Had a health checkup this time last year and wrote about it in the Health Care in Japan article.
"You never know until you ask" has been a motto I've been religiously following and this time asked if I could bring my camera to take pics of the medical equipment used in the tests - the hospital was delighted to have me take photos!
First photo was taken at about 09:30 after arriving at the hospital and getting changed. Just imagine a hospital full of people wearing the same and you get The Island.
Zooming back in time to the beginning of the day. This is where I store my poo samples. Folks living in Japan may have to do this one day or another so I'll give you a tip to save you from making vomiting sounds as you try to fish a sample of your poo.
The green bit of these containers is like a little stick which you are meant to prod your poo with to grab a sample. But poo is a stubborn animal and will try to escape from you when you prod at it. Just like the hedgehog, octopus and skunk, poo may try to protect itself when you reach for it by hurling a piece of undigested corn or spinach at you. If you end up with some spinach or corn in your mouth then just rinse it with some saliva and swallow as its perfectly safe for consumption.
But rather than try prodding at the poo, what you can do is pretend you are playing darts and throw the green stick at the poo. Be careful not to miss or you will have to stick your hand in the pooey pee water to retrieve the dart.
Once you have got a bit of poo on your dart, give the tip a good smell. If it smells like fresh strawberries then you are in luck as poo smelling of strawberries is a delicacy in some parts of the world.
You should retrieve all the poo and freeze dry it and then contact your local candy maker to manufacture your poo as an in-between meal snack. Well done.
Some hints and tips on how to get a sample of your poo. The peanut shaped object is your little friend - the arrows show you the moves of the SDS or Satanic Doppler Slash which is also effective in grabbing a sample.
Need to fill out a questionnaire about my current lifestyle. Questions include:-
-Do you skip breakfast
-Do you eat out often
-Do you smoke
-Do you drink alcohol
-Do you often eat 2 hours before sleeping
-Do you eat faster than others
-Do you have trouble sleeping
-Since the age of 20, has your weight increased by more than 10kg?
Presuming that each item above is 1 point, how many did you score?
I score 1 under "Do you eat out often." I'm guessing that excessive amounts of restaurant food is bad for you.
If you scored 8 then you may want to consult with a health consultant.
On the way to the hospital. Looks like somebody has been playing too much eroge.
The latest in the "Do it at home" series asking folks to do work at the office instead of on the trains.
The men work with speed and diligence - traffic cones all lined up in no time.
Picking up a change of clothing that all patients are required to wear.
I'm given a key to a locker which containers a smaller locker for precious stuff like rings.
The machine thats used to measure blood pressure. This is self service. Stick your arm in the hole and press the button. A receipt will come out after that contains good or bad news for you. I had good news - for now ^^;
Taking blood samples over here is painless. The nurse sticks a pin in your vein which is attached to a small rubber hose. The hose ends in an adapter which interfaces with these tubes. This enables the nurse to take as many blood samples as needed without sticking more holes in me.
I remember once when having blood taken back in the UK. The nurse missed *three* times - I got nervous and passed out ^^;
This is where the listening test is done - a sound proof cell. One is given a pair of headphones and a Sega Saturn joy pad.
The joy pad is left on the floor and one should take the other joy pad with a single button that one should press upon hearing beeps. The beeps are hardly audible. I scored well on this one.
Some Sega Saturn Thunderforce action below.
This is the machine used to measure ones eye sight. When looking through the holes, a "C" shape will appear facing up down left or right. One uses the joy stick to input the correct answer. There is a button in front of the joy stick which should be pressed if one cant recognize which way the C is facing.
This is done once with and without glasses. I scored badly without glasses. Maybe I'm looking at too much oppai?
Then its off to be scanned.
The first scan is the chest and stomach x-ray. Tis over in less than a minute.
Next up is the worst bit of the morning - the barium stomach scan. A bit about Barium taken from Wikipedia below. Barium is a chemical element. It has the symbol Ba, and atomic number 56. Barium is a soft silvery metallic alkaline earth metal. It is never found in nature in its pure form due to its reactivity with air. Its oxide is historically known as baryta but it reacts with water and carbon dioxide and is not found as a mineral. The most common naturally occurring minerals are the very insoluble barium sulfate, BaSO4 (barite), and barium carbonate, BaCO3 (witherite). Benitoite is a rare gem containing barium.
Metallic barium has few industrial uses, but has been historically used to scavenge air in electronic vacuum tubes. Barium compounds impart a green color to flames and have been used in fireworks. Barium sulfate is used for its heaviness, insolubility, and X-ray opacity. It is used as an insoluble heavy mud-like paste when drilling oil wells, and in purer form, as an X-ray radiocontrast agent for imaging the human gastrointestinal tract. Soluble barium compounds are poisonous due to release of the soluble barium ion, and have been used as rodenticides. New uses for barium continue to be found: it is an essential ingredient in "high temperature" YBCO superconductors. The little container to the right of the photo is some powder that I drink with some water that generates a ton of gas in the stomach. Upon drinking it, one wants to burp and its difficult to keep in but if one does end up burping then more of it has to be drunk - so try not to burp!
The bigger cup is the barium - has a chalky taste and almost feels like you are drinking paint - not that I've tried paint before.
And this is the barium stomach scanning table. One gets on it and clings on for dear life as it turns and tips back n forth. You are not strapped in because you are instructed to move around and roll over from time to time.
Sometimes the table would tip backwards with you lying on it which is fun for the first 5 seconds and then starts to get painful trying to hold on to the table.
The bit with the yellow triangle sticker is the camera and the thing sticking out the top is like a robotic arm which extends and pushes your stomach to move around the barium in the stomach. This will leave your stomach hurting for just a bit.
After you are done, you go to the washing basin to rinse your mouth where you will let off embarrassingly loud burps.
All the tests are done for the morning and I'm at the waiting room to grab a cuppa tea. I'm given some medicine to get rid of the barium. Folks who forgot to take the medicine in the past have had to have operations to remove the barium which starts to solidify over time @.@
Back in civilian clothes and off to get some lunch.
By the elevator looking at a poster talking about the dangers of smoking. There is another poster that lists how much it costs to stay per night at the hospital for patients.
The high end room has gone up from 36750 yen to 39900 yen while the low end rooms have gone up from 12600 yen to 13650 yen per night. Does it cost a bomb to stay in hospital in your neck of the woods?
My health checkup is billed directly to my company as part of some company plan for employees over the age of 35. Cant remember how much it costs but will update you.
This bill for 1200 yen is for a copy of the scans of my stomach and lungs. It's not common knowledge but you can request a copy. I just requested one of each but you can ask for all.
And this is where one pays for their treatments. Either names or ticket numbers are called out.
Tokyo Tower in the background. Time to look for some food in the area.
Came across a ramen place that was already open for lunch at 11am. Most places open for lunch at 11:30am. Many ramen places have manga placed near the counter or tables. The girl on the cover is Suzanne.
For folks who want more from their reading experience. These pages have a QR code dotted around the page where you will be able to see more if you scan it with your mobile phone. QR codes are the standard code for mobile devices in Japan.
An example of what one may be able to see upon scanning the codes.
1 QR code for oppai and the other QR code for the V-zone. Upon scanning them you are presenting with whats under the foamy white stuff.
They make their money from you downloading the pics on your mobile device and will cost you 80 yen for a peek of each of these areas. Interesting monetization method.
The better tasting ramen places are usually the ones which are old.
Men at work.
There is nothing better than having some Calpis on a hot sunny day in Tokyo.
At Azabu Juban which has a lot of memories for us. We lived here for a while after coming back from Seattle. Lovely area.
Picking up a ticket. While none of these maps are in English, most of the ticket machines do have an "English button." If you are not sure about how much to pay, just buy the cheapest ticket and pay the extra at your destination.
The underground stations are filled with mirrors for the many Japanese folks who are conscious about how they look. Do you bother about how you look?
While many maps are not in English, signs at the station are.
Interesting cultural thing about the Japanese. If you ask about how packed their train commute is, they will usually mention whether you can sit down or not.
Changing trains. One nice thing about many (not all) stations is that a train change involves just walking to the other side of the platform - no stairs to wrestle with.
Lots of development going on in this area.
Back at home to look at my scans. The white stuff is the barium and I think that dark area is the gas. One should not eat anything before going for the tests and ends up being very hungry indeed.
And my chest scans. A report will come back to me after a few weeks so have not been given the lowdown on these scans yet.
Found this on my desk when I arrived at home - a suddenly acquired Miko dress ^^;
Also find something else on my desk!
Done some spring cleaning today. First up was the bath. Removed the side panel to clean inside.
Was also tidying a load of boxes which I tend to keep these days so that I can give retired figures away.
Folks living in Japan may want to have a peek at the ceiling of the bathroom. For some reason, most electronic wires and stuff end up bundled above the bathroom. There is a panel which can be removed and when done so one will discover a ton of space to use for stocking stuff.
This is just one side of the bath ceiling compartment currently filled with boxes and wot not.
Everything up here is perfectly dry and we've been using this space since we moved into this house over 3 years ago.
One of the things I miss about living in the UK is an attic to stash stuff.
Cleaning the desk. This is the type of stuff you will find on it of late ^^;
Some laksa style noodles for dindins.
Back downstairs in the office to clean up.