Thursday, June 16, 2011


Tadaima~~~! (That means "I'm home~~!" in Japanese.)

I set a somewhat wobbly foot into the house yesterday afternoon and have been calling people and putting things in order since then. I'm ready for some blogging time!

I had to laugh when I saw how Leiya and Yanna-chan took on the duties of blogging with such gusto! My goodness! They jumped right in didn't they?! It sounded like they had a lot of fun looking at their lives from an outsider's view and I know they must have been tickled pink to get so many comments and so much encouragement. I'm grateful to you all for supporting them!

So... Do you want to hear about how MY week went? I kept my camera handy the whole time but I'm afraid the scenery didn't change much as the days went by. Still... this could become a long post... Or several long posts.


Tetsu took me to the general hospital on Tuesday morning and signed me into Admissions. Then upstairs I was taken to the post-op room and made ready for surgery. As we waited for the nurse to bring me a gown and do other nursing things Tetsu raised his eyebrows and said,

"Maybe we should have gone to a different hospital..."

How I laughed at that! Too late now! Here I am!

Tetsu was referring to the appearance of the room. Now let me make something clear. Japan has some wonderfully modern, clean, efficient hospitals. Japanese technology ranks among the highest in the world.

BUT... this particular hospital has seen better days... to put it mildly. Tetsu's raised eyebrows were in response to the cracks in the floor and the water stains on the walls, the drooping frayed curtains, the pipes along the ceiling, the greyness of the halls. It turns out that this hospital is over 60 years old and is slowly being rebuilt. In four years the city will have a lovely, new, modern, hospital, but for now, the ward that I was in was nearly out of Dickens.

Hallways were dark (extra dark because the hospital is trying to support Japan's Save Energy movement that has been seriously put into effect after the March earthquake.)

The one sink that serves 40 patients on the ward is heated by an old boiler with a sign posted to not open any windows because the pilot light would blow out!

There was only one elevator servicing 5 floors and there was a constant traffic jam of wheelchairs, beds (transporting bedridden patients to the bowels of the hospital) linen carts, meal shelves, nurses and visitors who lined up waiting for the creaky elevator to arrive. (I noticed that doctors never had time to wait for the elevator and bounded up and down the 5 flights of stairs.)

On one of my trips to the bathroom, (one women's and one men's... two toilets in each) I noticed this little arrangement... a cockroach catcher. I never saw any cockroaches though...

Thankfully, the dreariness was only in the ward... from what I could see (and I couldn't see much as I had to remove my contact lenses) the operating room was as modern as you can get and my brief interval there was pain free and comfortable. (Why I had to be completely naked to have my knee operated on, I don't know, but if it makes it easier for the doctors, go right ahead and observe my whole body!) I never did really know who was doing the operating because people kept talking to me from different parts of the room but I recognized the young woman doctor's voice whom I'd first seen.

Here I am, an hour and 40 minutes later... No kiss from Tetsu, but a smile and a pat on the head...

And there I was left until the next morning.... Me and my IV....

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