The second-to-last week of the study abroad program, I began to feel a bit under the weather. I was about to experience some things I never really wanted to experience.

On Monday, somebody spotted a huge millipede in I-Talk. Most of the girls seemed to disappear while a few of the braver guys managed to get it into a garbage bag using a paper plate, which they then carried far away from the building. I don't know what they did with it, but I like to think that it involved flamethrowers. I was feeling a little sick to my stomach, but it wasn't the bug that made me feel that way.

It was probably wondering why I wasn't more impressed.
The next day I again only took one picture, and it was also coincidentally of a bug. It was cooler in person, I swear. 

I was starting to feel really sick by then. I hoped that it would go away, but it wasn't letting up. The next day I decided that I needed to get medical help. I used the phone in the dorm to call I-Talk, and Mr. Yamanaka, one of the staff members there, drove me to the nearby hospital, and helped get me checked in. There I had to describe my symptoms in Japanese, which was a little awkward.

I didn't bring my camera, because I thought that would be touristy to the point of disrespect. Instead, I snapped a few pictures with my iPod touch that I always had handy. The program director, Mr. Azuma, showed up to help me through the process. He was very helpful and kept me company through the tedious process.

A rock garden courtyard surrounded by building.

...And it was tedious. I was sent back and forth through 4 or 5 departments, and I was there for several hours. I gave a urine sample. I listened to doctors speaking in advanced Japanese medical terms (most of them kept it simple for me) and making fun of my weight loss, probably assuming I couldn't understand them (my shorts were buttoned through the first belt loop). They put me through a CT scan, and they stuck an IV in me and prescribed me some medicine. It was my first time having an IV in my arm (that I can remember), and I had to lay there for an hour like that. I was able to listen to music though. Glad I brought my earphones.

Halfway through the hour, they moved me to the ER side of the building, because the main floor was closing.

Mr. Azuma left to pick up my prescription, and returned with a bottle of Vitaminwater for me, along with the medicine. (This was literally the only time I saw Vitaminwater in Japan.) He then grabbed a cab to take us back home. I knew the way back better than he did!

Japanese medicine is weird. Most of it was in powder form, and I was unsure how to take it at first. I tried putting it in my mouth and flushing it down with water, but I found myself getting it up my nose and coughing/sneezing. Then I tried mixing it with water. That was even worse. Eventually I just got better at the former method.

This one was flavorless, and the consistency of sugar.
This one was nasty, and the consistency of flour.
The next day I still didn't feel like I could walk to school. Mr. Azuma's wife showed up and brought me some goodies. Between all this and their help with the insurance company, I can't thank them enough.

She brought apples, instant kayu (rice porridge), Lemon CC (a lemon-flavored soda with ridiculous amounts of vitamin C), dinner rolls, and instant soup packets. It was a bit of a fun nerd moment for me, because the first three are all stereotypical Japanese sick-people foods that always crop up in anime. It definitely lightened my day.

I spent the majority of my free time the next few days alternating between laying in bed and playing video games on my laptop at the dining table. This was how I spent the fourth of July, and this was also, sadly, how I spent the class trip to Namba. As much as I was looking forward to that trip, I was advised against going again and again, and I didn't want to risk jeopardizing the last leg of my trip, my solitary adventure to Tokyo.

Join me next time for a hopefully less depressing trip to a Japanese festival!

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