Currently Out Of Order

I learned some great lessons today. Mainly the importance of touch but also, gratitude, for the little things, which turn out to be the big things – something much has been said about and will undoubtedly continue to be talked and discussed, and love and how love is everything.

Long story short, I became very ill.Very quickly. I felt nauseous then vomited a lot (sorry), felt extremely weak and cold. My head hurt, my stomach hurt, I was dizzy and to top it all off, I started to panic. Panic and stress about what was happening to me but also where it was happening to me: rural japan, where I can’t speak the language, where the doctors terrify me and where I live alone, just me.

Next, I did two things. One, sent a simple message to my friend Yuko about having to cancel coffee and second, sleep. Or at least, made an attempt to sleep.

One hour later, the amount of time it takes me to drive to Yuko’s or from Yuko’s to me, I hear the doorbell ring. Ding dong! Here is Yuko, all flustered and worried (but still stunning, always stunning) with an armful of things. Water, fruit, cooked mixed rice and tofu amongst other things. We (her and her husband) are driving you to the hospital, come she says. Side note: Japan doesn’t have GPs, so everyone goes to “the hospital” for everything which on another note, has freaked me out plenty. Your daughter is in hospital?! WHY! You were in hospital this morning?! AH! Though in this case, I would have probably gone to a hospital anyhow seeing as it was Sunday and an emergency.

I was checked by the doctor, given a blood test (after four unsuccessful jabs to the hand and wrist) and hooked up to an IV for an hour. Now, I feel better. I have been given three days of rest but I cannot eat or even think about eating let alone cook/prepare it and blog about it. So my point in writing this post is this: that the entire time I lay on the hospital bed, staring at the ceiling with pain radiating through my entire existence, Yuko held my hand in hers. And rubbed my head and told me that everything was going to be okay. WOW how great it felt to be touched. In the midst of all the pain, the miscommunication and the homesickness, what I thought about was how lovely it was to have my hand in hers. Which brings me to the importance of touch. The great Leo Buscaglia once said, “too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around”. My life was turned around. Her touch gave me hope and serenity. Two powerful forces which allowed me to see, even amongst the difficulty, my life in all its love and blessings.

Next, I want to share a quote by Christopher Aiff, a quote I believe will be a good concluder for this speech:

“The decision to be positive is not one that disregards or belittles the sadness that exists. It is rather a conscious choice to focus on the good and to cultivate happiness–genuine happiness. Happiness is not a limited resource. And when we devote our energy and time to trivial matters, and choose to stress over things that ultimately are insignificant. From that point, we perpetuate our own sadness, and we lose sight of the things that really make us happy and rationalize our way out of doing amazing things.”

Which is how I can be happy. Happy alone – well, not really. Happy to be alive. Happy thinking of becoming healthy and happy for the adventure that awaits me post (and heck, during) sick leave. So dear reader, stay positive and TOUCH (me) hehe.


  1. Poor thing. I had the flu in Japan and just going to a pharmacy where no one was actually a pharmacist freaked me out! My thoughts are with you for a speedy recovery!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Allah’u’abha dear Anisa…Your story of courage in times of test is one that reminded me of my service in China…I was alone and fell ill but felt the same love and support from the friends in China….These moments only show how God works mysteriously and that we are never alone and as humans we need the support of one another.
    I pray for your quick recovery.
    Much love to you and Yuko:)
    Nadia ( from Au):)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m glad you shared this although I know it must have been highly physically & emotionally draining for you to do so. I know what a difference that touch & that presence a friend can make. I had a car accident in October, immediately as soon as my friends got word they were there. When I had my transplant evaluation in August, I had a complication after a test & it was a hard thing to go through. My friend held my hand through it all. I imagine it was tough for her to watch this, but still she stood fast for me. Friends like that are rare. I’m glad you have one too.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Justin recently had something very similar…sickest he has ever been. Might be something going around there. Like you, a Japanese family took great care of him, took him to the hospital, brought food, etc.

    Get well soon!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sorry it took me awhile to get in “touch” here; I save the best for last (that’s you). May you see always many sunny sides and may they come back to you thousandfold. Hope you are already recovered as you read this. To make sure, I got on the horn (shofar?) and asked G-d to make you better. Hope He isn’t too distracted right now and heard me. Wishing you well. Weird, but I was thinking about when I was a kid and the same thing; I still have major holes in my inner elbow from it. Now, I know why it must’ve popped into my head…. Shalom and Briyut (there’s that good ‘ole hearty “Briyut”! I was telling you about…)!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hey you be good now. Food should not matter we care about your health in this time more than we care about your activities get well write and tell me about it when you do. Buona Notte which in Italian means goodnight actually it’s morning here its 1:30 a.m. which means in Japan time it’s 2:30 p.m. Monday. Be well in all things


  7. I just wanted to send a little note to say that I hope you feel better soon, and that I am so grateful for and enjoying your blog. I’m a fellow resident of rural Japan, and working hard to be mindful in all things (though living in such a foreign place makes this very challenging at times), especially eating! I also had to take a trip to the hospital recently due to illness, or rather a mysterious allergic reaction (something in this country is giving me hives, let’s hope I find out what it is soon…), it was definitely a trip filled with miscommunication and homesickness, but I made it through, and you did too! Thank you so much for your lovely thoughts, and in particular for the lovely Christopher Aiff quote, it is so needed and good.
    Much, much love!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow Annika. I’m so sorry you had a bad experience too :( Yes, I think the inaka life made me sick cos I didn’t eat or do anything different… I wish you a fast recovery and am so humbled that you enjoy my blog. So much love to you xx


  8. Just seeing this after a busy work week. I am sorry to hear you were ill but happy to hear things are bettering.

    The Nurse in me is curious to ask what your diagnosis was. Obviously dehydration after all that vomiting. Sounds like food poisoning perhaps or a nasty short lived bug.

    For the record, IV sticks are tough enough on some folks but if they are dehydrated…way harder. I’m happy they were able to rehydrate you.

    Liked by 1 person

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