Japan Today

Brian J Collins comments

Posted in: Only half of Mount Fuji climbers paying voluntary fee See in context

A previous story announced that DOCOMO was offering free wifi on Mount Fuji now. Maybe they could work with the prefecture and charge for the WIFI, donating the profits for upkeep of the facilities on the mountain.

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Posted in: Hospitals: UK vs Japan - Length of stay, language, birth, kids and pain relief See in context

Several years ago I had sudden extremely painful abdominal pains while I was home alone at the beginning of the so-called "Silver Week" holiday period at the end of September. Knowing that most of the emergency wards are closed during that period I nervously contacted the Tokyo Seventh Day Adventist Hospital in Ogikubo which is near my home. Their ER was open and I was told to come immediately. They did not have a doctor available who could diagnose me but recognising my severe pain they kept me over-night and gave me painkillers. The next day after a number of tests they determined that my gall bladder had to be removed but because of the holidays the operation could not be done for almost a week. I was kept in hospital, happily on painkillers and an IV drip, as I was not allowed to eat. By the time the operation was done, I was later told by the doctor that the organ was gangrenous so had to be removed by cutting me open rather then the simple hole through the belly button. I don't doubt that the gangrene was a result of the one week wait.

I was kept in hospital for another week after the surgery. Other than the issues of a surgeon not being available for a week, I would have to say that the level of care I received at the Tokyo Seventh Day Adventist Hospital was top notch. Most of the nursing staff spoke English as did the doctor who performed the surgery. I even had a nursing student whose only assignment was to take care of me. I was surprised that the food at the hospital was also very good when I was finally able to eat it. The hospital has a vegetarian policy and a healthy dessert buffet in the cafeteria. I bought their cookbook.

A few days before checkout the doctor asked if I lived alone and if so he was willing to keep me in for a few more days but I opted to recover in my own bed. I wouldn't want to go in hospital again but I must say that this was a surprisingly good experience for me. I even dropped down to a few kilos lower than my target weight which I had been trying to get to for years. (Now it is once again a thing of the past). In any case, I would not hesitate to recommend Tokyo Seventh Day Adventist Hospital in Ogikubo. I believe that their standards are high.

I had a bad experience at Tokyo Midtown Clinic where an older British (I believe he was British) doctor told me that numbness in my abdominal area and groin was nothing to worry about and we sometimes lose feeling in parts of our body. I sought a second opinion a few weeks later at Midtown Clinic where it was immediately diagnosed by a Japanese doctor as an inguinal hernia and surgery was arranged. There are good and bad doctors all over.

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