Today’s word: netsu
Netsu is the word for “fever.” I was one of those kids who loved going to school, and would actually wake up excited to go. However, when I was slow to get up and complained of not feeling well, my mom would feel my forehead, then take my temperature. She’d look at the thermometer and exclaim, A– netsu ga aru. (“You have a fever.”) This meant staying at home and sleeping for most of the day– something I hated doing then. My mom would have a pitcher of ice water with lemon on a stand near my bed, and she would bring me lunch and dinner to eat in my bedroom. Sometimes I would read in bed, but if I was truly sick, I did sleep.
Having a fever for more than two days running would prompt a call to the pediatrician, an older gentleman who loved to talk and make jokes with my mom and me. He would give me a lollipop after every visit. Every year, I would manage to contract bronchitis, strep throat, or a sinus infection, and every so often, the flu or something else. The medicine I would have to take would always make me dopey, so when I finally did return to school, my head felt foggy. I would often carry lots of tissues with me and blow my nose constantly, making me feel awkward and dorky as well.
In retrospect, I think that had I not been sick and medicated throughout my childhood, I would’ve been a lot more outgoing in school. But I was mostly quiet, and distracted by the respiratory disturbances that were going on in my body.