Tuesday, October 10, 2006


The Japanese Inhaler

I took my mother to a pulmonary specialist in the US because we thought it would be a good idea to have her medical records in one country. The doctor, a very sharp woman of Chinese descent, found out that my mother had had medical care in Japan.

"What kind of medicine are you taking? What's in it? I can't treat you if I don't know what you are doing!" she scolded us sharply. We were mollified. We felt terrible. We didn't mean to be such disorganized and haphazard patients. It's just that medical care is expensive and a pain in the US. I mean, you know what they say. It's great care if you can get it. But you have to be able to afford it.

My mother took out her inhaler and the doctor eyed it suspiciously. "Do you even know what's in that thing?" she sighed, enormously frustrated.

So, my mother and I huddled together and tried to read the contents, carefully pronouncing the ingredients as they were written in katakana. The doctor took notes. Her expression began to soften after we had agreed upon the third medication.

"Wait. All that in one inhaler." She stopped taking notes. "But, that's amazing! My patients have to have three inhalers sometimes! It's puff, puff, puff!"

There was a small moment in which I felt the tension dissipate.

Then the doctor grumbled. "Well. Of course. It's a Japanese inhaler."

"And very nicely packaged too!" I offered.

Edited to add: You can see the comments on Japundit where I posted the same thing.

"It's great care if you can get it. But you have to be able to afford it."

Yup. And if it wasn't for the lawyers, it would probably be a pretty reasonable price.
Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?