In November I came down with a 24 hour virus that left my body weak and unable to move from my futon. Not only did I feel horrible, I had to forfeit my trip to Seoul, Korea. For those of you who know of my intense desire to travel EVERYWHERE you know I must have been pretty sick to not travel!
There are a couple of things that I learned while being sick here:
- In Japan the flu is taken very seriously. You are required to be ‘quarantined’ to your home and if you must leave your home you need to wear a face mask.
- Unless you are diagnosed with a specific flu virus a doctor will refer to your illness as a ‘cold,’ no matter how bad the symptoms are.
- If you work with children and you are running a fever you are required to take a week off of work and be cleared by a doctor before returning.
On the plus side I found a new English speaking doctor in the Kobe area. It is called the Ogawa Clinic and is located at the JR Nada station.
The Ogawa clinic isn’t hard to find if you exit the station on the appropriate side. Once you leave the station it will be immediately to your right. If you don’t see it, go back into the station and exit on the opposite side. The doctor spoke excellent English but the front desk staff didn’t – they did speak enough to schedule my appointment and were accommodating. The doctor said I had a virus and could only prescribe me medicines that would help ease the discomfort. Getting my prescription filled was super easy because the pharmacy wast 50 feet from the doctor’s office in a parallel building! They spoke ok English but were very friendly and helpful!
To sum up my experience of being sick in Japan: IT SUCKED! Take every precaution to not become sick while you are here, especially if you are working with children. I am sure that I caught my virus from one of the germy little kids I work with! I’ve been doubling up on the hand sanitizer ever since I returned to work!