The last four months have been tough. Rhumba came down with a nasty infection that turned into an abscess, picked up collateral damage from “health” workers, was overly treated for the wrong problems and spent a miserable two months in the hospital and rehab. For much of that time she was in serious pain.
We are not convinced that most of it was necessary. We are completely convinced that it was avoidable. And can prove that it didn’t need to be anywhere near as bad as it was.
She’s better. I’m better. But for many weeks I would put in a full day’s work, come home for half an hour to feed the cat, and rush off to the hospital or rehab to help keep Rhumba’s head straight. She hates modern medicine. She has never been in a hospital before, or been seriously ill; and she fears illness. At the many points when odd symptoms mysteriously appears and no one would pay attention, it took everything I had to keep her fears under control. Even though I myself knew no truth except that panic is bad.
I had no strength left to write anything. I just went on and on. Stayed till 9 or 10 every night and drove home so bone tired that I had to narrate my route to myself aloud to stay awake. Come home, sit in a stupor in front of the laptop for an hour or two, grab five hours, go to work and do it again.
The only thing that worked right, was work. I was too shaken to concentrate, so management switched me to easy tasks. They gave me lots of time. They told me to ignore the looming deadlines. That place is anything but perfect, but the people are pretty decent. Thank God.
And things gradually got better, and Rhumba’s home now and even back at work. But in about ten minutes I’ll put this down and go change her dressings for her. The wound she went to the hospital for is pretty much cured; this is for the much more painful wound she picked up thanks to modern medical care.
I’ll snip off the rolled gauze and the old dressing, cleanse the wound, apply triple antibiotic, then translucent oil bandages, an ADB pad, a gauze wrap, and I’m done. There’s an outer layer, too, an Ace-style bandage, but Rhumba handles that herself. That’s the evening ritual, and will be for some time.
I learned how to do it while helping the rehab nurses change the dressing every night. It was a half-hour, two-person job at first, and they rarely had enough staff. That’s another reason I stayed late at night: to make sure that it was done right. Otherwise, it might not be, and Rhumba’s fragile morale would go down the drain.
I’m less stressed now, and I’ve tried to write up everything that happened, but I can’t. It’s too big. I’m too close to it, still inside of it in fact. Can’t come up with a witty, well-structured essay with a surprise conclusion at the end. Too big.
Meanwhile I’m doing a few haiku, because those I can handle. I still watch Rhumba like she’s a rare and fragile flower, which I do anyway but when you’ve been on high alert for three months, you don’t relax well. I may get there. Someday.
I’ll keep you posted. Maybe even start writing about small things. Write if you’re out there.