweating it off, finally making it back to the land of the living late afternoon feeling like I'd been through a war, but finally a little better nonetheless, and breathing is getting easier.

This is a great place to be ill compared to the UK because the doctor's seem to care and the treatment is instant, but it's not a great place to have respiratory problems. You see a lot of Koreans wearing face masks on the street when they're under the weather and
if I manage to get myself out and about in the next couple of days again maybe I'll join them - I'm sure that's going to attract even more stares than I usually get!

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