From: Oregon, USA
November 16, 1944
Attached to: Disbanded in port
System Damage: 0
Float Damage: 0
“You need to see a doctor, Captain,” says Lieutenant JG Nakagawa as Ishii puts his jacket back on and buttons it. Ishii leans back against the dispensary’s small examination table and crosses his arms.
“I know that,” he says with a touch of irritation. “That’s why I’m here, Lieutenant.”
“Sir, I appreciate the confidence you have in me,” says Nakagawa, “but I mean a real doctor. I am just a ship’s medic. My training before the navy was as a veterinarian. I am good with burns and shrapnel wounds. I can set a broken bone. But the kind of diagnosis you need is beyond my skill. You need to go to the naval hospital.”
“I can’t do that,” says Ishii. Nakagawa gazes at him for a moment, then obviously decides against arguing further with his captain.
“I can think of several things,” he says, “that might be wrong. Frankly, sir, some of them are serious. I will examine your blood and stool samples for clues but what I really need to do is take chest and abdominal x-rays. For that we have to go ashore.”
“We can’t…” begins Ishii, but Nakagawa cuts him off.
“I know, sir,” he says. “But I know a couple of people at the hospital, we might be able to arrange something. Discreetly.”
“Very well,” says Ishii. “See what you can do, Lieutenant.”
“Yes sir. In the meantime, I have a few more questions. You say you have been awakening every night with abdominal pain. What time, specifically?”
“It varies a bit,” says Ishii. “Usually around 0100 hours.”
Nakagawa makes a note. “Have you noticed this pain other times?” he asks.
“At times, though not as bad,” says Ishii. “Usually after eating.” Nakagawa asks a number of other questions and establishes that Ishii has also experienced nausea. Next Nakagawa moves on to the recent chest pain.
“Exactly where does it occur?” he asks.
“Behind or below right about here,” says Ishii. He indicates a spot near the bottom of his breastbone.
“Shortness of breath?” Ishii nods. “Pain or numbness in your left arm or hand?” This time Ishii shakes his head no.
“Do you…” begins Nakagawa, but suddenly there comes a rap at the dispensary door. It opens to reveal one of the ship’s cooks, his right hand wrapped in a towel.
“Lieutenant, I burned my…” begins the sailor, then he catches sight of the captain.
“Captain, sir!” he says and salutes. The effect is almost comical as the towel flaps about when he does so, but the man’s wince of pain removes any humor from the situation.
“At ease,” Ishii tells him. The man gratefully cradles his hand once more. Ishii turns briskly to Nakagawa.
“Well, Lieutenant, your department seems to be in fine shape. Carry on.”
“Yes sir, thank you”, says Nakagawa. “Come here, Itokawa, let’s see that hand.” As the sailor approaches Ishii steps to the door and departs.