A lot has happened on this side of globe but I just have not had the time, the mood, or the energy to document, mull over, express or describe much of it. But I did finally pass my first 6 month anniversary date of coming here last month, on October 26th. Six months just like that. Time flies.
Yes, I think I have been stressed the past few months. Ever since the summer and starting work I developed some sort of strange skin rash on my back. It doesn’t hurt nor itch but dry patches had appeared. It may have been the result of a culmination of factors:
– the possibility of an unclean matress from the previous tenant,
– the high heat and humidity of summer here,
– the sweating and excessive salt on the skin,
– the hardness/softness/mineral properties of the water,
– the fact that I showered at least twice a day in the summer,
– using a cheap soap that was harsh because.. Well, it was cheap,
– the long work day,
– the poor diet and odd eating times,
– adjusting to life living in a room with 6-7 other people/personalities/psychoses,
– the lack of good conversations,
– the lack of private space and quiet space to think,
– adjusting to a new environment and
– trying to build a life
have all probably raised my normal stress levels as compared to life in Vancouver.
Moreover, about a week and a half ago I strained my jaw by yawning. As odd as that sounds, it happened. With more information now it seems that it was possibly caused by clenching or grinding my teeth while sleeping thereby exhausint/straining the jaw – again perhaps a sign of stress.
This jaw problem had actually happened before in Canada though so it is a pre-existing condition. It seems I may have inherited this from my dad as he grinds his teeth in his sleep too. I worry about my dad though since he also has sleep apnea.. And he had a heart attack at such a young age! Is the writing on the wall?
The doctor prescribed me an anti-inflammatory for 7 days so I’m taking that now to relax the jaw TM joint (Templar Mandiblar Joint). If things still are troublesome I’ll probably go get a mouth guard made by a dentist for use at night. Without a dental plan here, that equates to about $300.
Aside from the Cabin Fever though, I have found time to have fun here and there. I went to Kyoto for a few days with Vince, Ena, Taka, and other people last month. Have gone out for dinner with people here and there too.
But it’s getting colder and colder here as we’re now into late November. The colder it gets the more relaxed I feel actually. It reminds me of Vancouer. I had a great time about a week and half ago. It was pouring rain and a bit cold. Some of the streets were empty and I went out with my 65cm umbrella in hand, walked the empty streets in the crisp, cool, wet weather and felt right at home. My roomies thought I was loonie but I told them “Loonie” is our $1 coin, I’m not Loonie, I’m Canadian. As a Vancouverite, there is something about the rain that is very comforting. It’s in my bones I suppose.
Well, I think the first half of my Working Holiday here has been largely a setting up and adjusting phase. Now that I’m into my second half, there will be more to consider and think about. Do I stay or do I go back? The quality of life in Vancouver is definitely hands down, much better but there seem to be things here that still make me want to, need to find out or experience before I return. It was nice to see MW in town for a few days.
But who knows? If it turns out that my body seems to be taking a beating here for whatever unexplicable reasons, I may need to choose my health over my overall desires to stay in Japan.
BTW, having come here, I can really appreciate the quality and level of medical care we get in Canada. Which gets me started on this HORRIBLE “dermatologist” that charged me $120 for his “CONSULTATION”!?!
I walked into his office and I already smelled trouble. Trouble, as it were, manifested itself in a nervous, twitchy looking doctor in his late 40’s consulting an old dusty medical textbook on skin conditions as I walked in. Can you hear my internal groan? I can understand somewhat, what Edward Munch was thinking when he started his work, ‘The Scream’.
He took a look at my back and said, “I think it might be a fungal infection.” I said, no it’s not, the previous GP took a look, said the same thing, (WHICH reminds me of that horrible visit!..) did a fungal test on some skin samples and the tests came back negative. But the Derm goes, well, lets test again to be sure. OK, sure, I’ll try it. The tests came back negative.
We then sit down, and he tells me he thinks is blah-blah skin condition and that he would prescribe me something to which I asked what the cause might be. I wasn’t interested in just making it go away, I wanted to know why but he had no clue. The part that almost had my eyes pop was when he told me what he wanted to prescibe. “I’m going to give you a half fungal, half steroid compound ointment.” “Ummm, I thought the fungal came back negative just like the first time so why are you giving me an anti-fungal?” “Well, the tests were negative but just in case. Anyhow, I think you can expect your skin problem to be gone after this treatment.” Rolling my eyes and groaning internally again, I said, ok, ok fine. I was desperate and wanted a remedy and there were no other signs of help so far.
The fun session doesn’t end there though. I sat and looked at him expectantly and he looked back at me. I of course was waiting for him to give me the prescription he had just mentioned.. Until I realized he forgot or something and that he was staring back at me probably thinking, “I already treated this guy, why’s he sitting there staring at me??” After a while of that, I finally said, “Umm, are you going to give me the prescription??” “Oh! Right, yes.” He takes his pen from his shirt pocket, clicks it and realizes he doesn’t know where the prescription pad is. He rummages around and finally finds it, THEN.. The horror continues.
His pen hovers over the pad about 10-15 seconds and I again groan as I realize he has no clue what to prescribe. After another short eternity he finally says, “oh, please wait in the lobby, I’ll have the nurse pass it to you shortly.” So I wait in the lobby for 15 minutes for him to probably rummage through his textbooks. I shuddered as I took the prescription, having no confidence in whether he knew what he was giving me. I went down to the pharmacy and asked, “What is this stuff??” Having the assurance of the pharmacist, that it was a low level medication not likely to cause any problems, I took it. It made things midly better but never solved the problem.
Oh.. Going back to the other horrible experience. The GP that did the first skin test gets me to lie on the table so he can get a swab. He then gets this small bottle of something. He takes out the dripper, drips several drops in a couple areas and as the liquid proceeded to burn my skin, he then tells me after the fact, “Oh, it might sting a bit.”