Kathy suggested that I share this email conversation we had. She asked about my experience to date, in comparison to that I had experienced with my dad 2 years back.
My health system experience is definitely a bit more upmarket, it’s interesting doing this in English, not Sotho or Afrikaans! Yet I think the system is not that different. Bara’s context was a bit grim, yet it’s kind of communal, so you see walking skeletons sitting around on the grass with their drips and bags, while they have a smoko. Can’t see that happening at Westville, which is lovely and clean and airconditioned. The communication issues are the same it seems. The departments don’t seem to speak clearly to each other. Lou reminded me of how often my dad got lost and one particular occasion when he was being scanned and everyone kept calling him a different name, until he bellowed in his drill sergeant’s voice, I am not Mr XYZ, I am Mr Harrison! Bit like them phoning Pat and my GP to find out where I was for the colonoscopy, when I was lying in the ward waiting!
Why is that do you think? I’m suspecting it’s caused by bureaucratisation – with lots of little segments but no overview to hold it all together. Also, I suppose the memory of a patient is a short-term thing, on a half hour to half hour basis, and there are so many of them.
It is interesting in a Foucauldian sort of way!
There are so many layers to this experience. Philosophical, physical, spiritual, sociological, psychologiceal. Yesterday I was a bit whacked by the day before’s surgery. A single Mypradol (painkiller) knocks me flat, so there was no way I was going to take the two that the doc prescribed. Ruth popped in for a visit which lifted me out of the doldrums, and got me out of my pyjamas and washed! I keep wondering whether I’ll be able to enjoy a hot bubble bath once I’m on chemo. Apparently one of the side-effects is skin-thinning and ultrasensitivity to temperature. Just in case, I’m going to have a good one now with the Badedas that the walking crew gave me for my birthday.
Joan and Delysia asked Pat and me to lie quietly together for half an hour while they had a healing session last night. We did. We felt much calmer after and have decided to make that a regular thing for us, just to meditate and connect.
Lots of thoughts to capture – but my bath is priority now. Thank you to each and every one of you for your care, prayers and light-sending. There’s no question that you are holding us up and keeping us together.