There I was a month ago, I’d moved to Geneva, was intending to throw myself into life here, intrepid explorer, but in fact I was ill from the start. I didn’t realise how ill, however, until I made my way to the hospital almost dead the Sunday before last.
Now I’m out of hospital and life is simply no longer about whether I spend $20 or $30 today on existence. Life transformed.
Have you ever thought about ordinary life being the enemy, a hostile environment out to get you? I have become an artifical haemophiliac, courtesy of the drugs I’m taking for at least several months. It transpires there isn’t much you can do in this circumstance that doesn’t entail danger. I love having showers, but suddenly I can slip, I can cut myself – never have, but now it matters in a way it didn’t before and it is something that looms large. I love cooking and cooking means knives and that means cutting one’s self. It is all very well to say take care, but that isn’t enough and it might even make things worse. It’s a bit like that situation where you fall and then start walking ‘carefully’. That puts you at more risk than if you simply walk in the intuitive way you are supposed to. Walking nervously makes it more likely you will fall, not less.
It has just started snowing again in Geneva. Before I was being slow and careful, aware that a fall could be a bad thing. Now? It’s a hundred times worse.
Even remembering to take my pills when I should is scary. A couple of hours late and I can’t just take them, I have to call a doctor. Arrgghhhhhhh!!!
It isn’t just that the environment around you is suddenly your enemy, but you feel like your body is too. The idea that I can have a serious situation on my hands by cutting my gum on a sharp piece of breakfast cereal or through brushing my teeth is hard to live with. You walk into the door handle as you do frequently without even thinking about it and the bruise you get might mean internal bleeding.
It is very odd to realise that you take for granted the simplest things, like bounding into the shower. Not only is that a source of cuts and bruises now, but I have to have my leg in a special stocking whenever I’m not in bed now for at least 6 months. The exception is taking a shower. But that means you no longer enjoy standing idly under the shower contemplating nothing in particular. It feels like it is threatening your life being there.
I suppose I will get used to all this, but for now it is hard not to think about it too much.
So, that is life for me right now. In case you were wondering!