Caught in Japan, help anyone?

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New Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 3/19/2006 2:21 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi all
I'm a C-type, and have managed to be relatively under control the last few years. However I arrived in Japan a week ago, and noticed I was starting to build up again. (travel, change in diet, stress etc etc ) A week later, still no BM, and the beginnings of all the severe gas and pain.  I can tell I'm backed up and have impaction. In the past, treatment has been mineral oil first and then treat the C. Trouble is I can't speak Japanese! I went to Japanese drug store and tried to indicate as best as possible that I had "bempi", (constipation) and I was given a sinister sounding liquid called, in English, "Wash-out water". I was reluctant to take it because I know standard laxatives don't treat the problem, and with impaction, can make it worse and more painful. Turns out this "wash out water" comprises massive doses of Magnesium Oxide; which I've used before for C, but not in those amounts. I reluctantly took it slowly over 2 days, and then got my "wash out" all right--now feeling  ill and weak and BM's stopped again; it actually caused more distress. I need to get some sort of stool softener or food-grade mineral oil (paraffin), but have no idea of the Japanese words for these or to indicate my problem (impacted colon) beyond mild constipation. Can anyone help me with Romanji so I know what to ask for?  I've still got to get through another week. thanks

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 185
   Posted 3/19/2006 9:52 AM (GMT -7)   
oh man. your definatly in a bind here..have you tried going online to like, a translator? You may have to install characters onto your computer..but if you could print out a sheet saying what your problems are and have a salesperson read them, then that could help. have you also bought a dictionary of Japanese words? I know its probably harder than like, Spanish, because they have a whole other alphabet :/ I hope i helped..good luck over there in Japan!!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1451
   Posted 3/19/2006 1:38 PM (GMT -7)   
Where are you in Japan that no one speak english. If you are had a hotel ask someone there. They must have stool softeners there. If it not a backward country. I wish you well. Perhaps if you are going to be there for a while then you could have someone send you some from the US

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 3/21/2006 12:36 PM (GMT -7)   
It is my understanding that English is a standard subject taught in all public and private schools and that younger Japanese people especially know it. The problem is that they can't often speak it, understand it when spoken by an Amercian, or are ashamed to speak because they think they can't do it well. So you might have some luck writing a description of your problem down on a piece of paper and what you want and giving that to a pharmacist. You may also try printing off pictures of the type of product you want from online and giving that to the druggist; many American products are sold in Japan but under different names but with a similar package, so they might recognize the package.

You can also try going to a hospital or clinic and asking for a doctor or nurse that speaks English. Then you can explain your problem and what you want and let them write down in Japanese what you need to try and take.

Can you get aloe vera juice over there, or prune juice? You should be able to recognize those things from pictures on the bottles.
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