November 23, 2012

Sick in Japan...

It sucks really.  I'm about closing in on two weeks into this sick.  I've been to the doctor and the medicine he gave me didn't help.  In fact, I think this mutated in the the sickness of death.  In addition to cough, congestion, aches and pains, I've got fever to add to the list.

Thank goodness for Advil as it's combating the fever.  Japanese medicines have barely done anything.  Not even put a dent in this bug.

If anyone has any recommendations, I would appreciate it.  Even healing foods.  I just don't know how to fix this.  I'll pretty much try anything even standing on my head if it will kick this bug out of me.  If you have a Japanese medicine recommendation, I'll listen to that (though it seems I've tried everything). 

I eat healthy.  I am taking vitamins.  I'm certain I'm eating enough Vitamin C to kill a man.

Last night was the first night I was able to sleep through the night.  I did wake up at 6AM but it beats the hell out of 2AM or 4AM (the previous nights).

I've only gone to work (which is probably not a good idea).  I've not left the house since Monday, November 12th.  I remember that day because it was a fun day and the last day I had fun since I became ill.  So this is day 12 of the sick.  It it's on the 2 week plan, I should be better in 2 days right?  It doesn't look that way. 

Please, if you can help at all, please comment.

November 19, 2012

Going to the doctor in Japan...

I'm still sick.  It's pretty awful.  Just recently my ear clogged up and wouldn't unclog.  I became convinced I had an ear infection.

A couple of things you should know about me (if you don't already).  I tend to overreact.  Also, prior to moving to Japan, I've never lived anywhere else.  Different towns, same county, same state my whole life.  It's very easy to take care of yourself if your native language.  It's also convenient if you've been going to the same doctor for years.  After figuring I should probably go to the doctor, I had a bit of a panic attack.  My employers made a couple suggestions for English speaking doctors close to work.  They even offered to send one of the Japanese speaking staff with me albeit tomorrow.  I refused for two reasons.  One I wanted to nip this in the bud tonight.  The other was I was adamant about doing this myself.  If I'm going to live here, I need to learn to take care of myself.  (Although I did tell my boss that if I ever got really sick that I'd be on the first plane back to America.)  So after making it a bigger deal than it should have been, I resolved to go to the doctor.  My boss was even kind enough to drive me there (though it really wasn't all that far).  (If I hadn't said it yet, I love my place of employment.  Everyone there is great).

Inside, I managed to go straight to the wrong counter.  Luckily a kind doctor pointed me in the right direction.  Upon being greeted I told the nurse 初めて which means "first time."  They asked for my insurance card.  (Sidebar: Japan has national health insurance.  I pay about 1000円 a month for this which is about $12.31.  Why America doesn't have this, I have no idea.)  The paper I had to fill out was a half sheet of paper.  I had to write my name, address, phone number and answer 6 questions.  I'm serious.  A half sheet of paper, with six questions.  This is where I became a deer in headlights.  Fortunately, I think I'm lucky in Japan a lot.  The lady (whose daughter was a patient there) sitting next to me translated all the questions for me.  They were simple.  Have you had recent surgery?  What medicines are you taking?  Are you allergic to anything?  How long have you been sick?  I didn't even ask her to do this.  I think she saw me and was like "whoa this broad needs some help."  I couldn't thank her enough both in English and Japanese.  I also explained to the nurse 耳いたみ which means ear pain.

The nurses then took me to another waiting room where I waited for the doctor who fortunately for me did speak rather good English.

The doctor was an ENT doctor so he examined all the areas said I wasn't going to die and prescribed me some medicine.  He actually said, I don't appear that sick.  My glands weren't swollen and no ear infection.  I was given a breathing treatment.  He told me to come back if I don't get better in a week.

Back at reception, I was given a card to present next time I come.  Japan is crazy about cards.  The pharmacy was downstairs and just to the right of the doctor's office.  I presented my insurance card again and had to fill out another paper.  This time there was no one to help me and a lady said to just fill out name, address and phone number.  After about 5 minutes the pharmacist explained to me how to take the medicine.  It was mostly in Japanese with English oddly interspersed.  Luckily the directions were quite simple and he used words I could understand like morning and night and ten minutes.  Afterward he said (in Japanese) that English was hard and I said Japanese was hard.  It was good to joke around, eased some of the tension of the experience.

Here's some of my medicine:

I like how there's a picture included.  The giant 1s are how many pills and at what time.  

From doctor to pharmacy, this whole experience took less than an hour.  Are you ready for the bill?

Doctor visit: 1250円 or around $15.39

Three medications: 850円 or around $10.46

All that for $25.85.  America, get on board.

Seriously, going to the doctor in Japan wasn't as bad as I thought it would and everyone was more than helpful.  I've read a lot of horror stories about people having miserable experiences in Japan and I've not had an experience like that.  I find the majority of Japanese people are kind and helpful.

Hopefully, my experience can be helpful to someone.  Although, I don't wish illness upon anyone.  Now if you'll excuse me, I've a lot of Sunday shows to watch.

November 17, 2012

A vegetarian foodie in Japan...

Last night was crazy here in Tokyo.  It rained all day and night.  I was afraid there'd be a flood; however, I woke up to sunshine.  Currently, the wind is howling outside my window.  I need to do laundry but anything I hang outside will blow away so I have a few clothes out there on clips.

I am still sick.  My ears are clogged and I break into coughing fits but I have to be getting better.  I have to be.  I've been talking myself out of leaving the house.  I am well stocked.  There is nothing I need so if I left I'd just be feeding a want.  That's not better than trying to get well.  On the menu today, I have Thor and The Avengers and whatever else I feel like watching to keep me inside and happy.

I also haven't updated the food section of my blog in a while so I thought it's definitely time to do that.

Delicious salad from Paula Deen:

Trying to find a way to use some artichokes I bought (besides sitting there eating the whole jar and I came up with this:

Delicious but probably not very healthy!

Last weekend my friends and I went to a cheese festival in Harajuku.  There was cheese sampling and cheese for purchase.

I may or may not have gone a little crazy:

Afterward we ate at Devil Craft pizza.  The owner is American from Oklahoma and the restaurant specializes in Chicago deep dish pizzas and craft beer.

I had this:

So delicious!

I also found out that Starbucks here has Cranberry Bliss Bars:

Unfortunately, it didn't taste quite as good as the American version.  Something was a bit off about it.

I also happily found a Freshness Burger not too far from my home in one of my favorite shopping areas.  I had been wanting to try Freshness Burger after reading about their veggie burgers.

I went for tofu:

I wish I had gotten beans as this was just a heated tofu patty on a bun.  Not so great.  Next time...beans!

Finally, I tried some odd salt chocolate.

I think Dars is quite possibly the worst chocolate on the planet.  It's waxy and vaguely resembles good chocolate.  However, the salt chocolate is quite edible.  I actually liked it.

My favorite hot drink in Japan is Suntory's Honey & Lemon:

I've only seen it in one vending machine in all of Tokyo.  (And yes, my American friends, this drink and many others comes out of the vending machine hot.)  Fortunately, the vending machine is right next to my work.  Unfortunately, everyone else at my work likes it too so sometimes it's gone.

Anyway, that's all from the food front.  I hope you are well and warm wherever you are.

November 16, 2012

Lipton Tea...

Wow!  It's been over a month since I posted about my favorite tea.  Cooler weather has not made me rush to the cold drink section lately.  I think this has also prevented Lipton from releasing too many teas.  Heck I don't know.  I just drink 'em!

Two delightful new flavors to talk about today!  (Both in lovely fall colors.)


Part of the Premium Series Tea Cappuccino is so lovely!  It has a hint of cinnamon and it tastes like autumn in a cup.  Good job Lipton!


Mikan Tea is light and refreshing.  The orange flavor is not too strong.

The list:

  1. Milk Tea
  2. Maple Milk Tea
  3. Lemon Tea
  4. Peach Tea
  5. Earl Grey Milk Tea
  6. Green Apple Tea
  7. 50/50 Tea & Lemonade
  8. Tropical Fruit Tea
  9. Chamomile Citrus Tea
  10. Roast Milk Tea
  11. Jasmine Lemon Peel
  12. Grape Tea
  13. Straight Tea
  14. Apple Tea
  15. 50/50 Tea & Fruit Punch
  16. Matcha Milk
  17. Tea Cappuccino
  18. Mikan Tea

The Top Five:
  1. OG Milk Tea
  2. 50/50 Tea Lemonade
  3. 50/50 Tea & Fruit Punch
  4. Matcha Milk/Tea Cappuccino
  5. Jasmine Lemon Peel  
I was curious how many teas I've tried so I added numbers this time around.  I can't believe I've only been here five short months and I've already tried 18!  Keep 'em coming Lipton!

November 15, 2012


I suppose as I look around that it's officially autumn.  I can't quite be sure as I've never experienced real autumn before.  Arizona has two distinct seasons: hot and cold kind of like your tap.    Anyway, here are some tell tale signs:

It's quite beautiful.  I'm especially fond of the yellow trees.  I know they won't be around much longer as there are piles of leaves everywhere so I'll enjoy them now.

In other news, I'm currently sick as is nearly around work.  It's quite awful as I'm exhausted and full of gunk.  This time, however, I found a better cold medicine and it's quite good.  Though most sick days I do miss Nyquil. 

With all this I've not felt the need to put my most fashionable foot forward and I've worn the same outfit three days in a row: black shirt, jeans, Chucks, hoodie, scarf.  Not the same clothes (mind you) but clean versions of the same style.  I don't know if this is worse or the fact that no one has noticed.  Maybe they're just being polite.  Yeah, I'll go with that one.

While the leaves change, the temperature continues to take dives.  Although I have an AC unit with a heater, it's mostly only effective for one room.  So I bought this human toaster:

It's aimed right at my bed and it's by far the best purchase I've made this season.  It has two settings 400 and 800 or "nice and toasty" or "roast human."  Needless to say, I leave it on 400 and it keeps my room perfect all night.  I am astounded at the blast of cold air I receive when I wake up in the morning and open my bedroom door.  The rest of the house remains quite arctic.

This is my life these days.  I'm sorry I don't have anything more exciting for you as this sickness has kept me housebound except for work.  I didn't even go to Japanese class this week.  :(  I'm also turning down fun left and right.  It's quite awful.

This weekend I'm stuck inside and trying to recover before next week which carries a lot of weight before our upcoming long weekend.

I hope you've not left me and I promise to return with more exciting news!

November 11, 2012

Yeah sorry...

I haven't updated in a little bit.  I've been ridiculously busy getting ready for a huge event my work had.  But I have the day off which I've already decided to spend buried under covers and trying to catch up on my TV shows.  I have some kind of gunk (doesn't everyone right now) which is making me congested and hurty so I'm gobbling my dad's recipe of vegetable soup in heaping spoonfuls.  It's making me feel a little better.

This is just a quick clothes post and then I'm off to hide from the cold and rain.

November 3rd:

Hat from 109 Magazine, Shirt YesStyle, shirt Target, jeans Kohl's, boots Couripie.

November 5th:

Sweater Treasure Factory Style, jeans Colleen Collection (Target), shirt & boots Kohl's, necklace Payless.

November 6th:

Sweater Allamanda, necklace Kohl's, jeans Colleen Collection (Target), boots eBay (Shiekh), shirt Target.

November 8th:

Cardigan Treasure Factory Style, jeans Colleen Collection (Target), shirt Uniqlo, shoes Target and necklace Forever 21.

November 9th:

Shirt J.Crew, jeans Colleen Collection (Target), shoes Payless.  Another one from my twinner:

Except I got a different color. 

November 10th:

It was our late Halloween event and this was my costume.  If you don't get this, I don't think we can be friends.  But here's a hint:

I had the umbrella and even the scarf and gloves but it was really sunny and nice so I didn't need either of those.  (Someone snapped a lovely pic of me.)

I was quite popular and many people wanted their photo with me.  :D

I hope you had a lovely weekend and are well (you'd be better off than me).  Back to bed!

November 2, 2012

Warmer wear...

Hi everyone!

It's currently quite cold in Tokyo.  I am hiding indoors (since I had to wait for a package) and turning the heater on and off.  I am going to buy a space heater soon for my bedroom since the AC unit is the the main room.

Temperatures have gotten cooler and clothes have gotten warmer but this week I had a bit of fun with Halloween wear.


Shirt Disneyland, jeans Colleen Collection (Target), boots Couripie.


Shirt Disneyland, pants Uniqlo, boots Couripie, shirt Kohl's.

Wednesday (Halloween):

I'm a lumberjack in case you didn't get it.  (I know it's lame but I'm marooned in Japan without a sewing machine.)


Sweater eBay, shirt Uniqlo, skirt Goodwill, tights Tutuanna, boots Kohl's.


Shirt/dress Treasure Factory Style, scarf & leggins Kohl's, boots Couripie.

My phone also found this missing photo from October 15th.  (It's weird when iPhone eats pictures.)

Sweater Kohl's, shirt Target, jeans Colleen Collection (Target), boots Couripie.

I hope wherever you are you are warm and happy.  Have a nice weekend!