Friend Kat, who left our department about 6 months back, wrote to say her partner who was without a job or visa for about a year and a half, was finally approved for a job and visa- so that is a big relief for her. She also got a bank loan to get a new car that would not stop on the road for at least sometime. I think that’s super news. We might have a celebration some time for them. Still planning how to throw him a surprise party.
One of our colleagues from our main university campus, who was here for two weeks is leaving tomorrow, back to the home campus. So we took him out to lunch at the food court of a mall nearby. We went to the Cheesecake factory and indulged to our heart’s content.
The tempura shrimp, the prawns, the avocado sandwiches and the tortilla chips were amazing as starters. Drinks like strawberry lemonade and black tea were provided in large glasses with any number of refills- who could want any more? By the time main courses came over, we were all rather full but we went on. I ordered a hamburger and Cyn an endive salad, saving her space for a cheesecake. Who could leave out the cheesecake from a visit to the Cheesecake factory . Everyone had plenty of food left over to take home in doggie bags. Most of the bags carried their cheesecake desserts. The best part of the day- not to have to return to work after lunch- we left for home soon after even though our work day wasn’t over yet.
Nose bleed waking me up at night. A bad feeling. Tears. Wondering what’s happening. It is a horrible feeling to have something flowing down your nose and waking up because of the bleed.
My CT scan reports are essentially normal- seems like I have chronic sinusitis. I visited with my ENT today and he confirms the CT scan report- what else could he do. Have been put on a month’s medical treatment after which perhaps I might need to have a sinus cleaning surgery. Funny that I didn’t have a single symptom of sinusitis- not one. And if the nose bleeds hadn’t occurred, I probably wouldn’t have gone to my ENT either or had a scan either.
In 1992, which seems a long time back now, I was a very junior doctor, fresh out of college. It was a rural area and the hospital was the only one that served at least 20 hamlets around. Patients were few and those that came preferred to come at the dead of night. For that is when they fell ill. We junior doctors were on duty most nights- to be spared the night shift was a privilege of the senior doctors.
One dark night, it must have been in late October of that year, I was on duty. Our shifts were for 24 hours at a time. At around 1 am, I got called to go to Emergency and fortunately the case did not take too long to look at. I could get back fairly quick to bed- that I remember.
Shrieks and huffs and puffs woke me up. The time on the luminescent dial of my watch declared it close to 2 am. The sounds seemed to come from my neighbouring room. Shuffles and pushes and pulls were heard. Words like “let me go” or ” let it go” were audible through the thin walls. And then loud sobs and doors slamming. I buried myself in my blanket and my sorrows. I was newly married at that time- just a month or so and I was planning my escape from that hospital to join my husband at the hospital where he worked.
A few moments later, a knock sounded on my door. I opened the door to find my neighbour there. She told me a thief had gotten into her room through the open door and had snatched her gold neckpiece. At the end of the chain was a small cross, one of the two symbols of being married in that part of the world among Christians. She told me she fought the thief, the only thought in her mind being, to save the little cross. A costly gold necklace could be replaced but the little cross ordained by the priest could not be- could never be. The thief spared the little cross and ran away with the gold chain.
I wonder if the chain was ever returned to its owner, my neighbour. 26 years later, I was reminded of this incident because my younger daughter went to dinner at the house of this very same woman, yesterday. And she recounted this incident to my daughter. I remembered the scolding I got from this woman that night – I should have gone to help her fight the thief. I would have heard the shouts and struggles. Together we could have overpowered the thief. I don’t think so. I have never wanted to fight a thief- it is not one of my bucket list things. Live and let live is my policy. October 31 was my last day at that hospital. I went on long leave. It was a coincidence that the thief incident and my leaving the hospital were all consequential though totally unrelated.
Even a nose bleed can put your life out of sorts- I learnt this today. As a child I often had nose bleeds. Not knowing much about this in the 1970s, we went to routine check ups and in those days, these things were taken as a matter of fact. I mean most people and a lot of children those days had nose bleeds. Now approaching 50 at a real fast pace, I tend to worry a lot more. My family does too. Health scares us a lot more these days than it used to in the 1970s. Being aware does make us better equipped but makes us fearful too. What am I afraid of ? A bad diagnosis or the fact that I may be facing death ? I think I am just afraid of the old body giving up on me and that wear and tear has finally caught up with me.
The bleed stopped in a matter of seconds- meaning my clotting was working properly. I had my blood tests done in December during another bout of nose bleed then. It seems the cold weather of 2018-19 has not worked in favor of my health. I cannot remember having felt very tired or anything except exceptional sugar cravings and my weight refusing to go down.
Issues in my family have turned me once more to that old refuge- positive thinking books and of course, Norman Vincent Peale. I can say I read the Bible and pray but the truth is what Peale writes seems to make more sense. Anyway, I am now reading about choices man can make- faith or fear. Faith can banish fear. I choose faith. What else does man have ? I don’t want to live in fear, like a worm.