You might imagine my dismay that for the second Christmas in a row I end up with some kind of illness. This year, it’s a head cold. I ended up sleeping something like 15 or 16 hours, and I still haven’t quite shaken it. But I sense that it’s going away.
Last Christmas (2008) would be hard to top, though. At the time, I was working for the American subsidiary of a giant company that goes by initials. Here in Tokyo. In my everyday life, I am pretty casual. But I take my work very seriously.
So diligently, Christmas Day last year, I went in. I really didn’t feel well, but I did it anyway. Turns out, I had the runs in the afternoon and had to head home. I figured that was that.
The next day, which was Friday, I went in. Again, I started to feel sick. But it was much worse, and frankly, I couldn’t stand up. Had trouble making it to the bathroom. It was enough to convince me to head to the hospital.
The people who were working for/with/above me (shade of gray there and it’s own post), wouldn’t let me leave. They kept arguing about who was going to do the work, if I left that afternoon! Hello? Hello? I’m there, and I couldn’t stand without leaning against something, and they are badgering me about things that can wait.
By the time I made it to a local hospital in Yoyogi, I couldn’t stand up at all. And it turned out I had a fever just shy of 104, (I think it was either 39.4 or 39.6 in this metric system). I got an IV, an invitation to stay overnight if I wanted, and a list of prescriptions. I think if I wanted to stay there was a two or three day minimum because of the holidays. But if I went home, the promise was to go directly home with the medicines and come back if I wasn’t improving. I checked myself out, which in retrospect was stupid, and went home.
It was a bacterial infection or a stomach virus. I remember the whole roundtrip being something under $100 out of pocket, including the IV and diagnosis.
It was my first introduction to Japanese medicine, and forever convinced me that American medicine (overall) turned into some kind of bad joke many years ago.
Once the virus/infection was taken care of, I was back to good.
Did I mention that while I was on the IV last year, I got two messages from work asking where I was and when I expected to be back?
Ah, yes, Japan.