I think, I am still alive!
At 33, she had a stroke, now she is 47. She does not remember when she bought medications and took rehabilitation course for the last time. “Five or six years ago,” she says. - What difference does it make, it won't be better for me anyway... "
Her right hand does not work at all, and she can hardly move her leg. Doctors scold her, saying that she should not ruin herself by not taking drugs. But they have no answer how she can get those vital drugs, with what money. Khatuna has already got used to it ... She has got used to not being a full-fledged person, she wanted to be.
Sometimes days go by while she is lying in bed so as not to freeze. There is no one to talk to her. She doesn't even have a TV to drown out the hellish silence. She loudly speaks to herself to make herself feel alive: "Come on, Khatuna, we have to live one more day ... Everything will be okay, keep your chin up, you are still alive!"
Khatuna: I had a stroke at the age of 33. I was very young, full of strength ... But everything collapsed in an instant! All plans, all dreams ...
I have not always been this weak and lonely. My happy childhood smoothly turned into a happy family life. It was fun, happy, warm and beautiful ... The only thing that darkened my life with my husband was that we had no children. We lived together for nine years, then problems began, mistrust of each other, jealousy, scandals ... We divorced.
If someone wise had told me then that soon I would become sick and lonely, that I would live in a dump like this, maybe I would have behaved differently. Maybe I would be more tolerant, would be ready to forgive more, would not be nervous over trifles ... Because the main thing in life is health and love! The only thing you need to worry about is that everyone is healthy and that people you love are around.
- Khatuna, what do you live on now?
Khatuna: My pension of 250 GEL plus 60 GEL of social allowance - that’s my total income. I pay 150 GEL for rent and 80 GEL to the bank. I took a loan to buy medications one year ago. So, 80 GEL is left per month. This should be enough for everything! I’ve got used to eat little food, I can get by with two pieces of bread and some tea per day. In summer, this amount is almost enough, because there I don’t have to pay for utilities. The neighbors treat me with tomatoes or apples from time to time. But in winter ... Sometimes I can't get out of my bed for weeks, because of the cold! And I can't heat the room! Although it is small, it does not get warm. That's why I can't buy medications... What medications? Bread is my medication. I haven't bought anything for five years, I can't even afford a painkiller
- Khatuna, do you remember how the stroke happened? What could have caused it?
Khatuna: I had a small grocery store, I earned my living and helped my parents. It all happened because of a nervous stress. My husband left me, my younger sister was diagnosed with cancer, I got nervous because of a friend of mine, and suddenly in 2006 I collapsed right in my store. It was difficult to recover after that. I spent two years lying motionless. My mother looked after me. It was not easy for her to turn me over, I could not even get up a bit. I realized that this could not continue any longer! I was 33 then. I was very young! I clasped the icon of the Mother of God to heart, asking Her to give me the strength to move independently. You can call it a miracle, but I started getting better. I was able to get up, then quietly move around the room with crutches. So, my friends, do not stop relying on God and believing in miracles!
- Khatuna, can I look into your fridge? What do you eat for 80 GEL per month?
Khatuna: Fridge? Are you kidding? It’s a cupboard. Be careful, don’t harm yourself. Here I’ve got some tomato paste, mayonnaise, milk, but it has gone off... Hopefully I will not get poisoned. I’ve got tkemali, margarine, everything you can spread on a piece of bread. I am alone, I don’t need lots of things. If someone brings me food, I feel rather awkward... I tell them, that if they want to help me, then they’d better help hungry children next time! I don't have my own kids, but I adore children! When I find out that someone is starving, I want to die. You know, I'm already used to eating bread alone, but what about children?
- I even know what you are dreaming about. It’s probably a fridge and a TV.
Khatuna: Oh, yes! I need a fridge. My food just goes bad. Therefore, I have been buying only mayonnaise and ketchup for months. And TV is a luxury, you don't have to spend money on it.
- When you're alone with your thoughts, do you think about the worst?
Khatuna: No, no ... If thoughts of death come into my mind, I drive them away with prayers or start remembering my student years, my childhood - how good it was then. Mom, dad, my three sisters! I was the oldest among them. We played together! After graduating from school, I entered university. I studied a very fashionable major then - EC. Do you know what it is? Electronic computers. It was interesting, indeed. But then I changed my profession abruptly and became a nurse! I realized that I got along with people better than with technology.
- Khatuna, you have a lot of plush toys on the wall. Why?
Khatuna: They are my friends. They brighten my loneliness. It may seem silly to someone, but I talk to them. God forbid anyone to experience loneliness and weakness. Believe me, only death is worse than that. Or maybe vice versa? Who knows?
Dear friends! Saying that Khatuna is in need - is just saying nothing. There is such pain behind her cheerful voice and seeming optimism, that it cannot be expressed by words. Maybe you can explain how a 47-year-old woman can survive on 80 laris a month? How can she withstand loneliness, hunger, and illness?
You know, she will be very glad if you just call her and talk to her, if you just cheer her up with your kind words. Khatuna will be happy if you visit her!
Her address is: Tblisi Ts. Dadiani, #107, phone: 555 94 40 11.
Let’s not stay indifferent to the troubles of this young woman, let’s show her our mercy and care, let’s all of us help her with whatever we can, with all love and mercy we have! Unfortunately, no one is immune from loneliness and illness.
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