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“Slap from Hell” – Jevel Dagblad

“Slap from Hell” – Jevel Dagblad

After years of seeking help for brain fog, heart palpitations, joint pain and other problems, Angelika Edberg realized she was going through menopause.

The quality of life was zero and incomplete, the body was in free fall and the economy was completely destroyed.

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Photo: Elizabeth Forsmark

“Help!”

That's what came in big red letters in the long letter that Angelica Edberg, 54, wrote to a private doctor's office at the beginning of last year. The letter was written in extreme desperation after at least six years of searching for a doctor to treat various physical and mental problems. Over the years, she has met with a multitude of health care professionals, ended up in the emergency room due to a suspected stroke, and had countless tests, biopsies and X-rays taken. She has died at home and at work, said goodbye to her partner several times, and feels that she has been treated arrogantly and unsympathetically by caring.

“I am sad and angry after suffering for so long without getting the right help,” says Angelica, who was able to wrap 250kg hay bales.

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Suddenly it didn't work.

– It was like you were hitting a concrete wall. Or I could stand with the wheelbarrow on the manure with cracked arms but nothing happened when I took it. It was a complete race all around.

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The words tumble out of her mouth, in anger at not being taken seriously, and frustrated that she's just a shadow of her old self.

Read more: “Like being in puberty – but worse.”

Previously, Angelica lived an active life in the woods and fields at her home in Okilbo with a large family, horses and dogs. As a GIS technician at a company that builds everything from small contracts to entire wind farms, she spends a lot of time in the woods and in rugged terrain. It's a job that requires a sharp mind and a body in good shape. But at the age of 45, she was slowly losing her grip. Heart palpitations, extreme fatigue, memory problems, brain fog, dry mucous membranes, stiffness and pain in the body, dizziness and decreased resistance to stress are just some of the conditions that almost broke it all together.

– In addition to everything in the body, it felt as if the brain had been damaged, says Angelica, who was treated for Lyme disease.

- Not all women are able or willing to take hormones.  But you have a right to know what it is "mistake" And what you can do for yourself through diet, lifestyle and the like, says Angelika Edberg.- Not all women are able or willing to take hormones.  But you have a right to know what it is

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Photo: Elizabeth Forsmark

After that, some of the symptoms subsided somewhat, but she wasn't feeling well. According to the doctor, it was not due to a Lyme infection. During another doctor's visit and more heart palpitation tests, she was told at the health center: “There's nothing wrong with you either.”

– The doctor looked at me up and down. Then she turned on her heel and left the room, leaving me there in my bad mood, says Angelica in a weak voice, without a trace of the previous anger.

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– Many times during these years I thought about sleeping, and then the energy was completely gone. I simply did not want to live but I did not know what was most effective. I just wanted to disappear from everything, and avoid being a burden to those around me. At the same time, I didn't want them to find me, a corpse, she says with tears in her eyes.

When Angelica was at her worst, she was on sick leave. But the General Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan) withdrew the sickness benefit because it believed that her health problems were not sufficient reason for her to take sick leave. Without a steady salary or sick pay, the economy ended up in free fall. Compensation for the few hours I was able to work from time to time was not enough even when absolutely necessary. Partner Johan has shouldered a heavy financial burden.

-If you like someone, you have to make sure they work. But I'm angry because it's been so bad, for so long, while there is help. “It is very unfortunate that a person has to fight and argue like this,” says Johan Oberg.

- I'm angry because she felt bad for a long time, when there was help, says Johan Oberg, Angelica's partner.- I'm angry because she felt bad for a long time, when there was help, says Johan Oberg, Angelica's partner.

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Photo: Elizabeth Forsmark

After searching for information herself and reading, Angelica became increasingly convinced that her problems were due to menopause.

– I cried right when I realized what was wrong, and what the doctors had not seen. Once you say the word menopause, no one wants to listen. It scares me that even women who work in health care have a hard time understanding what this might be like. I was told at the health center that “menopause is not a disease but a condition.” Well, I know that too. But all my symptoms cause ill health, says Angelica, who is saddened by the fact that she has lost several years of meaningful life, destroyed her finances and, in the long run, a worse pension.

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But that desperate letter to the private doctor's office was finally the turning point. A little over a year ago, she received hormones. Slowly the condition improved. Today, Angelica is fitter, stronger and sleeps better. Many symptoms disappeared completely, and others were relieved.

– When the situation was at its worst, I couldn't carry a bucket of water from the garage to the stable. I had to drag him down the hill. Now I wear two without any problem. It's as if life has returned after years of dysfunction. Only now do I realize how bad it was. When you're in the middle of it, you keep driving in the fog, just trying to survive.

Read more: Gynecologist: “Better quality of life with hormone therapy”

- said a friend "I hate menopause because I don't know myself.".  Angelica Edberg says: - said a friend

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Photo: Elizabeth Forsmark

Now Angelika is fighting for the Gälborg district to raise the level of knowledge of healthcare staff when it comes to women's health. She even informed the district about available training courses.

-No one should have to go through what you went through. They ruined my life because of ignorance, says Angelica, who writes about her experiences with menopause and what she believes is wrong with the system:

Women in Sweden in the twenty-first century do not get the help they are entitled to. There are so many women who remain silent and suffer unnecessarily.

Maybe eventually there will be a book about Angelica's experiences. Anyway, the title is clear: “Menopause – A Slap in the Face from Hell.”

Angelika Edberg with her partner Johan Aberg.Angelika Edberg with her partner Johan Aberg.

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Photo: Elizabeth Forsmark