I met a woman recently. She lives in my own hometown, two streets up from where we stay, and also has ms. She phoned me last week, and I went to visit her last Sunday. I am consumed with pity for this person. I barely slept the night after I’d been to see her.
She is a complete paraplegic. She lies in bed all day long. Her domestic situation is not good. According to her, her husband is very emotionally abusive towards her. I never met him, thankfully. She says that he has turned her kids against her, too. Of course, this is only one side of the story, but it was very telling that when I got to her house, she was alone there, with the back-door swinging wide open. You just don’t leave your doors unlocked in SA. Anyone could come in.
She was craving physical contact and asked me to hold her hand while I was sitting there, talking to her. She is a strong woman, but occasionally, she would burst into tears for a couple of seconds and then pull herself together again. She says she wants to leave that house, but how can she?
I asked her why she didn’t take medication (cortisone) for her conditition. She has been bed-ridden for at least a year. She said that the last time (Nov 2005) she went, her veins had collapsed and they battled terribly to get the drip in, and ended up giving her oral tablets to take. (Which in my opinion don’t work very effectively). She also asked how she’d get to the hospital? I suggested calling an ambulance.
Fortunately, she does have a domestic worker that takes care of her douring the week days, so at least she’s not alone during the week.
I phoned a couple of days ago, and she was in hospital, getting cortisone. A good friend of hers had taken her. I was so glad to hear that. And at least she’s also in a place where they can take care of her properly. I hope with all my heart that she will be feeling better soon
I phoned around for her, and put her name on the waiting-list of a care-facility so that she can go there if she chooses. I can’t get involved with the domestic situation. Only she can do that, if he is being abusive. I can try to be her friend, though. I hope I can help her, even if it’s just a bit. I think it will mean a lot of giving and not that much receiving on my part, but I have to remind myself that if the roles were reversed, I would love someone to reach out a hand of friendship to me.
It just made me realise how incredibly blessed I am. My health is doing better than it has in a while, and I have the most marvellous family and support-base that anyone could wish for. I am a very lucky girl, indeed. And my darling husband gives me so much love that I could never go short of it.