I wrote this yesterday. And didn't think it was appropriate to post. I'm still not sure. I may take it down again. Or not. Hmmmmm
At the moment my mind feels like its half full of water, with old pieces of toy floating and sloshing about. Farmyard animals - a sheep with chewed bent hooves, a bit of old plastic fence. A piece of scuffed red lego, a barbie’s hollow leg, all filled with water.
And I can’t seem to be able to sort through my thoughts. My good friend here in Tanzania nearly died. She got cerebral malaria and was medivaced to Nairobi where she was in ICU in a coma for a few days. I heard this news while I was in Zambia and I was fully expecting her to die. It is really something of a miracle that she didn’t. She has a little boy who is a month older than my baby gal. While she was in the hospital they did some tests on the little boy – to check that he didn’t also have malaria and because he wasn’t looking too good. And while his mother was in a coma they discovered that he has leukemia. They had to fly to Europe that night – the boy and his father, leaving the just out of a coma mother with a friend in the hospital. And she’s finally starting to feel a little better (physically). Her and her friend drove back from Nairobi the day before yesterday and I went with her to book her ticket. She flies tonight. I spent most of yesterday with her and saw her briefly today.
What do you say? How do you balance the creepy shoulder squeezing “how are you” with being too upbeat? I find myself talking about the times I have had malaria, how I felt afterwards – in an effort to sympathize and understand but surely that comes out as all memememe? And she says yes, please come and visit I’d love to see you. How do you balance that with overstaying your welcome? Will she feel weird seeing me breastfeed my daughter in front of her?
And how can she possibly even begin to deal with recovering from malaria (which is a bitch at the best of times), and nearly dying, let alone the fact that her son has leukemia and she hasn’t seen him for weeks. How do you even begin to offer comfort? To sit in silence mostly? To listen? And other people come and visit and if I’m feeling irritated by their questions (can’t you see she’s tired? Can’t you see that’s an inappropriate question?) then what must she be feeling? As irritated by me as I am by them?
And is she strong enough to travel? Should I have encouraged her to spend a few extra days to recover more? Surely she needs her family around her, needs to see her boy, her husband. But will the flight and seeing them be too much to cope with? Will she have a relapse? The doctor says no. How can we be sure?
And the thing that bugs me most? Why am I making this about me? Am I? grrrrrrrrr