Sunday, August 3, 2008

Entry for March 18, 2008

"Toranu tanuki no kawazanyou!"

Pondering the cost of the skin of a tanuki not caught!
(A tanuki is a badger-type creature. The phrase means something along the lines of "don't count your chickens before they are hatched")

I had today planned nearly a month in advance. I would take the day off and take the Pumpkin Princess to get her polio vaccination. In the morning, I would do laundry and clean house. After lunch, I would go pick her up at day care and take her to the health center. The vaccination would take about an hour including the 15 minute "watch" period for allergic reactions.

Last Saturday, I got a call from the Toyota dealership. The Pumpkin Prius was due for a periodic safety check and oil change. I made a split-second decision to do it the morning I would have off.

Sunday, I noticed the Pumpkin Princess's eye was a bit puffy. She'd had a sty in her eye a couple months ago, maybe it was a relapse, maybe it was a new lesion. I thought maybe I would take her to the opthamologist after her polio vaccination.

Monday, I called the opthamologist to see about an appointment. I found out they do walk-ins, so I didn't book anything.

Tuesday morning, I took the Pumpkin Princess to day care. I did laundry and went grocery shopping and fooled around on the internet a bit but did not clean house, then took the Pumpkin Prius to the Toyota dealership. I drank orange juice and read a magazine while they did the check and oil change. They also ended up changing the filter on the AC. They were done in about an hour. I got takeout at KFC and brought it home to eat, then headed out to fetch the Pumpkin Princess.

When I got to the day care, she had one of those cooling sheets stuck on her forehead. The teacher said that she had quite a fever, which meant no vaccination.

I did take her to the opthamologist. We got to see an older female opthamologist with only a short wait (couldn't have been longer than 20 minutes or so) who kept bad mouthing the pediatrician she'd seen for her first sty for the antibiotic eye drops he had perscribed ("those are the big guns, we don't use them on stys, I keep saying that's not the only medicine there is") which was understandable but still pretty amusing to hear. We got some different, milder eye drops and were told to use them for a week and come back if it got worse and let it be for a while if it shrunk or stayed the same. When I was getting the eye drops, I panicked because I remembered there was only about 5000 yen in my wallet ($50 at the new funky exchange rate we have been having for the past couple of days), and that most smaller clinics won't take credit cards. Then I remembered that it's Pumpkin Princess medical care and that it was free (medical care for children under age 6 is free in Pumpkin City). In another country, I would never be able to walk in to see an opthamologist, I would need a referral from the pediatrician and an appointment. It would cost me much more than I had in my wallet for the exam alone, and the medication would have to be paid for as well. There are aspects of Japanese medical care that definitely need checking, but It does have its good points.

So...I didn't get done what I'd originally taken the day off to get done (get the last of the Pumpkin Princess's vaccinations out of the way, at least until she is five years old), but I did get the car checked out and the grocery shopping done and got the Pumpkin Princess to the opthamologist. All in all, not a bad day.

Tomorrow's a different story. If she still has a fever, she won't be able to go to day care, and she will have to go to the Pumpkin Granny's. Granny wanted to go to shakyo at the temple run by one of her friends. Shakyo is writing Buddhist chants in brush and ink to imitate the original scriptures, it's supposed to be spiritual and relaxing and all that good stuff but everyone knows she just uses it as a reason to hang with her friends and blow off steam about her family, which is absolutely fine, and I really hate to take that away from her. But we're short staffed tomorrow as it is, so if it comes to that, it will come to that and the Pumpkin Daddy and I will have to find a way to make it up to her somehow.

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