23 September 2008

Japanese Hospitals

Well, once again, the Japanese take personal responsibility to a higher level. America could never handle the amount of work the patient is required to do in Japan.

Emily has to weigh and measure herself, go and get the necessary items to provide a urine sample, and then check in. She has to complete questionnaires on a regular basis, but at least the questions are different and pertain to important stuff. The Japanese do not often ask the same questions, so they communicate better than American hospitals, where you pretty much have to re-check-in on each floor/department you visit.

She is now 39 weeks pregnant, and about to give birth to my son, my first son, which by the grace of God and the mercy of the Navy which I so love, I have been allowed to stay with her for the birth and not hear about it from an American Red Cross Message.

She has to share a room with three other pregnant Japanese women, who laugh and giggle when she makes a confused face when she can't understand the nurses who try to speak English, but hey, they're Japanese. Some of them do very well, and some just prattle off in Japanese expecting their smile to get the meaning across, it doesn't, but at least they are nice about it. She has a community sink where all the females in the maternity floor do their morning business, and a community shower/bathroom in which they were so kind as to install two western-style toilets. Otherwise she would have to use this:

And there is a schedule for the showers. Always fun to wait in line with a bunch of hairy-legged pregnant women. Anyway, all of this is in her Blog as well, in much better detail than I can provide.

I'm writing today about an observation I had during the day Emily checked in, because I had to make multiple trips to the hospital with stuff for her, namely lunch, which she discusses also. I noticed that there are only four basic conditions in the entire group of Japanese I see at the hospital.

1. Old, there are a lot of really old folks in Japan altogether, and many of them are at the hospital. I'm not talking grey-haired aunt who makes cookies old, I'm talking bent-over, frail, nearly blowing away in the wind, about to turn to dust old. And these old folks are rugged, because I see them walking around on the streets all the time. Old folks live longer here, because they often do not end up in homes or living alone, the families take care of them.

2. Pregnant, I see lots of pregnant folks because I go see Emily on the preggo floor, where they are all over. I'm often the only male on the entire floor as well, because Japanese husbands arent often involved with the pre-birth stuff, and often not with post-birth, they are busy working.

3. Facial injury, I can't tell you how many Japanese I've seen with huge gauze bandages over one entire side of thier faces. How can so many people get who knows what to happen to an entire half of their face? I'm not talking bandaids, or light stitching, I'm talking car-wreck, third-degree burn, massive facial trauma. All ages too. Maybe its just that huge facial bandaging is very noticable, but I've seen way more than I do anywhere else.

4. Other, or otherwise fine outward appearance. Everyone else I see looks fine, or is in a support role. Like me, showing my wife to the maternity ward, or helping that loved one with the scald under the left eye, or guiding that elderly grandmother to the prescription counter.


Alistair Xavier Booya said...

I told you about the facial injuries. It's all freak NOS accidents as they were drifting their Skylines.

Happens when the entire country ONLY drifts while driving...I saw a movie on it.

sbackholm said...

I think all the facial injuries stem from the stupid game shows they participate in.

I'm glad to hear that the Navy "which you so love" is treating you well.


Brandon said...

Emily told me that its just the area of the hospital where we constantly are. She has been to more places and has seen broken limbs and whatnot. I guess they need a sign that says "Massive Facial Trauma Ward" or something to explain. Still, broken limbs could be from drifting or Most Extreme Elimination Challenge also.