My Visit to the Foot Doctor

I have a toenail problem.  My pinky toe had what seemed to be a kind of infection under the nail nothing major just didn’t look very beautiful.  So being the thrifty person I am, I just clipped it down as far as I could and painted it a dark red the same as my other toes and said “what the heck, no one will see it”

However, after having this “ugly” pinky toe for about .. ummm 6 years…(Don’t judge me!!) I noticed that my ugly toe has become many ugly toes and to my horror my toe nail came off my Big toe.

I quickly showed my husband, whom by the way didn’t know I had any ugly toes… and he freaked out and said I should go to the Chinese foot doctor.

It so happens that there is such a doctor about 4 doors down from the school.  So, I took my co-worker, friend and translator.. Alice with me.   I went into the shop and explained to the little man who I had toe issues.   He quickly told me to take off my shoes so he could take a look.  I told him it is only one foot… so you don’t need to see the other one… he said.. take off both shoes and basically told me to shut up and let him see.

After inspecting my feet with a light and magnifying glass… he told me that I not only had 5 toes with this issue … I had 8 toes… that it was spreading and spreading fast.   He said it was a toenail fungus and if not treated it would eventually spread to my fingernails.   (OMG)…. Well this basically scared the crap out of me… so i told him what will happen then… will my toes fall off… ??    He said laughing .. NO.. but it wont be comfortable to look at and it will be painful.  I said fix it…. fix it quick.

He said the cost of this process which will take about 3 months to cure completely will be 200 rmb a toe… I was like .. what?   that is 1600 rmb  (actually equal to …$258 but in China that is like $1600 to chinese people… and me) Then he added i would have to pay 20 rmb every time I came in for treatment.   Which would be every 3 days for the next month or so.

I of course started my bargaining….in China you can bargain everything… so I told him that I am much, much too poor to pay that much money… and that he should consider me a poor foreigner in China….. (that didn’t work) .. then I went with the … My friend, my good friend.. … I love you dear sir…. and even .. trade you English lessons for it…. after much talking and laughing… I got him to come down to 1500 rmb… (not really a bargain for me but I will take what I can get).  I was scheduled to come back the next day for the treatment to begin.

I came back as scheduled… but then I realized in China…. there are not schedules or appointments… you just come in and wait until he can get to you.  One of my biggest pet peeves in this country.   So, of course when I arrived there was a girl already in the chair.   I was watching what she was getting done to her feet… it didn’t look so painful…The doctor was taking a razor blade and cutting what was left of all her toenails off… then he was applying two kinds of medicines and taking some cotton gauge and putting it around the cuticle… and bandaging it all up with different shaped bandages.

I asked the woman in Chinese if it hurt and she said no.. she also said this guy was a very, very good doctor.  Well.. If the Chinese believe in him.. then I must… I guess.   When he was finishing up her last toe… Another woman walked in .. she was your typical.. I have money, I am beautiful.. and I need to be treated as such… in other words… I could tell she was a Bitch.

She talked to the doctor and the girl in Local Chinese … so I could not really understand her.. then after a few minutes she turned to me.. and said… in perfectly clear English mind you ….. “Ahem… you will have to wait because I am going before you… OK?”   Well…. after I got pass the temporary shock that she was speaking to me in English…. I said... No… I don’t think so.… She didn’t like that…. She said to me…. I have things I need to do later so .. you need to wait.... I replied… I don’t think you understood me… I said…. NO… I also have things I need to do later….. this chick had the nerve to say that I could come back tonight .. or tomorrow…. then she walked in took off her shoes and sat in the seat that the other girl has just been sitting in. ……..Help me Jesus.. I wanted to knock the crap out of her skinny arse.  I looked at the doctor… and he was just giggling nervously.   I said.. If I walk out of here I am not coming back.... she just flipped her hair and picked up a magazine.  One more glance at the doctor… he said nothing… I walked out and slammed the door.

I was soo pissed.. I couldn’t even walk straight.   I called Michael and told him what happened and he said… Welcome to China.

The next day I went to school a little early and the receptionist said I had a visitor.   I was confused and there was a note for me… I opened the note and it was a handwritten letter in Chinese characters so I had no idea what the hell it was.   I asked one of the teachers to translate.

It said:

Dear Foreigner,

I am very sorry for what happened yesterday.  I know you are very angry and I want to apologize for my chinese people.  Please come back to my office and I will be happy to help you with your toe sickness.  I have discounted the price to 1400 rmb and the follow-up visits will only be 15 rmb.  Again I am sorry for your anger.

Dr. ………..

I was totally surprised, shocked and flatter that the little doctor wanted to apologize for what happened in his office.   I guess he also felt it was wrong what the woman did but there was nothing he could do.   I guess there are some people in China that has some morals and respect for others.   I did go back to him that day and he again apologized to me in the office and even bowed a few times.   I said no problem… and took off my shoes.

I am now on my 4th visit to the good doctor… and he does his thang .. and wraps up my toes.. and gave me a list of things i need to use at home to continue with the process.

combine … white vinegar, soy sauce, tobacco, Garlic ( a lot of it), green tea and something he gave me .. that I don’t know what it is…(Chinese secret meds) and I am supposed to soak my toes in it… every night before bed for about 10 minutes.  I am not to dump it … i use the same liquid every night until my toenails grow back.

The Doctor promises that if he doesn’t fix my fungal infection he will give me my money back…. in China that is basically telling me …. he is going to fix this.. because Chinese people never return your money… hehehehe….My toes look to be getting better .. and since i have no toe nails on 8 of my toes… I am assured that he is killing the fungus under my nails.

I will keep you updated on my healing process…..

Until next time…..




13 thoughts on “My Visit to the Foot Doctor

  1. Lady Jo I am so glad it was not me in that position. I would have seemed beyond fluent in Chinese with the thoughts flyin through my head as I read this. I bet the doctor would have had to show me the door. I’ve already had to correct a few Koreans, but I can’t toss it at ’em like I could do in Mandarin.

  2. James

    Please , please, please let us know if the treatment works.

    I am not a bit interested in trying the pills they prescribe for nail infections here in the US, as one must pass a kidney function test to be prescribed the pills.

    If you have to have your kidneys tested, it can’t be doing good things to the rest of you.

    1. The treatment … was awesome…. it actually worked… well my toes look good as new… *well the nails are still growing back* .. but otherwise… the good doctor did a great job. I didnt need to inject anything into my body…. chinese meds.. sometimes it really works.

  3. Wow – I can’t believe that you had someone apologize for this type of behavior (even though it wasn’t the perpetrator). Truly an unusual day here in China. Best of luck with your toes and glad that I found your blog. I’ll be back!

  4. I like how you gave the door a good slam and didn’t just sit there and take it, like I would have done. When stuff like that happens to me – though I have to say they’ve always been more trivial situations – I’m too embarassed to make a scene because I feel that people would think I’m the one being the snob: little white foreigner for once not getting special treatment. Which is ridiculous because back home I would never let lie a similar situation. And I don’t really get special treatment either, I probably get ripped off half the time!
    Hope your toes are getting better, make your hubby get checked too, those fungal infections are easily spread in the shower!

  5. blackandyellow

    Sorry to hear about your problem Jo. I hope that you will be ok. I am glad that you stood up to that lady, I guess money cannot buy class or manners.

  6. Bella

    WOW!! Hope your feet get better soon. It was nice of him to apologize. There are a lot of people that don’t know how to do that anymore in every culture.

  7. John

    I saw some lady who are like that, who bug in and demand to be first. One time on Clement Street, I saw this Chinese lady argue with the meter guy that she know people in high position, she swear, yell at the guy who didn’t understand what she was saying, later some cops came, I was hoping they put the lady in jail, these ladies are all over, another time I was standing in line these ladies trying to cut in so I say to her that the line start back there, I tell one of the staff that she trying to cut in front of me.I don’t care of the lady is sexy or beautiful she should get in line where the line is, is in the back. I hope your foot fungus will be better soon

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