Sunday, January 16, 2005

This morning I woke up and my ear felt increasingly worse, so I called my coordinator and told her I'd like to go to a doctor or even the hospital if I had to. I was starting to get a bit afraid. I didn't know if my ear was infected or what was going on, and didn't want to risk waiting for that allergy shot to do anything more. Hiromi called around to various hospitals, most of which were either closed or had various assortments of doctors on staff, such as a pyschologist in charge of the emergency room at one of them, who all said they couldn't do anything for me. I was getting really angry and a bit afraid all at the same time. I mean, what kind of hospital says they can't do anything for you without even seeing you? I began to feel like I was in a Kafka novel, and have been jokingly (and halfway seriously) murmuring gaijin sabetsu (discrimation against foreigners) for the past couple of days. I told Tadashi that Hiromi couldn't seem to find any clinic or hospital that would treat me, and he started calling hospitals too, thinking perhaps Hiromi was doing the good Japanese girl and not questioning the authority of any of the people she talked to on the phone. After a few calls, we found a hospital forty five minutes away that would see me, and it was once again an in and out procedure, and once again I received not antibiotics, but some sort of anti-inflammatory medicine. Apparently my nose and throat are infected, thus blocking up my ear somehow, although I have no sore throat and my nose feels fine. I am taking the medicine doubtfully but with hope. Maybe Japanese doctors don't like to prescribe antibiotics, but you know at this point I want my god damned ear to work again. I don't care if there's wisdom in avoiding antibiotics if possible. I haven't been able to hear for a week now. I'm not even confident in the pronouncements of these doctors as they just sort of look at me briefly and breezily diagnose me with things I'm not sure are even right (as in throat infection etc., I don't feel anything going on in my throat, but all right, whatever, maybe there are throat infections you can't feel? If so, I've never experienced one before). I feel entirely safe in Japan usually, but not safe at all right now when it comes to the medical system. Hopefully these anti-inflammatory pills will do something to help.

3 Comments:

Blogger gwenda said...

Oh dear. That's just awful.

Two suggestions: you could contact the American Medical Association and ask if they could recommend a doctor in your area in Japan. (I don't know if this would work, but when I've been abroad I always get a recommendation from my dentist, doctor, etc., so maybe your family physician might know someone.) If you sound pitiful, they might help you!

Get your doctor back home to give you a script over the phone if possible and fill it at an Internet pharmacy. I believe you should be able to do this and get the meds shipped to you. There might be some law prohibiting it, but if it is the website would know about it: http://www.drugstore.com/

Feel better, sweetie!

10:30 AM  
Blogger Jessica said...

I really hope you feel better soon. :)

11:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Get in touch with the U.S. consulate and see if they can find a doctor who will be able to help you.

feel better
Rick

4:38 PM  

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