The medical staff uses a curious mix of antiretroviral drugs and home remedies, which I am also learning about.
Garlic and saffron for infections of every type, especially of the gastrointestinal tract; lemon to dissolve fungus on the tongue (an opportunistic infection in later stage HIV); massage as an expectorant.
interestingly, the sensory deprivation this place affords me has resulted in the most fantastic dreams of my life, even better than the fever dreams, and consequently, while the days are this intense, the nights are amazing. i have glorious adventures and beautiful views, and i visit all of the friends who i miss here. last night I woke up laughing about something that I cannot remember now.
letters, physically are probably not possible; they might not arrive for months. i meant more like emails.
The days: i tread on eggshells and blood, i have learned to feed through throat tubes and swiftly dodge body fluids being ejected (that could actually kill me.? crazy).
1. 40 yr old. I was there for her bath, and i lifted her into the bed (not more that 50 or 60 pounds), but her pulse was becoming unstable and the nurses came in. She was breathing like horses on the racetrack and the whites of her eyes gazed heavenward, aware of precisely what was going on but powerless, while the rest of her body destroyed itself
she died an hour later.
2. I was playing vollyball with human/skeletons, while those too weak sat around and watched. the wind picked up and the women started to head inside, clutching their sweaters around their heads. All afternoon they were teaching me words of their language, which is EXCEEDINGLY difficult, worse than hindi, and I had just learned the words for thunder and lighting. I walked them in & came back to look for stragglers. There were two wizened men, age unidentifiable, and they were sitting close together in the middle of the bare field. They waved dismissively in my direction,
but i came up to them anyway and indicated the approaching thunder. GARUNGADUM, i said, and gestured at the sky. Go inside?
Both looked at me, and the one with eyes so sunken into his head you cant see them from the side regarded me. those big eyes narrowed and then i saw all of the contempt possible that one at the rapidly approaching and very visible end of life can have for the healthy young maiden. CHALO (go), he said softly. He turned to his friend and nodded; they said nothing more.
(oh, shit) I backed up and left them sitting in the dust as the storm blew up around us