Thursday, July 02, 2009

what happened

first of all, thanks for everyone's kind messages. my foot is in a cast, and i am getting around on crutches. my plans to post more regularly were a little interrupted, but i still have them! and i will get back to posting about crafty things after this post, but i feel like after posting x rays i should tell you more. back to crafty stuff tomorrow.

so here's the story of what happened, and my experience with the japanese medical system (which is great, at least in my case) which was pretty interesting.

on saturday, i stepped backward into a water ditch that i didn't realized that was there. i took one, very hard step directly down about 24 inches. and hit hard. nothing was twisted, so i thought perhaps it wasn't serious. i had my first experience with shippu, which is an amazing japanese product, like a stick-on cold compress that is cooling and also has anti-inflammatory medication that is absorbed into the skin. seriously, this stuff is great. but by evening, even with shippu, i realized that i needed to go to the hospital, since i couldn't put any weight on my right foot, the pain was worse, and i definitely needed crutches which you can only get at the hospital.

the emergency room was really quiet, in fact it's just the regular hospital front desk and waiting area, but some of the lights were off, and just one registration area was open. i was a little worried, since my health insurance wasn't quite in order. in japan, everyone is required to have health insurance, and the national health insurance plan is quite comprehensive and affordable. but i hadn't enrolled yet. in fact, i was planning to enroll on monday, but i had carelessly injured myself 2 days before. oops.

anyway, i saw a doctor, and had some xrays, which showed the 2 hairline fractures in my heel. since this doctor wasn't an orthopedic specialist she told me to come back on monday to see another doctor, at which point i would find out more details, and how serious it was. although she scared my by suggesting that i may need surgery and hospitalization. they gave me a splint and crutches, which took a little bit of time to size correctly, since apparently my western proportions require different crutch adjustments than for japanese arms and torsos.

even without insurance, an ER visit, xrays, doctor consultation, getting my foot in a splint and some pain medication came to $120.

so on monday i came back to the hospital, and realized the normal daytime hospital environment is lots of people in the big waiting room, waiting and waiting. for hours, sometimes. institutional buildings in japan are usually a little old, as many were built in the 60s or 70s when the population was growing, and so now they look a little dated and tatty.

when i saw the dr, he said my fractures were not so serious, and the with a cast my foot will heal quickly. (i learned the work gippusu, which is the japanese word for cast, i assume from the word gypsum for plaster).

so for now, i have this cast for 2 weeks, after which they may replace it with another cast, or i may be healed. and i joined the health insurance program properly, whereby the hospital readjusted my bill to $50 for both the ER visit and the follow up visit, and gave me the rest of my money back. i love japan.

i've been getting around on crutches, and can usually do ok, especially when it's not raining. although anyone who knows me in real life knows that i am neither an athlete nor in possession of exceptional upper body strength. people are very kind, and when it's raining i am often offered umbrella coverage by complete strangers. i've also been taking more taxis than usual (usually, i take 0 taxis), which often leads to conversations with kindly taxi drivers. one of these gentlemanly fellows told me last week that perhaps my injury was the gods telling me to take a break, that i've been being too busy and need a rest. which perhaps is right.

both the photos from this post are from ohara, a lovely little village north of kyoto, with some amazing temples (and natural dye works).

my etsy shop is still open for business, although for now limited to current inventory i have on hand, as special orders will have to wait a few weeks.

1 comment:

Mee a Bee said...

How are you now Liz, recovered I hope?