28 August, 2008

Consumptive Diaries Part 20: The humdrum life

Am not going to write much about TB today. It's all kind of in the background - no hospital visits till 12th September (when The German & I have our first hospital date).
Instead we have the mundanity of taking our medicine everyday.
Our regular daily conversation is this:
'Sweety, have you taken your medicine?'
'Yes. Have you taken yours?'
'Yes, took it this morning.'

For me, it's been kind of weird taking my daily medication when i don't actually feel ill. But i know those buggering bacteria are sitting there inside me, ready to pounce - which is a bit of scary. So, despite the side effects, i take my medicine everyday.

Otherwise, life is fine. Been surprisingly busy at work this month, but been finding it really rewarding. Spent a lot of my time teaching Japanese cabin attendant (CA) trainers how to train Chinese CAs. Meant that we touched upon a lot of things; training & feedback techniques, cross cultural differences in training styles and lots of role-playing. At the end of training, one of the CA trainers came up to me and said, 'Thank you - your advice was really valuable'.
Nearly brought a tear to my eye, it did...

And last weekend was an 'escape to Izu' weekend. Spent Friday & Saturday night with Cynthia & Osamu, who left on Sunday afternoon. And that was their big mistake of the weekend. It absolutely pissed it down & all the trains stopped. C&S got stranded in Izu-kogen (not even half way to Atami) and ended up staying there for the night.
Meantime, K & I and his friends Austin & Ayako, headed to Paradise Cafe & stumbled upon Ash & Tracey, who were enjoying a naughty weekend away. They invited us over to their hotel for dinner & drinks & we ended up staying there chatting to another German/British couple. Cool people. Thanks to Tracey & Ash for letting us gatecrash their weekend.

And then it was Monday.
The German & I headed to Shimoda station with our pre-reserved train tickets, only to find that all trains were
still running late. At least an hour behind schedule!
So i suggested to K that we cash in our train tickets & rent a car instead and he liked the idea.
Good thing we did - looks like the trains were more than an hour late. So while all the masses, including C&S, were waiting around train stations, we had our first little road trip date. And it was fun. Went through the mountains, and although we didn't see Mount Fuji, we felt like we were driving through the clouds. Have to do that again.

And finally, for those of you who have been to Izu & stayed at Iriyama-so. Do you know how old Mama-san is?
She'll be 80 next month! Shocked me. Thought she was late 60s...see, Izu is good for you!

15 August, 2008

Consumptive Diaries Part 19: Weekly Round Up

Just got back from the hospital for my monthly check-up.
Apparently, my liver function is down, but that's normal when you're taking a crap load of antibiotics.
Also found out that the 5% i have to pay covers way less than i first anticipated.

The 5% only covers directly TB related tests & medicine.
Antibiotics = OK
Drugs for side effects of antibiotics = OK
Blood tests to see if drugs aren't causing any serious damage = Not OK

Still, 70% is covered my regular insurance, so i just have to pay 30% for my blood test (around ¥2000) .

K also had his monthly check. His sputum is now 3, his lungs are fine & so is his liver (minor miracle there...) Still can't go back to work though. Also not allowed to take an aeroplane.
Also under official quarantine, with a public health centre lady visiting him every week.
If he were in Germany, he'd be back at work...the wonders of Japanese bureaucracy, eh?

But anyway, enough TB talk for the moment & onto something a bit more exciting.
Actually, i think it's pretty exciting. It may even be my 15 minutes of fame - though probably more like 1 minute. But anyway...

A while back (a year, perhaps?), Mooney asked me to help him with some English lyrics for a song he'd been asked to write for an upcoming movie. So, we met up at Pronto; he explained his song and the image it was supposed to project. And together we put the lyrics together.
This autumn the film will be released. And it isn't a little film either. It's a big Japanese film, with actors i have actually heard of in it!
The movie is called
夢のまにまに (Yume no mani mani) & the cast includes Rie Miyazawa, Masatoshi Nagase, and, Martine's favourite, Tadanobu Asano.
As i haven't seen the film yet, i can't really tell you much about it. But you can read a bit about it here.
But the REALLY cool thing is that Mooney has credited me for the lyrics on the song (Chimney Road). AND my name appears in the end credits! Isn't that cool, my little 1 minute of fame?

04 August, 2008

Consumptive Diaries Part 18: The week that was

Last week was an eventful week. It was a complete roller coaster of a week; laughter, tears, extremes of everything...

I was sick. Had a mad weekend & came to the realisation that i'm too old to party for 3 straight days. And my body told me so very forcefully too (in a kind of projectile way)...

I went to hospital to get my TB meds. Thought it would take a while, because hospitals always do. But, FOUR HOURS??? And most of that was waiting in various lines: initial registration > doctor > blood test > x-ray > sputum test > doctor (again) > payment > pharmacy
But i got my meds. And am on the standard treatment for latent TB. But it is 6 months of antibiotics; which have side effects of liver damage, rashes and other delightful things. Have to take 6 pills a day: 3 antibiotic tablets and 3 pills for the side effects...
Back again in two weeks to make sure my liver's not screwed...

The Davises last night out in Japan. Went to see their room in the Landmark Tower. Wow. Cool view. And spent the rest of the evening trying to pretend it was just a normal evening out.
And it was a fun evening & i managed to not cry for the majority. Didn't handle saying goodbye very well though. And cried all the way home on the train.

airport, i was working at Spent the day in a spaced out daze due to lack of sleep. Also exchanged mail with Sandi in her last few hours in Japan. It was a really weird day because while the Davises were at NaritaHaneda airport, and could see planes taking off all day; serving as a constant reminder that they were going. Found it very hard to concentrate...

Fireworks. Went up to K's place & watched the fireworks from there. Was a great view, seeing the fireworks from the top of the hill with the Landmark Tower beside them. was even weirder considering that just 2 days before i had been in the Landmark Tower looking at the view from the other direction. Would post some pictures, but they're still in my camera which is at home somewhere. Will post some later, i promise.

Haircut. Was fed up with my annoyingly long hair. Chopped it off - now is just below my ears again. Again, i know this would be more effective with photos. And again, the camera is at home...

Sleep & sofa & German. I so needed all three. Had had a tough week & just needed to de-stress and not do anything. We even ordered in pizza & beer because we were too lazy to walk to the conbini...

So that was my week. A little too much for one week, methinks. Or maybe i'm just not good at coping.