|Sent on:||Tuesday, March 20, 2012 12:39 AM|
(Raikou - Morning Sun[masked] Taka-san)
I'm writing to tell you that I've safely arrived in Japan a few days ago and I've been feeling much better. I'm scheduled to take thorough medical exams for 2 days at a hospital next week.
It's been cold here, but today it started to get a bit warmer. Just last night something a bit shocking I discovered. I now suspect my mother's started to develop some symptoms which show her memory lapse is probably something much more serious than simple forgetfulness and she may needs immediate medical attention. My father said he had noticed it about 6 months ago, so I know it's not my imagination and now it would be a challenge to convince her to see a doctor and get properly tested, but I'll do my best. And probably that might be a real reason behind why I wanted to come back here so quickly...
Good thing is that I have a close friend in Japan who went through the same thing for his father for the last 10 years, so he knows it all inside out - he helped me to understand how to prevent progression of the disease, how to deal with the patient, what kind of public assistance programs are available here (yes, almost everyone is required to be insured by the national government for long term care - it became mandatory, so a care manager will be assigned right away to evaluate and make a treatment plan by the public program once the application is submitted for assistance). My friend also informed me that new medications which are very effective to the disease have been recently approved, so we can be hopeful. After talking to him I felt much relieved and fortunate to have thoughtful people like him around me both in LA and here in Japan.
Initial shock almost subsided now and I feel much more hopeful and stronger. I'm willing to learn about many things while I'm here. And all the more I'm convinced that my becoming sick had much more profound meaning than I could ever have comprehended. Had I not gotten sick I wouldn't have come back before it gets too late... So I'm even appreciative of my becoming sick. I'm glad I became so sick actually. I thought I needed my parents' help, which is still true, but there's a situation that needed my assistance too.
When I was writing to another friend, something came to me - knowing more about your health, yourself, your family is like learning about your ingredients you have on hand to create your life recipe.
Without closely studying and examining your ingredients you have and can use now, you can't come up with the best possible meal you can make out of the ingredients that are readily available to you. Even if you have an extraordinary recipe you want to try, if you don't have necessary ingredients you can never make the dish, so you have to be truly open-minded and creative to use substitutes or revise the recipe so that it suits you and perhaps you can create even better food. You never know until you try. So, knowing your ingredients and being creative and flexiblee is indeed your first step.
I'll keep you in the loop about my own journey of learning about my ingredients given to me in this life and plan the best possible meal I can create using them. In the meantime, let me express my gratitude again for your continuous support and help. I re-read your emails everyday to get strength and hope. Thank you so much.
Now that I know I really need to value each day, each minute I spend with my parents during my stay in Japan, I decided to cook together with my mom as much as possible. Even if the details might be lost, I do hope the fun and happy feelings will stay with us for long time. I'm going to make Gyoza (Chinese potstickers) together with my mother this evening.)) What's your favorite family recipe?