Friday, November 26, 2010

Medical Exam

No, this is not the same as last week's doctor post. But, I suppose it's my fault for talking about the doctor.

Every year, every public worker in Japan MUST get a medical exam. I probably shouldn't complain because there are millions of people in the world who would like to see a doctor, and I go every year for free.

Here's a pic of a part of the English translation of the Medical Exam form. Please note, this is my 3rd year. Never before has anyone given me an English translation. Imagine trying to mime/pictionary something like cancer. Yes, I have done that.


First you register, and they put your medical form in a plastic folder, and give you a sticker with your name, and a little card. And then they give you a cup to pee in. But, this being Japan, it's not just any cup. In my town, the cup is always green, and I assume, it's green everywhere. And it has measurements. And the guy actually says to pee to the 25 mm line.

I always pee too much.

Then you have to bring your cup to another desk, where you put it on a circle they've printed on a laminated paper. I kind of wonder what would happen if you didn't put the cup in the circle. :)

Dude puts your pee in a little tube- 25 mls of it, and throws the rest in a bucket. Another temptation- kicking the bucket. Wait, did I just say that?

Right next to him, you do an eye test. There's a bunch of C's, oriented in different directions and you have to say if the space in the C is on the right, left, up or down. Then that same dude weighs you (Yes, I've noticed I'm overweight, Japan. But thanks.) and measures your height.

Then it's off for blood pressure and blood tests. The dude next to me was frightened of needles. I don't have that luxury. See, I have no veins. This is not the obesity speaking. Even as a baby I didn't have veins. (I've had blood taken from the back of my hand, and from the space inside my thumb and forefinger. I don't recommend either, unless you don't mind not being able to use your hand for a couple days.) Every time I get to this station, I remember that Japan doesn't know that much about the outside world. And I know that they probably all think that Black people just don't have veins. Sorry, Race.

Then you go to the heart doctor, who listens to your lungs. ??? Medicine is so confusing. And then you do an ear test. They give you a pair of headphones and you press the button when your hear the beep.

And then it's off to the buses.

For the operations which require equipment, they've renovated these buses. At the front, it's a regular bus, but in back, they've put in a door, and you go through the back and have your exam done. The perk of this is that hospitals outside big cities don't need expensive equipment. It just drives around in a bus.

This is a picture of the breast cancer/gynaecologist bus, which they sent me too without warning. Seriously, supervisor gives me paper I can't read and tells me I have an exam. I turn up and everyone starts taking their undies off. Weird, to say the least.

Yesterday there were two buses. In one you get a chest x-ray, and in bus 2, they do two things, neither of which I'm fully sure of. In the back, they take a picture of your eye. In the front, the put a bunch of metal clips on your arms, legs and chest, and shoot you full of electricity. I don't know what the machine did, but it shook the whole bus.

And then you're done!

Thanks for enduring two weeks of medical posts. Here's a reward, from today's school lunch: Almond Fish. I wish I was making this up.

Sadly, it tastes pretty good.

I've been here too long.


Joanna St. James said...

hey unless that profile pic is showing us one third of your face you don't look obese to me, I still dont know what to say abt the hospital bus the idea is intriguing but, somehow i feel they just cannot have everything on there, how fast can they move in an emergency?

Glam,Glitz&Gut said...

What an interesting experience!

Nicole Zoltack said...

Wow, that's really interesting. I had no idea they did that Japan.