Wednesday 29 February 2012


Christ, but I feel like shit.

Our son got sick for the first time in the middle of last week. Not really the first time, he had a bit of jaundice just after he was born, but this was the first time ‘on our watch’ as it were. Incidentally, how do you explain what jaundice is to Japanese acquaintances without it feeling slightly awkward? This time it was some kind of virus, so he was pretty explosive at both ends, poor little chap. I realize how fortunate we’ve been regarding his health, and how much worse many other people have it, but it’s still a little nerve-wracking the first time you’re wholly responsible for a sick child.

Then my wife gets the ‘flu, as well. It’s fair to say that this weekend was not the most relaxing I’ve ever had. The kid’s better now, and my wife is almost back to normal, but with plodding inevitability I’ve gone and got sick. It’s not any one thing, just a load of low level symptoms, any one of which would be tolerable but all put together make me feel pretty crappy.

So obviously I did what any sane and rational person would do and asked the internet what was wrong. Apparently I have either MS or HIV. What a wonderful resource.

I don’t think it’s just Man-Flu. I’ve not got a temperature, for a start. That’s actually a little disappointing, as at least then I could legitimately stay in bed for a couple of days. Or maybe even go to the doctor’s and get a drip. Japanese doctors’ attitudes towards drips have always reminded me a bit of that Gary Larson cartoon about Equine Medicine, but bugger me if they don’t perk you right up.

As it is I just have to plod on with no clearly visible symptoms except a cough which sounds like an accordion’s death-rattle. It may well be my subconscious clocking the fact that my wife’s on the mend and just saying, ‘Fuck it, it’s your turn now.’

Thank fuck term is almost finished. If I can get through Wednesday’s classes without some sort of unfortunate voiding incident then I can just curl up on the sofa in the projection room by the language lab and ‘study’ for a few days. It’s no worse than some of the other teachers do, and I think I’ve built up enough ganbaru capital to buy some time there without anyone jumping to the usual ‘lazy ALT’ conclusions. I might even consider wearing a face mask.


  1. I was feeling nostalgic with that nice little ditty and then you go and Throw Gary Larson in there....A genius if ever there was one. One of the keenest observers and commentators on what being "human" is and how fucked up THAT is.

    I NEED some of him in my blog.

  2. One of my not so great days had me filling a plastic bag as I attepted to tell myself I was okay, staggering down the hallway. Folks at the place I was barely working that day offered to call an ambulance. Wifey freaked out when she learned I took a taxi to the hospital for IV. Managed to get hold of some good medicine for keeping the fever at bay so as not to miss work. Also learned that diapers here are pretty swank and generally easy to put on...from my experience. Mask and baggy pants make anyone almost look normal.

  3. Chris - There's almost nothing that isn't improved by a bit of Gary Larson. You have to admire anyone who appreciates that cows are just inherently funny animals.

    Will - I eventually went to the doctor. His conclusion was that 'Well, you have the 'flu, but you've not got a temperature, so it's not the 'flu'. I think WebMD might actually have been more reliable.

    The nappy information is gratefully received and will be stored for later use.

  4. Yeah wear a mask and you can get away with anything.

    Did the doctor stick a big swab up your nose? That freaked me out when they did that to me.

    1. Not this time. Last time I went they stuck a camera up my nose and took a picture if my vocal chords. If that wasn't odd enough, it transpires that my voicebox looks like an angry vagina.