Week 20 (March 16)

Posted: March 17, 2014 in Weekly update
Tags: ,

Twenty weeks of TB treatment and I can truly say that I feel pretty “normal” now whatever that means. A little over a month of antibiotics left until my urine will finally return to its usual color (remember the medicine turns my pee a reddish orange color).

Some of you were waiting with bated breath about the results of Kanako’s TB test. Sorry to keep you all in suspense: her blood test came back negative and her cough has dissipated, so you can exhale with a huge sigh of relief. I’m guessing that our air purifiers helped exterminate the airborne particles before they had time to implant themselves in her lungs, or maybe her immune system was strong enough to deal with them on its own. Of course it could have been the Tai Chi power running through her veins….

It was an uneventful week at work with the exception that Thursday’s classes were cancelled because my students had another training session. I didn’t mind having an extra day off (with pay) and celebrated by watching the rain pour down all day. Later that evening we had a minor earthquake that woke us up but otherwise caused no damage. Despite living in a seismically active country, we don’t feel temblors all that often. Folks in Tokyo experience them all the time, but down here in Osaka it’s been relatively calm. Of course, experts predict the great Nankai earthquake will cause great destruction here in western Japan but we’ve all got our fingers crossed that the fault slip won’t occur for a few more centuries.

On Saturday Kanako had a rare day off, so we celebrated her negative TB result by frolicking with the Elves and Orcs of Middle-earth. Despite the fact that the movie is about to be released on DVD, here in Japan it’s just come out in the theaters. The main reason for the delay is so that the dubbed version could be made. Yes, they’re still behind the times here and every Hollywood movie gets overdubs done by famous Japanese actors. When you go to the movies, you have a choice of subtitles or overdubs, so we always go for the subtitled versions, which are certainly less crowded that the ones with all of the actors speaking perfect Japanese. Generally speaking, movies are about 2 to 3 months behind the west, so that the movies you can watch on the airplane are the ones currently being shown in Japanese theaters.

On Sunday, I headed out on yet another hike. Both the pollen counts and PM2.5 were unusually high, but a visit to the deciduous forests could not be put off any longer. As you may recall from earlier posts, I try to hit the trails once a week to give my lungs and muscles a much-needed workout. Today temperatures were well above freezing, resulting in a purging of my skin pores that usually only happens in the humid weather of mid-summer. The cool breezes meant that any lingering breaks brought a chill to the bones. It’ll still be some time before T-shirt weather will officially prevail, but it’s nice to have a sneak preview of things to come.

As a result of exposing my nasal cavity to the elements, my immune system kicked into overdrive after returning from the hike. I called in the back-up troops hidden in the white powdery depths of the Claritin and all returned to normal except for a bit of irritated eyes. Hiking during this season is always a precarious undertaking, but it sure beats the alternative of sitting at home and watching the dust collect on the bookshelves.

My friend Paul navigating the sandstone maze

My friend Paul navigating the sandstone maze

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