Wednesday 30 August 2017


You know how all of us, or is it only some of us, are plagued by and plague each other by asking the perennial question, 'So, what do you DO?'

What do you do with your life? Not who are you in your life. Not how are you in your skin? Your mind. Your heart. But... where in the cogs do you fit...

A peculiar character like myself with the odd wolf disease is bound to feel on the defensive about what she does, because mostly she doesn't. 

But when I'm in hospital, you would think I'd be let off the hook for a bit.

I have been hospitalised four times this year with persistent infections. I've become too immuno compromised by the monoclonal/ chemo therapy; time for a break from it to give my immune system a chance to recover. The reality of such immunological machinations is, not surprisingly, that I am very fatigued. And need, and must, rest. 

And yet, the number of times I am teased by medical staff about sleeping in, in the mornings, is baffling. Does every other patient rise and shine, stretch and leap out of their narrow white beds to... do what? I was moved from my fateful room on N2 late last Friday evening. I am now in an enclosed room, with negative pressure controlled air vents circulating a draft eddy of mechanical air. I am on heavy antibiotics... and yet... 'sleeping beauty' they call me! 'Every time I've seen you,' sez the male nurse today, 'you've been sleeping!'
'What should I be doing?' I ask. 'Inventing a new gadget?' 

So I am trying like mad to occupy myself - painting Pooh in watercolour and pastel. Writing this blog post. Trying to look extra busy to account for the bizarre preoccupation of society even on the most isolated Infectious Diseases ward to DO SOMETHING DO ANYTHING JUST DO. SOMETHING. 

'So,' asks my consultant when she visits, 'what have you been up to in here? Writing anything? What are you working on now?' Gaaaaah ๐Ÿ™ˆ๐Ÿ™ˆ๐Ÿ™ˆ๐Ÿ™ˆ๐Ÿ™ˆ

So I did do something. Only it was accidental. I pushed open the heavy door to my room, stepped out, ostensibly to discover when my next antibiotic dose was, and had a quiet mooch down the long unfamiliar corridor ahead of me. We are eleven beds on this ward, locked away from each other. I made it to the end of the corridor, and saw a portrait of Mary Seacole on the wall. Hello, Mary! 

I had reached the fire door right at the end, and while contemplating Mary, I leant against the door. Suddenly, a wild alarm set off, ringing around the ward. I put my hands up in true Crime Drama fashion as two burly male nurses hefted their way towards me. 'Sorry!' I bleated, and slunk away from the crime scene. 

'You won't be doing that again,' sez the same male nurse to me. 

Honestly. I just can't win. Back to bed, I think...

(P.s. In case you don't know much about Mary Seacole, the Jamaican British nurse who gave succour to many during the Crimean War, look her up. Now she really did DO many, many things.)


Kenza said...

Sweet Shaista! You made me smile. Thank you. I am so glad you find the strength to give us so much happiness as you write and share with us your days. I am sorry you are still ill, but I assure you that this joy you are spreading, is highly contagious. I hope it comes back to you with health and more smiled. Thank you. Kenza.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Oh my goodness. Thank heaven for your sense of humour. I do not understand the preoccupation with Doing, when, as ill as you are, your radiant Being is more than enough with which to grace the world. Argh. I LOVE the alarm, your arms up in surrender. As Kenza says, you give so much to all of us who love and admire you. Of course you are fatigued and must rest. AND you still manage to write such inspiring posts. Ignore them. Sleep in.

Anonymous said...

Ha! Perhaps they will think twice before urging you to be "doing something" again.
Very sorry about your current situation. I do hope you are able to leave the hospital soon.

UplayOnline said...

I hope it comes back to you with health and more smiled.


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