Getting Sick in Japan

Thursday, December 12, 2019


Getting Sick in Japan
In today's article, I'll talk about the many illnesses I've had since moving to Japan. I'll also give some tips on medicine you can buy at the pharmacy (over the counter medicine).

Being in a New Country

Japanese garden
Before I came to Japan, I would have considered myself to be pretty healthy. I tried to eat well, and I drank a fruit and veggie smoothie almost every night. I worked at a hospital, in an office, but I didn't interact with kids. Well, that changed when I moved to Japan.
My first job in Japan was at a children's eikaiwa. It was also was my first time in a new country. New country plus children DOES NOT mix well. I got sick quite often. I also had to go to the doctor quite often, but I was introduced to a new medicine.

A Lifesaver

Japanese medicine 1
THIS medicine was a lifesaver for me. I often get throat illnesses, and when I take this medicine, I feel like my throat is dried out the next morning. I feel like the mucous is gone. However, for this medicine, I only take it at night. It knocks me out, so I can’t take it during the day. If you try this medicine, I would try it at night first to see your reaction to it. It's a pretty good medicine. I should also mention that in my first year, I also drank A LOT. But being exposed to new/ foreign germs is a thing all of its own. I didn't think my body would react the way it did but be warned.

My second year in Japan was much worse than the previous one. That year, I worked at a preschool. Everyone is in close proximity to each other. I also had added stress of being the main teacher to seventeen students. I had to speak often even when my class was over, because I had to teach other classes. I also had to be more active than before, and I had a lot more responsibilities than before. I was extremely stressed and had a lot of anxiety. That's definitely another reason why I was sick so often. I didn't really have time to go to the doctor, so I took the same medicine as before. Be warned, for me this medicine was like NyQuil. To be honest, after taking it for a few days and then trying to stop was hard. I couldn't sleep without it!! But I managed.

Being Sick for Almost 3 Months!

Japanese medicine 2
Now we're back to present day. I'm working at a new preschool, in a new area of Japan. Therefore, there are a TON of new germs that my body isn't used to. I have gotten small illnesses here and there UNTIL August. In August is when it hit the fan. I got sick a week before leaving to the US. I was sick my whole time in the US (2 weeks). I thought when I returned to Japan, and went back to my normal schedule, that it would go away. NOPE. I had been sick from August to almost November. I went out for Halloween. The next day, and for a few days after, I thought I was going to die... No joke! I was coughing up so much fluid, I had a fever, my throat was killing me, and there was blood involved. I had almost healed from the first illness when I went out on Halloween, but after Halloween, it came back with a vengeance. I should have gone to the hospital, but the English-speaking doctor is only there sometimes so I had to wait. I took the medicine above to help with the symptoms.

My New New Illness

Japanese medicine 3
It's now December, and I'm sick YET AGAIN. I tried a new medicine to help my throat, and it worked! My husband said it's mostly for headaches, but that it is a famous medicine in Japan. I felt much better than when I took the medicine above. But I will say that the next day I had the worst headache imaginable. That however could have been due to my excessive blowing of my nose.
These medicines are alternatives if you don't have time to make it to the doctor. Good luck on staying healthy while in Japan.