Inacia

Age: 61
Location: Vauxhall,
Lambeth

I used to feel isolated but having a dog has helped.

Now I also have my son here and now I don't feel isolated.

I live with my son, he helps me. To begin with, I didn't have my son here. Now I have my son here, for almost two years now, and he helps me. He does the shopping for me, he makes the dinner. At the weekend, he spends more time with me, wants me to go out with him, to go to dinner or to have lunch with his friends.


When I first arrived in the UK,
I was working.

But I had to stop because
of my spine.

I worked as a hairdresser since I was 14 years old, it was just too many years to be standing in the same position. I had a normal life in Portugal and I used to work. Even here when I first arrived in the UK I was working. But I had to stop because of my spine. I couldn't stand the pain.

I have had asthma since childhood but I never had any other health problems when I was young. It started when I was 25 years old, when they had to remove my gallbladder.

I now have knee problems. I had a stroke, I have spinal problems, my arms, joints.

Since I had a stroke four years ago I have a serious incontinence problem.

Before I walked like a normal person. Now I cannot do the things I used to do. I live on the first floor and the stairs are very difficult for me.

When I go to a coffee shop, everybody talks to me. But I don't go much, because I don't like to leave the house.

I used to feel isolated but having a dog has helped. Now I also have my son here and now I don't feel isolated.

Inacia finds support in the Portuguese community in Lambeth

Inacia finds support in the Portuguese community in Lambeth

She enjoys visiting cafes and community centres when she feels able to get out of her flat

She enjoys visiting cafes and community centres when she feels able to get out of her flat

I have very strong pain. In the morning when I wake up I barely can move myself as it is in the middle of my spine. After it is near my neck. Around my neck gets quite swollen.

After, during the day, my entire body, my joints, my knee - I can't normally move in the bed. I struggle to go to the loo. Absolutely there is nothing that can help me apart from the medicine.

I can't stay in a certain position for a long time. In the morning when I take eight tablets usually I need to sit down or lie down and wait for half an hour. Because I feel dizzy. It's just too much medication.

And then I can't stand it because it's very strong so I need to wait a bit until my body gets used to the drugs.

ME & MY TREATMENT

In the morning, I take about eight tablets from the little box. Then I take the ones for the pain. I take three more in the morning. Then during the day, after four, five hours, I have to take some more for the pain again.

At night, I take two more, and more for the pain. I have to take them at least three times a day. It's a lot of drugs, but I can't stand the pain. I have to take a lot of them.

I have so much pain that, as I lie down, that's how I stay, turned to the side so I can watch some TV. Then I have to hold on to the bed to be able to get up to go to the bathroom because I'm always going to the bathroom. I can't turn to this side or that side like a normal person. It's impossible.

I think the knee operation will help because I'll get a new cartilage. When I walk, I feel like the bone is falling apart. Even yesterday, when I went out, I was coming back and I had to stop because the pain was so strong.


If I need anyone to help me read letters from the doctors or with the medicine, I go to a Portuguese community centre not far from here where they give me help.