Saturday, May 20, 2006

Death and Disease

She was about fifty, a good looking woman. Lived in the better part of Westend in a flat four flights up. I had to go in and get her because she needed help, needed assistance getting down the stairs. She held my arm and we walked down very slowly. She clutched the banister with her other hand, fearful that she might fall. I had to drive her to the doctors.

During the conversation it came out that she was having black-outs and falling over. She had broken her arm in one of the falls. Her legs were bruised. She said her joints ached all the time, and it was painful to make any exaggerated movements, and that was why she shuffled along, only taking the tiniest of steps, creeping forward with very slow movements. Getting into the front seat of the car took so much time and effort. She gritted her teeth at any movement that placed her body in any new position.

The doctors could find nothing wrong with her. They had run lots of test, but could not find anything that could explain her condition. She had her own idea of what it was that had brought her so low. Nothing more than being bitten by a tick as she had walked through some long grass to pick raspberries that had been so inviting.

She found the bug two days latter, and it had burrowed into her skin. She broke the body off but did not get the head out. The head with the saliva glands. It was two years after that instance, that she had her first blackout, a dizziness, and since then things have become steadily worse.

She thinks she has Lymes disease.

She works as a translator, and had once enjoyed swimming and cycling, but all that was gone now, impossible to do. I told her I had been reading resurection from the Kalevala, and as she left the car I quoted a bit of it to her.

'Rise up out of sleep
get up out of dream
from these evil places,
the bed of hard luck!'

Because I had just written it to go along with the photo of Lemminkäinen's mother. It would be fine to have the power to speak out against disease, and release people from the prison of their own bodies and minds.

Monday, May 01, 2006

We are so fragile

Best before 13-4-00
Originally uploaded by HyperBob.
I would say it is a very rare occasion that you meet someone who has had a heart transplant.

I picked up a woman with a broken leg and took her to Meilahti hospital. She had slipped on some ice a few weeks ago, when she was out walking her dog.

At the hospital she was going to have her cast taken off and at the same time they were going to take a sample of her heart muscle to see if there was any deterioration.

Apparently your immune system tries to reject any foreign organ that has been transplated into your body, and she has to keep taking medicine so that her new heart would not wither away.

Before she had the transplant she was confined to a wheelchair, and had great difficulty breathing since the muscles of her old heart were wasting away. She has lived three years with her new heart, and can now walk in the forest without becoming out of breath.

I asked here how she felt about having somebody elses heart in her body, and she replied that it was a thousand times better to be able to walk with a broken leg, than to be imprisoned motionless as an incapacitated invalid in a wheelchair.

There must be a lesson it that story somewhere.