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Kimagure Orange Road's Matsumoto Reveals Spinal Stenosis Diagnosis

posted on by Jennifer Sherman
Manga creator began having severe leg numbness in late October

Manga creator Izumi Matsumoto posted on his blog on the Comic-On website on November 3 that he has spinal stenosis, an abnormal narrowing of the spinal canal that puts pressure on the spinal cord. He said that he has severe numbness in his legs, and he is unsure what to do going forward.

Matsumoto explained that he began to get numbness in his legs several years ago. He became unable to sleep due to the severity of the numbness one week prior to his blog post. He went to a hospital to get sleeping pills, and he has been taking them since then. However, because the numbness is so severe, the sleeping pills are sometimes ineffective. Matsumoto said, "Sleeping has become scary every night."

Matsumoto further explained that there is pressure on the bones and muscles surrounding the nerves of his spinal cord, creating pain and numbness due to apparent spinal stenosis. Aging may have contributed to Matsumoto's current condition. He also believes that his many years working at a desk may have contributed because the focus of his condition is on his pelvic region. Matsumoto noted that he had and MRI at an orthopedic clinic, and that uncovered his condition. He said that he has no pain, but daily activities have become difficult due to the severe numbness.

Although Matsumoto has been taking medicine from the orthopedic clinic, his condition has not improved much. Matsumoto found surgery listed as a solution after doing research online. He said he is reluctant to pursue surgery because he is scared and also because it is expensive.

Matsumoto asked readers to tell him if they know of a good specialist for spinal stenosis.

The Kimagure Orange Road manga creator had announced on his blog in October 2018 that he planned to resume his activities after more than two years of fighting an illness.

Matsumoto had revealed on his blog in August 2016 that he had a relapse of cerebrospinal fluid hypovolemia (depleted cerebrospinal fluid) at the end of April 2016 after he hit his head when someone knocked him over while rushing to catch a train, and he was bedridden for three months. Matsumoto began hospital treatment for the condition in August 2016. Digital Manga Inc. then stated in November 2016 that Matsumoto's condition was "growing worse," and that he experienced seizures regularly.

Matsumoto stated in 2016 that the blue light emitted by LED screens worsened the condition, so he had been unable to use his computer or smartphone, and could not check his emails. He had asked a friend to check his messages while he was being treated.

Matsumoto previously gave up drawing manga in 1999 due to the same illness, but did not receive the right diagnosis until 2004. He returned to work in fall 2005 after treatment.

Matsumoto's Kimagure Orange Road manga series ran in Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump magazine from 1984 to 1987. The 18-volume story followed a boy with supernatural powers as he dealt with a love triangle between two girls in his high school. Digital Manga Inc. successfully ran a Kickstarter campaign in 2016 to re-translate and publish the manga in English.

The manga inspired a popular 1987-1988 television anime series, two films, and various anime videos. AnimEigo released the television anime series, the first movie, and the later video anime series, while ADV Films handled the second movie, Kimagure Orange Road: Summer's Beginning.

Source: Izumi Matsumoto's blog

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