Wednesday 22 September 2021

One Tuesday morning in September

And I remember

It is the memories that stick so close to you in the stories you are given to tell and the gratitude you have for life. The 22nd of September 2009 was a Tuesday, I had called a cab and my on-off partner, Marc was riding with me to the hospital. I took a change of underwear and nothing else, as I was unaware of what to expect.

My doctor had expedited an appointment at the hospital upon observing the fungating tumours quite prominent on the left foot sole up the big toe and the one next to it. My right foot was painful, but nothing had appeared yet. She dressed the wounds with generous amounts of Betadine solution and gave me strong painkillers that killed none of the pain.

A bed for you upstairs

This was my second hospital visit as the first that she scheduled for the Thursday before instigated a referral to the Internal Medicine department. On arrival at the hospital, Marc fetched a wheelchair and wheeled me in to see the consultants. The first two simply summoned the Internist, a professor of medicine and upon seeing me, he said, “You can’t go back home, we have a bed for you upstairs.”

I was dying of AIDS and the fungating tumours were lesions of Kaposi’s sarcoma, an aggressive skin cancer that could so easily be fatal and between the pain and cancer, they could have been on a race to do me in. Soon, I was in a bed and then taken to blood pressure tests at all my extremities to ensure my condition was not related to diabetes.

My first night to recovery

After that, I was taken to another room where high-resolution pictures were taken of my feet and the lesions before being returned to my ward and given some pain medication. The day was uneventful, some intravenous lines were fitted for antibiotics and saline solutions, lots of blood was drawn for analysis, I got some sleep, but the day was blur.

At night, I took some pills, had a morphine patch applied to my chest and an injection into my thigh to prevent blood clots and other issues with spending a lot of time in bed. I prayed a prayer completely unsure of my future, but that was the beginning of my new life and much else that followed.

Blog - In hospital to kill the pain

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