Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Religious converts

Posted by kuri, ping, the pinglet, & mini-ping on 9/20/2006
After the morning I've been through, I've decided that it would be in my best interest to become a Christian Scientist. Holy Mother of God (Amen).

I went to the local hospital this morning to get a few things checked out (Aside #1: In Japan, you usually go to the hospital for anything and everything, including to get medicine for a cold) One was my ear which was clogged with an excess of earwax (ewww!), which rendered me incapable of hearing the TV unless it was turned up to a level that made my downstairs neighbor move out (Aside #2: Yes, I clean my ears regularly but some people have a problem where all the earwax doesn't come out of your ear and prefers to take up permanent residency next to your eardrum. And, yes, my downstairs neighbor moved out, but I don't think we were the cause...probably) The second was a problem I've been having for the last four months, where I've had an excess of acid in my stomach. Not a fun feeling to have all day long, every day for months.

So, I visited our lovely hospital this morning and got to again see why I never go there. I try not to go to the doctor as much as possible, preferring instead to hope that things will clear up on their own (see the Christian Scientist in me?). So, when I do go, it is usually a mix of aches and pains that have been plaguing me for the past few months, combined with the fact that I want to take the day off from work and go to the movies because it's Ladies Day (every Wednesday at only $10 a pop.)

The ENT visit went well and I can now hear the fall of every leaf. And then, I was off to the gastroenter...gastroenteroilo...gastro...ah, the stomach department. Where I chatted to the good doc who said that I would have to have an endoscopy to find out what the problem was (Aside #3: Wikepedia labels the endoscopy as a "minimally invasive procedure." WTF? Having a gigantic tube forced down my throat INTO MY STOMACH where it proceeded to root around and take pictures is most definitely more than a minimally invasive procedure. I'll give you minimal, Wikepedia.)

E7, a doctor's dream, has had this procedure done before. I, on the other hand, am the antithesis of E7...kind of like the anti-Christ. I've actually progressed to feeling bad for the doctors when I show up in their offices. Adding to my problem of pulling away/crying/trying to get out of whatever procedure they're trying to do, is the fact that they also have to figure out what the hell's the matter with me based on the mangled Japanese phrases that come out of my mouth. I am sure these good people question the calling that led them to become physicians when I waltz in. Heal thyself, I can hear them say.

After running through various (intelligent, I thought) alternatives to actually have to do this procedure with the doctor who just looked totally confused by my bargaining tactics, I find myself in the endoscopy waiting room. For lack of anything to read and to try to distract myself from the medevial procedure that I will soon be undergoing, I check out the reading material on the wall which is a cartoon that explains the procedure in detail. It's a cartoon, right? It's probably supposed to calm people down by giving them an idea of what (horrors) they're in store for behind the curtain.

Step 1: Don't eat or drink anything the morning of the procedure...check.

Step 2: The staff will provide a drink to clean out your stomach and administer a local anesthetic for your throat...OK.

Step 3: The staff will administer an injection to relax the stomach functions...whoa, whoa, whoa. No one told me about getting an injection.

Step 4: Take out your false teeth, take off your watch, glasses, jewelry, and loosen your belt. Those all applied to me, except for the false teeth, that is.

Step 5: RELAX your body, especially your throat muscles to allow the camera to pass smoothly to your stomach.

I was awful. The minute someone tells me to relax, I know the end is in sight and of course, I start to tense up. I find muscles that I didn't even know I had. This being Japan, I provided a blanket apology to the staff as soon as I put a foot inside the room. They just nodded and smiled but they really had no idea what they were in for. Poor souls.

I basically spent the time when I wasn't gagging on the gigantic camera protruding from my mouth, whimpering and wondering why, with all the technology we have, can they not just use lasers from their eyes to see into my body? You know, like the X-men.

Of course, they found nothing, which I'm happy about, but the the acid in my stomach is still a problem. Although I was quite proud of the showing that my stomach made on the docs computer. All pink and gorgeous...let's do lunch, babe.

As fun as today has been (not), I've decided that I'm going to take my problems to the Google clinic from now on.

9 of you feeling verklempt. Tawlk amongst yourselves:

jean said...

Unless I'm bleeding profusely or in labour, I never go to the doctor. Things usually clear up (or else they don't and when you finally go they say you've got a huge cancerous tumour -- why didn't you come in years ago?? but that hasn't happened... yet). In fact the city has sent me blankets as a gift for not using the kokumin hoken during the calendar year. Nice blankets, too. So I hear you on the endoscopy thing big time. And you just knew they'd tell you 'well, we don't really see anything,' didn't you? I'd suggest for anything not involving immediate surgery. And for acid, TUMS. Good luck!

liina said...

Yikes. Sounds like a lovely experience. I myself like going to the doctors, but I don't do it very often. At least now I have a child whom I can take in every time he sneezes :)
Just kidding... I don't take him in that often either...
But anyway, good to hear you got at least one issue sorted out.

Jess said...

Yikes, that does NOT sound fun. I guess I'm glad they didn't find anything wrong with you, but sorry you had to go through all that!!

Anonymous said...


Love, YFA

kuri & ping said...

Thanks for the suggestions!

YFA, I thought of you when I wrote this post. I figured you would enjoy it. LOLOLOL

Belinda said...

I'm really surprised that they did that without putting you under, I always thought that endoscopies etc were done under a general.
I couldnt do it like u didk I just would have gagged and vomited! LOL! SEriously.

How come ppl don't see a regular Dr for ailments? I can only imagine how busy the hospitals get dealing with some realy minor things that waste their time!!!

montchan said...

let me tell ya, colonoscopy is not fun either. See, I'll never be sexy if I keep talking about such stuff.

kuri & ping said...

Belinda, they never put anyone under here. E7 even had a colonoscopy (I'm sure he's happy I'm sharing this with the internet) without being under. The hospitals are usually completely crowded with people. Today when I went, I spent 3 hours just to see the doctor for 10 minutes and have a 5 minute x-ray.

Montchan, um, yes, the discussion about colonoscopys should not be included in your list of possible discussion topics for sexiness. LOLOLOL

Granny said...

They have a reason for telling you not to eat anything first. They don't want your dinner landing in their lap.

Seriously, those things are awful or so I've heard.


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