Michael Jackson, Power Fashion, Immigrant Swedes and Being on the Pill

We wrapped taping the Power Dressing week on P3 Kultur too early to talk about Michael Jackson, but I do a quick reading here (in Swedish). The sorry end to the bizarre and pathetic life of this broken and talented man did however remind me, that I have written a ghost story for young readers in which the Jackson 5 plays a prominent role. It’s in the summer issue of Koululainen, which I believe looks like this. In stores now (Finnish).

Next week on P3 Kultur, we talk about the 1808-09 war and about language minorities under the heading Svenska för invandrare. It starts on Tuesday, 18.06; the whole week looks super promising. Listen online and catch up on the last 30 days of programming here (Swedish).

Finally, I am no longer on the Pill. If you want to know why, read this in the luxurious summer issue of Fokus (Swedish). Then think about it. Then talk to your daughters about the range of available forms of contraception.

Does this information feel too personal? Just wait until the Grotesque Body Week we’re gearing up towards on P3 Kultur! Until then – stay frosty and keep an eye peeled at Iran (we are continuing to bear witness)!

PS. Also, if you meet a medical professional on the beach or at a party, do ask them whether they know the most common symptoms of multiple sclerosis. It has been brought to my attention that the diagnostic nightmare of many sufferers seems to suggest they don’t. Maybe together we can shame the docs to go home, rent a West Wing box set or look MS up on Wikipedia. If you’re in Sweden you can read more about MS here.



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5 responses to “Michael Jackson, Power Fashion, Immigrant Swedes and Being on the Pill

  1. Har bloggat om Fokus-texten; den var mycket bra.

  2. Terhi

    MS disease is an autoimmune disease that attacs central nervous system. Depending on what parts of the CNS is affected also the symptoms of the disease vary accordingly. Hence every case is a bit different with its own set of symptoms.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiple_sclerosis :

    “Multiple sclerosis can be difficult to diagnose since its signs and symptoms may be similar to many other medical problems.”

    “Almost any neurological symptom can appear with the disease, and often progresses to physical and cognitive disability and neuropsychiatric disorder.”

    Many of the neurological diseases are hard to diagnose and usually do require an expert to do that.

  3. newmutant

    Terhi – that is totally valid!

    However, when all the obvious causes have been exhausted – at the point where some doctors will now turn to the patient and say “there is nothing wrong with you” – at that moment, I feel it would make sense to stop and assess whether it is more reasonable to send the patient to a specialist or to send her home.

    Which is likelier to happen today (at least here in Sweden) has a lot to do with the patient’s verbal skills, lucidity and, unfortunately, in some cases gender and class background. And in the case of a disease like MS where an early diagnosis is vital for the patient’s prognosis and quality of life, knowing that your symptoms were initially (and sometimes for years on end) dismissed as hysteria or some kind of attention-grabbing attempt is obviously very demoralizing.

    I know this is mostly about money and I know the hysterics and attention-grabbers are out there too. But it shouldn’t ever be up to the patients to go, “hangon, I may have a problem with my central nervous system, I better go see my private specialist.”

  4. Terhi

    I totally agree with what you are saying.

    But that is a bit of a different problem than doctors not being able to tell you the symptoms of MS and relates more to the attitude of some doctors. I have also encountered this myself. I have heard (from a specialist no less) that my back couldn’t possibly hurt that much and I’m just depressed and it’s all in my head. Luckily she still prescribed physiotherapy for me and my therapist then encouraged me to get a second opinion. Like you said it can be really devastating to hear such things from a person you consider to have an authority and it shouldn’t happen.

    • Joc

      Jepp… but on some very basic level, it boils down to this awful attitude that says that if the symptoms don’t fit a model that the doctor knows, then they can’t be real.

      And I am SUPER WORRIED that what happens is that people who look “crazy” from the doctor’s perspective – tattoos, sub culture attributes, poverty markers etc – are much less likely to get help, and then it’s a democracy problem suddenly. And of course we already know that women in general are less likely to get the best treatment and the most expensive treatment. It’s bizarre and scary.

      I know, I’m taking this issue personally. 😉 But having both female patients and female doctors in my extended family I’m torn enough to make some noise when I can.

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