Nov 18, 2012

With a little help from my friends

My friend Maria B is downstairs making dinner for me. She just assisted me to the bathroom. She came all the way from Umeå this dark November evening to be an angel. The knife in my back that I am always fighting and fearing cut right in to my right hip this morning. I’ve been having scares the last few weeks and now it’s for real. And this time it’s bad.

When it’s this serious I can’t get in and out of bed myself. I can’t go to the bathroom. I can’t make myself anything to eat. It’s a very scary place to be in. Rolling back in bed this morning I did what I hate doing: started calling around for help. Hoping to find anyone available. And I was lucky, cause I did. Agneta S came here, fixed me breakfast, filled the dishwasher and put me under a blanket on my couch. And now Maria B is here feeding me a wonderful soup and omelet, emptying the dishwasher and the washing machine, and taking me to the bathroom again. She is now about to leave and Trouble 1 is taking the night shift.

Tomorrow and the following days will be trickier as the workweek is starting. My neighbor Isa, who is a young senior, has promised that I can call her when in need. I am so grateful. But I hate to be in this place. I have had back problems for close to 27 years and they have escalated over time. Neither traditional Western medicine nor any alternative can tell me what’s wrong with me. Uncountable highly skilled practitioners from different fields have tried to help me over the years without lasting results, leaving them and me equally frustrated. And I don’t even want to think about how much money I have put into this. As there are no treatments available within the Swedish healthcare system.

Calling my sister today she comments there has to be some assisting help to get when you are a single person suffering from something acute that makes you immovable. I am thinking she should be right. This is after all Sweden. And there are of course people who don’t even have friends or relatives to call. Checking into it, the answer is no. Unless your condition hasn’t been investigated and approved for home care services and safety alarm from the City, there is no assisting help to get. You just need to take care of things yourself.

Last time my back was this acute was in Seattle, during the Democratic Party’s convent. I remember listening to the speeches about a more human and friendly society finding myself thinking “I want that for Sweden too!”

Tonight I am thinking that I don’t know what to do. I don’t know where to turn to get some answers and help for my long time suffering which is only getting worse and making me more limited and restricted for every year. And I don’t know how to solve my day-to-day situation. I will keep calling my friends, neighbors and family. It makes me uncomfortable and vulnerable, but that’s the only thing I can do. And I am lucky to have that opportunity. There are people who aren’t. And they will not make it. In Sweden.

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