saturday morning i’m in henley-on-klip, exuberantly jumping on the trampoline in my friend’s beautiful back-garden like a 6 year old. sunday morning i wake up with a sore back and throughout the morning it proceeds to get so bad that i eventually can barely stand up straight and am forced to shuffle along, bent over. i catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and am horrified. i can see myself as a hunch-backed old woman, shrunken and ossified. baba jaga. i vow to start yoga again. soon.
i’m flat on my back when the bf gets home from mountain biking and he is not a happy camper. he has fallen, got a handle bar in the gut and is in severe pain. if we weren’t both in so much pain, we’d be laughing at ourselves, side by side, flattened. long story short is that a few hours later, i wrestle myself up from the bed to find the bf on his hands and knees in the passage. he struggles to his feet, a zombie from a c-grade movie, pasty-gray with black rings under his unfocussed eyes. there’s not even time to yell timber when, barely upright, he does an imitation of a forest-tree having a run-in with a ninja-lumber-jack. fortunately i am infront of him to break his fall or he’d be flat on his face. i’m convinced he’s dead as i lean over his waxen, limp body at my feet, but then he starts coming to and i help him sit up. when he suddenly starts regurgitating weird yellow fluid from his nose, i start freaking, my back pain almost forgotten. after getting no response from 10111, i call the neighbor who helps me get the bf into the car and i rush him off to milpark ER.
many scans and x-rays later it seems that he has enormous amounts of liquid (later determined to be about a liter of blood) in his abdominal cavity and a possible mesenteric tear. emergency surgery is required. late on a sunday night it is eerie alone in the waiting room. there’s a weird stillness which isn’t quite silence. the creak of air-conditioners, the blipping of machines in the background. i’m dead-tired, but can’t sleep. after about two hrs the surgeon arrives. he is way more subdued than before, but says everything went well. when i get to the icu ward, the bf is on his back, complaining of heat and pain and when the necessity of work forces me to stumble from the hospital at about 01h30, he is fighting sleep and still woozily calling for more drugs. he has a bandage from his pubes to above his navel, through which a long thin red line is tattooing itself. if i hadn’t realized the seriousness before, now it’s etching itself infront of me. i wouldn’t want to be him right now. i hate coming round from surgery. you’re in a weird, helpless twilight – not fully awake and yet also hyper-aware. usually freezing and in pain. not fun.
i finally get to bed after 2, and am up for work around 6 – only to get a call while i still have a towel round my head: “make-up’s looking for you!”. crap, i misread my call-time. i race off to work. scene after scene. i get away for 2hrs inbetween scenes and persuade the the nurses to let me see the bf despite it not being visiting hrs. he’s looking so much better and is even up and walking his first few steps. relief.
so far, so good. he’s going to be in hospital for at least a week and all in all 6 weeks of recovery. another reminder of how suddenly things can change and just how fragile is the container which holds what we imagine is our lives. this makes me think; maybe we are merely the eggs that destiny scrambles at will.