May 8, 2015

Cultural differences: on being sick...

I'm currently sick with what I'm 99% sure is a cold virus.  I have wonderful symptoms like congestion, cough, sore throat and runny nose.  My mom's a nurse so maybe I know better than others that there is no cure for a virus.  You treat the symptoms, get lots of rest, and drink lots of fluids (which also thins that nasty mucus).  This is what I've done practically my whole life every time I've gotten a cold.  I've never gone to the doctor.

This is not the Japanese way, and my husband who is Japanese insists I go to a doctor every time I'm sick.  When Japanese people are sick, they go to the doctor where they are prescribed a short dose of antibiotics.  I thought that most people know that antibiotics are useless when it comes to viruses.  Apparently Japanese people don't think so and this medicine miraculously cures them.  I'm pretty sure it doesn't and that their immune system does all the work.  In addition, Japanese medicine is ridiculously weak.  I've tried going to the doctor in Japan when I have a cold.  They give me antibiotics (every time) and some other weak and thereby useless (for me) medicine.  I find this to be a tremendous waste of time.  Dragging my miserable self to the doctor when I don't want to leave the house.  I find that time better spent on resting and letting my immune system do its job.

Therefore this is a major cultural difference for my husband and me.  I've tried to explain it many times, and he still insists I go to a doctor.  While I appreciate tremendously his care and concern for me, based on experience there's nothing a Japanese doctor can do for me.  I know it's probably best not to self diagnose, but I've had many colds over the years and I know what to do when one appears.

How about you?  Care to share any stories about going to the doctor in Japan or Western versus Japanese doctors?

No comments:

Post a Comment