Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Sakura, Sickness, and Sleep

The sun is out, the air is warm, the cherry blossoms have bloomed, and I'm inside on my bed, with an ear infection in both ears. Not fun.

Last Friday, I paid my first visit to a Japanese hospital. The name of it was Sanno Hospital and it is known to be one of the nicest hospitals in Tokyo. It sure was! I felt like I was in a hotel. I went there after a week or so of pain and swelling in my left foot. Well, after two and a half hours and lots of yen handed across the counter, I had some medicated bandages to wear and a guilty and relieved consious. So much money spent, but luckily nothing seriously wrong with my foot.

After my hospital visit, I was in the mood for some American food. As I wandered along the clean and classy streets of Roppongi, passing Japanese gardens and hearing accents from an array of countries (10% of the population of Roppongi are from a different country), I spotted 'New York Bagels' and headed towards it. It was so nice to sit outside, relax, and enjoy some comfort foods: a bagel, a coke, and a salad. Whenever I get to drink a coke, eat a pizza, some Italian pasta, I feel immediately soothed by the familiarity. It's nice. I drink atleast three cups of my British tea a day. Yes, I just have to. Mmmm.. Well, after lunch, it was time to meet up with some friends at my school for some socializing under the sakura trees. The weather was so warm Friday afternoon. We all just sat under the cherry blossoms, enjoying each other's company, as well as the company of the many people around us participating in the same activities. We listened to a Japanese man and his friend play some Beatles songs on their guitars and sing, we watched some students make origami out of newspaper, we enjoyed the attention from the people as they waived to us and giggled (we were some of the very few foreigners in the area). It was a very nice afternoon. Once day became night, we all headed to a welcome party for all the international students hosted by our school. It wasn't too long. We had some dinner, met some other international students, watched some performances, then headed out for the night. We just went to a small bar/restaurant in Shibuya for a couple hours then went home.

It was late Friday night that I noticed my hearing was going a little bit. I didn't think much of it. I have had a cold for about a week, so I knew it was just part of the head cold. But, as the night progressed, the pain in both of my ears got worse and worse. I was scared. I looked up some home remedies online, tried one of them out, and finally got to sleep at 3 am. Not a good night. I woke up the next morning with my hearing still gone, but the pain was no longer. I went about my day just fine, even enjoyed a dinner out with the family for Hinako's 4th birthday and a late night at a local hot spring with Kayo. Sunday was a different story. I couldn't drink a sip of a water or walk a step without being sick. It was horrible. I was so nauseous. Kayo took me to an emergency clinic where the doctor told me I have deep ear infections in both of my ears and that I have to stay in bed for two to three days. He put me on five different pills. So far, so good. Sunday afternoon and night were bad, but yesterday and today, I feel better. The nausea seems to be gone, but the congestion and the ear pressure are still present unfortunately. I had to miss out on a trip to Kamakura yesterday where the Great Buddha statue is and I can't go in to school today either.

I wish I had a more positive update to share, but this is life, right? No matter where you go, if it's Holland, Michigan or Tokyo, Japan, life is still life and you just have to go with it. Now that I'm not feeling nauseous, I'm not minding this time off to just relax, organize my thoughts, slow down a bit. I feel like everything has been happening so fast lately. I can't believe I've been living here for three weeks already. I need to just live here, in the present. I want to feel like a resident, not a tourist.

Well, the kids and Takashi just got home from the park. I think I'll go say hi to them. The kids are so refreshing to be around. They make me laugh. Hopefully next time I write, my health will be all better! Classes start next Monday. I'm looking forward to them very much. I haven't formally studied since December and I'm missing it.



  1. I hope you are feeling better and have a wonderful Easter. Sam will be home tomorrow. No flowering trees here yet but one is getting ready to bloom in the next week right outside my living room window. I will try and
    put some pics on facebook with Sam's help this weekend.

  2. emma! it all sounds so wonderful, your pictures are almost as beautiful as you!!! miss you, love you, and happy trails!