Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A Trip To The Doctor's, or, Why Mamas Don't Post Everyday...

Kokuwagatamushi (Small Stag Beetle)...

Sometimes kids wake up with the *weirdest* afflictions.

Koshi woke up Friday morning... and laid in bed.  I nagged him to get up and get dressed.  He continued to loll.  I nagged.  He lolled.  He finally made an effort to put his clothes on--while moaning that his leg hurt.  I assumed he'd just slept on it funny, and it would be fine if he just got up and got moving.

Nope.  Crimping and hopping down the hall, then back to bed.  Koshi is my Drama Kid (when he was a baby and a toddler, he had two levels of crying:  "Call 911" and "Asleep".  Nothing in between-- so I feel my initial skepticism was justified;-)).  I checked the calendar to see whether there was anything going on at school that he didn't want to do.  Nope.  I finally told him he could stay home for an hour and go later to school, thinking that surely his leg would miraculously feel better if he got to stay in bed a little longer.

I walked the other kids up to school, and found a cute little Stag Beetle on the pavement on the way home.  I picked her up and put her in the camera bag, sure that an adorable Beetle represented an Instant Cure for Mysteriously Gimpy Legs.

Consultation and an xray for twenty bucks
No such luck.  So, around eleven o'clock,  we got on our bicycles and went to the hospital (I figured he'd need to be seen by the Seikeigeka--the orthopedic surgeon--and would probably need an xray, so the pediatric clinic was out).  We waited about half an hour before seeing the doctor (no appointments are necessary at hospitals or clinics--usually only the dentist requires an appointment).

He did need an xray, and so I learned more new words-- pelvic bone (choukotsu) and femur (daitaikotsu), joint inflammation (kansetsuenshou).  *Sigh*.  The things I learn at the hospital...  Some water in the joint, apparently--though for no readily apparent reason (*possibly* a cold virus or bacteria that had made its way to the joint).  The cure?  Rest.  No running.  No jumping.  No playing.  No exercise.  No baseball.  No walking.  At all.  For three days.

The follow-up visit... get a real health care system, America
I spent Saturday, Sunday, and Monday alternately entertaining and attempting to sit on my most energetic child.  By Saturday, most of the pain in his hip joint was gone... and he wanted to play.

No, honey--no playing.  Rest.

"Tsumannai!"  (bored)  "I can't help that, sweetie.  The doctor said to rest, or your leg will keep hurting and you won't get to play baseball all summer.  And the growth plate on top of the leg bone could get damaged.  No growth plate=short leg forever."  That worked for about ten minutes.

Monday I had to keep him home again, because he still had some pain if I moved his leg outward.  So it was back to the doctor for a follow-up visit (which was very inexpensive, as you can see above-- 360yen, or about $3.60.  That's right.  Three dollars and sixty cents.  I simply do not understand the current "debate" in the United States over health care.  We can provide eighteen years of public schooling for children, but not health care?  And can anyone explain how my paying $3.60 for a follow-up visit represents a loss of medical freedom or a "nanny state"?  Surely it is Americans facing bankruptcy due to crippling medical debts who are experiencing a loss of "freedom"?  I just don't get it...sorry.  Rant done;-))

We love our Very Small Beetle:-))
Koshi did get to go back to school today (thank goodness--I'm not sure I could have taken another day of enforced rest for a kid who is not sick), but the Re-injury Warning is still in effect.  No exercise, no gym class, no pool, no baseball, no playing outside during recess, no running in the halls.  Walking only.  I had to call his teacher this morning and apprise her of all this-- so now she can have *her* hands full:-))  Only one more week, then we're off the hook as long as there's no pain.  One more week.

Mata asobou, ne!


  1. Hope he's feeling better soon!
    And yeah, i don't get the healthcare argument either...

  2. Oh, poor baby! That's so frustrating for them, I know. Sage has been the same way in the past, I feel your pain, trying to keep them still and quiescent is a herculean task. I'll be thinking about you!

  3. I hope he's hopping about soon!

  4. Hope he's okay soon, poor thing.

    I saw "Sometimes kids wake up with the *weirdest* afflictions" right under a picture of a stag beetle floating in something vaguely urine-coloured, and though "Whut?"

    Regarding health care, I still experience a slight amount of culture-shock at the thought of paying anything for treatment, at the point of use.

  5. There are lots of words you never want to have to learn in any language. Poor Koshi, hopefully it'll clear up soon and completely. Of course... there's always duct tape...

  6. I'm sending lots of good thoughts your way for Koshi's speedier recovery!

    One X-ray with our insurance will cost $152 plus about $35 to the radiologist. This, of course, will not cover the initial or follow-up visits to the doctor or medication if necessary. If other countries can have decent health care for a decent price, why can't we? (end of my rant)

  7. こし、お大事に!

    Oy, I certainly remember rapidly flipping thru the dictionary (I don't have an electronic one) when I was having some medical problems in Japan. Thankfully I also had with me an extremely helpful Japanese friend who's fluent in English, including most random medical words!

    Of course the other highlight of the experience (of multiple doctor visits, tests, and medicines) was the price. Insanely affordable. The view from here, standing in the U.S., looking back at Japan's healthcare system, fully supports your rant against the current state of affairs in the U.S. I wish more Americans/voters were aware of how it could be.

  8. I hope he feels better soon!
    Visiting the doctor, especially a specialist, always seems to add to my Dutch vocabulary. I haven't had to learn femur yet, though...must go look that up.
    The Dutch government keeps looking for ways to cut costs here, and I cringe every time a politician suggests adopting a more American model for the health care system. Um, really? Do you really think that's the solution?

    Also, cute beetle.

  9. Thanks to all for the sympathetic shoulders to cry my tale of woe upon:-)) Re-checked Koshi's legs this evening at bedtime... no pain! Moved it up, moved it out, and no pain! Yay! So we'll go Saturday morning to let the doctor look at it one more time,and *hopefully* we'll be in the clear and he'll be able to PLAY! (Also, I'm glad there are others besides me who don't get the whole health care circus:-))

  10. Like my beetle -

    Tell Koshi they will soon have him back on his foot! ;)

  11. Dominic-- I saw your beetle! A fine one--don't you love finding beetles:-))

    Koshi was officially back to baseball practice this past weekend, and so fell asleep at a reasonable time last night... no more hurtin' leg! Yay!