The Canadian Patient, Part 2

This is the ending to The Canadian Patient, Part 1 story. If you haven’t read the beginning yet, follow the link to see what you’re missing out on.

Part 1 of the story ends with:

At 2am, something happened.

And the challenge I pose to my students in class is to think about what happened. Before you read, feel free to take a guess at the ending to the story in the comments here or wherever the story was linked from.

So, without future ado, here’s Part 2 of the story:

At 2am, Yuki was with the other nurses at the nursing station, and they heard a clatter from the hallway, as if someone was marching down the corridor. They looked out from the station and saw the Canadian patient, head bandaged, hospital gown flapping open in the back, saying, “I’m going home! I’m going home!”

There were several problems with the situation. One was that the Canadian patient didn’t know he had hit his head skiing, didn’t know he was in the hospital, and didn’t speak Japanese. Furthermore, it was February in Nagano, which meant the outdoors was cold, so he wouldn’t last long outside in a hospital gown and no slippers.

Another problem was that none of the night shift nurses spoke English, and the regular doctors, who could speak English, had all gone home for the night.

So what did they do, you ask?

According to Yuki they hugged the patient and pushed him back into his room, saying, “ダメダメダメ!” (Translation: No no no!)

The situation ended up being stressful for everyone involved, and this was the impetus for Yuki to start studying English again, which she did for six years or so before I met her when I moved to Nagano in 2000.

At this point I usually add some notes in class regarding the moral of the story, telling my students that studying English at a private language school for six years is expensive, and they have the chance to study the language while they’re in university, so I encourage them to take advantage of the opportunity that they have so they can avoid such uncomfortable situations themselves and so that they can use that English language study money for other things.