Wednesday, 3 October 2012


The mouse returned....

9.30 pm last night...we were just getting ready for bed. Popo was hanging around.

And then he was hanging around with - oh YUK! The still twitching mouse...tossing it around the carpet as cats do.

Where did he stuff it during the day? Under the fridge? It's the only place I hadn't looked. But there it was. Still alive. Just. Poor, poor thing.
We did the cat and mouse dance of trying to catch the cat without losing an arm, and then picking up the mouse without getting a rabid bite....giggling like maniacs.

Thank goodness Okaasan only brings back aloe yogurts.

On a happier note...
I asked foreign residents of Sapporo for advice about gammy knee doctors - I used the popular mailing list Hokkaido Insider, run by a friend Ken Hartmann.
Bloody 'ell.
Opened my email this morning and had over 25 (and counting) responses from all sorts of people who have had gammy knees and other body parts, recommending their doctors and clinics.
Simply amazing. SO many people have had bad knees - I guess the foreign community here is aging and Hokkaido is a very outdoorsy place, so we are all skiing and mountain climbing. And damaging our bodies.
I am now trying to decide which doctor/hospital is best for me to access.
But I am sad that I shall have to cut back or cut out my gym exercising. Yesterday my knee hurt after just an ordinary day. Not a good sign at all.

* And...just to ensure that there is never a worry-free week - I also went along this morning and made an appointment to have my first ever stomach cancer check-up next week. This is on the Japanese health insurance system. 
I think it's the don't eat anything 12 hours before, have an injection and then drink barium and climb on a tilting table routine.

Since that ovary scare and operation I have joined the Japanese health insurance system and am now FAR more conscious of health problems and checks. I pay a lot of money for this insurance (including 2 years? back payments), so I am determined to get everything checked out.

Barium. Oh yum. I wonder if it is low cholesterol?


  1. Someone else may have already told you this, but one thing you can do for bad knees is exercise to strengthen the muscles that support them. It doesn't fix the knee, but it does take the stress off such that you experience less pain.

    In Japan, I was told by students who had relatives who had knee problems that surgery to fix such problems (like replacement surgery) is only done after a certain (relatively high) age and can only be done one time with the national health insurance. If you go to a doctor, the chances are they will recommend exercise of some sort, give injections if the pain is very bad, and some sort of palliative care. I'm guessing you'd be considered too young for anything more permanent.

    Good luck!

  2. Hi Orchid - yes, the doc I went to yesterday really recommended muscle training and ice cooling for inflation of the joint....I have a lot of of muscle training homework! I had injections 3 years ago, when I couldn't even walk round a supermarket, it isn't that bad this muscle training, upping the glucosamine and dreaming of all the mountains I will never ever be able to climb :-( Looking after Okaasan will have to BE my life mountain to climb :-(

  3. Just a word about glucosamine... recent research indicates that it does not help with joint or cartilage problems (but this is something which has not reached all doctors). I also have knee issues, and the exercise helps, but so will consistent consumption of ginger. Ginger is proven to help with joint pain (and is a natural anti-inflammatory agent). Unless your glucosamine is very cheap, I'd ditch it and drink ginger tea once a day (or eat some ginger root). It won't work fast, but there should be long-term benefits.

    And, yeah, do those exercises. They're annoying, but it'll help a lot. It has helped me.

  4. Ditto on the glucosamine. A friend was taking it for years thinking it was helping his joints. Aactually, it was helping them break down faster.:( He now has two brand new titanium hips, and is finally doing GREAT !!
    And the excess of calcium, somehow caused by the excess of glucosamine, gave him bad kidney stones, and gave another friend calcium cysts in her breasts.
    And ditto on the ginger, too. It is really amazing stuff, and has so many health benefits. And you will never have indigestion again. :)
    Mata ne