So here is the story of being poisoned in Japan at the site of the old 1970 World Expo in Osaka. (naturally the picture to the left was taken of the Korea pavilion at the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai.)
On an orchestra tour of Asia, the last stop was Osaka. My host sister took me on a sight-seeing trip to the site of the World's Fair. I can't remember much about it, but cut me some slack. It was twenty-three years ago.
I do remember that it was ridiculously hot outside, and that the air conditioning in every building we visited was super cold. It made me feel sick to my stomach to go through such wrenching temperature extremes.
We stopped for lunch at a Rastafarian restaurant (I am not making this up). My host sister ordered for both of us: spaghetti with wild mushrooms. It was delicious. But the moment we left the restaurant we were both violently, retchedly ill. She called her father to pick us up in the car since taking the monorail home was not an option.
All the way back to the house my host sister and I took turns raising our hand to stop the car. Then we would get out, dry heave on the side of the road and wordlessly buckle in once again.
When we arrived at home I sat on the couch in the living room wondering when it had gotten so blazing hot inside. All the parts of my mouth were sticking together and my lips tasted terrible. My host sister and I took turns making terrible noises in the bathroom. I started to feel dizzy so I lay down on the couch.
My host sister, however, was not lying down. She was racing back and forth getting cool cloths for my forehead and ice cubes for me to suck on.
When I told her that she had the same thing I did and maybe she should lie down too, she said "No, I was sick before, but now I'm fine."
She kept saying that. "I'm fine. I was sick before, but now I'm fine. Just fine." She said this until her skin turned a chalky shade of grey and she collapsed on the floor. Her mother said that she was calling an ambulance to take my host sister to to the hospital and asked if I wanted to go as well.
"No," I heard myself saying, "I'm fine. She's much sicker than I am. I'm fine."
Where had I heard something like that before? It seemed almost familiar... Right. I looked at the motionless grey Japanese girl on the floor, who was no longer just fine, and agreed to be seen at the hospital. I felt really stupid walking into the ambulance under my own power. If I could walk, there was clearly no emergency. My host sister was taken in on a stretcher. They already had her on an IV drip.
I don't remember arriving at the hospital. Presumably I did. Becuase the next thing I knew I was lying down on a wicker pillow (!) in the emergency room where a sadistic nurse was tucking a fluffy comforter into both sides of my narrow cot. I had an IV drip now as well. And I was so freakishly hot that I wanted to remove not only the blanket, but my clothes as well and perhaps several layers of skin.
There was no interpreter. I couldn't think of any words except "hot" in Japanese. The nurse would tuck the blankets around me, make tsk tsk sounds and go somewhere off-camera. I would then throw the blanket on the floor and shout that I was hot. We carried on like this for some time. It was handy that the only word I knew was the one I needed.
Now for the kicker...
I needed to pee. I was starting to feel better. I could think clearly (apparently when I was at my worst I kept telling anyone who came near me that someone needed to cover the third horn part). I asked if I could go to the bathroom. This produced a cascade of complicated sounding words that I had never learned in my high school Japanese class. I realized I did not know any words for basic bodily functions. After an embarassing pantomime I managed to communicate that I was not going to vomit.
I was permitted to stand and walk to the restroom, which was only about ten yards from my bed. I pushed the I.V. cart in front of me squeakily. It didn't fit. The base was too wide to go through the door to the bathroom. My favorite nurse took the I.V. bag off the hook and handed it to me.
Somehow I managed to do the deed even though I was still wearing my jeans and I had an I.V. bag in one hand. Then I was faced with several petty problems. One, I couldn't figure out how to flush the toilet. And two, I had no idea how I was going to put my jeans back on with only one hand free.
Did you know that when you hold an I.V. bag lower than your heart it reverses course? I didn't. Until I looked down at the line of red snaking from my arm into the bag of pink saline. Great. Now I had three problems.
I decided to tackle the flushing bit first, figuring it was the easiest. I pushed the only button I could find, which turned out to be the emergency call button.
Lights flashed, alarms beeped and clanged and shouted. Every available member of the hosiptal staff came running to the door of the hospital restroom where I stood, pink I.V. bag in one hand, jeans around my ankles saying, "I'm sorry. I made a mistake." Then I passed out and fell into the arms of the people I hadn't meant to call.
Grateful Crap: 2yo: Hey! Penguins can't sing!
took meds in the morning
started decluttering bookshelves some more (so I guess that would properly be "continued")
talked to a friend
did not attend a Halloween party ful
Quaker, teacher, parent,