Saturday, August 27, 2011

Annual medical check 2011

Yeap, it is that time of the year again for the annual medical check up...
For the second year in a row, my sweeto haato joined me for the medical check...
Two days before the appointed day, we had to take samples of our stools...
And on the night before the appointed day, we had to stop eating before 9:00 pm...
Not an issue for us as we normally finish our dinner by about 8:00 pm every night...
On the morning of the appointed day, we woke up at about 5:00 am as we usually do...
We were allowed to consume only 200 cc of clear liquid that morning...
Warm water and tea would be ok, but not coffee...
At 7:00 am, my stomach emitted the first growl...
No no, no eating... and off we went to the hospital...
Arriving at 7:45 am, we were number 2 and number 3 on line...
After changing into light green pajamas, we watched television as we waited for the chime to come...
All in all, there were about 20 patients, mostly males...
At 8:00 am, the chime went off and the attendant nurse gave us a briefing...
I opted to have my blood samples taken first...
Any allergies? The nurse asked?
Unlike last year, the nurse was pretty skilled... or so I thought...
I felt no pain as she inserted a needle into the protruding vein in my left arm...
She took 4 tubes of blood and slowly withdrew the needle...
Eiiiich, I felt a little pain...
We weighed ourselves, took our heights, checked our eyesight and blood pressure...
At 8:25, a male attendant familiar to me, measured my waist...
72 centimeters it was...
'Lrong-san ha sumaato desu ne...' mumbled Tsutsui-san... (literally, 'Mr. Lrong, you have a smart physique'...)
He is a ten-year veteran at this hospital and he likes to chat with me whenever we see each at the hospital...
'Now let's see, you had a little polyp in your gall bladder...' he said as he instructed me to lie flat on the bed while getting ready to operate the machine...
'Oh, no problem... the size is very small... no change from last year...'
I felt relieved and thanked him...
At 8:40 am, I felt really sleepy and energy-less...
A nurse called out my name and I entered a room to have my eyes checked for 'hardness'...

'Now, look at that green light on the left'... flash! 
Bright stars seemed to come into view...

Next was the urine samples...
I always felt amused upon seeing the illustration posted in the toilet...
The man had two drops of sweat flying off from his face as he smiled...
'Let the first 30 cc of urine pass, then take the 'middle' portion of the urine and fill up one third of the cup'...
8:59 am... yawned... watched TV...
9:01 am... more yawns... watched more TV... waited... waited...
9:14 am... a nurse called out my name...
Inside the room, the doctor in a brown-colored uniform asked, 'any health issue bothering you?'...
He placed his stethoscope on my exposed chest...  
Silently, he repeated the procedure on my back and I was out of the room in seconds...
9:16 am... back to the main lounge, waiting...
9:26 am... time for the ECG...
The nurse clipped my four limbs with some kind of clamps and stuck some rubber suction cups on my body... 
9:40 am... underwent the lung capacity test which was introduced just about two years ago...
I asked what is the purpose of this test...
It was to check the 'smoothness' of the breathing...
She clipped my nose with a large peg, forcing me to breath through the mouth from a pipe...
I was to take a deep breath, and once I reached the maximum capacity of the inhalation, I was to suddenly exhale until I ran out of air...
I did it twice...
9:50 am... backed to the waiting room... I dreamed of spaghetti... tomato based with seafood...
My  stomach growled again...
The next procedure was the x-ray, which went by in a wink...
9:52 am... now, the most 'interesting' part of the check....
The staff was again, very professional... the explanation clear and concise...
The nurse handed over a small paper cup filled with just one third of liquid... which I quickly gulped down...
She had me lie down on a bed as she injected some liquid into my nostrils...
This was to prevent injury to the walls of my nose, she said...
Rested, relaxed... felt sleepy...
Then she asked, which nose breaths better?
I think I did it through the right nose last year, so this year, without really answering her question, I opted for the left nose...
She carefully injected morphine into my left nostril...

The numbness although slight, came almost instantly... 
You can swallow it, she said...

The taste was not bad, but not good either...
Minutes later, she returned to give a second shot...
A few more minutes passed and into the camera room they led me...
Now, lie down on your left, the doctor gestured...
He was the same guy from last year...
The attendant-nurse offered, 'let your saliva drip down on the paper towel... don't force yourself to wipe it...'
I closed my eyes as they switched off the lights...
Slowly, I sensed the optic camera piercing through my left nostril, wriggling its way down my throat...
'Swallow', the doctor suggested just as he did last year at exactly the same stage...
I swallowed, feeling the tube crawling through my esophagus...
Now, the hardest part is over... just relax... said the doctor as he maneuvered the camera into my stomach...

In about 15 minutes, it was over... 
My missus was waiting for me...
I quickly changed into my clothes, looking forward to the lunch box provided...
This is the 'reward' for the 'troubles' we go through in this exercise...

I am not sure if other hospitals offer this lunch box service but the one I went to in Nagoya did not...
The hospital said it is complimentary...

We slowly ate and chewed on the goodies... 
The 'bento' lunch box was delightfully laid out, and I counted over 20 different types of food...
There was fish, meat, egg, tofu, beans, carrot, yam, plum, grape, orange, fishcake, burdock,  seaweed, miso soup, among others...

Hmmm... delicious... 

Next, stay tuned for the endoscope test on the colon which had to be conducted on a different day...