Thursday, July 29, 2010

Taking the plunge

I have spent the last few weeks procrastinating over whether to catch up on all the blog entries that I haven't had time to write, or start fresh with what is happening that day. Then of course by the time I have procrastinated about it I am too tired to write about anything at all....
To be honest I've found this year pretty tough. I have taken on quite a lot of extra teaching, which is great for the bank balance, but not so wonderful in terms of time out for me and also time with the children. We have had a lot of family visitors - which was again great, but very tiring and left little time to do the normal routine things. And then of course it is summer.... and we are living in Japan.... hot, humid and yuck!
From today though I have turned over a new leaf. I am determined to write about the daily happenings and gradually get older entries up as well. All this determination is fuelled by the fact that after 15 years in Japan I finally got around to going for my first ever annual health check up today. I'm not really sure why I have been avoiding them, but the timing was never right and I just hate hospitals in general. For anyone not living here (or who has been as lazy as me), Japan has a relatively thorough annual check up that you can get for free (or at least I can.... ) that covers all the basics - blood tests, blood pressure checks, urine tests, ultrasounds, mammograms, hearing and sight tests, heart monitors etc. etc. Our local hospital has a new center where you can do it all in the same place and they even give you lunch. The major problem is that I know half the nurses and therefore having to fling open my regulation hospital gown (they jokingly asked me if I wanted the medium or large....) every few seconds for them to examine different parts of me etc. is a little off putting - especially as they are usually making conversation about my husband at the same time (he used to work at the hospital). We were shuffled from department to department (where all the nurses were the same... just a different room...) in our lovely slippery slippers and all was relatively efficient. I left for 2 hours in the middle as the hospital lunch didn't look too wonderful and I'd opted out of drinking a cup full of barium (?) and swallowing a stomach camera. Back after lunch for some poking in parts I prefer not to be poked in and a meeting with the doctor to discuss the results (took about 1 minute). I survived the day and preliminary results show that despite having pretty low blood pressure and a low platelet count all bits are where they should be and even my BMI index didn't go off the charts enough for them to mention the need to lose a few kilograms. Just thought you might want to know - that not only have I not fallen off the edge of the world, I am still alive and relatively healthy!
PS - I would have to say that at times like this I am eternally grateful to my husband. Although I can hold my own in Japanese in general conversations, medical terms are usually way beyond me. He did a great job last night with the questionnaire.... only trying to throw in the towel about twice when the questions were about private places and what kind of state they were in!