The rounds of health check at school have begun. While I do think it is wonderful that specialists come into the schools and check the kids for all sorts of things, the cattle call style leaves quite a lot of room for error.
The kids give urine and stool sampes, I will spare you the details of the stool gathering missions.
Eyes and ears are checked for disease and function, , teeth are looked at plus a general physical.
If the doctor thinks something needs a further loook, you get a letter home an have to take them to the appropriate place for a look.
When Kev was in the 1st grade, he first got letters saying we should check out his hearing and his vision. I took him to the ENT, who incidentally is the same doctor who gave the check at the school.
He tested Kev’s hearing and said it was fine and I paid him 2,000 yen for an all clear letter. Now I am of course glad that my son’s hearing is fine, but at the same time there is something a bit hinkey about the ENT doc issuing the letters then us having to pay 2000 yen for an all clear.
A lot of people get the letters, so that is a lot of people turning up at this guys private practice and shelling out.
Anyway, the vision test was fine too, the doctor said the test in the school is not conducted under the best of conditions, light not good etc, so a false impression is easy to get, verdict, Kev’s vision is fab, he can see clear across the room, the kid can see the middle of next week, clairvoyant even.
Then one morning as I was pulling the crap out of the bottom of his school bag I found another letter, I grabbed it and sent him off to school.
This one was from the routine physical.
Now I can’t read a lot of Japanese characters, but I could read one that was coming up over and over again, because it is part of Kev’s very own name…HEART, Kev’s HEART blah blah blah HEART blah blah…
and then NO P.E, NO SWIMMING.
OMG, I couldn’t read the rest but clearly something was desperately wrong with his heart. I had just watched that film with Denzel, where the seemingly healthy kid almost dies and he needs a heart translplant and the HMO wont pay for it and Denzel takes the hospital hostage, wondering where I would get a gun at such short notice, and should I pick him up from school, what if he collapsed under the strain of carrying his bag up hill all the way home.
I picked him up from school and took him straight to the Doc. who said he had some kind of mild and fleeting and entirely benign murmur, that is apparently extremely common in boys of his age.
Money paid, worry gone.
So I am used to these letters, but I as not prepared for yesterday’s when Jim came home with a possible problem from his physical.
I couldn’t read any of the words in the suspected problem and had to wait for Sunshine to get in from school. She couldn’t read anything except SPINE, without the aid of a dictionary, eventually we discovered he had to be checked for SCOLLIOSIS. Aaargh!!!
Threw Jim in the car and headed for the hospital, where the doc said that scolliosis is extremely rare in 7 year old boys, but he would do an X-ray to rule out the possibility that Jim is in fact a 12 year old girl.
Tests done and thankfully, he has no signs of scolliosis.
2 hours later , walking with our perfectly aligned spines and much relieved we could think about making dinner.