Nov 6, 2011

Another Pre-typed Entry

November 3rd
Health Checks

Had my first experience at a doctor's office here yesterday.  Everyone at my school has to have yearly physical examination (健康診断, kenkou shindan), since we work with babies and young children.  My friend who came here as an ALT through the JET Program had written about her health check experience so i had an idea of what to expect. 
Actually, the first part of the examination was a couple weeks ago, when i was given a little plastic vial-like thing and a set of instructions.  I'll let you figure out exactly what was involved.. 


So anyway, yesterday morning my boss dropped me off at the doctors office around 10am.  The waiting room was fairly crowded, but i only had to wait about 15 minutes before my name was called.  First part of the exam was the urine-collection.  As far as i can remember i've never had to give a urine sample for anything, although i remember being with an unnamed family member as a young child when they had to give some, and they kept having me run the water in the sink because they just couldn't go.  I was afraid i'd be in the bathroom forever as well, since i'd peed just a little over an hour before and didn't have the urge to go again so soon.  Luckily, sitting down was enough to muster up just enough for a sample for the little cup they'd given me with my name written on it in hiragana.  I left the cup in the little basket as they had instructed me, and moved on to the next bit.

They led me over to another little area where they measured my height (169.7cm) and weight (50.5kg) and took a measurement of my waist (or hips, i'm not sure what you'd call that area).  Then they had me lie down on a bed and they attached little suction cups and clips to various points all over my body.  I forget what they said that machine measured- my pulse or something- but they lifted up my shirt and bra to attached some of the little suction cups just under my boobs.  Then they took my blood pressure, but i forgot what they told me it was.  I have no idea what's considered a good or bad blood pressure reading anyway.
After that they brought me over to the vision chart, where i had to cover each eye and then tell them which way the "C" was facing.  Both eyes got a 1.0 (i think.. my right eye did at least and i'm pretty sure my left was the same), which i'm not sure what that means, haha.  I can see well enough though.

Next was an X-ray, i believe.  They didn't really tell me what they were doing at this part, just gave me instructions on what to do.  They led me to a different room and had me take off my bra but leave my shirt on.  I had to stand facing the wall while resting my chin on this little chin-rest and wrap my arms around the front of the whole chin-rest-stand contraption.  They turned off the lights briefly and they came back on and told me i could but my bra back on.
They told me to head back out to the waiting room to wait for the doctor to come see me, but called me back a couple minutes later to the X-ray room because they forgot to do the hearing test.  Just had to put on some headphones and push a little button each time i heard a noise.

After waiting in the waiting room again for a few minutes, the doctor called me in to his office to ask me about my medical history- if i had had any major illnesses or injuries in which i was admitted into the hospital for.  The only incident i could think of was my whole toe-incident in high school where i caught my toe on a sharp metal part on my bed and split the part in between my baby toe and the next toe over, then got staph infection and needed IV drips and all that fun stuff.  Then he made some small chit-chat with me about where i'm from, and his few trips to the US for various medical conferences and stuff, before he sent me on to the last part of the check that i was dreading.

Blood test!  I have a long history of pure dislike for syringes/injections/needles piercing skin.. the sight of syringes or other medical needles makes me cringe and writhe involuntarily.  So when the nice nurse set me down and had me set my right arm up on the little arm rest i kept my head turned to the left the entire time.  She warned me when she was putting the needle in though.  I tried to not think about it but i could still feel it in my skin and the thought of it was making my nauseous.  I hadn't eaten anything that morning, as instructed, so i was also getting very light headed (the hyperventilating didn't help).  I don't know how long it took but it felt like a while, and when she was done the nurse tried making some small-talk with me, to try to distract me i think, but i was still feeing like i was going to throw up and/or faint.  So she led me over to a bed, covered me with a blanket, and told me to lie there until i felt better before closing the curtains around me.  Luckily the yucky feeling passed after just a couple minutes, so i was free to go after that.
Fun-fun times indeed!  Time from walking into the office to the time i left was about an hour and a half.  At least i don't have to dread doing this again until next year!

1 comment:

Mom said...

Sounds terrible! Glad it's over. How is your neck doing? Is the dr appt
and acupuncture helping?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...