Fasten your Seat Belts, We'll be Arriving in Japan

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Posted by Mario Treglia ( on February 01, 2001 at 00:46:19:

In Reply to: Mario, could you tell us ... posted by Ueli on January 31, 2001 at 21:55:13:

Hi there Ueli,

I know it is not exactly what you asked me, but allow me to familiarize you with some minor details about the Japanese culture before we get to the bottom of the issue.

I read two medical papers until today, one very old, in Japanese where it says that only 6% of the population suffered from "migraines", (note: NOT CLUSTERS) but there is another report from 1998 in English where a Japanese Neurologist, specialized in headaches, says that the number of migraineurs, (AGAIN NOT CLUSTERERS) is around 70% something almost 80% and he explains that this discrepancy from the previous report is to blame at the ignorance of the medical society as well as the general population.
It all has it's routes at the end of the WWII when Japan was losing the war, and the people was sick and had no food, the authorities launched this campaing about the Japanese people being superior and therefore being stronger to resist the pain, as a result of it, even nowadays is not common to go on telling your friends, relatives or co-workers that you are in pain. If we add it to the abnormal ignorance of the doctors, who as I mentioned before, insist in telling migraineurs and clusterers that what they have is a flu, it becomes very difficult to tell the incidence.
To give you an example, only two months ago, I knew that a friend of mine who plays football (soccer) in the same team as me, lost three weeks of work on february of last year, because of an excruciating pain behind his eye, that kept coming in cycles and didn't allow him to stand on his feet. He told me that he thought he had developed a brain tumour but since the doctor told him to go home and have some "sedes" (mostly acetoaminophen), he bravely endured the three weeks, without giving a single call to his relatives nor going to another hospital.
So, like my wife, who is Japanese, mentioned, even if the cycle comes again as it happens with me, he will not seek medical help and she bets that most of the clusterers are going through the same kind of hell, looking for answers by themselves rather than looking for some of the very few neurologists who can at least put them under some kind of preventative treatment.

In other words, is very difficult to say, I read the Japanese Message Board daily and when I see the way they describe the pain and the cycles and how it destroy their lives, professional as well as marital, compared to their enormous lack of knowledge, I really feel like crying.

Sorry, a long post and not much help.


Mario Treglia

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