An Alternative Reality
Well, donno about you, buy I've had enough health hassles recently to last a lifetime, and then some.
Last entry I talked about how pissed off I was where I was being treated. My insurance company recommended a British doctor, so I trotted off to her clinic, where she looked at my arms, heard what the Japanese doctors were doing and confirmed that in her opinion they were doing the right thing. She also agreed I should be admitted and that I should continue treatment at the hospital because they were familiar with my case.
Tried rushing back to the hospital to tell them I did want to be admitted, but it was too late for the day, and all the doctors had gone.
Next day - Saturday 31st - I had another appointment for an IV drip and told them I'd changed my mind and did want to be admitted after all. And, although I'd been told there could be a wait of a few days for a bed, I suddenly found one available. Had a chest-xray and EEG or ECG or whatever it was - lots of suckers plonked on my chest and various readings taken. Then had to and fill out various forms, be introduced to the nurses on my ward, etc, before they allowed me to pop home and get some things (Quote: what do you need to get? We have everything you need at Japanese hospitals) - with a tight deadline to return by. Luckily I live less than ten minutes away.
The next 12 nights were spent in the hospital. I didn't get bored - I practically never get bored - but I did get fed up at times. Fed up with being treated like a kid, fed up with the meals, fed up with not getting any information given to you unless you asked direct questions, fed up that I had crap veins and the IV line that should have stayed in my arm the whole time I was there (I was on 6 antibiotic drips a day) had to generally be replaced every 1-2 days as it stopped working. And that sometimes it took six painful attempts (on a few occasions) to actually get one that worked.
I did have a lot of things with me to entertain me and time went by fast with all the treatments, routines, etc. I made some nice friends in there and had lots of visitors. And the nurses were lovely. Plus the downstairs shop sold Haagen-dasz.
Three days before I came out I developed a flu-like virus. I had so many drugs in my system they couldn't actually verify what it was. Luckily that pretty passed. They were threatening to put me in isolation if it didn't, as the hospital has strict rules about things like that...
but not it seems about MRSA - which is the main thing I was being treated for. I did have (probably) cellulitis or, more likely, erysipelas at the beginning, but the MRSA was the biggest problem I had - and multiple subcutaneous abscesses - for anyone who cares about the details!
The worst thing - apart from being treated like a kid - was the floor we were on - and we had six beds in our room and about 8 rooms or so in our area - was that patients were all mixed. There were patients like me and my friends who had to be in hospital but were not suffering life-threatening conditions, mixed with people suffering advanced stages of lung cancer, etc who would shout out in the night, people on chemo, people who were pretty much vegetables and people who had nothing wrong with them but had - for example - potential complications that might come up (serious clotting problems etc) during routine dental treatments, etc and so were there 'in case'.
Can you imagine the mood that put everyone else in? Talk about bad for the morale.
Of course, me and my fellow-inmate pals were trouble makers who broke every rule we could get away with and made far too much noise, kept wandering/wheeling off, continued playing cards out of hours, etc....
But, that's what you do to survive, when you're not in pain. We 'had to' rebel because the general way of being treated / being expected to behave just drove us nuts. And as for the three servings of rice and fish a day...
I came out last Thursday - four days ago - my arm still isn't 100% okay and today I got put on a months course of antibiotic tablets (oh joy) - and I still feel a bit virusy from last week. Plus there is the chance the abscesses will come back - but hopefully they won't. I don't fancy going through all that pain and inconvenience again - to say nothing of loss of earnings.
And, upon coming out, I realised what being institutionalized actually meant. I was in such a daze for about 1.5 days. Suddenly I had to start thinking about buying groceries, paying bills, what to wear, cleaning, working, studying... all the 'real' things I'd not had to deal with in hospital. In fact, if I hadn't wanted to, I wouldn't have had to have made a single decision about anything in the 12 nights I was in as everything was to a pre-determined schedule.