Thursday, March 10, 2005

Influenza Day Three

You know you are supposed to just stay home and rest when you have the flu but that was just impossible today and we are all exhausted as a result.

I started showing symptoms yesterday evening, and rushed around cleaning up and doing laundry in preparation for not feeling very much like doing that the next day! As we put the kids to bed we heard sirens, and they went for a very long time. Then we heard the fire engines get closer and closer, and I looked out the window to see them pass by on the main street near our house. The sound did not recede so I looked out the other side of the house from the balcony, and then I saw the flames shooting up higher than the two-storey houses surrounding the burning house about a block away. I called out to Kanji and we stood in the cold and watched. We could hear shouting, and wooden beams cracking and glass shattering, a very chilling sound. We tried to trace which house it was, mentally walking through the streets, but of course we could not know until the next day. A long, two-storey, very old, old-fashioned town-house (shop in the front room) was completely gutted. It was the fish shop across from the vegetable shop where I bought milk the next day and asked what happened. There was a family of four, all but one son were out, no-one was hurt. It was one of those little neighborhood shops that have been slowly losing business to the malls and chain stores and no doubt this will ruin them completely. It was sad to see the piled of blackened debris and know that they had lost everything.

But back to the influenza trials of the Yokomatsus. I had to go to the dentist - I had had medicine and a plug put in on Monday, so it needed to be changed. We called, and they promised they could do it quickly - before I needed to sneeze! So in the morning I rushed off to the dentist. After lunch we decided to go to the doctor - Amy's fever had not abated in 48 hours, and Lena now had a fever too. We went to Inoue clinic - only to find it shut! I had completely forgotten that Inoue has Wednesday afternoon off. So we tried Kanji's hospital, where he was diagnosed with Influenza, but they don't have a children's department. So we drove to another pediatric clinic, only to reject it as too crowded. We decided no to go to Dr Kako out of emabrrassement more than anything else - we didn't want to go there just to say that we are only there because Inoue is shut. So we went to the public hospital.

Lena spewed all over the floor in reception. Kanji tried to catch it, but I was relying on the proverbial kind nurse, and sure enough she turned up. We were isolated - in the night-watchman's room of all places - and the nurse and then the doctor came to us there. It was the other Dr Inoue, the young one, who cared for Amy last year when she was admitted for asthma. He decided not to do anything with Amy since we would be taking her back to the first Inoue the next day. He started Lena on Tamiflu.

We got the kids home and it was my turn. Back to Kanij's hospital, where the first doctor had a bit of a panic attack upon seeing me. He seemed completely lost for words (and actions) and just kind of fiddled with my test paper, and asked me to write my name in English on the back of the form (?). He finally got it together enough to do the test - a nasal mucus test, ie, a cotton bud up the nose. It tickled and made me cry. Worst luck, my nose was actually clear at the time so it took even longer. That doc must have chickened out because it was another one I saw to discuss the test results twenty minutes later. He was much more confident and translated odd words into English. Except for the ones I most needed to know. But it was pretty straight-forward, as expected, I had the flu, B type, and would get some Tamiflu and some gargle. (and continue to take the anibiotics the dentist gave me for my tooth)

Amy had been begging all day for her favorite chicken pie, so I stopped at the supermarket on the way home and bought the things for it. I got home, and using my last resources of energy I cooked that damned pie! She was sound asleep by the time I finished, and I just collapsed on the floor. At least we'll have some pie for tomorrow

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