Tuesday, August 24, 2021

 here's a strange tale
just over a week ago i seriously began to have trouble breathing, i'd developed a cough and my chest hurt. worse than all of this was the way i'd be exhausted after putting on my socks, walking to the mailbox or just getting up. i thought the coughing was due to having to wear a mask, but when i started coughing at home i knew something was afoot. 
so i'm at work and start to feel very strange, in fact i do something i have never done which is leave early. i planned to drive to the covid testing clinic as obviously that's what i figured i must have. it was only a matter of time and to be honest i actually wanted to catch it and have natural immunity. however by the time i arrive at the clinic it's shut, not to reopen until midday the following day. 
at home i have a shower slip into my pjs and put on some agatha christie drama. i'm establishing a theory that the second wife did it or was it the son in law?  but when my phone rings my detection skills go on hold.
its a friend, 'how are you?' she asks.
i tell her.
'get to hospital,' she says.
'no, i don't like hospitals,' i say.
my friend knows me well. she knows i won't go so she calls an uber and gives me 10 minitues to pack a bag. i'm somewhat cursing her under my breath despite her good intentions, besides my pattern recognition was about to come together and reveal the killer.
i grab a pair of pants, a fresh shirt and a toothbrush. and a dune messiah which i am reading. 
sure enough the uber is waiting.
at hospital i do all the entry questions and they place me in isolation. i know i must have the covid and when the doctor appears tell him i need a test. he gets together with a few other doctors and they look me over, start sticking me in telemetry and monitoring equipment.
you've had a heart attack, they say.
i'm moved into a new area, scanned and x rayed and various drips attached to me, and a nurse says, you need magnesium and potassium.
i get a bag of magnesium and about 20 bags of potassium, plus i have to drink several potassium tinctures. 
later they wheel me into a private room in intensive care, and leave me in isolation until they get the covid results. 
about several hours later, a nurse comes in and says she can move me, the results are negative. so i end up in a nice little room in the cardio ward. again it's sealed and has a huge shower, toilet area, it has a nice window with a fantastic view from which i can watch the sunrise, it has several monitors and quite a comfy bed. my heart rate is twice what it should be, they have to bring it down and after several days they do. i have to take some meds, and i figure these are traditional meds and tried and tested. then some nurse comes in and tells me i have to have an angiogram. there's a 1 in 1000 chance i could die from it. i have to sign some paperwork. 
the doctors and nurses are amazing, they come in introduce themselves and treat me with the upmost respect and compassion, it's incredible. this is a public hospital. i have always thought australia as one of the best health systems in the world but this proves it. even a waiter comes to take my meal orders, and there's a vast choice of different things to choose from. 
i resign myself i'm hear fro the long haul and settle into a routine. it's actually peaceful and at least i can read. there's a tv if i want but i keep it switched off. 
eventually i come to accept the peacefulness of it all and when my phone rings it becomes irritating, and although i am speaking to people who are obviously concerned about me, i really just want to be left alone. my friend who forced me into hospital thus saving my life sends me two massive bags of luxuries. however i can't eat the stuff she has sent as it's sugary, salty, liquid or irritates my throat. i do use the notebook she sent and smile at the photo she sent although the frame is broken. 
there's a few books too. some clothes that don't fit me and a toiletry bag stuffed with lipstick and eye liner. cute.
the days and nights fade into a sort of strange blur fractured by bloodtests, heart monitors and meals. most of the time i just sit by the bed reading or on the sofa watching the sun rise meditating. 
i weigh 125ks, by the time i am released i weigh 118ks, so i have to maintain weight loss and get down to about 75ks. i have to watch the liquids intake, only one litre a day. i drink one litre of coffee a day so this is going to be very hard.
eventually i am discharged. 
at home i water plants, feed fish and try to clean up the place but give in. a friend takes me shopping, she organises a set of scales with a heart monitor attached. i wander through the fruit shop, i buy a few groceries and remain perplexed at how empty this big shopping mall is, and why all the shops are shut. these covid years are bizarre years, totalitarian and dystopian are the words that spring to mind. that day in melbourne the police use tear gas and rubber bullets on people protesting about lockdowns.
the very same day i catch the pm say, 'we must always fight for freedom'

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