Hidemi’s Rambling by Hidemi Woods

Singer, Songwriter and Author from Kyoto, Japan.

Escape from the Snow World hr565

The mountain region in Japan where I live is covered with seven to ten feet of snow every winter. My town is in a close area with mountains in all directions. Those mountains turn into tall white walls in winter. Deep snow lies beneath, white walls stand around, and snowflakes constantly cover the sky above. It gives me a sense of being contained in a white box. As winter deepens, I begin to feel claustrophobia and suffocating. For that reason, I take a trip to the snow-free region and stay there for a few days every winter. I stayed at a hotel near Narita Airport and one near Tokyo Disneyland this winter because they became bargain prices by using my accumulated points of the hotel chain’s loyalty program that I had gained with a trip to Montreal. Since I was entitled to use a pool and a sauna for free at the hotel near the airport, I brought my new swimsuit that had been sleeping in the back of my drawer for more than ten years and looked out-dated even though it hadn’t been worn. Right after I checked in, I rushed into the pool. As I was swimming watching a plane flying over me through the round glass ceiling, I remembered how pleasant swimming was. I used to swim in the pool at the gym a couple of days a week until about ten years ago. I would care about my health and stamina so much, but I have gradually become a night owl and put on weight. I decided to take this opportunity to restart my health-conscious life. Next morning, while almost every part of my body was aching, I had breakfast at the buffet restaurant in the hotel. Most guests were from foreign countries because the hotel was close to the airport. I felt as if I was eating abroad and it cost a minimum to take an imaginary overseas trip. After I stuffed a whole day’s amount of food into my stomach by eating for two hours there, I left for an outlet mall near the hotel. I usually enjoy strolling around a mall and looking for a bargain price, but I returned to the hotel quite early this time in order to swim in the evening. Before I checked out next morning, I went back to the pool again. Then I moved to the hotel near Tokyo Disneyland and found that the pool there was free too. I ended up swimming four times during this four-day trip. Although I was supposed to be healthier when I came home, I started coughing next day and it didn’t stop. Whether this trip was effective or not was now questionable. Did I catch a cold at a warmer place where I bothered to travel to get away from my cold town? Besides, my region has had unusually little snow this winter and neither the ground nor the mountains are all white. I can’t tell what I took that trip for after all…

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Vertigo hr564

When I woke up in the morning and sit up on the bed, my room whirled before my eyes. Anxiety was what I felt first thing in the morning. I wondered if I had a serious illness, if I was developing a brain tumor, if my autonomic nerve was damaged and if I couldn’t live a healthy life any longer. I was swallowed up by the waves of all kinds of negative thoughts. It was how I started a brand-new day and I had been in this mess for over a week. I sometimes feel dizzy but vertigo rarely happens to me. It occurred only three times to the best of my memory. The first time was when I was fourteen and dieting solely on watermelon. I had eaten nothing but watermelon for three days and had vertigo in the morning of the fourth day. The diet ended there and my weight rebounded, as is the way with dieting. The second time was about two years ago when I continued lack of sleep for years to keep religiously my daily routine of taking an early morning spa. I had a massive attack of vertigo in the middle of the night and scribbled an instant will because I believed I was dying. And this recent week-long dizziness was the third time. Since it has become my mantra that “there’s always an answer on the Internet,” I looked it up online. Most websites gave lengthy negative possibilities of serious illnesses that threw readers down into the depths of anxiety. They concluded that dizzy spells could lead to complete deafness or death. Those pieces of information weren’t what I was looking for. I wanted to know how to cure. I kept searching for remedy, but all ‘How to Cure’ sections were the same; Go see a doctor. Do they think we don’t come up with that idea until we look up on the Internet? I wouldn’t have been online if I had decided to see a doctor in the first place. The point was, I was on the net not to see a doctor. I learned from my experience that going to the doctor would do more harm than good in most cases. When I see a doctor, I need to get up early in the morning, wait for a long time at the hospital for my turn while being exposed to various viruses of other patients, go through all kinds of medical examination, get sucked my blood, take numerous kinds of medicine, get more ill by the medicine’s side effects and feel more stress and anxiety. I don’t trust especially clinics and hospitals in Japan. I once went to the dentist for a root canal. Although the treatment was supposed to be done in one visit, the doctor divided it into four extremely short visits. On the last visit when the treatment was all done, the doctor told me to make another appointment because he found a cavity in my back tooth. As I didn’t notice it and it didn’t hurt at all, I said that I didn’t want the treatment and wouldn’t come. Then he told me, rather threatened me, that even if it didn’t hurt, leaving a cavity would be catastrophic. He added, “A cavity is cancer.” I was deeply intimidated by the sound of ‘cancer’, but still kept cool enough to judge that a cavity was quite different from cancer. I never went there again. Since I had no intention to go to the doctor this time as well, I looked up my dizziness further on the Internet. I came across one US website that finally said about the cure for my symptoms. It illustrated how to move my head to stop vertigo and it cured my week-long dizzy spells instantly with one simple try. I had a pleasant morning without vertigo at last. Internet solved my problem yet again, big time. I read on about what caused it after all and the site said stress. I don’t know any illness which causes don’t include stress. I don’t know how to live without stress either…

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