The Korean Nose Doctor

This is the doc, preparing needles for my face.

Last month I left to Addis for what was supposed to be our mid-service conference. Instead, I spent the entire week sick in my room. 

Despite my belief I was dying, my immune system eventually kicked ass. Unfortunately it left behind congestion and a splitting headache. Enter: Ear, Nose and Throat doctor.

Dr. Ryu is from Korea and has been in Ethiopia for one year.  He speaks a little English, so I explained my problem. He listened, made sounds, wrote down a few things, then stared off into space.

Not quite sure what was happening, he moved me to another chair. He put on a round hat with a mirror, and stuck a giant pair of tweezers up my nose. “Ohhh,” he said. “Big problem.”

He continued on, looking in my nose, making sounds and repeating, “big problem.”

(Big problem? What does that mean?)

A whole string of wierd communication later and he pulled out a book with a picture of the inside of a nose, and a long needle sticking though. A few choice words went throught my head. Holy shit.

Luckily, that was a worst-case scenario photo. Instead, he shot a fluid up my nose (called it “irrigation”) and motioned for me to put my head down and snot-rocket. This was somewhere between hilarious and disgusting. It continued for quite awhile.

When that was all finished, he pulled out two large needles and filled them with tubes of more fluid. (Whaaat?! )  A little panic went on inside. “Don’t worry, k?” He said in broken English with a smile.

I clenched my fists and thought of happy places while he stuck the needles into my face, six times. Then he sent me home with a note to come back for the next couple days.

(More of this? I can’t wait.)

Conclusion is, I have a maxillary sinus infection and this treatment is supposed to clear it up. If it doesn’t we have to resort to the long nose needle. I’m mostly terrified…slightly curious.

If it comes to that, I promise to share some pictures.


4 responses to “The Korean Nose Doctor

  1. agh! the “don’t worry k?” is definitely international for “I know this looks really f’ed up and you’re in a foreign country, but I promise you I’ve done this before and it’s worked so just trust me!”

  2. ooh my goodness you poor thing!

  3. Oh man! Thinking good thoughts for you. I hope you get well soon! xoxo

  4. Wow. Wowee. You had me at “the doc, preparing needles for my face.” I hope you feel better soon.

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