針嫌だ!

After my great time in Tokyo, I had the misfortune of becoming ill. At first I thought it was a cold, so I wasn’t too concerned. Then my lymph nodes blew up like balloons, so I decided to go to the doctor. After another day, I woke up after dozing off to find that I could barely breathe through my swollen tonsils. I should give a thanks to my friend in Fukuoka who ended up calming me down, as she was the only one awake at that hour. I managed to make it through the night and go see the doctor again. He referred me to an ear-nose-throat doctor who told me I had tonsillitis. Lovely.

And that started my journey.

This second doctor gave me a boatload of pills, but they all had to be taken after eating. I discovered by dinner time that I was unable to eat. I could swallow things, but it took about a minute each time to will my body to do so. Whenever I did it hurt so much that tears would come out of my eyes. I never felt like crying, they just came out as a reflex. So I decided to see if the doctor could do anything else for me.

When I went a second time, she said that my tonsils had become even more swollen. “I think I should give you this injection,” she told me, pulling out one of the biggest needles I’ve ever seen. Now let me tell you, I hate needles to begin with. They are my number one fear. On top of that, I couldn’t swallow my own spit without flinching, so there was no way a needle was going in peacefully. “I’ll definitely move,” I told the doctor. Her response was to tell me that if I moved it would be very dangerous, and then calling two nurses to pin my arms down. Needless to say, this didn’t inspire any confidence in me. I was reduced to a child, repeating something like, “No needles!” over and over again. She almost got the tip of the needle in my mouth before deciding perhaps poking me wasn’t the best idea.

With a sigh she told me I’d have to go to the hospital if I didn’t take the needle. She said I could get an IV first, and think about what I’d rather do.

Getting an IV wasn’t something I was enthusiastic about, either. Needles, after all. I kept repeating the litany of “I hate needles,” while the nurse prepared the equipment. I thought about my trip to Disney Land while she stuck it in, probably because commercials have convinced me it’s the happiest place on Earth. The nurse was nice enough to cover my arm with a towel so I wouldn’t have to see the needle sticking out.

I tried to mentally prepare myself for the larger needle waiting outside, but the doctor came in and told me it was probably best for me just to go to the hospital. Great. I started mentally preparing myself to get my tonsils removed.

The doctor ended up calling my supervisor, who drove me to the hospital and helped me get all checked in. I would never have found my way around alone. Are hospitals all over the world such a labyrinth? I’ve only spent time in hospitals while in Japan: when my friend was injured in Hiroshima, and these past few weeks.

The doctor here told me that my condition wasn’t so serious that I needed my tonsils removed, but it was still fairly bad. He even stuck a camera down my nose, mostly I think to show me what was going on in my throat. He told me it probably wouldn’t feel too good, but anything was better than that huge needle. More than anything I remember changing my breathing patterns just to see my larynx move on the screen.

It turned out I needed more IVs. I still wasn’t exactly accustomed to getting stabbed, so I started whining about hating needles again. An old woman on the other side of the room laughed and said, “No one likes needles.” I responded with, “No, I mean needles are the #1 worst!” My supervisor joined in. “More than snakes?” I told her I like snakes. She didn’t believe me. I probably imagined snakes while they put the needle in.

It ended up that I would need two IVs each day. They gave me some more painkillers, this time with stomach coating pills so that I could take them before eating. It was nice to be eating again. It wasn’t so nice to get two needles a day. I tried really hard to picture all kinds of dumb things when they pricked me. I thought about Pokemon for some reason, and Lugia’s song. I thought about people I knew. At one point I thought about Yamada Ryosuke, ended up imagining him in a doctor’s uniform, and then confusing the nurse when I giggled. Oops.

After a week of two needles a day and very worn out veins, the doctor put me on normal antibiotics. Two days passed before I had an allergic reaction exactly like one I’d had to other antibiotics as a child. I don’t know what I’m going to do if I ever get the plague, because I seem to be allergic to a lot of antibiotics. I ended up getting allergy pills and being told that it would be okay for me to stop the medication. “Are you sure?” I asked, not wanting to go through another round of tonsillitis and IVs. I was assured it would be okay.

I bet you can guess what happened next.

A week later and I got to have all that fun again! Apparently they won’t remove tonsils until you get tonsillitis four times in one year, and I suppose I’m not complaining – surgery wouldn’t be fun. My count is only two, but I’m hoping this time I have the upper hand. I finished IVs on Monday, and I’m almost done with all the medicine this time. I’m also going to take it nice and easy this weekend. A third time would not be very charming. I definitely want to be able to spend my Golden Week to the fullest, so I need to be all better by then.

Golden Week! A week of holidays which everyone in Japan gets off. I have two friends coming to visit, and I don’t want to give them a tour of Kagoshima’s hospitals. Let’s hope after that week is over I have a much more interesting story to tell!

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~ by megumiwasframed on April 19, 2013.

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