*note: as I write this I have been awake for three solid hours, which means that I am probably about 45 minutes from passing out again. So if this post is a tad garbled, I apologize.
On Monday morning I woke up feeling pretty aweful, but I was convinced that I was just being a baby so I hauled myself out of bed and to the train station. Before I got on the train I bought a face mask because, hey, when In Rome …
When I got to school my mask drew more attention than I thought it would. Or perhaps I was acting a bit loopier than normal. For whatever reason, I was very suddenly the talk of the room. I was Pippa Middleton. Or, perhaps more accurately, that monkey from Outbreak.
All of the English teachers approached me individually to ask me if I was ok and to tell me to go home, but I was pretty intent on no taking holiday leave (which is normally the default in Japan, even if you are sick.)
Eventually one of the teachers took me down to the nurse’s office, where we discovered that I had an alarmingly high fever. The nurse called the doctor’s office immediately and I was taken in for an exam. It turns out that I wasn’t really being a baby. I have Influenza. This was actually good news for me because having a “brand name” illness mean that my school had to give me sick leave (since I am not allowed to get anywhere near the school while I am still contagious.)
My point (that I think I am failing to make) is that my coworkers have taken such incredibly good care of me. Between the nurse — who gave me a hot water bottle and a cool compress to comfort me– and the teachers who moved around their schedules to get me to the doctor, I could not have asked for better help. The last two nights teachers have even come to my door to deliver bags full of groceries and to check up on me.
I feel like I won the lottery in terms of school placements. This week, despite the cabin fever (and the actual fever) I am so happy that I have decided to sign on for a second year in Japan.