Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Gaijin Smash: Hospital Style


Knox has been in the hospital getting treatment for the flu type A and pneumonia since Friday, February 25th.  He was slated to go home this morning, Wednesday, March 2nd, but he had a freak 103F fever again last night, so they did another blood test this morning to make sure he doesn't have another infection, delaying his release.  I don't know why he had the fever, but his blood test was good so they are letting him go home... right now!  Peter said 1pm, and it is 1:05pm, so hopefully they are getting to go outside!  Knox has been in a 6' x 2' crib almost continuously for 4 plus days, and he sometimes would chant, "Outside!  Outside!  Outside!"

Knox's very Japanese meals included rice,
miso soup, a side, and fish.

Knox and Mommy in the crib

Now I will explain the title of this post.  What is a gaijin?  Pronounced "guy" like a man and "jean" like the fabric your pants are made of, gaijin means "foreigner."  Sometimes foreigners do things they aren't supposed to do because they are unaware of a cultural difference or the law in that country, because they don't understand what is going on due to the language barrier, or because they are illiterate.  Other times, foreigners do things wrong because they know they can get away with it based on claims of the aforementioned items, or because they know everyone that may or may not catch them will assume the aforementioned items.  Now, I haven't hashed out the many philosophical facets of what can be considered a gaijin smash, but I think the "smash" part also counts even if the foreigner doesn't realize they are doing something wrong.  If you are a foreigner doing something wrong, you are "gaijin smashing it."  If you are a foreigner wanting to do something wrong, your friends may suggest to you that you just "gaijin smash it."

Knox with his DVD player in bed

So, while we were in the hospital, we totally gaijin smashed it.  Probably the biggest smash was the first night when we moved into the hospital and Peter slept in the other bed in the room.  The next day we were informed that that side of the room is for another patient and that only one parent is allowed to stay in the hospital to sleep.  Smash 1 by cultural difference and language barrier.

Smash 2.  Peter didn't realize it, but he had been using the staff shortcut into the lounge.  They told him not to use that door and to go around to the other side.  There is a sign, but obviously he couldn't read it.  Smash by illiteracy.

Smash 3.  We had been throwing diapers into the regular trash when we should have been throwing them away in the bio hazard trash.  Random smash.

Smash 4.  I was notified that the nurses had to give Knox his hot towel bath.  We got this info because I had taken the towels and done it the day before.  What was I supposed to do when the nurse handed me a towel and said, "Mommy, help"?  Smash by language barrier.

I'd like to ask them if other parents sleep in the bed with their child.  I did.  I climbed into that giant crib and went to bed with Knox every night at eight.  Who knows what else we did.  I'm sure they will be talking about us for days.  Or maybe not.  I probably think this blog is about me.

Sweet, perfect baby

Poor Knox has at least six puncture wounds and bruises and has had 4 or 5 chest x-rays since last Friday.  I was sad not to be able to stay with him during the day, and not to get to take him home.  He was sad too.  I loved the smiles he gave me when I walked into the room each day after school.  I always have to go to work, but leaving him seemed different in the hospital.  I bet he'll think twice about getting that sick again.  Just kidding.  I brought him little presents.  On Saturday he got a tiny backpack and an Anpanman toy where you pour the shapes out, close the lid, and then fit them into their different holes to get them back into the middle.  I had been wanting him to have a toy just like that.  On Sunday he got new DVDs to watch in bed, and on Monday he got a new sippy cup.  He also got dinosaur stickers and his favorite juice and I brought him strawberries, which he threw up, but that's ok.  He enjoyed them.

Knox with his Anpanman Present

He called the oxygen chamber they plugged into the wall a dinosaur, and the mask he had to wear the first day was his dinosaur mask.  He even wore it voluntarily one day when he didn't have to:  "Dinosaur mask, on!"  The breathing machine was called fever-gone-asaurus and the thermometer was called the beep beep.  We had as much fun as you can have during quarantine.

In addition to Knox's hospital adventures, the staff suggested that Peter and I get tested as well so that we can all be healthy and stop passing cooties around.  We both got blood tests and we both have bacterial infections.  Peter has been really sick, but I haven't been feeling too bad.  Either way, we are both on antibiotics now.  Again.  What is it with me and Japan and bacterial infections?!

Five nights in the hospital and around the clock care cost us about $50.  You gotta love National Health Insurance. 

Knox home from the Oita Prefectural Hospital in his Cookie Monster Slippers

In all, we are happy and out of danger, and getting to sleep in our own beds tonight.  I have a nasty splinter in my pinky, but I don't think anyone should worry.  ;-) 

From Japan,


Gaijinesse said...

So glad Knox is home. What a trooper! He gaijin smashed with the best of them.

gnacres said...

How beautiful to see him at home again. Looks thinner but very happy to be with Mommy and Daddy at home!!!! We are glad for you and truly enjoyed the reading....again, as always!!

Anonymous said...

Yay!!! It was definitely an experience and I am glad to be home.

Monica Crafts said...

okay I'm used to hospitals and being sick and reading that made ME tired. Poor little Knox . . . and mommy and daddy. I'm so glad he's better. Will pray that EVERYONE gets and stays totally healthy.

Amanda Faye Lacson said...

Wow, what an adventure! So glad that Knox is better and that you all got to have the best care possible (yay, National Health Insurance!). Much love, talk to you all soon!