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TL;DR – Health Care in Korea

August 15, 2013

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Martina’s sick today. And I’m writing this and I’m starting to feel sick. Marriage: you can share everything, including your viruses! Ah my eyes burn. Anyhow, I’m feeling woozy so this might be a bit of a silly post. First, let me direct you to one of our really old videos, before we felt comfortable on camera at all and were super awkward. Here’s our Korean cold medicine video:

You can see jjuk in that video. The stuff we made today did not look like that because Martina slow cooked two chickens with onions and celery and used the broth to make her jjuk. She even sautéed some onions, ginger, garlic, tossed in some Korean dried dates and it was SOOOOOOOOOO GOOD! And normally I hate jjuk. Anyhow, we’re gonna tell you some stories about health care and more about how to get medicine from pharmacists in Korea.

Magic Needle to the Ass

One of the things we didn’t talk about was magic-needle-to-the-ass. People who have been in Korea might know what we’re talking about. Needle to the ass. Feeling sick? Doctor’s got a needle to put in your ass for that! I thought they just did that in movies. I never got needled to the ass in Canada. I usually just get them in the shoulders. In Korea, though, the preferred method is in the ass. We have friends who went to the hospital, didn’t speak Korean, got needle to the ass, and miraculous recovery. WHAT IS IN THIS CONCOCTION!!

Point is: I’m not sure what’s in these needles, but they work. Have a cold that feels more severe than a real cold? Needle to the ass! God inexplicable groin pain that first made doctors think you’re about to die? Needle to the ass! Maybe one day you will experience this glory.

OH WAIT! Martina once got the Korean needle to the ass, but she wasn’t sick. She was trying to rescue a scared kitten crying in the park at 1AM during a thunder storm. When she tried to grab it, it mauled her hand and took a big kitten chunk out of her finger. She shamefully walked over to the hospital with her drippy bloody finger and because she’s allergic to cats and her finger was all gross and swollen and pink. She was getting all puffy and itchy and trying to explain the story to the nurses was HIIII-larious. They were like, “why would you touch a wild cat?” we’re like, “IT WAS A LOST KITTEN DON’T YOU SEE???!!!” Anyways, after we got super judged by the nurses for poor behaviour, they gave Martina some anti-infection/rabies shot to the ass. Poor Martina. She still brought that ungrateful kitten a can of tuna after that.

Korean Pharmacy Life Hack

Now, we’re not doctors in any way, shape or form, except when we act like certifieded doctors for Music Monday. These are just some of the things we’ve learned to ask for when we’re looking for medicine in Korea. A lot of this stuff is over the counter in Canada, but some of it isn’t so in Korea, but I’ve found that pharmacies aren’t necessarily uniform in their regulations. Some follow it, some don’t. Point is, we’re not doctors, so don’t take our word on this here. Do the research yourself. I’m refusing all liability if you do something and explode from death.

Also, some of the medicine you might be used to are combinations of some of these things, so, if there’s some medicine you’re used to, just get a list of the medical ingredients and a better understanding of what works for you, so you can ask for the ingredients rather than the brand when you’re in Korea. It’s also useful for when you’re in other countries. Martina got a cold when we were in Japan last, and so we just asked for the ingredients, which are universally named. Booya!

List of Common Medicines

Tylenol = Acetaminophen
Advil = Ibuprofen
Robaxacet = Methocarbamol
Getting Rid of Dry Cough/Cough Suppressant = Antitussant
Getting rid of a Mucousy Cough = Expectorant
Allegra = Fexofenadine
Sudafed (or anything else for stuffy noses) = Pseudoephedrine

Now, an interesting note. This last one (Pseudoephedrine) might not be given to you in a high dose by an over the counter pharmacist, they’ll say you need a prescription. This didn’t happen to us the first 4 years we were in Korea but recently it seems Korea is trying to crack down on illegal drug creation, more specifically meth. Any Breaking Bad fans out there? Yeah, so we were really baffled when it happened, but that’s what our local pharmacist told us. It super sucks because our sinus infections are wicked bad and require extra strength but it seems now we require a prescription to get that and AIN’T NO ONE GOT TIME FOR THAT! Australia, when we visit we will make a trip to the pharmacist.

Terms For Being Sick

So for those of you currently in Korea or planning on moving here, here is a little list of terms we put together that I hope you find helpful when you’re sick in Korea.

Stuffy Nose/ A Cold 감기 kam–gee
A Cough 기침 gee-chim
Runny Nose aka Snotty McSnotterson 코물 koh-mool (which literally means nose water! Hahahahh I LOVE IT)
Sore Throat 목아프다 or 목쓰림 mohk ah-poo-dah/mohk sseu-reem
The Flu 독감 Dok-gam
Barfing 구토 Gu-toe (FYI the “sound” of barfing in Korean is “UUUUUEEEHHKKK” but I liked to use “TOOOOEEEEEEE” which always made my students laugh)
DIHHARREEEHHAA 설사 seol-sa (or as I say, “SALSA PARTY!” and then I dance the salsa before running away sadly)
Constipation 변비 byeong-bee
Fever 고열 goyeol

Onto those things involving PAIN which always end with = 통 THAT TONG TONGTONGTONGTOOOooOOOONGG! Get it? Guise? Ahem…

A Headache 두통 Du-tong
A Toothache 치통 Chee-tong
Tummyache 복통 bok-tong
Girly cramps for that time of the month 생리통 saeng-retong (or secret term between girlfriends “ma-jik” aka MAGIC *Martina breaks in singing MAAAAAAGIC MAAAAAGIC MAAAAAGIC, OHMO OH MO OH MO…)

Korean Health Care Locations

This may not seem that important, but a couple notes on this. First of all, everything in Korea is stacked vertically so you might not expect to find your local Dentist on the 15th floor but that’s actually a normal thing, so learning the Korean words for health clinics can help you find one where you least expect it. Pharmacies are normally on ground level and dentists usually have teeth or other obvious things, but the E.N.T and Oriental Clinics are much craftier to find. Also, if you’re ever in an emergency and hop in a taxi, you can just tell them BYUNGWON. Here are some of the other names you might need:

– Pharmacy 약국 yahk-gook (medicine is just 약, so we always joke about being sick by saying we need to find a YAAAAAKKK)
– 
Hospital 병원 Byeong-won
– 
Dentist 치과 Chee-gwah
– 
Oriental Medicine Clinic 한의원 Haneewon
– 
E.N.T 이비인후과 ee-bee-en-hoo-gwaah BUT just “ee-en-tee” can be enough for people to understand you if you charade enough.

The E.N.T, aka Ears, Nose, and Throat specialists, are very common near universities and have all types of funky things for when you’re suffering from a severe cold, like hot air breathing machines with masks and warm cup things that look like big headphones to comfort your ears during infections. A visit to one of these without health care and no appointment (all you have to do is sign up and wait) cost me under $20.00.

I Can See Your Insides

Another story: Martina had some wicked painful heartburn a while ago, when she was still teaching. Turns out she was drinking green tea like water + coffee + eating spicy food and the combo was burning her esophagus from all the acidity. When we went to the hospital to check it out, we had to make an appointment to see the specialist and they put a camera down her throat. I was in the waiting room, and the nurse told me to look for screen number 7. Turns out there’s a big TV in the room with a bunch of squares. Square number 7 was going to be Martina’s innards. They broadcast that on TV in the hospitals! All the other peeps waiting for their loved ones are just sitting around me watching the screen. Woohoo! It kinda took our relationship to a new level. I saw the inside of Martina’s throat and stomach. Love, right there, boys and girls. That’s love. We opted for that version because that was the cheapest version. Turns out they also had pill cams. PILL CAMS! You swallow a pill and it’s a gortdamned camera that records what’s inside you and you just poop it out and doctors can watch that movie or put it on YouTube or something, I don’t know. I bet you there’s a secret YouTube channel known only to Koreans and it only shows people’s innards and its got a million subscribers. I’d subscribe to that.

Speaking of subscribing, if you like these TL;DRs, you should subscribe to us on YouTube! We’ll do more of them and talk about other experiences we’ve had in Korea.

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TL;DR – Health Care in Korea

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  1. Most embarrassing thing, my Korean mother-in-law followed me into the room and watched me get a shot in the butt.

    I have the same issue with all those pills. It’s insane, they could be poisoning me and I wouldn’t even know it. It makes it even scarier when you are allergic to a certain type of medicine and you never know if that medicine has been added to the packet or not. I had to put a whole lot of trust in my husband, every time I went to see the doctor.

    And chicken noodle soup! My Homeplus always had cans of the Campbell’s, so no jook for me.

    3 years ago
  2. I pray that Martina feels better soon and that Simon doesn’t get it…. Thank you for all the information that you impart to an older lady who never goes anywhere. :)

    3 years ago
  3. Breaking Bad fan here! But sadly I already knew about Pseudoephedrine for meth cooking before the show. Plus I lived in New Mexico for four years and saw too many people using that crap. ANYWAYS. Wow, meth cooking in Korea? :-O

    And $100 for a CT scan! I’m still trying to pay my $600 bill for the one I had this year, plus all the other med bills. It’s just good I have insurance and owe only $2,500 as opposed to the $60,000 my bills actually come out to. I envy Canada’s health care for all.

    Shots to the ass, you get those in Mexico as well (well I’m not sure about all Mexico). My friends will cross the bridge into Juarez when they get sick and get a miracle needle to the ass. And go about their day.

    Guys get better soon. Colds in the summer are just wrong.

    3 years ago
    • Criminals manufacture drugs in SK, then send it Australia and Japan. It’s too dangerous to sell it in SK, and customs are lax between SK and AUS. There had been number of cases this spring, so cops are now more attentive.

      3 years ago
    • Insurance in the US is kind of a double edged sword. You pay a lot for it, and still have to pay some amount because it doesn’t cover 100%. You are happy that you don’t have to pay the full 60k, but even uninsured people don’t have to pay that. I have no insurance and I probably had to pay less than you (the cost of my CT scan was completely wiped). My initial medical bill was over 20k, and I only had to pay $100. The specialists resulted in me having to pay a couple thousand despite that, but it was still cheaper than actually paying for insurance for a year (through my mom’s work).

      3 years ago
      • My last insurance was so bad, it cost a crap load of money and had an out of pocket of $5000 after the $2000 deductible. I was horrendous. Thankfully this new one, while rather confusing, covers soooo much better. And half of what I use to pay for my old one. Different companies, different insurances. But the cost is still insane.

        3 years ago
    • Yep, in México you can get a needle to the ass, it just make thinks easier jaja
      p.d: i know that because i’m mexican XD

      3 years ago
      • I’m pretty sure as a kid I would have gotten lots of shots to the ass if my dad hadn’t been military and we could use the Army Hospital here. Everything else though medicine wise we would cross over to Juarez to get.

        For a few of my friends it’s like their winter routine. Winter’s coming, I always get sick so I’m going to get my shot brb XD

        3 years ago
  4. So, this raises the question of mental health in Korea. As you know, the west still struggles with the stigma of mental illness. I just saw a character in one of my drama’s who had a father who had a brain injury. It was all very sad. Is there any stigma attached to mental illness in Korea?

    3 years ago
    • Were you perhaps watching Who Are You? It was so heartbreaking…T^T

      3 years ago
    • There’s a lot of stigma attached to mental illnesses here, if you are a student you will be sent back home.A friend of mine had a mental breakdown in March and he was not treated fairly, actually they treated him like an animal and lied about the existence of mental illness among Koreans themselves. They claimed that no Korean has ever suffered from mental illness in history- not true at all (see Korean suicide rates).

      BTW:Koreans I live around are assholes, they are not the reflection of the entire society.

      3 years ago
  5. simon and martina get better! but my question is, and i don’t really travel but is it it easy to bring your own personal medicine to korea or do you need a doctors letter?

    3 years ago
    • It wasn’t hard at all. I took same Prescription paper with me from my doctor saying I needed to bring my inhaler/Rx meds to Korea. But you have to have the original container/box for the meds/inhaler. As for over-the-counter meds, I just put them in plastic sandwich bags and labeled what they were in English. No one ever said anything going through customs on either side. The only thing for me was to put my Rx meds in that container when going through the scanner area at the airport. I packed my over-the-counter meds in my checked luggage. Prescription meds should be in your carry-on. :)

      3 years ago
  6. Oh my lovely state of Jersey…where you can tan to a fun shade of oompa loompa at the tender age of 16 with just a nod from your parents, but need to show I.D. at 25+ to purchase Sudafed which they keep locked up behind the counter. Home sweet home

    3 years ago
  7. Feel better snotty Martina (and Simon, for when you inevitably also catch it)! <3

    3 years ago
  8. Get well soon! Love ya’ll! <3

    3 years ago
  9. Pobrecita, feel better madre!

    3 years ago
  10. Nic

    Hope you feel better soon Martina!

    I remember when I had my appendix out in Australia and 2 Korean friends visited me and were like “Why are the nurses so old?” and I’m like “what do you mean?” because some of the nurses were 40 or 50 but I didn’t think that is really old. My friends were like, “Oh because nurses in Korea are usually young women and they don’t keep nursing after a certain age.”

    I don’t know how true that is but the one time I did visit a hospital in Korea the nurses all seemed quite young. And my husband’s aunt was a nurse, she’s not that old but she has retired now. Meanwhile in Australia all the nurses I know are working until a much later age.

    I’ve had good and bad experiences with Korean medicine that my husband’s family gives me. One cold medicine drink worked really well but there was some other vile stuff too.

    3 years ago
  11. THIS COMMENT CONTAINS INFORMATION THAT IS NOT FOR THE SENSITIVE SOULS, YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

    Poor you Martina, I hope you get better soon. And stay well Simon.

    I am currently dreading the winter season myself, because it’s been almost 30 degrees Celsius here, and when December comes it will most likely drop to – 10, brrr… and this also brings a wave of Cold and Winter Vomiting Decesase, something I until this day still have not caught, even if I constantly use public transport. I hope that I somehow became immune to it, don’t fancy vomiting for a week.

    Anyway, speaking of vomit (like anyone ever does, this is a weird post), I do feel for your weird vomit-mention in the TLDR. When I was 7, me and my family and I went to Malaysia for summer holiday for 2 weeks, and I ended up getting food poisoned badly. We literally came back, and I threw up badly, the sink was clogged tight afterwards. Anyway, to help my dad gave me this coal powder mixed with water that I was told to drink. It literally looked like it sounds, powdered coal mixed with water. It tasted like dry coal in water, and I just puked that as well.

    I learnt that somehow the best medicine for me (that day) ended up being coke without bubbles. After that, in which I guess there was nothing more for me to throw up, I finally started to feel better. If I hadn’t I am pretty sure my parents would have tried to get me into the hospital. Thankfully,I didn’t have to spend my night there, but the whole experience was nasty.

    3 years ago
    • It sounds like your dad gave you activated charcoal–kind of a weird application, though I guess maybe he thought your food might have had poison in it! EMTs give those to patients when they’ve eaten/drunken something nasty (e.g., tried to commit suicide with some household poison) and they won’t be in danger of aspirating because it makes you puke like 99% of the time.

      3 years ago
  12. This is a really good subject to cover for people going to Korea. Sorry that you’re sick though Martina. Feel better soon!

    3 years ago
  13. GET WELL SOON YOU GUYS!!!! <3

    3 years ago
  14. How is Martina allergic to cats? What about Meemers? o.O

    3 years ago
  15. I had to go to the Hospital in Seoul when I visited last year, bit of a scary experience. I have a peanut allergy and happened to react to Oreos which are totally safe for me to eat in Canada but apparently may contain peanuts in Korea :(

    Anyway, the hotel staff directed me Seoul National University hospital but none of the taxi drivers would take me there, I think the trip was too short for them to make it worth it. Finally the fifth driver I hale gives me a ride and I make it. The front desk guy didn’t speak English so I tried for a few minutes to explain what was wrong with me and finally he just calls up this English speaking doctor who was able to help me the rest of the night. It was scary at first, needing help in a foreign country but it ended up working out. Like I said, the English speaking doctor stayed with me the whole time since it was quiet and we ended up talking for two or three hours before I left. Turned out almost fun in the end :P

    Total cost was $200 with no health insurance and I haven’t eaten Oreos since!

    3 years ago
  16. I have taken grainy medicine here in the US for when you have mucous in your lungs. I never threw up though but i did get nausea when i took it without food. Did you take it on an empty stomach? That or my grainy medicine is legit and you took something i don’t know lol

    3 years ago
  17. Expectorants and antitussives are general categories for the medications :P Examples of general names are: codein (antitussive) and guaifenesin (expectorant), ingredients in Robitussin. Here’s some more: (nurse-to-be/EMT hurr)

    Allergies:
    Benadryl (drowsy type): diphenhydramine
    Non-drowsy antihistamine: loratidine

    More pain relievers/fever reducers: (NSAIDs)
    Aspirin: acetylsalicylic acid
    Aleve: naproxen

    Antibiotics:
    Amoxicillin
    Penicillin

    Good luck! (Also I’m surprised they freely broadcast the videos of medical procedures–no Korean version of HIPAA? I guess if it’s anonymous it’s okay…?)

    3 years ago
  18. Awww poor Martina, hope she gets well soon. Simon, have a good cold (?). Just kidding, I hope you two get well really soon, I know how annoying is when you’re sick, with a runny nose, slurping every second … At least for you guys is just this time, I suffer every single day ‘because of my rhinitis (ToT) *Whatevaaaa!* … Take Care ~~ <3

    3 years ago
  19. Being sick is awful (your brain feels like mush, you say the weirdest of things, and, for me, the meds don’t work), so get well soon guise!!! Like seriously, concentrate on getting better /stern parent mode

    *ahem* This was a very interesting TL;DR. I have hardly ever gone to the doctor (healthcare is expensive in the great U S of A, yay capitalism >_<), so hearing about medical related stuff is always interesting.

    3 years ago
  20. Get well u guyz ^^

    3 years ago
  21. I love all the detail you put into this tl;dr! I’m studying healthcare (I know, so exciting :P) so I found it really interesting. And yeah, it definitely is pretty cheap there. I could never imagine paying about $100 for an MRI here in the US. And I hope you both feel better!

    3 years ago
  22. NOOO, Meemers is gonna get into the jook! O_O then he vanished with it!

    Gah, I’m originally from Canada – my birth control was $20. I move to the US.. Hello $89 for the same stuff! WTF super markup! Nice to hear in Korea they don’t rip people off on medication.

    On that note, when a gal wants hormonal birth control – how does that work in Korea? Similar to north america?

    3 years ago
    • ;D Luckily birth control is free now thanks to healthcare reform (unless it’s a super special brand). Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!

      3 years ago
      • Yup, but yeah, insurance companies have found ways to get around some brands making it back to insane prices, but hopefully everything will get covered one day. Still a burn that medication is like 3 times the cost than Canada.

        3 years ago
        • Have you tried taking your Rx to Costco? (unless you don’t have a Costco by you) I don’t have insurance. They have good prices for cash only patients. Since I’m a Costco member and cash paying, I get a little discount. My birth control pills were only $15. Good luck :)

          3 years ago
        • Definitely. I used to complain all the time when I was on my dad’s crappy insurance. Now that I’m on my own my insurance is pretty good. I think the pill I’m on isn’t actually covered by the Affordable Care Act, but my insurance decided they wanted to anyway (went from $79 to $0 woot). I’ve been contemplating moving to Canada anyway, haha.

          3 years ago
  23. Hope You feel better soon Martina. <3

    3 years ago
  24. I hate colds and sorethroats. I wish you guys get better soon ! I’m sending healthy vibes right now, so you will wake up feeling like this

    3 years ago
  25. What the heck makes you puke rainbows??

    3 years ago
  26. I have waited for a tl;dr like this for so long! ;A;
    And get well soon Martina!

    3 years ago
  27. Traditionally the:
    Gift for 1st year of marriage is paper
    Gift for 2nd year of marriage is china
    Gift for 3rd year of marriage is crystal
    Gift for 4th year of marriage is silk
    Gift for 5th year of marriage is wood
    Gift for 6th year of marriage??? Should be sugar, but I totally think that snot is a much more endearing gesture. It comes from the heart, or at relatively close to the heart!
    You guys are so made for each other. Thank you for being good examples of how true, real, and fun loving the one who is made for you can be! Feel better.

    3 years ago
  28. Martina get better soon. I hope that you’re back in the swing very soon.
    Simon fingers are crossed you don’t get sick.

    3 years ago
  29. Did I just see Dr Meemersworth jump on the sink and freaking disappear? Hilarious editing!

    Good to know that health isn’t too expensive. I freaked out the first time I heard about the American health system, to me the fact of having to pay so much money for medicines and surgeries was totally insane!

    3 years ago
    • Hearing about it is one thing living with it is another all together. I am an American and I can tell you that our medical bills can get ridiculous really fast. Wow my gosh these hospitals charge you out the nose for every little thing! I’m always joking that I’m going to leave the country but I don’t actually see that happening, I mean I’ve never even been out of my state!

      3 years ago
    • That’s why you never see them winning at the Oscars

      3 years ago
    • LOL I saw that too!

      3 years ago
    • Ninja Kitteh!!!! =^.^=

      3 years ago
    • It is totally insane. And even more ludicrous to think that it’s not available to all people. Changes are most certainly needed.

      3 years ago
    • Try living in America *with* health insurance, but avoiding the doctor anytime you can. Like seriously, there really needs to be something done about that >_<

      3 years ago
      • It seems high deductible with HSA is the answer for many people, if you are reasonably healthy without any serious chronic conditions. Still not as good as Canadian system or even SK ones.

        3 years ago
        • Canada’s system apparently decimates everything on the planet XD All I hear are good things about it and I sometimes feel like it’s a government conspiracy to lure in people >_>

          3 years ago
        • Sorry to be a broken record with the child thing, but Canada has mandated 50+ week maternity leave. I almost packed and moved when I heard that. I was given 6.

          3 years ago
        • Well, we could do with increasing out population density, so feel free to move to Canada whenever!
          Only 6 weeks for mat leave? Thats insane! It took my sister in law 8 weeks just to regain proper sleeping and coherency, I couldn’t imagine her having to work just 6 weeks after giving birth, not to mention he had a C-section so she was all stitched.

          3 years ago
      • I agree. I was sobbing when they were talking about how inexpensive stuff was. And don’t get me started on Canada. I so wish I could move to Canada.

        3 years ago
        • I was staring at my computer screen like I had seen a ghost. Affordable medical care? What is this craziness!! It is indeed sad that people relocate to whole ‘nother country because they can barely afford to have a doctor or go to the hospital in the US; it honestly baffles my mind why medical help is so expensive here.

          3 years ago
        • There were actually several studies done about it being more expensive and not necessarily better. While you tend to be able to get services faster, you may have to wait even so. But here are the reasons:

          1. Charges aren’t regulated. The same treatment can vary greatly from hospital to hospital and region to region. Insanely greatly.

          2. Hospitals charge high. Insurance companies haggle. The average person doesn’t know to do so.

          3. Those who pay have to pay for those who don’t. Hospitals can’t turn people away usually, so people who can’t pay get services even so and the hospital has to recoup the loss.

          4. I am pretty sure there is greed in there somewhere.

          3 years ago
        • Greed is really up there on the list. Everyone has their hand out especially when there isn’t competition to keep prices low. Everyone wants to make a quick buck and to be honest it’s a royal pan in the a*s!

          3 years ago
      • With my old insurance I avoided it like the plague unless it was simple things that didn’t require meeting my deductible I could never meet. Thankfully I had newer insurance this year when I got really sick, but it’s still more expensive that I can handle. Insurances are so weird and confusing though.

        3 years ago
        • I don’t get the point of insurance. Maybe it’s my young mind, but I find it useless >_>

          3 years ago
        • Most insurances are like: head you lose, but tail you lose even bigger! In USA it doesn’t make sense to get insurance for anything, so I only buy those that are required by law, such as auto insurance but only at legal minimum. Otherwise, it’s better to have savings.

          3 years ago
        • Here is a great example of why to get medical insurance even if you think you may never get sick. Having a child. It isn’t technically an illness, it is a totally healthy thing to do, but holy moley is it expensive. All totaled with pre-natal care, labor and delivery, recovery, mandatory testing to make sure the baby is healthy, at least where I am totaled over $20,000. We have to pay $2,000 and that is with the insurance company paying 90%, with a $250 deductible, and a $1,000 out of pocket maximum per person. (Baby is considered another person.) If you don’t have health insurance, you may qualify for Medicaid. However, most people without insurance simply cannot afford the medical care that could be necessary. I am guessing from your name that you are male and don’t have to worry getting pregnant, but it still might be something you deal with later.

          3 years ago
        • Huh. That doesn’t surprise me at all. It cost me about the same to spend a night in the hospital after getting a concussion. Over half the cost was *just* CT scans. Makes me a little twitchy to consider how inexpensive it is elsewhere in the world.

          3 years ago
        • You find it useless till you get really sick. I’m still figuring out medical insurance and I’ve been using it for ten years. Thing was I was never really sick, sick till this year and that’s when it seems useless. Paying into something your aren’t using but then bam you get sick and realize maybe it isn’t so dumb to have lol. I still believe in a medical system like Cananda’s but well till then I’ll hold onto having insurance.

          3 years ago
        • It’s really because I’ve never been sick enough to go to the hospital. Hell, I could be incoherent from the flu and my dad would still send me to school XD

          3 years ago
        • Lol that’s just mean. Making you go to school with the flu is cruel. XD

          3 years ago
        • My dad is extremely old fashioned. You’re gonna get that education, no matter how terrible you feel. He only makes exceptions for when you’re throwing up or in too much pain to walk.

          3 years ago
  30. Hope you guys feel better soon! Funny note, Asian medication makes me throw up as well. My mother used to force feed it to me when I got a tummy ache. Her explanation was that it is supposed to “clear your system of impurities” ie make you vomit uncontrollably until you just pass out and feel better once you wake up in 10 hours. Anywho, hope you guys get better!!! :D

    3 years ago
  31. P.S. Get well soon Martina!!

    3 years ago
  32. Awww, hope you feel better Martina (and that you don’t get too sick Simon!)

    3 years ago
  33. In that medicine video, I didn’t realize it was Simon until Martina started talking..!

    3 years ago
  34. Pill cams?! Really? I just found out that fingerprint scan locks were real the other day from a friend that has one on her apartment. I don’t think my mind can handle it. THE FUTURE IS HERE!

    3 years ago
  35. From now on I will totally use the word “Magic” to describe this time of month :D
    In Germany we used to call it the “red wave” or “strawberry week”. At least my girlfriends and I did. Now I think about it, these are most likely not official terms, we might have made them up^^

    Get well soon Martina!

    3 years ago
    • I call it Shark Week or sometimes the Red Tide. Oh period euphemisms.

      3 years ago
    • “magic”? “Strawberry week”? Those are ingenious and better names to describe such a painful monthly experience than referring to it as a disliked family member showing up to ruin your plans [Aunt Flo]. Hell, if she’s gonna show up every month without being invited she could at least bring a fun gift…I prefer cookies over cramps.

      3 years ago
  36. The more you talk about Korea, the more I think I wont be uncomfortable if I ever go there. I’m from Mexico.
    *Needles to the ass?, yeah, no big deal, it works faster.
    *Careless drivers? Crossing the streets is also an extreme sport here.
    *Fish with bones? It’s a delicacy (I hate it)
    *Food stands on every street-corner? It’s like Tacos here.

    So, yeah, I don’t think I’ll be very inconvenienced XD

    Martina, get well soon!!!! Simon, have a lot of vitamin C!!!
    Love you guys! (:

    3 years ago
    • hahaha se perfectamente a lo que te refieres y yo pensaba lo mismo(: creo que los mexicanos no sufririamos en Corea o ya estariamos acostumbrados a muchas cosas que tambien hacemos aqui :D

      3 years ago
    • but it’s true!! XD
      Once I was standing next to a US tourist, waiting for the cars to stop at a pedestrian crossing (which would never happen) and then she said to her daughter “Alright fine, we’ll have to do this MEXICAN STYLE”. And they crossed the street running. Oh my god, I laughed so hard. XD

      3 years ago
      • As a fellow Latino, I must protest: whenever I drive through the Latino-dense parts of my area, I find people casually strolling across the four-lane boulevard while cars whizz towards them at 50 MPH. It’s more Slowpoke Rodriguez than Speedy Gonzales! Maybe they just trust US drivers more?

        3 years ago
      • Oh Lawd, I would have been rolling on the sidewalk laughing XD

        3 years ago
    • “*food stands on every street-corner? It’s like Tacos here”……Lol sooo true… i’ll love to eat at a street-corner in Korea just like in Mexico. It sounds just like Mexico!

      p.s. Glad to know theres’s somebody else from my country. ujuu. ^^

      3 years ago
      • pues aquí andamos! casi siempre estoy de lurker, pero a veces me animo a comentar hahaha XD
        saludos desde Cancún! (:

        3 years ago
        • igual yo, aquí viendo comentarios de vez en cuando.. jejeje.. Saludos desde Jalisco. (^.^)/

          3 years ago
    • This makes me miss crossing over into Juarez and enjoying the food stands everywhere. Now I’m craving a torta. Driving around and finding random speed bumps around the city that rival the Great Wall of China.

      3 years ago
      • Sorry to make you crave! I hope you find something to eat that can compensate the glorious taste of a torta.
        But I bet you don’t miss the speed bumps XD

        3 years ago
    • You know, I find that Vitamin C never really helps with these things, at least, not for me…

      3 years ago
      • Try propolis (w/ echinacea). I take that whenever I think I’m coming down with a cold.
        Multivitamin & B-complex help speed up recovery.
        Nasal rinse with slightly saline solution also helps speed recovery (also good for prevention).

        3 years ago
      • Vitamin C helps your immune system work better. BUT the vast majority of the time the symptoms of a cold are just your immune system OVER-reacting. i.e… ahhh some bacteria… I think making some 구물 for about a week will fix this!

        So actually, by “boosting” your immune system with Vitamin C, you are really helping your body over-react more… which technically causes WORSE symptoms (fever, runny nose, congestion, cough are all your bodies response to illness, not the actual illness itself).

        Brought to you by your friendly gunhosa. :::bows:::

        P.S. from what I have heard (I haven’t read any academic articles, but heard from a doctor) that taking Vitamin D supplements regularly will actually help prevent you from getting sick (i.e. reducing the number of colds you get in a year).

        3 years ago
      • You are suppose to take vitamin C everyday. It doesn’t work overnight. My teacher always told me to start taking vitamin C three weeks before a competition to prevent us from falling sick on the actual day.

        3 years ago
      • There’s actually no evidence for it. Google “Linus Pauling” for the history of the Vitamin C cold prevention/immunity boosting myth.

        Scientific studies have only found a possible effect on extreme edge case scenarios (where people were exposed to significant cold stress or extreme physical exertion). Here is an article from the UK NHS:
        http://www.library.nhs.uk/rss/newsAndRssArticle.aspx?uri=http://www.library.nhs.uk/resources/?id=266428

        3 years ago
      • With vitamin C the frequency is more important then the dose. Thus, you should take it every hour for about 24 hrs for it to be effective. I usually use 500 mg tablets and take them every hour until I go to bed. I Usually will feel better the next day even if I am not totally cured, but it seems to shorten my recovery time.

        3 years ago
      • The Vitamin C thing is an urban legend of sorts based on some research in the 80s…the scientist retracted his article very quickly after it was published, to no avail as it is something still widely believed to this day.

        3 years ago
      • It is because you are supposed to take it when you notice the first signs of being sick or when you notice someone else is sick. It helps it from spreading more/ to you from the other person. If you are already completely sick, Vitamin C will do nothing. Atleast, that’s what I have found

        3 years ago
        • I take vitamin C everyday because I heard it’s supposed to help strengthen your immune system. It works for me (I also take 5 other vitamins a day xD), I haven’t been sick for almost a year

          3 years ago
        • My migraine medicine is kinda the same way. If I take it when I first feel a migraine coming on, it will stop it in its tracks. If I already have a full blown headache, then the meds do nothing.

          3 years ago
        • I’m in the same boat as you, it sucks.

          3 years ago
        • thats because when you have a migraine your stomach can’t process things properly. And then the nausea hits and you just upchuck it anyway

          3 years ago
      • Ahahaha maybe I just love to drink fresh orange juice xD

        3 years ago
  37. get well soon martina!!!

    3 years ago
  38. My female Korean students this summer told me all about “magic”, and I thought that was the funniest thing I learned all summer. I taught them that the most common American code-word for the “time of the month” is “Aunt Flo”, which, once they didn’t understand, I was too embarrassed to explain in front of my male students haha!

    3 years ago
    • There’s also “riding the crimson wave” from the movie clueless lol

      3 years ago
  39. I used to think so, too, but we didn’t get sick in a long time now! Like, since February! Now we only got sick because Soo Zee got us sick. DAM U SOOZEE!

    3 years ago
  40. I would never want to go to a korean hospital…I hate needles and I don’t want a needle being injected into *edit* my ass even if it is quick recovery LOL

    3 years ago
    • I lost count of how many times I’ve been to the hospital (here in Korea) and I’ve never once gotten the butt shot. lol

      3 years ago
    • Totally agree with you. I hate needles and I would rather just mummify myself in a blanket until I got better. ^n^

      3 years ago
    • it is still the same thing to me…LOL

      3 years ago
    • there are people who want to donate blood but can’t but there are people like me who can donate blood but become pussies in front a little needle

      3 years ago
      • Oh honey, include me in that “become pussies in front of a little needle” bracket >_> I freak out at the needle that they use to measure your blood sugar with (the tiny thing that pricks your finger). I also freak out when I see blood (for whatever reason); I can’t stand the stuff XD

        3 years ago
    • yeah i’m scared of vaccines, but i think it goes into your butt cheek. I’m not sure if you think it really goes up the ass or if that’s how you chose to word it haha. I live in California, and when I was in elementary school, a girl said she had gotten a shot in her butt cheek (it was funny haha), and it was better because the fat in the butt makes it hurt less! Maybe that is why it’s popular in some places.

      edit: also, she wasn’t Korean! maybe it’s popular with different doctors :P

      3 years ago
      • I am not with the idea of it going into my butt…the shoulders and mid joint of my arm being injected kinds of scares me enough to not get anymore injections,and I am not a new born baby LOL

        3 years ago