Friday, December 09, 2005

Japan: Hiroshima 18 - First visit to the Doctor

All day I have been craving a burrito.

I've been sick for the past week. Probably something I contracted in Tokyo. Most likely a foreign flu strain, with a touch of a sore throat from hell. It puts me in a really good mood. I know what you're thinking, yes I did wonder if it was SARS but decided against it because I have been in misery too long.

My Japanese teacher took me to a doctor this past Tuesday. I completely lost my voice that morning. Interesting experience. There are no such things as appointments here (similar to other Asian countries). It's first come, first serve and if you're smart, you'll show up when they open. I wonder if camping is allowed....

The clinic lobby was filled with old Japanese men. I fell asleep while everyone watched a morning show on TV - like a Japanese verion of Regis and Kelly on speed. When it was my turn, I was led to the patient room. Unlike US doctors who make patients wait forever in the patient room by themselves, the doctor was already sitting there. He could speak understandable English and told me to sit in the chair across from him (not on the patient bed). He also had a huge flat screen computer where he would look up English medical words to translate to me. He prescribed me 5 different kind of medicines. When I asked him what the dose was of each, he did Yahoo searches on the medicines to get the dosage. That was little alarming. Luckily, I didn't need to go to the pharmacy cause they gave me my medicines right there. Also, no one told me about side affects til I discovered them myself. Basically I feel like I've been floating for the past week. Good thing I haven't operated heavy machinery.

Three times a day, I dump a pack of MSG looking powder into my mouth and swallow with water. Take 2 pills, and gargle w/what looks and smells like Iodine that I mix with water. It gives you gas like a champion.

Most American drugs are illegal here because they contain acephetomin (sp?) as a fever reducer. Luckily I bulk bought them at Cost-co.