Part 1 of 3 – Dying in Japan: I’ve been feeling sick since the middle of September (when we got our dog) and I’ve been thinking I was allergic to her. Anyway after we moved to our new place I’ve had a few days where I feel like I’m dying even when I wasn’t around the dog. I’d have a stuffy nose, a runny nose, sneezing, nasal drip, hot flashes, cold chills. It was insane. So last week I went to the allergist (I’ll talk about that later) and yesterday I got the diagnosis. I’m not allergic to dogs or pollen in the area but I’m allergic to house dust and dust mites. Naaaaasty.
Part 2 of 3 – The Doctors Visit: I had an appointment scheduled at the allergist. When we went there was a HUGE crowd of people outside and all of the traffic stopped. We found out that the Emperor was driving through (Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko visited Genkai Island to encourage residents who have suffered in the aftermath of the 2005 earthquake that hit the island.) We stood around for about 15 minutes and they slowed their roll and waved while they passed by. That was pretty cool because we were about 5 meters away. After we experienced this we headed to the allergist to party it up. First we sat in the regular waiting area. When my name was called we were upgraded to some other seats that I’ll call ‘business class’ and 10 minutes later we were upgraded to ‘first class’ which was right next to the doctor. It was strange. 3 minutes later I was upgraded to VIP! That’s right, the patient chair that reminded me of the dentist. He spoke to my finacee to get information and talk about allergy things while randomly sticking things in my ears and nose without warning. It was a crazy experience. After he decided to take blood tests I was sent to the “after party” which is this chair where I stuck two tubes up my nose and breathed in some mist for about 5 minutes. After that I went to ‘detox’ where they drew my blood and then we were on our way with a prescription for some antihistamine.
Part 3 of 3 – The Verdict: I had to go back to the allergist to hear the results first hand. It was a repeat of Part 2 (minus the Emperor moment). After this I was told to dust like a mofo and take a ton of medicine. 5 pills in the morning and 5 pills at night until they’re all gone. I had my fiancee translate the ingredients to English and I hit up Google. Antihistamine, some asthma stuff to open the air ways, and an antibiotic. Now I’m going to have to adventure out into this unknown-to-me world to find a Hepa filter and a vacuum cleaner for our small rug. And a beater stick thing to beat the living daylights out of some blankets. Good times.
How much did this cost me? For both visits, 1st batch of meds, 2nd batch of meds… I think my total cost came to around $60. I have the Japan’s National Health Insurance and I have to say this has added to the ‘awesome factor’ that I give to Japan. I could not imagine how much this could end up costing in the United States.