Home > Health & Exercise > Twinkle toes they ain’t

Twinkle toes they ain’t

I did something painful to the fourth toe on my left foot in taekwondo last night. I also damaged the nail of my left big toe. I’ve had cause to show my left foot to a couple of doctors here in Korea before today – the hallux (big toe) is studded with warts that have been slowly spreading for a year or so; plus, my index toe has, in the last few months, reacquired an athlete’s foot infection. Previous attempts to get the warts seen to resulted in diagnoses of excema and something to do with pressure.

When I looked at my foot this morning, the damaged toe sported a large black bruise; it was somewhat painful to move it. I went to a dermatologist (one of many specialists with clinics around Eunhaeng Sagori; the preponderance of such clinics makes me think there isn’t much in the way of general practice in Korea) today with the principal motive of getting a third, more useful opinion on my warts. When he saw the bruise he told me to go to an orthopaedic clinic across the road, and when I showed him the warts he said, ‘Yes! Warts!’ and directed me to see a dermatologist at a general hospital (I suppose that’s where the general practice is, then).

I’d gotten up a bit later than I’d intended, so I was in Starbucks time. Anyway, I went to the other clinic and waited while other patients went in for consultations and X-rays. Eventually, I saw the doctor. I had one of those awkward but amusing moments where I was trying to use a word in his language and he was trying to interpret in English. ‘Taekwondo,’ I repeated. ‘Take one …?’ He asked me to write it down; when I started to write it in Hangul, he said, ‘No, use English – ah, taekwondo!’

Then I went out and had an X-ray. I’m sure this was just because Koreans like their technology – the doctor barely examined my toe, he certainly didn’t touch it. Anyway, the X-ray (for the side-on shot I’d had to hold my first three toes back and the little toe down myself) didn’t show anything untoward, so the diagnosis was a sprained toe. I’m supposed to rest it. I’ll see what my masters at taekwondo say tomorrow.

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Categories: Health & Exercise
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