Gaijin Smash

Don’t Get Sick/Injured In Japan – Reloaded

Posted in Blog by gaijinsmashnet on December 16, 2008

One of these days, I’ll learn to take my own advice.
If it were up to me, I would never set foot in a Japanese hospital, ever again. Didn’t matter what ailed me, it could be a head cold, or I could be missing an entire limb. Just give me a Band-Aid and some Bufferin and I’ll be good to go. And that’s not just tough guy talk – I fear that going to a Japanese hospital would put me in a worse state than before I went. If I went for a missing limb, I’d come out with cancer.
Unfortunately, as it turns out my wife is a major worry wart. So whenever the smallest little health concern comes up, her immediate and unwavering response is “you need to go to the hospital!” My fear of contracting the Ebola Virus from a Japanese hospital aside, as I’m unemployed I don’t have health insurance at the moment, so a trip to the hospital will set me back about $100. I always find it amazing that my wife, who is usually a penny-pincher in every other way, is so nonchalant when it comes to the hospital…
Me: Say, let’s eat out tonight!
Her: We don’t have the money for that…
Me: C’mon, we don’t have to go to a fancy place, at most $10-15 per person.
Her: If we can afford to spend that, then we should keep it and save it for an emergency.
Me: …..*disgruntled*
Me: …..*sneezes*
Her: Oh no, is that a cold? You should go to the hospital!
Me: I’m fine, I don’t need to go.
Her: But you should, just in case! You never know, it could turn into something serious.
Me: I’m fine. And besides that, we don’t have money for the hospital.
Her: Sure we do! I’ll pay for it! Just go!
Me: …..Can we stop at a nice restaurant on the way?
Her: We don’t have the money for that!
If only the hospitals served a nice steak or something…


Anyway, a few weeks ago I developed a painful swollen something-or-the-other on the back of my left leg, just below my ass. It seemed sort of like a spider-bite, but in all honestly I don’t know what happened. The wonderful location made it a bit uncomfortable to sit, so after a few days I popped it open and drained as much blood and pus out of it as I could (hope nobody was eating while reading this…). It still remained fairly swollen and painful, so at my wife’s urging I went to the hospital to get it looked at (*cash register sound here* there’s $100 gone…). If it had been a poisonous spider, I guess it would have been prudent to get the venom drained or something.
I went, but all they really did was further drain the blood and pus. This reduced the swelling, and I felt great…for a day or so. But then the swelling came back with a vengeance. It blistered up even bigger than it was before. Again, at the wife’s urging I made another trip to the hospital (*cash register sound* that makes $200…).
Now, with all previous attempts to drain it having failed, the Japanese doctor turned to the next logical step – to just remove the whole damn thing.
At the time, I didn’t know what was going on. Again, remember that this wonderful little bundle of despair and death was located on the back of my leg, just under my ass. I’m pretty sure that this is an area of my body I’ve never, ever seen in my life. What occasion would I have to want to look back there? I felt a sharp, piercing pain at first, which I assumed to be just cutting open a hole for more drainage, but after that it didn’t really hurt at all. Afterwards, the doctor used a laser to “seal the hole” as she put it, and at the time I recalled smelling a distinct smoky barbecue smell. Like baby back ribs or a tender sirloin. I know now that that was my own flesh.
And no, I don’t know why I’m apparently so delicious. Good news – if any of you happen to be trapped with me in some sort of desperate, life-threatening situation – say stranded on a freezing mountain or stuck in the desert with no sign of civilization in sight – and you’re forced to do the unthinkable, the in-human act of actually eating me to stay alive – well, at least you will be in for a good meal.
After the doctor finished up, the nurse – a cute young Japanese girl (aren’t they always?) began explaining the details of the situation to me. “Now, you have a hole in your leg…” she says, and tries to show me with her hands the size of the hole. However, just one hand is insufficient, so she has to use both hands to illustrate the size of the new crater in my leg. “Because of the difficult location, you’re going to have to have your wife take care of disinfecting it and applying gauze daily.”
I’m not sure why, perhaps they slipped me some wicked painkillers when I wasn’t looking or something, but the nurse’s explanation didn’t really register with me. Even when they slapped a diaper-sized grip of gauze on my leg, I didn’t really think anything major had happened back there. More than anything, I was kinda hungry for some juicy prime rib.
Later that night, I was having my wife take care of the wound as instructed. She removed the gauze…and nearly fainted. “Have you seen what your leg looks like?” she asks, while trying to resist the urge to vomit. Why no, that particular area of real estate just happens to be outside the area of my brain’s Google Maps. She gets me a mirror, and for the first time I’m allowed to see for myself what’s going on back there.
It really was a hole in my leg.
It was roughly the size of one of those small Haagen-Daas ice cream containers. For those who lack perspective, let me put it this way – upon seeing this chasm in my leg, I could clearly picture the Roadrunner and Wil E. Coyote running down my ass, with the Roadrunner stopping abruptly before the hole and Wil E. running past it. Wil E. stops, defies gravity for a few moments as he realizes he’s no longer on terra firma, silently holds up a sign illustrating just how fucked he is, then drops down the hole for a few seconds, complete with the “THUD!” and small puff of smoke at the bottom.
Literally, it was a hole in the back of my leg.
“Is this something doctors are supposed to do?!” The wife asks, shocked. I too am a little taken aback my having a new Grand Canyon carved out below my ass, so when the wife insists I go to a late-night emergency room (*cash register sound* $300…), I don’t put up a fight.
We arrived a little after 3AM. Luckily, there weren’t too many people there, so I was seen fairly quickly. The on-call doctor was a young guy who looked like he was fresh out of med school. The wife explained the situation, and upon showing him the leg his response was “Yup…that’s a hole all right.”
Thank you, Detective Holmes.
Remember back in the Octopus entry when I said that doctors in Japan only specialize in one part of the body, and are completely ignorant about every other part? Well, I dunno what this guy specialized in, but apparently holes in the back on one’s ass was not it. He looked at it and commented on how beautifully it had been lasered-off, but couldn’t really offer an opinion as to whether or not this was a viable treatment. Luckily though, the doctor who did specialize in holes in the ass – or whatever it is that you need to specialize in for this – had just arrived at the hospital and was on duty. He called her over to look at my leg, and her reaction was very, very casual. “What, this? Oh, this is a very common treatment procedure! This is completely fine.” Her tone was as if to say “Why did you even bother coming in here at 3 in the morning for?”
Well, if I cannot go to the hospital for a gaping hole in my leg…then what can I go for?
The hole has since mostly healed (the human body really is something, isn’t it?); its mostly filled in and doesn’t hurt at all anymore. It will probably leave a decent scar though, which will serve as a constant reminder to never trust Japanese doctors, and what started out as a simple insect bite may eventually turn into a hole in your leg and a $300 hole in the bankbook.
If only I could see it.
————————————————————————————
Thank you for your continued support and donations! It is very much appreciated and of a tremendous help to me!
If anyone has any suggestions for a donation drive, I would love to hear them. …Anything except The Octopus, I’m not putting a price tag on that.
For donations, please paypal to azrael@outpostnine.com. There is also a direct link on the Outpost Nine homepage.

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138 Responses

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  1. Anonymous said, on December 16, 2008 at 2:42 am

    First!?
    Also, jeez, I kinda wanna see a picture now. 😦 I must google image search seared flesh holes to appease this curiosity! Hope you’re well!

  2. Anonymous said, on December 16, 2008 at 2:42 am

    First!?
    Also, jeez, I kinda wanna see a picture now. 😦 I must google image search seared flesh holes to appease this curiosity! Hope you’re well!

  3. Rainbow7 said, on December 16, 2008 at 2:52 am

    OMFG! Az, I want pics of this even more badly than I wanted to see your wedding photo’s.
    If I have to donate for this too, I will!

  4. david said, on December 16, 2008 at 3:01 am

    now, that entry made me uncomfortable…
    There’s another thing you should know about forbiden places in japan.
    Don’t get involved with the police. I think you kinda dont want to get involved with the police, anywhere, but this is particulary true in japan. Above all if you’re a black gaijin, because everybody knows that black guys steal bike and ape woman, so we won’t even bother make an investigation and put you in jail for 3 whole weeks.

  5. Xei said, on December 16, 2008 at 3:21 am

    Mmm…laser charred, smoky barbecue Az…

  6. May said, on December 16, 2008 at 3:32 am

    You probably had a boil which was lanced by the doctor.

  7. CF said, on December 16, 2008 at 3:40 am

    1) Let’s see how many people notice the irony of how all comments have to pass through a site by name of “festeringass”…. >:)
    2) Look at it this way — finally a Japanese person does something to your ass which does *NOT* involve jamming fingers into it…. >;)

  8. Anonymous said, on December 16, 2008 at 3:48 am

    if it healed, then i’m not sure i see what the big deal is

  9. Anonymous said, on December 16, 2008 at 3:48 am

    if it healed, then i’m not sure i see what the big deal is

  10. Ace said, on December 16, 2008 at 3:56 am

    I’ve had that laser doodad also. Thing is when the doctor removed the bump he didn’t slice it off, he bent the razor and scooped the sumbitch out. Apart from constant changing of dressings though it was alright.

  11. Jofler said, on December 16, 2008 at 4:43 am

    First time post, loong time big fan. Holy flesh seared black man Batman! That really puts 7 unsuccessful blood removal attempts in perspective, so thanks for cheering me up with that Az!

  12. kcivner said, on December 16, 2008 at 4:50 am

    Az was it really an insect bite?

  13. Anonymous said, on December 16, 2008 at 5:28 am

    i would pay to hear wat exactly it was that the slut (the girl who gave u the octopus) did that made u hate her so much

  14. qklilx said, on December 16, 2008 at 6:10 am

    I second that in this second comment. Donation drive for a picture of the hole in the leg! Hey… it’s not The Octopus…
    Good to hear you’re all right though. I… I wish to never experience that myself…

  15. Xak said, on December 16, 2008 at 6:16 am

    Hmm, the way you describe it, it sounds like a boil (which is a staph infection, but a common, typically harmless one, of a pore, hair folicle or tiny wound, etc.) or a nodule (whatever the heck that is–most people, including doctors, mistakenly call them cysts, but cysts don’t form heads nor pop).
    At worst, it could have been a MRSA boil (yeah, that would have meant antibiotics). Boils typically drain within about 2 weeks, for future reference. And poisonous spider bites typically change color (which may not be as obvious on dark skin, come to think of it).
    Sucks that you had to pay all that freaking money out your ass though. Erm, no pun intended. And the scar. Yikes.

  16. Anonymous said, on December 16, 2008 at 6:16 am

    $300? Do you not have health insurance?

  17. Prometheus said, on December 16, 2008 at 6:17 am

    If you really want to raise money, you could threaten to post pictures of the hole unless people paid up!

  18. Aris said, on December 16, 2008 at 6:24 am

    What, no pictures?

  19. Ihmhi said, on December 16, 2008 at 6:36 am

    >First!?
    >
    >Also, jeez, I kinda wanna see a picture now. 😦 I
    >must google image search seared flesh holes to
    >appease this curiosity! Hope you’re well!
    No, you don’t. You really don’t.
    When you have a friggin’ hole in your body, it is uncomfortable to say the least. Try standing for an entire day because it hurts to sit down. Most people will be begging for a chair within a few hours.
    I’ve had one or two rashes (mostly due to sweat from exercising) over the years in sensitive areas. I’m lucky that I haven’t had to have any of them cut out and seared closed with a laser.
    Lastly, Az… you post a story about a gaping hole slightly below your butt cheek and then end the post with:
    >If anyone has any suggestions for a donation
    >drive, I would love to hear them. …Anything
    >except The Octopus, I’m not putting a price tag
    >on that.
    You do realize that you’re going to be flooded with requests for a picture of this… other hole in your butt? d:

  20. Justin said, on December 16, 2008 at 6:38 am

    I would agree in your thinking that hospitals are not a good place to go unless you HAVE to. Ever heard of nosocomial infections?

  21. Advena said, on December 16, 2008 at 6:41 am

    I really dont get Japanese hospitals.
    The othery day they refused to treat my friend’s broken ankle because …wait for it…She wasn’t crying.
    So they didn’t treat her until she, herself showed them that her ankle was twice its natrual size.

  22. Anonymous said, on December 16, 2008 at 6:42 am

    Ah c’mon Az, every man has his price right?
    This technique is FAMOUS, after all.
    Well, Octopi aside, have a merry Christmas, and good luck with everything for the new year.

  23. Anonymous said, on December 16, 2008 at 6:42 am

    Ah c’mon Az, every man has his price right?
    This technique is FAMOUS, after all.
    Well, Octopi aside, have a merry Christmas, and good luck with everything for the new year.

  24. Tensho said, on December 16, 2008 at 6:53 am

    If you ask me, I think you might have contracted a boil. Have you been eating healthy foods lately? 😮

  25. Anonymous said, on December 16, 2008 at 7:06 am

    Your blogs continue to give me joy. You should try organizing them into a book. I’d buy the hardcover.

  26. Anonymous said, on December 16, 2008 at 7:06 am

    Your blogs continue to give me joy. You should try organizing them into a book. I’d buy the hardcover.

  27. hanchan said, on December 16, 2008 at 7:33 am

    dude i share ur pain. i get boils(?) and infected lymph glands and all kinds of lovely pus filled lumps. regularly. my immune system is screwed. but no one can accurately diagnose why. anyway, i now treat these myself, cos my first dr in osaka cut into me with a scalpel…twice… without any anaesthetic or anything. just a 「gaman shite kudasai」 – please try and bear the pain. arm was one thing, but my face?!?!? and at that time, no insurance, about $300+ followups… but i had to go back every 2-3 days to change the gauze =poke around in the hole to make sure its clean. fun, i tell you. but i never got a lazer. you win!

  28. hanchan said, on December 16, 2008 at 7:36 am

    dude i share ur pain. i get boils(?) and infected lymph glands and all kinds of lovely pus filled lumps. regularly. my immune system is screwed. but no one can accurately diagnose why. anyway, i now treat these myself, cos my first dr in osaka cut into me with a scalpel…twice… without any anaesthetic or anything. just a 「gaman shite kudasai」 – please try and bear the pain. arm was one thing, but my face?!?!? and at that time, no insurance, about $300+ followups… but i had to go back every 2-3 days to change the gauze =poke around in the hole to make sure its clean. fun, i tell you. but i never got a lazer. you win!

  29. hanchan said, on December 16, 2008 at 7:37 am

    dude i share ur pain. i get boils(?) and infected lymph glands and all kinds of lovely pus filled lumps. regularly. my immune system is screwed. but no one can accurately diagnose why. anyway, i now treat these myself, cos my first dr in osaka cut into me with a scalpel…twice… without any anaesthetic or anything. just a 「gaman shite kudasai」 – please try and bear the pain. arm was one thing, but my face?!?!? and at that time, no insurance, about $300+ followups… but i had to go back every 2-3 days to change the gauze =poke around in the hole to make sure its clean. fun, i tell you. but i never got a lazer. you win!

  30. Denno said, on December 16, 2008 at 7:42 am

    atleast your ass is healed now, hows the job hunt btw?

  31. favreaux said, on December 16, 2008 at 8:23 am

    Yeah..that’s the beauty of Japan. The ability to become a doctor has more to do with being able to buy your job rather than actually having any knowledge.
    On the bright side, this may at least have reduced your wife’s faith in the health care system. Whenever you move back to the US she’s going to be shocked and amazed in regards to American doctors.

  32. Anonymous said, on December 16, 2008 at 8:25 am

    Whoa, second. Anyway…
    … How deep was the hole? That sounds like it would hurt a lot. And for an insect bite? Did they even tell you what it is in the first place?

  33. Anonymous said, on December 16, 2008 at 8:25 am

    Whoa, second. Anyway…
    … How deep was the hole? That sounds like it would hurt a lot. And for an insect bite? Did they even tell you what it is in the first place?

  34. Nick said, on December 16, 2008 at 8:31 am

    Wow that’s pretty crazy man, and sorta amusing too, haha. Your entries never fail to make me laugh.

  35. Mage said, on December 16, 2008 at 8:32 am

    Oh, jeez! That’s terrible!
    The last time I went to a hospital in Japan, they were pretty good to me, but granted my reason was a badly sprained ankle and I was able to keep an eye on what they were doing at all times.
    Even so, they wrapped it in a wet towel and put electricity through it, so clearly there’s something a little strange about the way the Japanese do medicine.
    Keep it up! Perhaps you could offer to give Japanese language lessons at certain donation levels. Just focus on a particular word or phrase or something, and provide anecdotes or whatever. You know. You’re good at that sort of thing.
    Dare I say “second?”

  36. denus said, on December 16, 2008 at 8:40 am

    You know, I once had a pilonidal abscess (basically an infection under the skin right at the top of the butt cleft). Removing it in a similar way is actually a valid treatment, so despite the absurdity of having a huge crater in your ass it may not have been that uncalled for. 😛

  37. Polaryzed said, on December 16, 2008 at 8:42 am

    A Hagen-Daz container!?!?! Jesus-H-Ass-Carving-Christ! Note to self: follow Az’s advice and never step into a Japanese hospital. People have had larger cancers removed with less damage. Holy crap…

  38. Rob said, on December 16, 2008 at 8:50 am

    Sounds like a spider bite. Totally want to see a picture. I had one, I think it was a spider, up on my eyebrow earlier this year. Swoll up nasty. Fine Japanese doctors cut me, drained and gave me some good antibiotics. No pain meds though, the bastards.
    My pics of the eye monstrosity here – http://relaxedfocus.blogspot.com/2008/05/another-gruesome-eye-photo.html
    and here – http://relaxedfocus.blogspot.com/2008/05/you-cannot-in-fact-do-whatever-spider.html

  39. Mics said, on December 16, 2008 at 8:59 am

    I think what you got is a carbuncle. The same thing happened to me last October and yeah it looked like an insect bite at first. I thought it’s going to heal by itself so I let it be for a couple of weeks. It got worse. Fortunately though we have good doctors here in the Philippines, so the doctor operated on it but no lasers involved. There was a hole but it healed and yes it will leave a nasty scar. =(
    Just a warning though. Don’t google for images of carbuncle or any other skin diseases. It left me sleepless for a couple of nights.

  40. Anonymous said, on December 16, 2008 at 9:00 am

    Dude, it could be worse… you could be going to an American hospital with no insurance, and some of them aren’t much better. I recently had food poisoning and my folks freaked out and insisted I go to the hospital because I was dehydrated. The vomiting/diarrhea had stopped completely by the time we went, and all the doctors did was put some fluid in me intravenously. That fun little jaunt set me back over $1,000 because that level of deductible (as a generally healthy young man) seemed reasonable.
    $100 a pop doesn’t sound so bad by comparison.

  41. Anonymous said, on December 16, 2008 at 9:00 am

    Dude, it could be worse… you could be going to an American hospital with no insurance, and some of them aren’t much better. I recently had food poisoning and my folks freaked out and insisted I go to the hospital because I was dehydrated. The vomiting/diarrhea had stopped completely by the time we went, and all the doctors did was put some fluid in me intravenously. That fun little jaunt set me back over $1,000 because that level of deductible (as a generally healthy young man) seemed reasonable.
    $100 a pop doesn’t sound so bad by comparison.

  42. Asperitas said, on December 16, 2008 at 9:02 am

    Well I know someone here in Holland who had a similar pocedure aswell… There was this bump on her leg, hospital cut it open, put a gauze in it and she had to stay overnight. When she got home she had to pull out the gauze (yes it was litterally in the hole), and I had to throw the gauze into the trash bin… I will NEVER forget that horrible smell anymore…
    So well, it might just be that you wouldn’t want to go to the hospital here aswell…

  43. Sean said, on December 16, 2008 at 9:13 am

    Why not do some editorials on how you first got interested in Japan? You know, talk about your young, naive years in high school/college that inspired you to move across the ocean and work in Japan for 3+ years. Sort of a prequel to the I Am A Japanese School Teacher eds.

  44. Jon Helgi said, on December 16, 2008 at 9:44 am

    And the doctor did not give you any ass medicine?
    Suppository medicine is supposed to cure all ailments.

  45. Anonymous said, on December 16, 2008 at 9:49 am

    Obviously not America… where were the antibiotics?

  46. Anonymous said, on December 16, 2008 at 9:49 am

    Obviously not America… where were the antibiotics?

  47. Tango said, on December 16, 2008 at 9:54 am

    Just like a spider bite?! How often does this happen to you?
    My guess would be a Staph-infection, treatable with some common antibiotics 🙂

  48. Ivan the Terrible said, on December 16, 2008 at 9:55 am

    You think you taste delicious? By the sounds of it, you’re living in a cannibal’s paradise. Not very hairy, not very salty, not much muscle. Delicious!
    http://www.bild.de/BILD/news/bild-english/world-news/2008/12/12/cannibals-in-papua-new-guinea/japanese-taste-best-whites-are-too-salty.html
    As a donation drive, I suggest we save up for a video of of you cooking and consuming a real live Japanese person.

  49. Victor Lugo said, on December 16, 2008 at 9:59 am

    Ouch, sounds to me like you had yourself one nasty abscess. Ick. I had one of those a few years ago and it became so infected I alomst died from it. so yeah your wife was absolutely corect in making you go to the hospital, and yes I had a big ass hole in my groin after treatment as well. it healed up so it’s all good. I’m just glad your abscess didn’t become infected like mine did. Put me out of action for two weeks, plus another two weeks at work on half days.

  50. The Minister said, on December 16, 2008 at 10:07 am

    Az,
    Can you imagine the money you could make if you DID put the Octopus on here? Reconsider man, this could make you a millionaire!
    All kidding aside, thanks for the posts! They keep me sane at work. You are truly a talented and entertaining person, and I look forward to more!

  51. Anonymous said, on December 16, 2008 at 10:09 am

    You could do a donation drive for pics of that particular chunk of Az-land :-p.

  52. Anonymous said, on December 16, 2008 at 10:09 am

    You could do a donation drive for pics of that particular chunk of Az-land :-p.

  53. Draco said, on December 16, 2008 at 11:00 am

    It sounds like a sist that’d gone septic or close to it. I’ve had one myself, but on my sholder blade, it ruptured and soaked the whole back of my shirt in blood before I’d go to the doctor for it. On the up side I was in Iowa at the time, not Japan lol. They didn’t laser mine though they packed it with whick gauz and had me change it every day (sounds like what they should have done the first time they drained it for you). You’ll always have the scar though, my sholder still looks like it’s been shot through after about 8 years.

  54. Alex said, on December 16, 2008 at 11:21 am

    As a previous poster stated, you probably had a carbuncle. They are skin infections that can get pretty bad if not taken care of. Sadly, the doctor you went to probably didn’t know what they were doing, so they took out a lot more than they should have. On the off chance that the infection comes back go to a plastic surgeon. They’ll be more careful about draining and suturing the wound so as to minimized the scarring and inconvenience.

  55. Altair.Hashan said, on December 16, 2008 at 11:25 am

    well Az just remember to never get that stuff on the important parts of the body.

  56. Morty said, on December 16, 2008 at 11:36 am

    damn Az!! I had this big ass bite for over 8months…its been nearly a year and its slowly VERY slowly but surely sinking away…The body learns to handle these things ;)..
    . . . Then again I had this weird bump/blood clot thingn come up out of no where and freaked me out so much i cut the lil sucker off and the hole filled it.
    So gotta do whatcha gotta do eh?
    Hope you can sit without fear soon ❤

  57. Robert Patrick said, on December 16, 2008 at 11:45 am

    Pics or it didn’t happen…

  58. Phelps said, on December 16, 2008 at 11:48 am

    Might have been a Pilonidal cyst from all the sitting. My dad got them when he as driving a truck.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pilonidal_cyst
    When they lanced his, they packed it with gauze. He only had like a two inch incision, but there was about eight feet of gauze packed in it. No kidding. And it drained enough that he had to wear a maxi pad on his ass.

  59. Reverend Loki said, on December 16, 2008 at 1:08 pm

    Actually, that smell of burning flesh? That’s what it almost always smells like. I worked in the medical field for a while, and whenever they went to cauterize flesh, sometimes with a laser sometimes with a simpler heated tool (think like a small, surgical soldering iron), it smelled the same, like extra sweet frying pork.
    You know, there’s a reason some of the cannibal tribes call human meat “long pig”.

  60. Civil Engineering student said, on December 16, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    Wow, that really.. bites.
    Japan doesnt have public health care (like Canada)?
    Do you get any health benefits through your wife?
    (on that note, are you now a Japanese citizen, being married to her?)
    Get well.
    You cant afford not to.

  61. Church said, on December 16, 2008 at 4:34 pm

    I didn’t read the other comments, so pardon me if this has been mentioned.
    The described treatment is generally standard for the removal of a cyst, OR when the tissue is dead / dying. The removal of dead / dying tissues is so that whatever is causing the necrosis (EX: spider bite etc..) is to stop the spread.
    If it’s a cyst, not only must the entire cyst be removed, but cyst’s form in a sac, which must also be removed, else the cyst will return.
    All in all, you’ll have a craterish scar, but should be fine.

  62. Forsythe said, on December 16, 2008 at 5:47 pm

    >I popped it open and drained as much blood and pus out of it as I
    > could (hope nobody was eating while reading this…).
    I was actually eating some sweet & sour chicken (blood red, with a chunky sauce) when I read this, so, umm.. thanks for the warning, even it was a bit late.
    ‘Scuse me, I’ll be right back… *bleeeaurgh*

  63. Patrick said, on December 16, 2008 at 6:01 pm

    My sister has something like that on her arm. She got it drained twice and is on antibiotics. But if it doesn’t go away, she’s off to get it removed.
    As for lasers, unless it’s a sensitive area (Toes, for example.) the laser sears the nerve endings off before they can transmit the damage. And if the area is already infected, then the pain response from that zone is dulled to begin with. By the way, always make sure you have normal fittings for your shoes as you grow up, folks. Having a third of your toenail lasered off hurts a lot, even after two locals.

  64. Anonymous said, on December 16, 2008 at 6:21 pm

    My brother’s a doctor, and he’s in Japan at the moment. Maybe he could take a look for you. Though I could imagine how that phone call would go…
    Seriously though, that does sound painful. Maybe if the hole was in the front of your leg you could have used it as a sort of heated stand for, I dunno, a bag of chips or something when you’re on the couch watching TV.

  65. Anonymous said, on December 16, 2008 at 6:21 pm

    My brother’s a doctor, and he’s in Japan at the moment. Maybe he could take a look for you. Though I could imagine how that phone call would go…
    Seriously though, that does sound painful. Maybe if the hole was in the front of your leg you could have used it as a sort of heated stand for, I dunno, a bag of chips or something when you’re on the couch watching TV.

  66. Sean said, on December 16, 2008 at 8:45 pm

    at least the doctors in Japan use western medicine 🙂 try living in the 2nd world part of Asia that still clings onto Eastern medicine 🙂

  67. Vanessa Clark said, on December 16, 2008 at 8:56 pm

    $100 for a hospital visit sounds like a lot, but you might end up paying that in the US even if you do have insurance. If you go to a doctor and they decide to do anything other than talk to you, you pay for every little thing.

  68. ShadowCell said, on December 16, 2008 at 10:46 pm

    Do you really want to see it?
    I mean, if I had some kind of huge smoldering crater in my ass, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t want to see it or even know about it. Ignorance is bliss.

  69. anonymous said, on December 16, 2008 at 10:47 pm

    I feel your pain as well. I was in boot camp and I got one of those near the same region so bad that it felt like I was sitting on a pine cone. Well they didn’t let me go to the medic (as I was in the “field”) and eventually a few days later it burst and bled through my pants so much that I left blood spots on the concrete when I sat down. They finally let me go to the doctor after the forced 2 hour march in over 100 degree weather, and after 10 hours after the march, I still had a fever over 100. It was about the size of a coaster by that point and over 1.5″ deep. I had several others over the back of my legs as well (around 5 others). They cut me open, tossed gauze INSIDE of the big one and told me to use iodine soap to clean and come back every day for the awful process of packing new gauze inside it so it seals up from the outer parts in (so the hole seals up last). I eventually stopped going because it sucked ass and took a lot of time. I still have a decent scar. I got these quite often after that (while in AIT) and they were of the strain MRSA thus I needed special antibiotics to kill them as the normal stuff didn’t work. I no longer get them, but apparently the strain can live in your sinus cavities and flare up now and again in different areas of your body, so if you get them often enough you need to get your sinuses tested to see if the strain is in there.
    Advice: I usually only get them when I have an ingrown hair on my leg and I pick at it. I recommend that you don’t pick at it, if you have to, make sure to have alcohol wipes near by to clean off before and after. Also, if you don’t want to go to a doctor, and it is in a manageable spot and relatively small, you can cut out the bad sections in the hole (they look white as they are dead skin) with the side of a nail clippers, just make sure to clean off your utensils before and after and clean the wound very well.

  70. Highwind said, on December 16, 2008 at 10:56 pm

    Well, at least your ass- err, abscess, was cleared away. I’m avoiding making asshole jokes, I really am. It’s not working. I seriously cannot even imagine how awful that must be.

  71. Prodigal Priest said, on December 16, 2008 at 11:23 pm

    Reminds me of one of the regional hospitals here on Long Island, Az. Brookhaven Memorial Hospital. BMH.
    We lovingly use the abbreviation to mean ‘Bury Me Here’. It can really be that bad. They almost killed off my father, and all he went in for was a small bit of trouble breathing which turned out to be nothing big later (asthma). Someone else my family knew went into the hospital for a minor stroke. Three days later, she died.
    It sounds… as bad as it was having the doctor pull a Goldfinger on you… as if it could’ve been worse. The expense sucks though. I’m looking at a liver transplant in the (hopefully) distant future, so I sympathize.
    Good to hear you’re tasty when grilled… just be sure and keep a pack of dry rub on you for convenience’s sake :P.
    Take care.

  72. Reil said, on December 17, 2008 at 1:23 am

    C’mon, Az! A whole topic about a hole in your ass, and not once did you make a pun about having two assholes!

  73. Lyn said, on December 17, 2008 at 1:49 am

    Wow… Part of me wants pictures… part of me is scared.
    I sorry you had to go through that. I would be terrified of hospitals PERIOD for the rest of my life after that.

  74. Jade said, on December 17, 2008 at 1:54 am

    Sounds like an abscess. I had roughly the same thing –I couldn’t sit, stand properly, walk, lie on my back, I couldn’t do anything.
    I was lucky, though, as it started draining on its own, and I didn’t have to get it lanced.
    Hope your hole heals. 🙂

  75. Mike said, on December 17, 2008 at 1:56 am

    Sounds like a brown recluse spider bite. I had that experience while serving in the military. Its nasty. Nobody cut anything out though. They drained it. They dont heal up so fast either and expect large lymph nodes if I remember correctly. I dont know if they got the recluse spider here but they got black widows. I dont trust Japanese doctors. In Japan they have a paternalistic attitude and trust whatever the older/senior/person in charge says without ever doubting it. Some of those same people in charge take advantage of this, I have seen it done.

  76. Marcus said, on December 17, 2008 at 3:15 am

    If you ever get kancho’d again by some japanese ichinensei, flash them that and scar their little minds 🙂

  77. soumakyo said, on December 17, 2008 at 9:05 am

    I’m sure they wanted to tell you to lose some weight (well they ARE japanese doctors), but since you’re a big black gaijin they were too scared and just discreetly removed a chunk of you to make you lighter !

  78. code monkey said, on December 17, 2008 at 9:22 am

    holy shi….
    I think I need to sit down…I’m already sitting down?
    So, a common treatment is to carve out some tissue? What’s that, a cancer?!?

  79. Jennifer said, on December 17, 2008 at 9:56 am

    Yeah that is an infected ingrown hair. I had one on my tailbone when I was 16 and one they called a periorectal cyst (guess where that was) that I had to have surgically removed when I was pregnant. They suck they hurt and they leave nasty scars. Hope they gave you some good pain meds

  80. Nakamura-san said, on December 17, 2008 at 10:16 am

    Never a dull moment for you, Az…
    Like some of the other posters had mentioned, that smoky, barbeque smell from your burning flesh is normal. In high school, I was in a medical class which rotated through a hospital. I was one of the lucky (as in only two other students got the chance to come during a time that a surgery was scheduled) students who got to sit through a surgery that involved cauterizing flesh. That was the only thing about the surgery that freaked me out a little (you start to think, “Well, if flesh smells like BBQ pork and pork smells like BBQ pork, then have I really been eating BBQ…NO! STOP THINKING!!!”).
    Good to hear that you’ll live through it!
    BTW, a post about pre-Japan Az does sound kinda nice (Star Wars somehow got away with 3, so I guess you’re allowed at least one)…

  81. Anonymous said, on December 17, 2008 at 12:29 pm

    yeah, you had a bunch of comments, and i didn’t feel like reading them all, so i’m not sure if someone hit on this already, but the way you were treated for your injury (the lazering a hole and filling with gauze) is common for staff infection and boils. a friend of mine got a boil in the same spot as you as a matter of fact, upper thigh, lower buttocks. buttocks is a funny word. buttocks… but yeah, even though they were japanese, they hooked you up right. they should have given you some antibiotics to take the first time you visited to keep the second one from forming, but i guess that’s how they get you.

  82. Anonymous said, on December 17, 2008 at 12:29 pm

    yeah, you had a bunch of comments, and i didn’t feel like reading them all, so i’m not sure if someone hit on this already, but the way you were treated for your injury (the lazering a hole and filling with gauze) is common for staff infection and boils. a friend of mine got a boil in the same spot as you as a matter of fact, upper thigh, lower buttocks. buttocks is a funny word. buttocks… but yeah, even though they were japanese, they hooked you up right. they should have given you some antibiotics to take the first time you visited to keep the second one from forming, but i guess that’s how they get you.

  83. Stan said, on December 17, 2008 at 12:44 pm

    Ah, man. I WAS eating when I read that. ..

  84. Reckless Fire said, on December 17, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    What do you mean by hole? Was it into the muscle? Could you see muscle or bone? Or was it like a scoop of fat and tissue missing, like a crater?

  85. Bissrok said, on December 17, 2008 at 2:22 pm

    Ouch. Now you’ve got two holes to guard…

  86. scoobysnax said, on December 17, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    Lol, Az, they burned you a new one.
    sorry, I had to

  87. Joe said, on December 17, 2008 at 5:40 pm

    Az, you so need to put up a little meter showing the amount of donations with the caption “pay for Az’s new asshole!” and “$300” at the top.
    Just think of all the revenue… 🙂

  88. Andrea said, on December 17, 2008 at 7:07 pm

    So we just hired a girl at work who spent a year in the JET program.. and she said she broke her leg while she was there. Not only was she unable to go to the school she worked at for a month because the toilets were all Japanese style, but every time she saw her doctor, all he said was, “Hmm, okay. Come back in two weeks.”
    Not like I ever thought you were lying or exaggerating, but to think this really is true.. it’s just too funny. And kind of depressing, haha. Anyway, I hoped maybe she would know you, but she doesn’t. She promised to look up your blog though 🙂
    Hope your behind feels better soon!

  89. Anonee Mouse said, on December 17, 2008 at 7:42 pm

    I WAS eating Az, but my stomach is made out of adamantium so dinner was fine and full of many laughs.
    Glad to know you made it out safe 🙂

  90. Jais said, on December 17, 2008 at 8:54 pm

    Heheh, I almost forgot about The Legendary Octopus, but I guess I wouldn’t forget either if I ever got cut on my- well, just let them find out for themselves.

  91. Steve said, on December 17, 2008 at 9:17 pm

    “Pilonidal cyst” ding ding ding ding!
    That’s what it is. I had one right at the top of my inner thigh, which rubbed constantly on my ball sack and occasionally on the other thigh because it got so big. I cut it open with a sterilized hobby knife and got everything out of there. Twice. The second time it hurt so bad because I had already cut it open once. But that second time was the charm. I pulled out this monstrous piece of something-that-disgusted-me. It was a pale green color, had the consistency of wet hay, was about 1.5 inches long, and had about 4 hairs sticking out of the end because it had amalgamated those hair follicles into its demonic mass. I deliberated keeping it for a while to show people, but it really disgusted me. So I considered taking a picture of it, but decided describing it would always be enough.
    The wound hurt for several days, but it worked. From time to time the area will start to swell again, but it goes away after several days. I don’t know what’s going on there. I may have lymph cancer or something. But I also hate hospitals and have no money or insurance.

  92. Ariel said, on December 17, 2008 at 11:46 pm

    Amen to the belief that Japanese hospitals are evil. I severely dislocated my shoulder recently and they refused to give me any pain medication during the entire 2 hours it was out of the socket, not even when they finally got around to pulling it back into place. NOT cool…

  93. chocobliss said, on December 18, 2008 at 12:09 am

    Why do I get the impression that all Japanese doctors that specialize in anything only specialize in the science of holes in the ass? Is kancho directly linked to this? If so, I wonder what came first; Hole-In-The-Assology, or kancho?

  94. Gye said, on December 18, 2008 at 1:13 am

    Ooh. As an African-American myself, I’m not going to guess what they cut off of you, but I certainly hope you don’t have keloidic skin like I do.

  95. dave said, on December 18, 2008 at 3:13 am

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=octopus
    also, you guys ever wondered how octopusses are caught ?

  96. June said, on December 18, 2008 at 8:34 am

    I don’t think I’ve ever heard a good story about Japanese hospitals.
    Question: Did you delete the octopus entry or something? Because I definitely remember reading about the octopus.

  97. grace said, on December 18, 2008 at 9:24 am

    I had a shitty experience at a Japanese hospital too. I had food poisoning and was self medicating with activated carbon tablets for about half a day. I got those tablets from home on my last trip. However, I was running outta tablets. I was pretty sure another day of that stuff would get me back on my feet, but decided to go to the hospital to get more pills coz my supply was really low (I wanted to save it for a more serious attack).
    Registration took 2 hours. Waiting for the doc took 4. When I finally saw the doc, he basically said, “Yep! It’s food poisoning.” within 5 minutes. Waiting to pay the damn bill took another hour. They gave me my prescription. Unfortunately, I had to go the ANOTHER PLACE across the road to get the drugs itself. Now, I have been at the stupid hospital for a really long time, without my tablets. I was really cranky, tired and pissed off. I walked over to the other place… and… had to tell them my ENTIRE medical history AGAIN before they would give me my damn medicine. I was pretty much about to burst into tears at this point.
    The best part? When I finally got hold of my meds, they weren’t activated carbon tablets. They were some shitty powder I had to mix with water and drink it up 3 times a day to strengthen my stomach for 2 weeks.

  98. Jen said, on December 18, 2008 at 11:28 am

    It could have also been a staph infection. Cutting it out wouldn’t be a permanent solution, then, as it’s running through the body and in need of antibiotics. >.>;;

  99. Mode said, on December 18, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    Him, if it kept swelling up and leaking blood and pus, then it might have been an MRSA infection. There’s a lot of that going around recently. I guess surgically removing and burning the area off solves the problem of not being able to treat it with antibiotics.

  100. Onyx said, on December 18, 2008 at 5:54 pm

    …. gross… (X_X)

  101. Anonymous said, on December 18, 2008 at 6:39 pm

    Isnt that just the Ultimate Kancho?

  102. Anonymous said, on December 18, 2008 at 6:39 pm

    Isnt that just the Ultimate Kancho?

  103. CDC said, on December 18, 2008 at 6:50 pm

    This sounds exactly like MRSA.
    You’re fight against this might not be over.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methicillin-resistant_Staphylococcus_aureus

  104. WT said, on December 18, 2008 at 11:47 pm

    I think somebody else mentioned it already, but I’m surprised they didn’t just give you a suppository or say the lump formed because you’re too fat.

  105. Mel Thompson said, on December 19, 2008 at 10:10 am

    For a Donation Drive POST THOSE Japanese wedding pictures I really would like to see what a Japanese wedding looks like!!!

  106. anon said, on December 19, 2008 at 9:07 pm

    Damn, Az, it sounds like they literally tore you a new asshole.

  107. Jonadab the Unsightly One said, on December 20, 2008 at 11:29 am

    On the one hand, I think I’d maybe be a little hesitant to go to any hospital that only charges a hundred bucks, out of fear that their idea of treatment might involve leeches or perhaps a witch doctor, or amputation without anesthesia. This is probably an irrational phobia driven by my distorted American cultural expectations, but my gut instinct is that if they only charge a hundred bucks there’s no way they could be a legitimate medical facility.
    At least in your case they gave you enough pain killers (the injection was probably that stabbing pain you felt initially) so that the procedure didn’t hurt much. Sounds like you got off easy.
    And if it _worked_, then you also got off pretty easy on the bill, all told. Three hundred bucks for an effective medical treatment is, in a word, cheap. Around here (Ohio) it’s considered normal for a hospital bill to run into five figures. A hundred bucks a visit is not unheard-of as a co-pay amount, for a _doctor’s office_ visit, for people who have reasonably good (but not terrific) medical insurance. It could be more if you haven’t met your deductible yet. The total bill for a hospital visit would invariably run rather higher. For what you had done at the second visit alone, there would be at _least_ three bills, from the hospital, the anesthesiologist, and doctor who performed the primary procedure. Each of these would run into at least four figures, as would the bills for the other two visits. If you don’t have insurance, you’re on the hook for most of that. (Although, if you’re unemployed or don’t make much you can often get a chunky percentage of a large bill waived, because the hospital would rather collect a percentage than drive you to declare bankruptcy, in which case they could end up with less or nothing. This, naturally, contributes to higher costs for everyone else.)
    Of course, for your five-figure American medical expenditure you do get significantly more medical care. First they invariably do a bunch of tests, then multiple doctors look at the results and consider everything carefully, then someone explains your treatment options to you in detail until your eyes glaze over, then they probably refer you to a specialist, who gives you a second opinion and some more tests before settling on an actual procedure, which you can be assured is done with the most advanced technique modern medicine has on offer. Afterward they schedule you for more tests, just to be sure everything turned out right, and have you see another specialist for a second opinion on that… Also the hospitals here generally serve restaurant-style food, if you’re into that sort of thing. So you’re not paying for _nothing_. But still, all of that doesn’t put any money back in your wallet.
    So you get better medical care in US hospitals, but the Japanese way definitely lets you off easier financially. I guess that’s what they call a trade-off.
    On a totally unrelated note, if you do decide to go with a donation drive for stories/pictures, you might get more response if it’s a scale, and you keep the amount updated. That is to say, you establish up front that if you get Amount A you will post Item A, but if Amount B comes in you will post Item B (and possibly Item A as well), and for Amount C you will throw in Item C, and so forth. Then post daily updates on how much has come in so far. That way people feel like their donation makes a concrete difference. Who knows, you might get enough to cover those hospital bills!

  108. RonaldBakbacon said, on December 20, 2008 at 6:06 pm

    Dear sweet Jesus! A similar thing happened to my father, except they had to cut a chunk out of his back.
    They should have let you keep the cut, charred flesh in a jar, and preserve it in formaldehyde.
    Y’know, for a memento. Then whenever you had friends over and they asked, “What the hell is that?”, you could say it was the first step in your cloning process.
    Merry Christmas!

  109. Alex said, on December 20, 2008 at 6:26 pm

    I was eating.
    Was.

  110. Journ-O-LST-3 said, on December 21, 2008 at 9:51 am

    In China, got some back x-rays for around $12USD. More or less like the x-rays I’ve had before except no lead for the boys and the doctor was smoking (he bummed me a smoke after the x-rays).

  111. Justanothermom said, on December 21, 2008 at 11:47 am

    As horrible as this experience was, I’m so glad it’s over with for you and that you are healing up. It’s miserable to be in the holiday season and having to suffer through with any type of illness or injury. I pray you’re at 100% by this Thursday, if you’re not already, so you can enjoy the day, in whatever way you celebrate!
    Merry Christmas!!!!!
    And Merry Christmas to all the readers on this site, as well!!!!

  112. dan said, on December 21, 2008 at 8:00 pm

    At the same time my wife makes a big thing about visiting British hospitals since she thinks that our doctors are all incompetent. She thinks this mainly because the doctors explain what they are up to and even – shock, horror – ask your opinion on how to proceed. They do this in the interests of letting you have a say in what happens to you so that you can’t sue the crap out of them if something goes wrong, but really they don’t do much to hide what they think is the right course of action. For this they stand accused of not knowing what they should do and that is an abrogation of their Socratic oath. Apparently.

  113. Charchris said, on December 21, 2008 at 10:49 pm

    i was eat too.. still am 😀

  114. redD0g said, on December 23, 2008 at 12:06 am

    Hey Azrael,
    Entertaining post as usual. Question. How can you not see your Gaijin Smash posts as a blog? I’ve often agonised over how much personal info to reveal, and whether writing about just me is too egotistical. But although yours may not be purely random musings, they are stilla blog about your thoughts and experiences here in Disney Land. Maybe I misunderstood your comments.
    Oh and is Outpost 9 another blog or a reference to Japan?
    Red
    Kobe/Osaka
    (Az’s Note: Personally, to me blogs are often just random thoughts blurted out. Maybe I’m wrong, but that’s my personal impression of the genre. When I write something, I try to write about something that I believe other people would find entertaining. So while that includes random musings, I don’t want to make the “Hi, I did this today and felt this way and that was that, how about you?” post. So for that reason I avoid the word “blog”. But again, that’s just my personal thing.)

  115. wildarmsheero said, on December 23, 2008 at 12:44 am

    >>Unfortunately, as it turns out my wife is a major worry wart. So whenever the smallest little health concern comes up, her immediate and unwavering response is “you need to go to the hospital!”
    I’ve noticed this a lot in Japanese entertainment– whenever a character in some show has something like a cold, everyone insists that they go the hospital. Not just the doctor’s office, /the hospital/. Is it just some Japanese thing?

  116. Gadebalran said, on December 23, 2008 at 11:06 pm

    First time leaving a comment, been reading for a long while now though. Something similar happened to my stepfather about 10 years ago or so, when a fiddleback spider bit him on the thigh. Since their venom is necrotic and rots the flesh, he had to have a big chunk cut out that left a hole about the size of a baseball in his leg. He had to clean it and pack it with guaze for a while till it healed up.

  117. IGGI said, on December 23, 2008 at 11:46 pm

    I was eating.
    Didn’t blink though. Kept eating.

  118. dave said, on December 24, 2008 at 6:33 am

    it’s already been a year since you kneeled down in front of your lady at the kyoto christmass tree ? bet you haven’t sen time pass too.

  119. Gino said, on December 24, 2008 at 6:46 pm

    because you probably won’t update on the day of presents…
    Happy Chrismahanakwanzaka Az.

  120. Jimmy said, on December 25, 2008 at 4:01 am

    I love how every other comment seems to be from someone who thinks they know what you have. On the plus side though, atleast they have an opinion, and the doctor you paid did not.

  121. Vanagib - Adam said, on December 25, 2008 at 6:45 am

    Merry Christmas, Az.
    It’s stories like this that make me sit back and be thankful for the NHS…

  122. CDC said, on December 26, 2008 at 1:40 pm

    If it is MRSA your wife is probably AT RISK.

  123. Cheryl said, on December 26, 2008 at 5:08 pm

    Look at the bright side, if you had been in the US when this happened, you would have had to pay A LOT more for treatment if you didn’t have insurance.
    We paid $500 once for 5 stitches in a head laceration at the ER… and that was 9 years ago.

  124. Rain said, on December 31, 2008 at 3:29 pm

    I can’t imagine having a hole right under my ass, especially paying a doctor to put one there. What the hell kind of evil spider got a hold of your ass??
    **-2008 End of Year Blog Marathon- You are my 66th stop in an 8 hour posting extravaganza! A link to your site will be posted at Stomped Monster!** Follow my marathon live at Twitter: DIY_Rain

  125. Tomoyo said, on December 31, 2008 at 9:01 pm

    Um… so did you at least find out what the heck that was? Was it a bug bite? An abscess? A tumor? Your unborn twin? An extra ball? What?
    I’ll keel over if it turned out to be an ingrown hair.

  126. mina_prefect said, on January 1, 2009 at 9:51 am

    To be fair, a lot of men are massively unwilling to go to the doctor. When my dad went in for a blocked artery (he’d been having symptoms for over 18 hours at that point) he mentioned to the nurses “while I’m here, I’ve been peeing blood” how long? 4 years. And no, no doctor visits in that period.
    Consider your wife’s willingness to get you checked out by a doctor not only as a tribute, but also as a sign of clarity and recognition that most men will not go to the doctors even when it’s decidedly urgent.
    On another note;
    I had a mole removed from my top left butt cheek once and they also cut it straight down to the muscle. I could see the muscle move when I tensed my ass. I don’t know if it’s standard procedure for a boil, but all dermatologists are sadistic bastards. I don’t want to get into details, but I was not given any pain medicine (topical or pill) after they cut a hole through my labia (another mole.) Be ecstatic that they were merciful enough to give you pain medicine at all. You are one lucky bastard, even if you only have 98% of your skin left.

  127. Erica said, on January 1, 2009 at 3:43 pm

    This entry really scares me. Speaking of getting sick in Japan, I remember you saying you have an allergy to fish? So do I and I’m supposed to be studying abroad in Japan soon…any tips to avoid a trip to the hospital for what would apparently end up becoming a complete debacle?
    (Az’s Note: Wow, another person with this allergy. I think that makes like 3 of us.
    My advice? Don’t eat fish. Harder than it sounds, I know. If you don’t know for sure what it is, don’t eat it, and ask someone who would know. Fish pops up in a lot of stuff, so when in even the slightest doubt, ask. I’ve asked “Does this have fish in it?” for loaves of bread even.)

  128. Hermexial said, on January 14, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    Oddly enough, I was in fact eating when I read that part.

  129. Ljufa said, on January 19, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    I just wanted to tell you that…… I was eating. But, I think this is entirely my fault, the title was sort of a giveaway that I should have saved it for later.
    As a victim of medical malpractice in America, I’m already wary of hospitals, but holy shit, at least here you can get 20 pamphlets about drilling-hole-in-ass surgery or whatever name they give it, before they start doing god-knows-what to your body. That is some freaky shit, man.

  130. Anonymous said, on January 21, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    I broke a vertebrae and herniated a disc working for a Japanese company. I was in extreme pain and they gave me a “strong painkiller”. This was BS as it was a liquid that you rolled on. I went back with our translator (a female of course) and was given some more “painkiller”. As the doctor explained, I noticed she turn red from blushing. I asked what was wrong, “The doctor told me about taking the medicine.” “Yes”, I answered. “You need to stick it in your butt.” I about died laughing as the doctor and nurse looked at me like a crazy person. “How is sticking this in my butt going to help my back?” I asked. “You can absorb the medicine faster”, the translator said.
    Didn’t work. The doctor then wanted to operate and cut part of my spine out. I asked to get a opinion from a American doctor(at my own expense). This really angered him (and my company). How dare I question a Japanese doctor?
    The American doctor said the surgery the Japanese doctor wanted to do would probably cripple me be shattering the bone (this was a top back surgeon talking). I decided against it.
    About a month later, my company said it was useless to get Japanese disability (this ended my career due to not being able to lift) and if I pursued it they would get other employees to say I wasn’t following the rules when I was hurt (a lie, I was) This caused several honest employees and translators to resign. Angry over this, my company bought out (by force and threat of firing) mine and the other American employees contracts. We were given a month to leave. Fine, I know when I’m not wanted.
    Karma is a bitch. After we left, orders went down, complaints went up and they closed down the program and business.
    I love Japan (especially my wife), but will never work there or see another Japanese doctor again.

  131. Anonymous said, on January 21, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    I broke a vertebrae and herniated a disc working for a Japanese company. I was in extreme pain and they gave me a “strong painkiller”. This was BS as it was a liquid that you rolled on. I went back with our translator (a female of course) and was given some more “painkiller”. As the doctor explained, I noticed she turn red from blushing. I asked what was wrong, “The doctor told me about taking the medicine.” “Yes”, I answered. “You need to stick it in your butt.” I about died laughing as the doctor and nurse looked at me like a crazy person. “How is sticking this in my butt going to help my back?” I asked. “You can absorb the medicine faster”, the translator said.
    Didn’t work. The doctor then wanted to operate and cut part of my spine out. I asked to get a opinion from a American doctor(at my own expense). This really angered him (and my company). How dare I question a Japanese doctor?
    The American doctor said the surgery the Japanese doctor wanted to do would probably cripple me be shattering the bone (this was a top back surgeon talking). I decided against it.
    About a month later, my company said it was useless to get Japanese disability (this ended my career due to not being able to lift) and if I pursued it they would get other employees to say I wasn’t following the rules when I was hurt (a lie, I was) This caused several honest employees and translators to resign. Angry over this, my company bought out (by force and threat of firing) mine and the other American employees contracts. We were given a month to leave. Fine, I know when I’m not wanted.
    Karma is a bitch. After we left, orders went down, complaints went up and they closed down the program and business.
    I love Japan (especially my wife), but will never work there or see another Japanese doctor again.

  132. Johnny A. said, on January 24, 2009 at 8:09 am

    The medical problem sounds like the pilonidal cyst that made Rush Limbaugh so completely unable to serve in Vietnam. Too bad you don’t have a draft that you need to avoid, now it’s just an expensive pain.

  133. D said, on January 29, 2009 at 1:28 am

    Just throwing this out there – but I *do* have insurance in the US and it still costs me a $100 copay when I go to the hospital…i miss my Japanese insurance…

  134. Gaijin Zoo said, on February 10, 2009 at 8:59 pm

    Haha this post is a crack up! great writing style…you had me actually laughing out loud…I’m still snickering.
    This line had be in blisters “Well, I dunno what this guy specialized in, but apparently holes in the back on one’s ass was not it.”
    I’ve never been to the hospital and hopefully never will have the need. I actually have a similar “bite” on my elbow which I squeezed the puss and blood out of the other day. It’s taking a while to heal..but I would rather it take a week than have them cut and replace my whole elbow joint.
    Cheers,
    Stu from Gaijin Zoo

  135. Mary said, on March 1, 2009 at 12:15 am

    I don’t know why but I laughed. It sounds like it hurted, yet I still can’t help but burst out laughing everytime I think of it.

  136. Anonymous said, on March 2, 2009 at 1:49 am

    “I am an American living in Japan. How does that happen, anyway? Most people just come here to eat a few authentic sushi rolls, take in a temple or two, and bring home some fancy hi-tech gadget to impress their friends with. ”
    Most? How would you know?
    Also, I can answer your question: JET and You applied for it.
    It seems like you may possibly be unique in your reason for coming to Japan.
    The rest of your blog is descent.

  137. Anonymous said, on March 2, 2009 at 1:49 am

    “I am an American living in Japan. How does that happen, anyway? Most people just come here to eat a few authentic sushi rolls, take in a temple or two, and bring home some fancy hi-tech gadget to impress their friends with. ”
    Most? How would you know?
    Also, I can answer your question: JET and You applied for it.
    It seems like you may possibly be unique in your reason for coming to Japan.
    The rest of your blog is descent.

  138. Kamui said, on May 23, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    Actually, they use the same treatment for warts. Except warts are much smaller. It’s just much more extreme version of it. I’ve had it done myself and the reason you didn’t feel anything was because, yeah, they used some reallllllly good painkillers. Then they burn around the edges to prevent the whatever-it-is from coming back. It also allows for faster healing. You’ll have a nice scar, though.


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