Monday, November 28, 2011

A doctor's visit

I'm supposed to be blogging everyday in support of my NaNoWriMo friends. But I'm sick. So today you're getting a blog about my visit to the doctor here in Small Town, Hokkaido.

After a weekend of not feeling so great and then going home sick today after lunch because I had no energy, my supervisor suggested that I visit the "hospital" in town. It's more like a clinic, and I've only ever seen the same doctor, so I assume there's only one.

The visit always starts with me handing the receptionist my blue Japanese insurance card. Then we wait. We, being myself and my JTE who was sent along to help with translation. This time, because the flu/colds and other winter illnesses are happening all around, we saw 4 of my students and the guy under the superintendent of the school district while we were waiting.

When they called my name, we missed it the first time because we were chatting with someone we knew. We go in and he points to a chair for me to sit on. My JTE sits on the bed for patients. The doctor sits on his chair, next to his computer. He wears a flu mask covering his mouth, but he's moved it down, off of his nose.

He asks me the normal questions about what's wrong, mostly in Japanese with very random bits of English mixed in. Asks me whether or not I have a fever. When asked this, I admit I haven't taken my temperature today, but I haven't had one all weekend. After this, he doesn't bother to take it (at home the doctor ALWAYS takes my temperature regardless of whether or not I've taken it and regardless of what I've come in for).

So, I'm diagnosed as sick. Probably with the assumption I have whatever bug is going around. After being diagnosed, I pay the 1040 yen that is due to the doctor for the visit (less than $10) and head over to the pharmacy to pick up the drugs he's prescribed me.

At the pharmacy, we hand in the papers and wait. Since it's such a small town, it doesn't take long for them to finish and call my name. The doctor has prescribed me with 3 kinds of medicine: cold/flu medicine, cough medicine and phlegm medicine.

The pharmacist explains the drugs to me in Japanese, me understanding only a small amount and recognizing some of them as drugs I've been prescribed before and have at home from when I quit feeling bad after previous doctor's visits (don't worry, none of them were antibiotics).

When he's finished his explanation, I pay for the medicine. It costs less than 500 yen (around $4). And head home.

I've been given the ok to take a couple of days for rest if I need them. Hopefully the energy that usually fills my body will come back and I will have the energy to be back teaching soon.

Christmas Tree

Less than a month till Christmas! I'm so excited to come home and see my family and good friends!