Saturday, September 26, 2009

Adventures in health care

When last we spoke, I mentioned there were a few bugs in the temple we stayed at in Koyasan. (I'll eventually post more about our trip). I thought I had walked away with a few minor bites on my hands. They started to get a little itchy on Thursday. Last night, we caught a lovely sumo tournament in Hakui. By the time I returned to Dean's apartment that night, my legs were feeling a little uncomfortable. I lifted up my pants and


I thought I'd sleep it off but I awoke in the morning to find that not only was the mess on my legs bigger and redder but in fact my arms, back, neck, and chin were all similarly horrifying. I got some cream but it didn't seem to accomplish anything. Dean's neighbor, the brilliantly good at speaking Japanese Sarah (my new personal hero), happened to be on her way to a clinic so I decided to tag along.

By coming to Japan I was automatically enrolled in the national health care plan. That's right, folks: socialized medicine (dun dun dun). So after waiting in line for eight hours I was told by a death panel that I was too useless to live and promptly euthanized.

...Actually the whole thing took about a half an hour and cost me twenty bucks including the ointment and pills they gave me.


  1. That shit on your legs is no good! Get well soon. I sent you an email about a possible phone time this week. -Monica

  2. Those look familiar. I never travel without my benadryl. Depending upon the dosage it's good for allergic reactions, narcotic for sleep, motion sickness. They're the pink ones in my pill jar. The red ones are vitamin I (ibuprofen) and the blue ones are acyclovir. Hope you're better.

  3. Bedbugs. Remember, temples are no kill zones, so this might not be unusual for temple. Its the down side of buddhism. Check future places for tiny black spots (feces) on bedding, wall bases, headboards, etc. Check the net for additional how to spot bedbug infestations. Looks like you are particularly allergic to their bites - often there is virtually no reaction.

  4. I happen to work closely with bedbugs, and I would say that you have one of the worst cases I have ever seen of allergic reaction. I am going to pirate the pic of your legs and use it in a lecture I am doing....thanks in advance! Hope you are all better by now, and have no scars. Love Steph