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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

My trip to the Hospital in Japan!

When Kev and I go on vacations, we always say we want to “live a day in the life” of the people who live in the country we’re visiting.  So, when I tell this next story, you’ll probably feel bad for me, or think what happened to me is really crappy, but I like to think of it as an uncommon chance to “live a day in the life.” 

I had had a fever, on and off, for 2 days leading up to our trip to Japan.  On the 2nd day of our trip, Jess, Kevin, and I had gone to see a beautiful shrine.  I opted out of walking the grounds of the shrine, and instead, found myself a quiet corner of a Buddhist temple to sit and rest.  When I couldn’t get comfortable and my fever began rising, I stood up and walked towards a grassy area outside.  I began coughing and was shocked when I could not breathe.  For about 10 seconds, I was completely unable to get air to my lungs – not to mention – I was all alone!!  It was a terrifying experience.  When Kevin and Jess came back from seeing the shrine, they walked me back to the hostel so I could lie down and sleep.

When I woke up at 7:30pm, I began worrying that I had pnemonia, so I asked the nice old Japanese man at the front desk of the hostel if there was a hospital or a doctor’s office nearby.  With a concerned look on his face, he quickly grabbed his keys and motioned for me to follow him.  Long story short – He ended up driving me to two hospitals, stayed with me in the hospital’s influenza quarantine room, walked to find a store to buy me water when he saw I needed something to drink, walked me to his car so I could rest in between doctor’s testing me, held my head when they stuck a tube down my nose into my throat, helped translate everything for me, and when the bill for the medicine came and it was the equivalent of $140, he said, “It’s on the house” and bought my medicine for me!!  3 hours later, I had a diagnosis of Influenza A and a pack of $140 worth of Tamiflu pills. So, while I would have much rather been healthy for my trip, I probably wouldn’t trade my experience for anything!

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