IMG_2313_editWell, it turns out all of Ellie’s whining during the plane ride was for a very good reason. When we put Ellie to bed that first night, she had a mild fever. And by morning it had blossomed into a full-fledged cold complete with runny nose, sore throat, and a cough. I guess all that excitement finally caught up with her.

To complicate matters, Chloe also had a fever and a cold started by morning. Oh boy, our 2014 Japan Christmas Extravaganza was off to a rough start!

What’s worse than dealing with two jet-lagged kids? Two sick jet-lagged kids.

We needed to keep them awake to get adjusted to the time but they felt miserable. How do you keep a sick jet-lagged kid from falling asleep? It turns out you don’t.

Poor kids, all they wanted to do was sleep. Even after a nap Ellie was begging to go to bed. We promised her that when it was 6pm she could go to bed (wow, was this happening? Me begging Ellie to stay awake?) For about two hours Ellie kept asking every ten minutes, “Daddy, is it 6 O’Clock yet?” in her most whiney whimpery voice ever.

Chloe wasn’t much better. She just bounced back and forth from my lap to Aya’s. “Daddy!” she’d yelp climbing on me. Then “Mama!” as she climbed down and headed over to Aya.

IMG_2329_editIMG_2320_editAfter two days and two nights with persistent fevers, they were both so miserable you couldn’t help but feel sympathetic for them. Poor Ellie was so excited and now all she wanted to do was sleep. What were we going to do?

Once Chloe developed a case of diarrhea (which I found out the hard way as she unloaded it while sitting on my lap. Ellie did the same thing to me ten minutes later) we decided to take them to the doctor. I can’t say that I’ve ever been to a doctor in a different state, let alone another country. Well, now I can and it was a pretty neat experience.

This place was super small and sandwiched between two houses on some random side street. Out front in the “parking lot” there were a few bikes and a few strollers. The waiting room seating four people at best, which was okay because there was no wait. The doctor saw Ellie, Chloe, and Aya (yes Aya, she developed a cough and a fever as well) within 30 minutes. And that included filling out forms!  Not only that, all three of their bills combined came to a total of less than $120. That’s the cost without insurance.  We got travel insurance, but we would’ve had to pay a deductible which is a lot more than $120. When we told Aya’s parents how much we paid without insurance, they were surprised at how expensive it was. WOW. Talk about a culture shock. And to show that we aren’tall that different after all, the kids got stickers after their appointments.

IMG_2354_editIMG_2360_editThe thing that really surprised me though was when a mom rolled up with her stroller and two children. While she went inside to check-in, she left her purse in the stroller and her two children alone outside all while me, the strange looking American guy lurked with a camera. That’s just how things are here, Aya’s dad explained to me. Even the bikes parked at the supermarket are filled with bags, packages, and coats and are left unattended. Wow, it’s nice to see people still have trust.

With our visit to the doctor over and a few prescriptions filled (again, very affordable with no insurance) hopefully we were on the road to health.

Now all we had to do was to get them to take their medicine. Only three times a day. It’s been four hours and Ellie is still refusing this first batch. Chloe gulped hers down with no trouble.

What was that I said about not loving one child more than the other?

The plus side is that instead of being stuck inside at home, I’m stuck inside in Japan and I don’t have to cook at all!

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