I'm trying to think of a good way to recap all of this, but it's really early (just looked at the clock- not that early actually), and I've only had 3/4 cup of coffee, so I'm just going to dive right in.
As you might recall, we went to Hell and Molly got MRSA. Or so they assume since the only way to "officially" diagnose MRSA is to do a culture, and her boo-boo didn't have enough goop to do a culture. So she was on antibiotics for the supposed MRSA and had this nasty ugly scab on top of her boo-boo. The only way to describe it is to say that it looked like a newborn baby's belly button right before it falls off. NASTY!
After visiting the doctor one day, this belly button-looking scab fell off. And underneath it was a deep crater with lots of gross goop underneath. We went BACK to the doctor and she swabbed the crater to make sure there was no weird stuff growing in there. That was Friday. We went home (with NEW antibiotics! and cream!) and were told that we'd get a phone call only if the culture came back showing an infection. The weekend happened and honestly, we kinda forgot about it. I assume The Lab gets things back to doctors like they do on TV- in five minutes- so when we didn't hear anything on Friday, I assumed we were in the clear. Molly's crater was filling in and healing and there was no goop or anything gross going on in that area.
Then Monday rolls around and the doctor calls and says that her culture came back positive for a weird bacteria and she wanted to look at the crater again. So I load up the kids in the wagon, walk down the hill to the train station, buy tickets, lug kids in the wagon through the little checkpoints, wait on the platform for 15 minutes (because we always "just miss" the train), get on the air conditioned train for 5 minutes (not long enough!), get off at the Camp Casey stop, walk back through checkpoints, walk to post (soooo much sweat by this point), walk through the gate and checkpoint to the bus terminal, get kids out of the wagon and fold it up and throw everyone on the bus and ride to the TMC. Oh wait, I got on the wrong bus because I was so worried about getting the f!cking wagon pulled together and gathering up sweaty whiny kids, that I didn't even read the sign. So I waste time riding the bus BACK to the terminal, then wait for the RIGHT bus to come, then we ride THAT to the TMC. We see the doctor for 10 minutes and then do that whole cycle in reverse. Only there is more sweating involved in reverse because everything is uphill on the way back. I kid you not, I have never sweat more in my life than I have in the past three weeks.
ANYWHO. We get our sweaty selves back home and waited for the doctor to call us. She had to consult with all the other doctors about what to do in Molly's situation. They didn't know if they should give her oral medication because the medicine they give to treat her variety of bacteria is usually not given to children under age 8. But she didn't know if she should send her down to The Real Hospital for IV meds (once every 8 hours for 10 days) or if she should do shots (every 8 hours for 10 days noooooo...). In the end, they decided to send us down to The Real Hospital in Seoul for the IV meds. And I asked if we could just wait until the morning and ride the medical bus down. She says no. This has been "festering" for 3 weeks now (because it took that long to diagnose!) and we need to treat this asap. So we eat dinner, I throw clothes in bags, shower really quick (because omg the stink), and call a cab to take us to post. We arrive at the TMC at bedtime (naturally) and Molly is flipping out and eventually they put us in an ambulance to take us down to The Real Hospital. Except this ambulance is just a glorified van with no seat belts and he doesn't even turn on the siren and lights, so we are basically just being taxied down there in the special bus. Molly didn't sleep on the drive down because Korea seriously needs to do some road work and repave the millions of potholes they have goin on. We arrive at the ER at The Real Hospital and..... no one was expecting us. I'm not kidding. They had no idea we were coming.
Now I don't know if it was my responsibility to call The Real Hospital and let them know we'd be coming for some unknown medicine or what, but I am starting to think this is all a horrible idea and my child would benefit more from a full night's sleep in her own bed instead of getting one dose of three-weeks-late antibiotics in her system. All of the doctors are scratching their heads as I tell them our special story and how we ended up here and I think their faces accurately sum up government-run healthcare.
Eventually they place the IV and take us upstairs to be admitted. The loud-mouth night shift nurse yells everything she says, despite me finally getting Molly to sleep. She bursts in all night, and when she doesn't, they are doing some sort of construction work on the same floor. I initially thought I was upgrading to a real bed and air conditioning (the silver lining of this situation, folks!), but I would take the air mattress and lack of air any day.
The next morning rolls around (after a lot of co-laying, because ain't no such thing in my house as co-sleeping) and she gets one more dose of the antibiotics. Did I mention that her arm is wrapped up on a board? (She loved that so much, let me tell you. It was to help keep her from bending her arm and popping the IV out. She hulked her way out of it more than once.)
Steve and Sam stayed back home in order to keep with The Schedule and took the train down that morning. (For the record, we have never taken the train to Seoul and Steve didn't know where he was going. Who cares, it seemed like a good day to learn....) Eventually they made it here (soaked in sweat) and we hung out in the room for a little bit all together.
The doctor finally comes in (around lunch time) and tells us that they had a consult with Tripler (the Army hospital in Hawaii) and they apparently have an infectious diseases specialist there who OKed Molly to take the oral antibiotic instead of having the IV meds. Cue my happy dance. Molly is to take the oral medicine twice a day and then have bloodwork done at her follow-up appointments to make sure she is bacteria-free. We get our discharge papers and head down to the pharmacy....
... where they don't have our medicine in stock. BECAUSE WHY WOULD THEY CHECK ON THAT BEFORE DISCHARGING US. So the pharmacist says they are going to call around and see if they can find it elsewhere or if they can make it (?) and we are all, We are at the mercy of the bus schedule, so can you kindly speed-walk it back there and figure this all out?! After more waiting (nap schedule- to the wind!), we are told that they can't find it, they'll have to make it. She tells us that we can ride the bus back and they will ship the medicine up to Camp Casey in the morning.
We catch the bus, then transfer buses, then get off at Camp Casey (after 2 hours and soooooo much screaming because naptime, hello!), then walk off post to the train station, wait 15 minutes for the train (sweating is out of control at this point), get on the train, toddler has meltdown as soon as the doors shut, refrain from committing murder in such a public place, get off the train, carry the screaming toddler down the stairs and out the door as Molly is strapped on my back (Steve bringing up the rear with the bags and the wagon), walk back up the hill to our apartment, and crank the AC as high as it will go.
The moral of this story is: If anyone you know is trying to be hip and cool and says something like, "I just love the pedestrian lifestyle! Having no car is fun!", I urge you, strongly urge you, friends, to loudly call BULLSHIT. Alternative moral: Wash your hands a lot.
**PS. Just upgraded my Photobucket account but apparently it hasn't kicked in yet, hence all the strange boxes in the sidebar and in previous posts. Hopefully this fixes itself because we all know I have no clue how to do it on my own.**