Info from the pro...

Not really sure what to write about today..had an amazing day at my Eutopia island elementary school this afternoon...The kids (all 12 of them in the whole school) are all perfect...they learn English better than any of my junior high kids,(For the entire afternoon, no japanese is spoken from them or me and I just started working with them in April) always have a smile on their face, and have the funniest sense of humor...If only every kid in Japan could be so carefree like them... maybe Japan needs to split totally into more tiny islands of only 300 people...(just kidding but this is a very special place) We played charades today...Charades is awesome...(I actually played last night as well and if you are ever in need of a quick laugh or a washboard stomach, just play charades with Chris D and give him to be Maryline Monroe..._) Its amazing how well a 5th grader can impersonate Johnny Depp when given the word "Pirate".. And also my boat man gave me my ride home for free, I made handprint wreathes with my 1 and 2 nens(all 4 of them) then a random obachan who lives on the island gave me a ride all the way back to my house so I didnt have to wait 50 minutes for my bus to come and drive me another 30 min home...Tuesdays are always the best days! if only I could go to my island everyday... Anyways, moving on...

I guess Ill grant Nicks request today...Hospitals in Japan...this is something I know a LOT about...I am the first one to admit that my body and I are not very good friends. It is always something, be it a cold, food poisoning, anaphylactic bc of bee stings, the obachans at the restaurants hiding mayonaise and eggs in my food, or most recently, having an EXTRA bone in my mutant foot shatter and dislocate while walking in Tokyo....So here it is. THE PRO GAIJINS GUIDE TO SURVIVING THE HOSPITAL...

My first experiece was within the 3rd week of arriving in Japan last yr, After enjoying myself at the Beach party and getting stung by jellyfish, i went back home and fell asleep. 1 hr later i was in shock, had to call My 2 rescuers and the ambulance, and head to the E-room...in KTOWN(never do that...ok?) The dr looked at me funny for a while then gave me this bong to smoke(i dont remember anything but i assume it was laughing gas to open up my throat) bottom line is i still dont remember anything from that night...so talk to Dabs if you are interested in emergency room visits in the middle of the night....sidetracked again...im very guilty of that,,,gomen

This time I was in the hospital for 4.5 days...in Japan before surgery, you have to check into the hosptial a full 24 hrs before...I was baffled why but they told me it was to check on me and make sure that no one drank smoke or ate before surgery.(business men ruin it again) I didnt go in until 3pm the next day so for 30 hours I was on an IV just waiting, reading, studying japanese, sleeping, and trying not to go crazy while confined to a bed while feeling totally 100% fine..no food allowed so that day was painful....They woke me up at 5 so i had to wait a full 10 hrs and wasnt allowed to go back to sleep...not really sure why...When going into surgery i was totally awake..they made me wear a sumo diaper...they strapped me to this table, told me that I would go to sleep soon, and that was that...next thing i knew I was awake...When I woke up it was bizarre...my Japanese friends were in the room and so when I saw them I apparently started speaking Japanese.. I was so disoriented....The drugs in Japan do 2 things, both bad...1_) they make you really tired and nauseous so you just sleep all the time 2) they SUCK so they have no pain killer in them at all. just make you sick...People came all night to visit so if you were one of them, thank you very much again! Sorry I was in a whole other world.

they made me get up a lot and woke us up every morning at 5am..the day nurses were wonderful with me...the night nurses were TERRIBLE...i swear anyone off the street could apply for the position and get it...One guy the night after my surgery told me that if I needed to go get to the bathroom I had to get there myself (which was all the way on the other side of the hosptial...which is impossible for me to do since i cant even sit up at this point. I was attached to an IV and he handed me one crutch...I just starred at him, asked very rudely(oops..that was the pain talking) for a wheelchair and his help...and he finally was like...oh ya..i forgot you cant do this yet.....DUH!).They werent use to people my size so helping me in and out of the bed/wheel chair always required at least 1 nurse, and 3 onlookers...Thank god im not very tall bc i had the tallest crutches they had and I was all the way on the last level...Bc the meds were so bad, I spent most o the time beggiing for more medicine...The attitude in Japan hositals is GAMAN SHITE KUDASAI* (or in other words...suck it up and deal with it)...later I find out that they were only giving me half the medication most people get bc I have asthma(note above...) and they were afriad it would send me into attack...I was suppose to go home after 3.5 days but they kept me another day...I think bc they were afriad bc I didnt have a mommy to take care of me...The nurses couldnt speak any English at all, minus my translator nurse who came to see me 2 times a day to make sure everything was ok...otherwise it was all Japanese...i wish i was in a better state bc i could have learned so much more!

They dont care about pain..they wanted me walking the next day...It was pretty cool...they saved the bone and tendon that they removed from my foot, put it on a dish, and showed me the next day...they gave me the option of keeping it but i decided against that...I thought that was kinda strange...but then again...its kinda strange that I had an extra bone for them to remove anyway...

really my time in the hospital was noneventful...the other patients in the hospital were interesting to talk to..they were fascinated with me..that I lived in Japan, that i could use chopsticks, that i could eat miso soup(although it was the last thing i wanted to have while not feeling well), that I could speak enough Jpaanese to get by, and also that I was only staying in the hospital for a few days...Some of them had been there for 3 weeks for a tor ACL or a broken foot, or even just simple surgery..I told them that in the states you are only there for a few hours..they thought i was crazy for only wanting to be in there for 5 days...R
eally, it was just like any other time you meet new japanese people..its just we were all on crutches, pain meds, and casts.... I had drs apts quite a bit then had to go to PT 3 times a day* the dont mess around. The food is so much better than that in the states...but its Japanese...i love japanese food but i cant eat rice and miso soup every meal when im sick...I want Cambells chicken noodle, saltine crackers, and gatorade...i cant complain though. The cooks were veyr nice and made sure that they didnt give me anything with eggs...Thats the last thing they wanted...A gimp, drugged up crazy foreigner with a tamago allergy...I was the first gaijin the dr had ever operated on so he was amazed at hte size of my bones and my feet. He also told me that he thinks gaijins heal slower than Japanese....he still doesnt understand why im not healing faster..so that was exciting. I go
down in the record books as the first gaijin to have an extra mutant bone in her foot in saga ken..

umm..ya the hardest part really was dealing with my BOE and getting insurance stuff done...If you ever get hurt or whatever, make sure you have that all worked out and are stubborn ab out it...thank you Elizabeth for dealing with me when I was such a disaster! The 30% of My time in the hosptial and surgery ended up being a little over 10man so i had to pay that upfront...Now im still having to pay about 5000yen every week for visits and stuff..insuracne does cover it but you have to pay everything first and submit requests and get a refund...In order to make myself feel better about spending so much money over hte past few months, i just tell people I had a 5 day personal vacation...I was able to get the doctor to give me 3 weeks off from work...definitely needed more than that too...but dont worry...i didnt do much but go back and forth 3 times a week to the hospital and sleep...

overall was it worth it.?..well at this point im still not better, but i guess im on my way...i learned a lot about medicine in japan, left a mark in saga ken, learned how to deal with pain, got really strong from crutching around, had a 3 week hibernation, and had lots of great friends help me out, come visit, and make me lots of delicious food! SO ya..it defintiely could have been worse....im not afraid of japanese hospitals anymore..they did what they needed to do...

no complaints...just next time....im going to take a trip to the yakuza and buy some Codine and real stuff...enough of this Japanese crap.