Germ Monsters

So, it’s been a while. I’m sorry! I guess a logical excuse for this would be that I was sick. This is another “sick” post. You’re probably thinking… “What? Sick again? She was just sick in September!” This is so rare for me. It might be usual for me to catch a cold once a year, but not twice. And I know the reason for this abnormality.

The children. The germ monsters. They attacked me and won. I’ve been teaching at a lot of elementary schools lately and I can think back to the exact day that I was infected.

It was Thursday, February 2nd. I was teaching at one of the elementary schools that I visit weekly (as opposed to others that I visit monthly). I had two classes of 5th graders and one class of 1st graders. It was the 1st graders that did it. Before my class in the teacher’s room, the other teachers warned me about this particular class. They told me that they were the rowdiest, most ill-behaved class in the entire school. A class of little monkeys. Oh boy.

When I arrived in the classroom, they all stared at me wide-eyed as young children often do when they first see a very tall foreign girl standing in their classroom. The poor homeroom teacher had been sick and lost her voice trying to get them to sit down and be quiet, so she was all but useless. Although, to her credit, she did try to get the children to be quiet a few times with her raspy whisper. I was lucky that another teacher’s assistant was with me to help lead the class. They truly were a rambunctious group. Note to self: Never use the word “Pokemon” or “DS” with young, hyper students.

At the end of my lesson, they all shook hands with me and introduced themselves to me. Germs. I washed my hands before lunch, of course. I was supposed to eat lunch with them, so I sat at a desk in their classroom and ate. Germs. They finished and I was still eating, so they swarmed around me to get a glimpse of what I was eating. Germs. They all wanted to show me their chopsticks, toothbrushes, water cups, etc. They tugged at my clothes and talked really fast. I couldn’t hear them properly, so I had to bend down to their level. Germs! And then I played jump-rope with all of them in the hallway. Germs! I definitely did not wash my hands enough that day.

The cold started with an itchy throat the next day (Friday), which evolved into a real sore throat later that evening. I had enough energy to help Tori and Kimberly get their hair done (I translated, which earned me a bang trim paid for by Tori ^^), but that was it. I went home, crashed on my couch, and went to bed at 10pm.

I woke up at 1:30am feeling sicker. Bleh. I couldn’t sleep because I felt sick. I stayed up for a few hours until I was tired enough to sleep. I was so grateful to have a couch that I fit on (that was one of my requirements for buying a couch).

It was then Saturday morning and I felt sicker still. Last time I was sick, I waited way too long to go to the doctor. People in Japan go to the doctor for the littlest things, so I figured… Why not? I have health insurance, why not use it? All of my friends with cars were unavailable at the time, so I called my supervisor. I hated to bother him because they have been working him to the ground lately and he has little to no time off. (He even worked this past weekend!) Luckily, he was not working on that Saturday and was free to take me. When I told him that I called him because all my friends were unavailable, he said, “You are like Japanese. You are reserved and you hesitate… but you do not have to. Please don’t hesitate to call me.” Lesson learned. It is hard to ask for help sometimes when I want to be considerate towards my supervisor. I want to make his life easier, not harder. But I guess that’s his job!

I went to the same clinic as last time. It was the even the same kind of cold as last time. I could feel my fever rising in the waiting room. I was tested for the flu (and they put me in quarantine for a few minutes until it was revealed that I was influenza-free). Instead of the IV, I was given a huge injection with some fever-reducing medicine. While I was in the room with the doctor, the doctor’s assistant (a woman) put her hands on my shoulders and rubbed my arms. I don’t know what that was about. To comfort me? I got up and it must have looked to her like I was about to fall over, so she grabbed hold of me to steady me. Kinda weird.

On the way out, I picked up my prescription… even the same medicines as last time! …And that was that. End doctor’s visit in Japan #2.

Spent all of Saturday home with a fever, not fun at all. I had to cancel my plans with Kimberly because I was couch-ridden. The fever finally went all the way down on Sunday morning and I felt much better. I had made plans with Kyohei that day, but those were switched around. I stayed home, cleaned house, and he came over to cook dinner instead. I was so happy to have a real meal… Miso soup is so delicious when you are sick!

The next week I went to work with a “lingering cold” (風邪気味 ‥かぜぎみ).  I wasn’t sick enough to stay home, but I didn’t feel well enough to do much else than go to work. It took longer than I would have liked to recover from that silly cold! I even wore an uncomfortable mask to protect my co-workers from my germs, to be considerate… However, I only lasted one day and did not wear the mask on Tuesday.

I am happy to say that I am all better now and back to my usual self. And look at that, one more week and February will be over. Bring on March!

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4 Comments to “Germ Monsters”

  1. *sends superhuman immune system particles your way*

  2. Now you’ve got me really thinking that my itchy throat is not just allergies… Glad you’re feeling better!

  3. Hi there-Aunt Jan was here and showed me what I was not doing so I am going to try again!!!
    I want to welcome you tn the first year teacher club.When I taught no ftrst year teacher made
    it through the whole year without being sick .Glad you7 are feeling batterThose littlle ones can be
    ahandful.Now let us hope this goes through11111MUCH LOVE NANA

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