Title "Listen to my voice"


※Long, but please read... and listen


Based on a true story...

The blind athlete in triathlon uniform was carried in on a stretcher. He was plad in the bicolors of his national flag.


He was perspiring heavily and blazing hot, most probably from high body temperature caused by the immense heat and resulting heatstroke... today's outside temperature had just reached 38degrees celsius or just over 100degrees fahrenheit.


The medical team had been practicing how to treat heatstroke all morning... the nurse and athletic trainer (AT) of the team sprung into action. With advice from the physician on duty, the nurse started to cut the uniform from the left leg, since there was no way of lowering the one-piece running gear. The AT was trying to explain that we needed to take his rectal temperature, abiding by the IOC olympic guidelines. But it was obvious that the athlete was in no conscious or psychological state to fully understand what was taking place. He did not seem to well-understand the English language being spoken to him.


There was a moment of silence, before the panicking and disarrayed athlete, screaming "Not my ass!," kicked the nurse across the room, and flung the AT crashing into the screen being used to shield the view. Then he grabbed the doctor's arm.


"I am a doctor..." I said as calmly as possible. I saw him frown. "I am a doctor... Listen to my voice..." He let go of my arm. "I know you cannot see. You have fever, high temperature. We are here to help."


I told the medical team that we are here to help, and taking the rectal temperature was not the answer. We needed to treat the (probable) hyperthermia ASAP. I explained to the athlete that we were going to bathe him in cold water. I was not asking for his permission, just getting him to understand what was about to take place.


The guideline also tells us to immerse the hyperthermic patient in cold water for twenty minutes. His ear canal temperature showed 39.4℃ (103℉). We carried the athlete to the pool, and lowered him into the water. He jumped up, but we held him down. "Listen to me... Five minutes!" I spoke softly into his ears. Staff around me were repeatedly telling me "Twenty!," but each time, I would repeat "Five minutes."


The athlete asked for drinking water. Each time he took a few gulps, he would vomit immediately afterwards. I let him vomit into the pool, since we were not going to use the same pool for others following. I knew that the cold water entering his stomach would cool his temperature from the inside.


After a continuous "five minutes," adding up close to thirty, the athlete began to shiver. His temperature was 36.2℃(97℉). We drew him out of the water, and rested him on the medical cot. He spoke to me, "Doctor...""Yes?""I want to drink cola...OK?""Yes you may. Please drink cola!" His guide runner was there laughing with us, and I decided to let them go. Total treatment time was forty-one minutes.


Twelve years have passed, since the Great Tsunami Earthquake of 3.11. What have we learned, and how are we preparing for the future? Do we listen when we should? Are we listening or just hearing? Today, like all other days of the year, let us always be growing. 


The URL of the following recording, is from an interview done of myself, back in September of 2022. It's in Japanese, but please listen to my voice when you have the time, and especially if you have a friend who understands the language.


I talk about the importance of living life to the fullest, on a daily basis. The professor I had been very fond of, passed away on January 29, 2010. I took his place as a Disaster Medicine team member, and trained. My dear professor showed up in my dream one night, asking me if I thought I was ready. Ready to take on any and every task asked of me. I knew I was not, and so therereafter spent weekends training myself by taking lectures after lecture, course after course. Almost immediately afterwards, 3.11 occured.