Yuuko Gotou, Mikuru’s voice, spoke about her struggle with the disease

At the height of his popularity, the voice actor Yuuko Gotō (Mikuru Asahina from Suzumiya Haruhi no YuuutsuHiro from Hidamari sketch) went on hiatus in 2012 due to an autoimmune disease. After almost two years in the hospital, she greatly reduced her activity as a voice actress, and only recently took on new roles. In an interview given to the tabloid Bunshun Online last month, Gotou told his initial story with the disease.

Gotou first realized she had systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), a form of autoimmune disease, when she was hospitalized in 2012. However, even before that, he suffered from immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), a type of purpura that causes rashes and bleeding. The first time he got these symptoms was during the summer of his junior year in high school. She describes herself as a fairly athletic student, but when she played volleyball she would experience frequent nosebleeds that would not stop for hours.

Gotou said he didn’t realize the extent of his illness at first and was surprised when the doctor told him to stay in the hospital rather than finish his third year of high school. Her father was furious with her when she tried to sneak out of the hospital, telling her she could have dropped dead. Fortunately, the doctors were able to give her medication that allowed her to return to school in October.

However, Gotou’s difficulties continued. While in hospital, she gained 20 kilograms in weight and developed an acne breakout on her face as a side effect of the medication, which left her feeling self-conscious about her appearance. She became philosophical about her experience; because she wanted to be treated normally with her friends, she decided to make jokes about her weight. He also realized that since his life would be shorter than average, he should not hesitate to do what he wanted in the time he had left. As a result she was more impulsive in partaking in life’s small pleasures.

Gotou found solace through a surprising source. Her clinic was located in the middle of the red light district, so she made friends with the women who worked in the nearby soap land. (type of sex massage business). After being treated with mercy and kindness by so many people around her, Gotou found a down to earth attitude of women in soaps.

«I have always wondered why terminally ill patients can be so good and kind. I couldn’t be like that at all. Whenever I complained or grumbled, people comforted me. The more they did it, the more I thought I didn’t deserve that much.», Gotou comments. «It was there that I met the soap ladies, who always complained about their illnesses in foul language, just like me. Some of them had serious illnesses, and it was as if we were all in this together. But for me it was the first time I felt comfortable. Those women saved me. They didn’t give each other their proper names, and they’ve long since retired, but thank you, Eve-san and Akari-san. Now I’m fine».

font: Bunshun Online through THERE

(c) Bungeishunju Ltd.


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