Visit suspended due to Covid: “In Nuoro ignore rare diseases”

The drama of a young woman from Lanusei who has been waiting for answers since last February. Since 2018 he has been fighting against Lyme disease caused by tick bites

NUORO. “Madam, I’m calling you from the Nuoro Cup to inform you that your visit on 2 December is suspended due to Covid”. The phone call that freezes her blood comes at 8.30 on a Friday like many others. For Caterina Bambino, a 36-year-old beautician from Lanusei, who has been fighting Lyme disease, a very rare infection caused by tick bites, since 2018, those words are a blow to the heart. To be able to get a diagnosis, he had to cross the Tyrrhenian Sea and make stops in Pisa, Rome and Trieste. For almost a year she has been waiting to know which service of the San Francesco hospital (a structure identified by the Regional Reference Center for Rare Diseases for the care of patients suffering from Lyme disease) should treat her to prevent her pathology from degenerating.

From postponement to postponement he has been waiting for months for a visit that never comes.

“Since February, with the justification of the ongoing health emergency, my visits have been postponed” underlines the woman who, after a short period in which her conditions have improved, has now worsened again. “I’m continuing to do the old therapy but I’m not well. I accuse the old problems starting from the loss of sensation in the leg – he says -. My story has been going on for two years now. After the diagnosis, made in the Peninsula, no one at the Nuoro hospital was able to tell me clearly which health facility should treat me ». This circumstance led Caterina Bambino to write to the regional councilor for health Mario Nieddu to ask for clarification. The councilor’s reply arrived: he ordered San Francesco to clarify the procedures. However, the December appointment is skipped. «And again – the woman says bitterly – I don’t know when I will be visited».

The uncertainty that accompanies these times of pandemic affects healthcare, with consequences that could be very serious.

“I risk being disabled because Lyme disease can escalate. Unfortunately it is not taken into proper consideration because it is a rare disease: we are less than 500 a year throughout Italy. In Sardinia there are two other people who, like me, have contracted the Borrelia bacterium and went abroad to cure themselves. We are just numbers, even more in times of Covid ». The kindness of the Cup operator who spoke expressly of “provisions from above because Covid patients have priority”, is not enough to placate Caterina who still wonders, and asks the Ats and Assl Nuorese leaders what the procedure to follow and who should deal with your case. And to do so he lets himself go to an outlet that is at the same time an appeal.

«Do you know – he asks – what sensations are felt when you do not understand if you can get out of bed and when you ignore if what you are moving is the right or left leg? Do you know what it means to walk into the shower hoping not to accidentally close your eyes and crash? Do you know what it feels like when your body fills with rash and erythema until it bleeds? Do you know what it means to be in such excruciating pain that you vomit? ».

Covid requires resources, means and men. However, there are other diseases as well. The case of Catherine is here to remind us of this because even in times of pandemic the health of all citizens, without exception, is important.

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