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Friday, October 09, 2009

Nakano General Hospital


Nakano General Hospital
Asameshi-mae means "before breakfast" in Japanese, and is a phrase used to mean "a walkover," "easy-peasy," "piece of cake," "do it with my eyes closed." And that's how I cut my finger two days ago: before breakfast - while scooping my Granola with a cup, in fact. The handle broke and in a split second the sharp bit left on the cup gouged my middle finger.

Nakano General Hospital, Tokyo

It was gaping and bleeding profusely - nothing for it but a trip to the local hospital. I bandaged it up with a strip of towel and some rubber bands and set out down Okubo-dori Street heading for Nakano General Hospital - five minutes by taxi, but, I discovered that on weekday mornings no taxis travel west in the Nakano ward section of Okubo-dori Street, and I couldn't be bothered waiting for a bus, so I walked.

Nakano General Hospital, Tokyo
After 35 minutes I got to the bleak Nakano General Hospital (see top photo). I went in, told them my problem, showed my health insurance card to reception, filled my name and address in on a form, was given a yellow plastic folder, and was sent upstairs to outpatients.

Nakano General Hospital, Tokyo
I had to fill in another form at outpatients, and waited for no more than about 15 minutes before I was called in to the doctor's office. It was a young, pale, very proper-looking male doctor who looked at it, said I'd need stitches after getting the finger anesthetized, and told me to lie on the couch.

Nakano General Hospital, Tokyo

He anesthetized my finger, and then set to work stitching it up. "Hari nanbon ni naru no desu ka" ("How many stitches?") I asked. "Sa, owarimashitara kazoemasho" ("Well then, let's count once we're done") he pertly replied.

Nakano General Hospital, Tokyo

It was over in five minutes, the finger was bandaged, and the doctor explained what medicine he was prescribing: two days' worth of orally ingested antibiotics, painkillers, and a creme. He told me to come back the next day to get it checked.

Nakano General Hospital, Tokyo

I bowed and thanked him, took my yellow folder to the outpatients counter, waited, was given it back, and took it downstairs to pay. I took a ticket from the machine, waited for my number, went to the cashier, paid 2,240 yen, and took the prescription to the pharmacy, which was not even thirty seconds' walk from the hospital front entrance.

After getting my medicines, I then stopped somewhere nearby - for breakfast.

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