I live in Tokyo, and have for nearly 32 years now. Seven years ago, I moved into my current apartment. I had just received a large amount of money because I was laid off from my previous job, so paying for the move was no problem.
After I’d lived here a couple of years, I started having a slight cough. I wondered if the air conditioner had mold or dust in it, but the unit was only a year old, and it was fine. I saw a doctor and got an inhaler, and that took care of the problem. When the cough was gone, he took me off the inhaler.
Then the cough came back. I started the inhaler again, but this time it didn’t work. Still coughing.
Finally in 2019, I realized something: when I wasn’t home, I didn’t cough. It might stick with me for a little while after leaving, but the longer I was away from the apartment, the less I coughed. After a day or two, I wouldn’t cough at all. Return home, coughing again.
If it were caused by dust or mold, I would be sneezing, rather than coughing. Anyway, the allergy blood test showed I’m not allergic to mold. The allergist’s assessment: I must have developed an allergy to something intrinsic to my building.
The cough is getting worse. Whereas before it was minor enough that I didn’t quite notice that I wasn’t coughing when I went out, now I’m hacking like I have COVID, so the difference between being in the apartment and out of it is very noticeable. I have to constantly be eating or drinking something, or sucking on a cough drop, or else I’ll just cough. I’m spending up to $100 a month on cough drops. And this has gone on for years now.
I make enough from English teaching and freelance proofreading to survive, with a bit of income from podcasting, but there’s nothing left over to save, and getting a new apartment in Tokyo is quite expensive. I want to move, but I can’t afford it. I can’t even begin to afford it.
Some of my money is going to help my ex-wife, who’s dealing with her own problems, including going through chemo. I’ve fallen behind on my own local tax payments, too.
And moving in Tokyo is far from cheap:
(The current exchange rate is just over 100 yen to the US dollar.)
And that article doesn’t include the cost of a moving company.
So I’m turning to GoFundMe for help. Can you help me pay for a move to an apartment I’m not allergic to?
- Mary Satinsky
- Shawn Fitzsimmons
- David Young
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