Communication – Day 3

June 28, 2006

I’m having fantastic little waking nightmares. The blood sampling today was done sans catheter, so we’ve been subjected to regular needles about 7 or 8 times. When I close my eyes I’ve been seeing a kind of needle ball machine, a tightly wadded apparatus bristling with flesh peircing needles. It moves towards me from a black void, a freakish mental abstraction that manifests just before blood sampling, as the nurse is preparing the equipment. It’s a hard thing not to think about.

Blood Samples

A big topic of conversation today was veins. We stood around like junkies comparing track marks and stories…” this needle hurt a lot here, but I didn’t feel this one at all. ”

One thing I noticed is that its quite nice the nurses don’t speak much English. The know enough to give me basic instructions in English when I don’t understand their basic instructions in Japanese. Its a nice counterpoint. Thinking back on my experiences with doctors and nurses in Australia, I don’t think I could handle the attitude or forced friendliness from a fluent English speaker charged with taking my blood 8 times a day. It would wear out and become awkward. As it is, I am only able to exchange vague pleasantries and the occasional laugh with my nurses. I especially like the ones that giggle over nothing, their very Japanese girlishness puts me at ease.

Blood sampling.

I spent most of the day on the internet. There is no fixed connection here, but there is an open wireless network we can pick up on the balcony. Its a bit hit and miss, and unfortunately the best place to recieve the signal is on top of the concrete ledge running around the balcony. Its a bit precarious and I worry someone will bump me and my laptop will spill over and smash to the ground two floors below.

There is a yellow foam rubber cushion glued around the edges of this ledge, that wasn’t here when I was down for the smoking trial. As this was where I departed from consciousness on that trial, I’m assuming I had something to do with its installation.


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