I am making me a warm cave under the down comforter on my couch. The house was mysteriously quiet when I woke up, the way it is when everything running on electric power is suddenly off. A storm chased through the northern part of Sweden during the night and the power was out, making my home unusually cold. 30 years ago, when I first moved out to my village, those things happened all the time. Nowadays it’s very rare, not at all like Seattle, which is a lot more vulnerable when it comes to weather situations and power outings. Anyway, the power is back and my house will be warm again soon.
On my couch, yes. Lying down writing. I am having a bad day body wise.
Today, it’s been a year. Since that November Sunday morning 2012 when I in despair called around to find someone who could help me through the day. And the night. Agneta S came and fixed me breakfast. Maria B brought me dinner. And Trouble 1 stayed over at night. Dear friends taking turns helping me out, Trouble 1 carrying the heaviest load, followed the week.
Week nr two a new chapter of my life started. I had to accept that I couldn’t get around on friends and family. I had to accept taking help from strangers. Taking the City home care into my house was a relief that I was grateful too and hated every second of. In a month 35 persons walked through my kitchen, bathroom and bedroom. They got me out of bed, helped me shower and fed me. Still my kitchen drawers are a mess from everyone putting their fingers into my orderly life.
Then came Peter. Peter from the small home care company Civil Care, which I switched to at Christmas. When Peter entered my house it was like a storm eased out. I was safe.
So, it’s been a year now. And this is an anniversary that makes me very sad. Neither Peter nor I imagined this scenario. He pictured me being up and running in a few weeks, I was slightly less optimistic. But I never ever imagined this situation being infinite.
The fact that summer came with less pain and body restrictions made me hopeful. I could still only take very short walks, but I lifted my dumbbells giving me my nice looking arms back and on good days I was actually driving when having a co driver. My friend Eva and I even saw Sting in concert! I started trusting a recovery. I started saying it out loud: I am doing better. I am doing a lot better!
Now, it’s all gone, and I don’t know why. Can it be that my body is happy when it’s warm? When my bare feet can feel the grass and my wooden floors? When my arms are kissed by the sun? When outside and inside is a floating condition trough open doors and windows? I don’t know. No one knows. We just know that it happened. And although I have occasional pain windows (which have miraculously coincided with days when I really needed them!) I have basically been doing worse by the day during fall. Or more accurate: I am doing worse by every other day. It’s different in that sense: I am on a veritable roller coaster.
My very skilled and patient chiropractor Michael is frustrated. All through this year he has been able to lift me up even when I have felt down and discouraged. He has seen progress although I couldn’t always feel it. But now he is frustrated.
My physiotherapist has given up on me. It’s as simple as that. He shook my hand. Said good luck. And let me go. I felt deserted.
So, it’s been a year. At 57 I am a little (175cm) old lady with a walker next to my bed to get me out of it, help with the basic things in life and no way to get myself from one place to another without having a ride. I am still holding on to my new strategy of not giving in, going for what I want and planned, but often it totally takes the toll out of me and sometimes it’s frankly not worth it. Other times, it’s simply not possible.
I shouldn’t complain though. It’s just pain and immobility. Things could be so much worse. And I am very well taken care of.
My two free spirited sons who are struggling to make a future and living in art, music and film are both now hired by Peter and Civil Care. Their mother’s misfortune has given them a part time day job, which was exactly the fortune they needed, and I get to see my sons most every day! It actually works surprisingly well and so my lying-on-the-couch-life has become a win-win situation for everyone involved!
Well, that is, looking beside the fact that there isn’t a lot of winning in lying on the couch for me. I hate it. It is not the life I want.
Two hours later
Trouble 2 locked my door behind him when he left. Turned the lights out downstairs. Let my cat out although she didn’t ask for it. It’s set so I won’t have to go downstairs again tonight. It’s set for me moving around as little as possible.
Trouble 2 was here fixing me a nice salmon for dinner. I could hardly sit up in my couch eating it. I turned acute while he was here. Shooting pain in my right side. Shooting pain is the worst. It makes my body and me terrified. It makes me need the bathroom not knowing if I can’t get myself there. It shuts my brain down.
Trouble 2 just called. Telling me he and Audrey will be coming here staying over until tomorrow. I am closing my eyes trying to convince him that they don’t need to. I know, he says, since you didn’t ask me, but it feels better. I am saying I hate them needing feeling better for my sake. I know, he says, but it feels nicer. It’s not a sacrifice.
I let go of some built up moist in my eyes.
It’s been a year now. It’s a very sad anniversary. I don’t know how to get out of this physical misery more than a day now and then. I don’t know how to reach some stability to trust. I don’t have a clue. And my physio has given up on me. But I know there is a caring son and a girlfriend on their way over here. What more can I ask for?