Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Career Woman's Disease

I had a rather stressful and scary week. Something I can write about now that everything has been cleared and is all ok. It ended with my first trip to a "Ladies Clinic" in Japan. Don't worry, I'm not going to get too personal in this post.

To put a not so long, but rather stressful story short - what was causing pain and a lump in my breast was in fact a slightly raised rib bone. It may have always been like that and I'd never noticed it, or it may have lifted slightly from the sternum due to overdoing it in they gym. Whatever the situation, where they had been no pain before, suddenly there was and where one breast had a "lump" the other didn't. Scary stuff.

I tried to keep quiet about it. I prefer the "ignore it and it will go away" mentality, but the stress was making me sick and once I told Wayne he insisted that I had it checked immediately.

I wasn't sure where to have such a check done in Japan, so I consulted a book that I have borrowed from a friend; Being A Broad in Japan: Everything a Western woman needs to survive and thrive. Sorry Mel, you will get it back soon, I'm just finding it a really interesting read. The index quickly told me where to go to have things checked out and what to expect. Yes.... what to expect.....

The book warned me that
" Japan, it is not uncommon for a childless woman in her late twenties or
older who is suffering from gynaecological problems to be told that she has "The
Career Woman's Disease" and that she should get pregnant as soon as

Luckily I wasn't hassled by the lovely, friendly doctor about my "childlessness", but interestingly enough, on top of the usual very personal questions a doctor of that type needs to ask, I was questioned, not only about my marital status but the nurses wanted to know for exactly how long I'd been married. I can't see exactly how that was affecting my breast.

Some older Japanese still have a antiquated view on the woman's role in society. Earlier this year, the Japanese health minister, Hakuo Yanagisawa, on the topic of Japan's low birth rate was quoted as saying;
"Because the number of baby making machines and devices is fixed, all we can ask
for is for them to do their best per head."

So maybe all I need to do now is ask my husband to turn on his "baby making machine" (pardon the pun) and all will be fine with my breast again.


Mel & Seigo said...

Hmmm...antiquated was a nice way of putting it ;)

So happy all is ok :)

Kelly said...

I think maybe the doctor is curious about gaijin? Maybe he doesn't treat alot of gaijin patients...still it was a bit nosy. I would probably tell them 'kankei nai' :) haha... btw, i've changed my blog address, it's now

Also, glad to hear everything is ok :) It's so scary when you think something like that is wrong! I have been in that situation before so i totally sympathise! xox