Monday 27 July 2015

Amazing experience

An amazing experience...

I have just had the most amazing experience.
Last week on the 22nd I felt ill. At 4am I went to the local hospital emergency area.
I was met by a doctor who spoke English and tried with drugs to treat me, but it didn't work.

The next twenty minutes are a blur, but I remember being taken by ambulance to a major hospital in Urasa one hour away.

It's now 5:30am and I am met by the doctor in charge who speaks English and many nurses who use iPhone translators to talk to me. My pulse rate is over 210, dangerously high. 
The doctor decides that as drugs didn't work to bring my pulse down, I should have shock treatment.
I am sedated and awakened 15 minutes later, my pulse is normal. 

I am admitted to an emergency bed. I meet with the professor in charge who speaks English. He tells me I have pneumonia and have had a heart attack. 

Five days later and after many tests and blood letting and drain things in every orifice I am feeling great. Apparently I also had a blood and kidney infection. All fixed. 

The hospital is fantastic, all first class, world class. The food, even the room I was given on the seventh floor had a view down the valley to my home. 
My own TV. 
Constant supervision, almost hourly visits by a doctor or nurse. Most had mobile translator apps or spoke a little English. 

Unfortunately I have no insurance and even if I had travel insurance, old heart defects make it impossible at my age.

I got a surprise when a social worker told me that she could speak to the Governor and ask for his help if I could not pay.

Of course I paid the account.
Including all medication, anti biotic and saline drips every few hours, CT scans, echo things, X-Rays, I paid under $3000. 

Not to be too dramatic but what price does one put on a life.

Thank you Professor Takaaki Ishiyama and all doctors and staff for your care and compassion. May you all be guarded and guided.

On a lighter note......

For those who love fortunetelling......

In hospital I am reading a book  
'In Ghostly Japan' 
by Lafcadio Hearn. 

He writes Japanese stories about different times, of unusual rituals and ceremonies, places and people.

This story is about the famous Chinese fortune teller who in Japan is called Shoko Setsu.
He is written about in the divination book Baikwa-Shin Eki.

While still a young man Shoko Setsu obtained a high position by reason of his learning and virtue. Within a short time he resigned and went into solitude so that he might give his whole time to study. 

For years thereafter he lived alone in a hut in the mountains; studying without a fire in the winter, without a fan in the summer; writing his thoughts on the walls of his room, for he had no paper, using only a tile for a pillow.

One day, on the hottest day of summer, he felt overcome with fatigue and lay down on his bed, with his tile under his head.
Scarcely had he fallen asleep when a rat ran across his face waking him with a start.
Feeling anger he threw his tile at the rat, he missed the rat, but his tile was broken. 

Shoko Setsu looked sadly at the fragments of his tile and reproached himself for his hastiness. As he picked up the fragments he saw on the exposed part of the clay some Chinese writing. 

He saw to his amazement seventeen characters obviously written some days before the tile was baked.
The characters read 
'In the year of the Hare
 in the fourth month, 
on the seventeenth day, 
at the hour of the Serpent, 
this tile, after serving as a pillow, will be thrown at a rat and be broken'

Now the prediction was fulfilled at the hour of the Serpent, the seventeenth day of the fourth month in the year of the Hare.

Greatly astonished Shoko Setsu
again looked at the tile and saw the seal and the name of its maker.
At once he left his hut, and taking the pieces of the tile, went to the neighbouring town to find its maker.

He found the tilemaker in the course of the day, showed him the broken tile, and asked its history.

After careful examination, 
the tilemaker said;
This tile was made in my house, but the characters were made by an old man-a fortuneteller- who asked permission to write on it before it was baked.

Do you know where he lives?
asked Shoko Setsu.
He used to live not far from here and I can show you where, but I do not know his name.
replied the tilemaker.

Having been guided to the house Shoko Setsu presented himself and asked to be bought before the old man.
A student asked him to come into the apartment and was shown to a room filled with students. As Shoko Setsu took his seat the students all bowed very low. The one who showed him in bowed low and said
We are sorry to tell you our master passed away a few days ago. But we have been waiting for you because he predicted you would come on this day to this house at this hour.

Your name is Shoko Setsu and our master told us to give you this book which he believed will be of service to you, please accept it.

Shoko Setsu was surprised and delighted, for the book was a manuscript of the rarest and most precious kind containing all the secrets of divination.

After having thanked the young man and properly expressing his regret at the death of his master 
he went back to his hut and immediately proceeded to test the books worth in regard to his own fortune.

The book suggested to him that on the south side of the hut at a particular spot good luck awaited him.
He dug at the spot in the corner and found a jar containing enough gold to make him a very wealthy man.


My friend Shoko Setsu left this world as lonely as he had lived in it.

Last winter whilst crossing a mountain pass he was overtaken by a snowstorm and lost his way.

Many days later he was found standing up at the foot of a pine tree, eyes closed and hands in meditation pose. A statue of ice.
I suppose he had fallen asleep in meditation and the snow drift had risen over him.

Hearing of his strange death I remembered the old Japanese saying; 
"Uranaiya minouye shiradzu"
"The fortune teller knows not his   own fate."

My thanks to Lafcadio Hearn

Sent from my iPhone and
With love