I do think I’ve talked about it before on this blog, although not too much, because it’s not something I like to dwell on, but I am sick. Amongst other things, I have been diagnosed with ME, multiple times, by several independent doctors. ME is what was back in the old days, referred to as Conical Fatigue Syndrome, and it basically means that I am tired.
Depending on the work load and the physical labor I do, I am more or less tired, and more or less sick. Living with ME is, in my case, a matter of knowing my body, and knowing my limits and being able to say stop, before I crash my system. I’ve had years where I’ve tried to be normal, and it only landed me in bed, or in a hospital, running a fever for weeks, months, on end.
I have, for the most part, learned to handle my disease and I see no need to talk about it much; I do not want pity. It does piss me off, once in a while, when my friends make snide remarks about how hard their lives are, having to hold down a job and all… Really, they have no idea what it is like to be sick in Denmark. How terrified you are, at all times, that your rights, your basic human rights, are going to be ripped away from under you any second.
Just today, I realized that “my social workers” are writing in my journal that I might have to accept being hospitalized for observation. They never said a word about that to me, and I only found out because I insisted on having a print of my file delivered to me, because I was pretty sure they had mysteriously “lost” half of my important documents, including half of my diagnoses and my psychiatric evaluation- which they had lost- leaving no doubt that I am a strong minded person, with a sick body. But of course, throwing half of my papers away, will muddy up that picture somewhat, I get that, but it did scare me quite bad that they have written in my journal that I might have to be hospitalized for observation.
You might think, they can’t force me, right? Stop being so paranoid.
So, I’ll leave you with this, a quick, official recap of “the Karina Case;”
”Karina Hansen’s story:
Karina Hansen is 24. She has been completely bedridden since 2009.
In February, this year, Karina was forcibly removed from her home and committed to a hospital. The family is still waiting for a legal explanation for why she was removed.
Karina suffers from severe ME and her family believes she is getting worse.
Karina removed from home
On February 12, 2013, five policemen from Holstebro county, Denmark, arrived at Karina’s house and forcibly removed her from her bedroom.
Two doctors, a locksmith and two social workers were also present.
Karina called for her mother’s help, but her mother was blocked by the police from aiding her. Karina used her mobile phone for the first time in years to call her mother, her father, her cousin and her sister, Janni. Karina is so ill that she can usually only speak in one or two word sentences, but during her removal she managed to call her father and say: Help Dad, in my room, and to her sister: Help, Janni I don’t know where they are taking me.
Karina’s mother could not answer her phone because she was surrounded by policemen.
Karina was driven off to a hospital in an ambulance. Her parents were not told where she was being taken or why they were taking her away. They were given no paperwork.
Later that day, her parents received a phone call. They were told that Karina was at Hammel Neurocenter and that someone would call them every day at 10am to tell them how Karina was doing and that no one would be allowed to visit their daughter for 14 days.
On the morning of February 13, Karina managed to call her mother from her mobile phone. She said: How can I get out of here? I can’t take this. (Hvordan kan jeg komme væk herfra? Jeg kan ikke klare det.) Then the connection was cut.
A few days later, Karina’s parents received a letter from a psychiatrist, Nils Balle Christensen, which said that he would be in charge of Karina’s treatment at Hammel Neurocenter. He also wrote that because “of her condition,” Karina was not allowed visitors for two weeks. That ban on visitors was later extended to three weeks because Dr Christensen was on vacation.
Nils Balle Christensen works at the Aarhus Research Clinic for Functional Disorders and Psychosomatics. He and his boss, Per Fink, believe that ME is a functional disorder. The treatments the clinic recommends are graded exercise therapy (GET), cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), “mindfulness therapy,” and in some cases, antidepressants. In Denmark, a functional disorder is understood to be a psychosomatic illness.
The psychiatrists at this clinic are considered to have no experience with severely ill ME patients and the Hansen family and ME Foreningen, Danmark fear that if Karina is being treated incorrectly this may lead to a severe and permanent worsening of her condition.
Karina’s parents have not been permitted to see their daughter for three months
The family visited the Neurocenter on April 1 to try to visit Karina, but the parents were not allowed to see her. Karina’s sister, Janni, who is a nurse, was allowed to see Karina for a few minutes. A staff member followed Janni into the room. Janni said that Karina was extremely pale, was unable to talk, and did not show signs that she recognized her sister.
In Janni’s opinion, Karina’s condition is worse now than before she was hospitalized.
Why was Karina forcibly removed?
Karina’s parents and lawyer have yet to receive any official paperwork from any government body or clinician about the reason for her removal. They have received no treatment plan or copies of Karina’s medical reports.
No charges have been made against Karina’s parents. The case has never been heard by a court.
Karina’s parents do not know if or when they will be allowed to see their daughter or if or when she will be allowed to come home. Her parents and her lawyer have obtained power of attorney for Karina, but this is being ignored.
The regional state administrations for Mid-Jutland (Statsforvaltningen Midtjylland) are trying to appoint someone as guardian for Karina.
The only information the family receives comes from Jens Gyring, senior doctor at Hammel Neurocenter. He now calls Karina’s father twice a week and tells him how Karina is.
But the parents are finding it difficult to trust what they are told because they are being given conflicting information. Dr Christensen says Karina is improving every day, but Jens Gyring says there is no change.
Karina’s sister, Janni, thinks her sister is deteriorating.
Jens Grying says he is taking instructions about Karina’s care from Dr Christensen and that the treatment given is a rehabilitation programme.
There are many unanswered questions
Karina’s mother was paid by the county to take care of her daughter and there was never any report of neglect. After Karina was taken away, her mother was fired from her job on the grounds that the caregiver duties were no longer needed.
Which authority gave the order to remove Karina and by whom was it authorized?
What legislation was used to remove and detain her as an involuntary patient in a hospital?
Why are the parents and their lawyer not permitted to see paperwork about the case?
Why have the parents not been allowed to visit?
Are there any charges levelled against the parents?
What is the treatment plan for Karina? The hospital requires that a treatment plan be made on admission.
Why all the secrecy?
Med venlig hilsen
Morten Wilder & Charlotte Bjørn Poulsen”
The link is in Danish, since it’s a Danish case, and it’s not exactly worldwide news, how Denmark easily overwrite human rights and isolate and imprison and torture this girl;
Not only is Karina still held against her will, but she is still isolated as well, and not recovering, because anyone with ME, or who knows anything about ME will know that forced exercise surely will kill you.
So yes, I am scared. Tell me again, how hard it is to be able to hold up a job. I’ll let you in on a little secret, all of you. Those of us who are sick, those of us who live in constant fear, fighting with everything we have, to save our lives, and to live with a slight amount of dignity, once in a while, we would love to trade with you.
We just don’t have the option.
And these days, it would seem, we have no legal standing and no human rights left. I am pretty sure that prisoners are not allowed to be kept isolated for three weeks straight, but a sick girl, why now, she can’t complain…
And if you were wondering, this is the TERM model’s doing. The invention of Per Fink, who claims to be able to cure people with ME, amongst other things, by forcing them to be normal, and by talking to them and making them happy. He believes that we are all a bunch of lonely, sad people, who just need someone to give us a good kick in the ass, and we wouldn’t be sick at all.
Isn’t that nice, how a psychiatrist suddenly has been given the power to overrule doctors who actually know what ME is? Isn’t that nice, how he has promised the society to get us all off our lazy asses and how he has been given free hands and unlimited funds- it would seem- to do it?
Most of all, isn’t it nice, how we all turn a blind eye?