Life: Me v. The Big Bad Virus

12:23 AM

A few weeks ago, I had the unfortunate pleasure of contracting a virus. Well, it ended up not being a virus, but I'll get to that later.

It all started with an innocent dinner with dad-in-law. He likes eating, but he really likes drinking, so we usually end up at a bar or izakaya. This day, however, Shota and I had both skipped lunch, so we were dying for some real food. I told Shota he could choose this time, so we ended up at a local yakiniku (Korean BBQ) joint near the train station. It's located near a lot of shabby looking bars, but I wasn't going to complain since food is usually food.

We got our meat, ate, but left a little earlier than usually because Shota wasn't feeling well. We stopped for some cake at Saizeriya, but didn't stay there long either because Shota was getting irritable and sleepy-eyed. So, we said our good-byes and went home.

Fast-forward to Sunday evening, and Shota has a fever of 37.5C or so. It's a little high, but not terrible, so I give him something for his fever and send him to bed. The next day, he goes to work, but maintains the fever from the night before. I suggest a doctor's visit, but he's stubborn, or doesn't like doctor's, not quite sure which. He puts it off and decides that if he doesn't feel well Tuesday, he'll see a doctor.

On Tuesday, he leaves work early and goes to the doctor. The diagnosis is a virus, maybe. The report I got from Shota wasn't terribly clear, but he gets a blood test taken, some meds, and the day-off work on Wednesday.

Wednesday comes around, and he's looking better. His fever is receding and he appears, overall, more coherent. Thank goodness, because I can't understand feverish, frantic Japanese. Since he's feeling better, we decide to run some errands the next day and just enjoy our day-off together.

By Thursday, Shota is much, much better. He's back to his bad jokes and goofy faces, which means I can spend less energy baby-ing him and get back to my own business. We go pick up my wedding gown early that day, then had back home for a quiet afternoon with out PS3. But by the time we get back, I'm not feeling so well. We eat some lunch, then play a little Dynasty Warriors 6, before I ask for a break and take a nap. I wake up around 7pm to a worried Shota. Apparently, I don't look so good, and I have a fever. Crap..

I pop-in some anti-fever medication, and hope for the best, but by 8pm, my fever has jumped up to 38.7C and I have chills. I've never had chills before, but it's probably the worse thing I've ever experienced next to vomiting (I HATE vomiting). So I'm on my futon, shivering like crazy, with a fever close to 100F and two ice-bottles under my arms. I send an e-mail to my boss and co-worker telling them I probably won't make it to work on friday.

That's the end of the story of how I got this not-virus. Now on to the hospital bit. It's pertty long though, so you'll have to click READ MORE! :)

By Friday, I definitely wasn't any better, so Shota packed onto the back of his bike and we rode out to the clinic down the street (convenient, eh??). The doctor poked me a bit, checked my heart rate, looked down my throat, and asked about my poop before declaring that I've caught whatever Shota had. But because I hadn't eaten in the last 24 hours, he gave me I.V. therapy to help me get better a little faster. An hour later, with pills in tow, I headed back home.

Fast-forward to Friday evening. My fever was just as high as it was Thursday night, despite the medication. This isn't the first time I've been to that doctor, only for him to give me something that doesn't work. I've since made a mental note not to go back to that place, no matter how convenient. Anyway, I called my boss, informed him of my being absent again, before I made a desperate phone call to my mother-in-law. Shota had been mostly unsympathetic to my complaints that the meds weren't working, but mom knew what was up, and demanded that I make it out to Sakurai (in Nara) to go to the hospital. Finally, the frantic motherly attention I needed..!

I don't remember much of the trip from Osaka to Sakurai, I'm sure it was mostly me just dozing off and looking lethargic, but I made it in one piece and coherently to my mother-in-law waiting in the station. We quickly hop on the bus and ride out to the hospital.

We got to the hospital, where I promptly lay out on the leather couch to try and catch some sleep before seeing the doctor. Later they offered me a bed in a nearby room, much to my relief and probably the relief of the others in the waiting room. I'm sure it's a bit strange to walk into a hospital to find some foreigner stretched out on the waiting room couch. In my defense, my mother-in-law suggested it first.

A lot of people came and went, seeing as this hospital is my mother-in-law's former place of employment. Hasty and awkward introductions were made, but I was mostly left alone since I obviously wasn't in a talking mood. Eventually the doctor comes, orders an x-ray, then declares I have to stay at the hospital. Probably for a week. So they're going to need $300 bucks right now. Oh.

Lucky for me, mom-in-law is a sweet woman, who gladly puts up the cash for me, though I know they'll be hell to pay (and probably an argument with Shota later), but it was whatever at this point because I wanted to do anything to get better. So they stuck me with an I.V. and rolled me upstairs.

Solitary Confinement

That sub-title actual makes it sounds a lot worse than it was. I slept through most of Saturday and Sunday. I remember my sister-in-law brought me some underwear and a sippy cup, and then Shota showed up early from work and declared he was spending the night. After that, the only other times I was really awake were when they were changing my I.V. and prodding me with more questions about my poop (I have since memorized the word suiben, since they said it at least a dozen times a day), which was about every 3 hours. I was on constant I.V. therapy for the first four days in the hospital.

Stupid I.V.
For the most part, it wasn't that bad, except for when they had to change my I.V. needle. I'm not sure how other people's veins are, but mine got sore really quickly, so I ended up changing my IV 5 times in 3 days. Isn't that a bit much?? And the nurses were surprised at me because I said they hurt whenever they stuck one in. Isn't that normal!? Doesn't usual hurt to have a needle jammed into your vein, or am I alone on that one??

During my stay, I had a whole room to myself. I thought it was because I was just a special snowflake, but as it turned out, they were worried I was carrying the extremely contagious norovirus, so that's why they stuck me by myself. Ahhh... it was nice though.

By Tuesday night, I was getting the good news that I was finally going to be able to eat normal food. The entire time before that, I'd been getting nourishment from the I.V. because whatever sickness I had was inhibiting my body's ability to digest food properly. Anyway, I was totally excited. And totally ready to be rid of the stupid, stupid I.V.

First meal

My first meal after days of just water, tea and the I.V. therapy. Can you make out what it is?? It's called "okayu", and you can actually buy it in the grocery store. It's basically watered down, mushy rice. Almost like cream of wheat except with rice and much more... unpalatable. It doesn't taste like anything, it's all just texture. Gooey, soupy texture. Nice mental image?

Needless to say, I didn't eat much of the okayu, but I destroyed the fruit and veggies. And apple juice. Apple juice never tasted as good as it did that day.

The doctor was pretty pleased with my progress though, and decided I ccould continue eating normal food, but I would still need the I.V. therapy twice a day. That was a bit sucky, but at least for most of the day, my arm wouldn't be attached to a plastic tube and bag. It almost felt like freedom..!

Promising lunch..!
A much more promising lunch pictured above. I've never enjoyed meatballs and miso soup as much as I did this day. :) Food is really good when you haven't eaten for days..! I was also able to opt out of the rice for bread. It was from this point that I actually started enjoying my time in the hospital.

It was nice not worrying about breakfast, lunch and dinner, or having to plan out a crazy day of work. I could take as much time as I wanted to do anything I liked. So what did I do? Drew and watched movies of course..!! I watched The Matrix Trilogy, Resident Evil: Extinction (that was actually a bad idea though. who watches a bioterrorism zombie flick while in the hospital with a contagious bowel eating virus?? Apparently, I doooo~), The Fifth Element, Rock Horror Picture Show, Iron Man 2, and probably a couple others I've forgotten now.

But what being in the hospital really did was remind of what I still want to accomplish in life. I had almost forgotten after becoming so complacent with just working, shopping, paying loans and living life. My real dream is to work for an animation studio, in my biggest dreams, a Disney studio, but as a newbie, I'll take any studio. Living here, with Shota, is great, but it almost made me forget about what I wanted to do with my life, so I'm glad I was able to start making up on all the practice I had been lacking.

Anyway, aside from a few visits from my mother-in-laws friends and flowers from said friends, my visit was pretty uneventful.

I did have one of her friends comment on the amount of times I needed my I.V. needle changed. Something to the tune of "damn, these nurses suck. they don't even know how to put an I.V. needle in well." That kind of made me nervous about receiving any other changes for the rest of my visit.

In the end, it turned out that it wasn't a virus. It was Campylobacter, which is a type of intestinal bacterial infection. That doesn't mean it sucks any less though. The doctor said I probably caught it from the meat I ate at the yakiniku restaurant, though it took a while to show up and if I hadn't gotten to the hospital on Saturday, I could have died..! AND I still think Shota gave it to me, though he never needed an I.V. or a hospital stay. Totally unfair, but it's better for our bank account this way.

Oh, there was a typhoon while I was in the hospital.
Actually, it wasn't too bad for our bank account overall. Even with the hospital stay and all the blood tests and other exams, we were able to keep it under a grand. But even then, good ol' mom-in-law was able to call up dad-in-law and verbally beat him up about feeding us bad Korean BBQ until he agreed to pay half. I had never seen anything like that before, so I was quite naturally amazed and scared of her all at the same time. She's a hell of a woman.

Hopefully I won't have anymore hospital stays in the future. It was swell, but the swelling's gone down and I think I can go without anymore..!

That also means no more peace and quiet to just work on my art and enjoy movies. Ah well..( ´ ▽ ` )ノ


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