26 April 2008

Day 19: Another day, another doctor

If the police ever picked me up and searched my bag they might wonder why I'm carrying an x-ray and MRI scan of my left leg.

I guess I'd have to tell them about the kindly doctor at Nishimoto Clinic in Ainan-cho. After 2 days of hitchhiking around southern Kochi and Ehime prefectures, my blisters were healing and my left leg was feeling a little better from the rest, less inflamed though still a bit swollen. Considering that perhaps the first doctor I consulted didn't know what he was talking about, I asked about a nearby hospital at the temple where I had spent the night and was directed to Nishimoto, where I was the entertainment of the waiting room for the dozen or so elderly people in for their physical rehabilitation therapy.

The doctor looked and touched and hemmed and hawed before sending me for an x-ray and then an MRI. Both showed the bone was unscathed and the doctor said it was most likely just muscle fatigue. He asked me how much longer I'd be walking and without considering the implication, I said a month. He asked me to wait outside and that he would prepare medicine and bandages.

What I got was a huge bag of cold compresses, spray and ointment pain relievers, and a pocketful of pain pills, a month's worth of medicine that has added another kilo and a big bulge to my backpack. And because the doctor thought I might need to consult another physician while on the road, he also gave me the xray and MRI film, which is much to big to fit in a backpack. I had to roll it up into a tube and strap it to the side of my bag.

After leaving the hospital I got back out on the road and hitchhiked most of the day. I walked perhaps only 5km before pulling into Seiyo city for the night. This morning I walked about 15km from Seiyo into Ozu city and I think that's all the walking I'm doing for the day. The leg is feeling better, but I want to treat it gently for a couple more days and work my way up to another 30km day.

Om namu Amida Butsu


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