Happy New Year, everybody. I hope you’ll have a great year. Now is the time for New Year’s resolutions and after having spent all of Christmas (expect for the 24th when my daughter was at home) as well as New Year’s Eve on my own, I have a great one for you: spend more time with friends and family members who are ill or disabled. It’ll be very much appreciated as ill and disabled people are often isolated from the rest of the world. At least that’s what has happened to me.
It is no secret that I’ve been disabled since 2006 due to a slipped disc and Modic changes in the bones in my spine. In 2013 it got even worse as my knees were affected by both a meniscus tear and really bad osteoarthritis where the cartilage has deteriorated in my left knee. I’m in extreme pain and I can’t walk without the aid of a walking stick or a rollator and even then, I can only walk a few steps at a time. For the past year I’ve been confined to my house, only being able to venture outside when I could afford a taxi as I can’t even walk to the bus stop anymore and I can’t ride a bike or drive a car.
The pain is horrible, but the isolation is worse. Ever since I fell ill and especially after I lost the ability to walk without aid, friends and family have scurried away. I’ve had a lot of friends abroad, but now that I can’t travel and visit them anymore, instead of coming to Denmark to visit me for a change, I just don’t hear from. As for my Danish friends and family, I’ve spent less than TWO days with them last year, or rather 41 hours divided between four friends and two family members. One family member only spent one hour with me during the entire 2014 and one friend only spent two hours, which is NOTHING compared to the rest of the year where I sit at home on my own.
Now wait a minute, someone will perhaps object. What about that daughter of yours? Well, she is a teenager and as such she goes to school and hangs out with friends and we don’t see much of each other although she lives at home. Furthermore she is at the age where parents are hopeless so it’s difficult to have a conversation with her or get her to help out at home. And that’s another problem. Apart from a small pension, I have a cleaning lady cleaning coming over an hour a week, but that is all the help I get. I’m expected to go grocery shopping and do the cooking and washing and everything else on my own and I just can’t. Asking friends and family for help is no solution as either they won’t do it or they bitch about it, so I’ve stopped asking.
My situation is not going to change in the near future. My back will never improve and I’ll only be able to walk again if I get new knees, but here in Denmark the doctors don’t like to replace knees on people who are under 60, so I have a long wait ahead of me. It would be a lot easier if I had someone to talk to, a visit to look forward to or somebody taking me out somewhere, but I haven’t and they don’t. And I can’t even go out and find new friends as I can’t get out! But if YOU know someone ill or disabled who needs help or just a bit of cheering up, please don’t hesitate to do so. Remember, that although we can’t walk or whatever anymore, we are still the same. We are still your friend, sister, cousin etc. and we still want to be part of your life. Please, be part of ours!