So I go for surgery on my busted meniscus. I check into Urasoe University Hospital on Thursday afternoon and I am installed in a room. ” Private room, very expensive.”
“7,000 yen.” – $70 Hmmm think I will give it a go.
The overwhelming atmosphere during medical treatment in Okinawa is – let’s have fun. All the medical staff from surgeons to the guy who brings the meals are grinning, mischievous and want everyone to have a good time.
They shave my leg.
There is a typhoon outside and I listen to the thunder and smell the lightning. I had no time to take Dileas out of the water but did swim out with a second anchor just prior to going to hospital. I worry, notwithstanding. I read”Voyage to Loo Choo” by Captain Basil Hall R.N., a Scot who came to Okinawa in 1816. You can read it here:http://books.google.co.jp/books?id=AMtjAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA212&lpg=PA212&dq=voyage+loo+choo+hill&source=bl&ots=CA_NLVa39s&sig=5UHxGtrUX8Gji13cH-2cW6r7GbU&hl=en&sa=X&ei=tpncU8XBBMvo8AXVoIKoBA&ved=0CCMQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=voyage%20loo%20choo%20hill&f=false
The Okinawans have not changed.
Next morning is surgery time.
I had asked my brother Ian if there were any questions I should ask. “Ask the surgeon if he has done the operation before and if he has alcohol or drug dependency.”
I do so and the surgeon, Shima sensei, politely explains that he drinks alcohol 3 times a week and does not take drugs. I say, “No, no, British joke.”
He cracks up and runs around the operating theatre explaining to everyone that I had asked if he was an alcoholic but it was a British joke! Everyone hoots and screams. We have to have a 2 minute pause to allow the medical staff to regain their composure.
The last thing I remember is the Beatles song ” I’m Looking Through You” playing over the sound system.
Anyway I wake up to a great welcome from the anaesthetics folk who also give me the lump of meniscus that had been sliced off.
I go back to my room and sleep through the rest of the day. Communication with nurses is done through phones.
This morning I am taken off for physiotherapy.
So thanks everyone at the Urasoe Hospital for giving me such a good time.