Rika Kageyama

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CFS and Japanese Medicine

[Ed. note: Rika, a native Japanese PWC who is familiar with Western medical thinking in the United States, first wrote her impressions in this letter to the WECAN online activism group on September 19, 1997.]

Dear Tom,

Thank you very much, Tom, for your concerning, indeed. I heartily appreciate you.

Well, I am a little anxious whether my reading was right or not. If my reading was not right, please forgive me. But, for example, if I would be diagnosed as the condition that you kindly raised, (mercury poisoning, fibromyalgia, multiple chemical sensitivity, radiation poisoning, candida, lead poisoning, mercury poisoning, nutritional deficiencies, etc.) we absolutely need "proof" that can be "measured by blood work-up."

Actually, doctors have been "inhibited" to use medicine for ANY CASE "without any proof" here. Otherwise, investigating organization in Japan, where has been checking doctors' dishonest activity, soon gives penalties and cuts down the doctor's salary. "Symptoms" has NOT been enough proof for Japanese doctors to be able to treat. I understand that that is why doctors keep saying "Anyway, impossible for us to prescribe anything unless you have well known standard medical problems, such as ulcer or cancer. Pain or other symptoms that you have never kill you. Don't complain. Be patient and train your will power to bear these conditions. Life is patience." This is natural idea for Japanese doctors.

More, doctors here really hate to prescribe medicine for "Just symptomatic relief": Their basic idea is "Medicine is poison. The less we use medicine, the better it would be for patients."

Another reason that I have noticed is very inflexible rule to use medicine here: One medicine can correspond to only one specific medical condition: (For example "fludrocortisone has been allowed to use for only Addison's disease ONLY." And, if doctors want to use fludrocortisone to me, we need "orthodox proof" from blood work-up that fills full criteria of Addison's.) No exception has been allowed. This is Japanese medicine.

Our medicine has not been as flexible as the ones in West at all. (I also learned that this inflexibility actually deeply related to our insurance system that covers our entire nation. So many reasons.)

Recently, I started to think that the doctor's words might be true: "Nothing would be changed if you would die and nobody would care if you die." It is true. Trying for me to expect to others might have been wrong. Becoming sick is my responsibility, not anyone else so. So, I will do my best within the range of what I could do. Practically, treatment is REALLY impossible here. I have to throw up the idea to really on doctors, otherwise, idea of relying on doctors becomes extreme stress as it worsens my health condition.

Well, I will visit our Health Ministry to report my bitter experience some day, as soon as I would improve. In order to do that, I will do my best to improve my health. This is my revenge! (Big Grin)

Again, thank you very much from my heart, for your concerning about such me.

Warmest, Best Regards and deep, deep appreciation,
Rika Kageyama

© Rika Kageyama, 1997

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