one reason i didn't blog much last month was poor sasha. in december (or late november) we noticed a strange bump on sasha's lower abdomen. since december is such a busy month, i didn't get a chance to take her to the doctor until january. i thought it might be a hernia of some kind, but of course needed a doctor to take a look at it. i took her to a local clinic, and the doctor there had a look and then used the ultrasound machine on her. he wasn't quite sure, but thought it was probably a hernia and referred us to the children's hospital in fukuoka. the following week we went in (yoshi, too).

the doctor checked, then had us to have another ultrasound and yes, it was definitely a hernia. and the doctor wanted sasha to have surgery right away to fix it. well. this was a bit of a problem because one of us had to stay with her overnight (me, obviously), and we needed to figure out what we were going to do with hiro and tommy. yoshi took one day off, we arranged for hiro to go to a friend's house for one afternoon, and poor tommy spent a lot of time at the yochien.

sasha and i went into the hospital on a tuesday. i brought a new box of crayons, a fresh coloring book, a new doll and a little teddy bear for sasha (i also had some old stick-on earrings, but the didn't really stick well), plus a portable DVD player and some DVDs, and was able to keep her mostly entertained until just before surgery. she was starting to get bored by then, but afterward, it was just the perfect amount of things she could do. of course, there was a play room, but it wasn't quite what sasha likes to do (mostly run and jump and climb and...). the food (for the kids) was terrible (really overcooked stuff, poor kids) but the food for me (ordered from the shoku-do downstairs) was really great. i didn't get a chance to take a shower, so i was really relieved when we were allowed to go home on thursday (which was the original plan, but i didn't think i would make it another day without bathing!)

the hospital is in the middle of the city, very near momochi beach, and our room had a view of the fukuoka dome and fukuoka tower. it was also very very cold the three days we were there, and i was grateful to have a warm place to stay! we rented a cot for me (something like 200 yen a day), and i brought my own pillow and bed cover from home, and it was actually pretty comfortable.

the hardest part (besides watching my baby girl being wheeled away) was spending time with the other kids on the ward. even though it was surgery and we had to stay overnight, sasha was really quite healthy. some of the other children there were not quite so lucky. but they all seemed upbeat, and i really admire the parents who were there. we shared a room with a baby (who also had a simple procedure, but i don't know what it was) and a boy who seemed to be a fourth grader. he had a bandage on his arm, so he obviously had surgery on it, but i don't know what he was hospitalized for. but he was there alone during the day, his father would come to visit for an hour or so in the evening. this is quite beyond my understanding (i know that not everyone can be with their kid in hospital, but....) i did hear that elementary kids' parents cannot stay overnight with them. :( that makes me a bit sad.

well, anyway, sasha's surgery was a success and she's doing quite well now. she's such a trooper!

some photos:

view from the room

sasha loved seeing the ships in the harbor.

yahoo dome

i was impressed by the fukuoka dome.

with new dolly

sasha's new doll.

before surgery

before surgery.

sleeping after

and after.

early morning in the hospital

early morning in the hospital.

morning after

feeling better the next morning.

origami tulips from classmates

a bouquet of origami flowers made by sasha's classmates.