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Letters to Nowhere chapter 7 (Cartas a Ninguna parte, capítulo 7)

Estándar

Since that confinement, I haven’t written a single line. It was a week but it seemed an eternity to me.   Just like if suddenly, that nightmare became real. Real and without time.
Now that I’m home I almost can’t believe it. I will never see a hospital in the same way. Not even the Life seems to me the same.
Four walls, a window showing a dark sky of February beginnings , and my drawing sketchbook.
The food was terrible and so the nights.
But surprisingly I don’t have a bad memory from those days. My Mother really supported me so much.
I realized that how much need of caring and love has a sick person.
Even now, being with my dears, I’m almost going to ask them for a hug, just like if  a simple and warm hug could get to end with all the suffering.
For any person, nowadays,  it can sound like a sissy silly thing what I’m trying to explain.
The old values don’t exist anymore, or they have metamorphosed into stupid masks of futility and superficiality.

Love that has a wide and incredible meanings, can not exists anymore.
The matter is that is one of the endangered species or it’s confused with just sex.
There is someone who feels touched and comforted giving Thanks during the christian liturgy? Maybe I must ask if there is someone between the catholic who goes to the Church for something more than false bless-faith (like some bigots)  or simple rutine.

If there’s someone who loves and respect their parents.
If there’s someone who doesn’t want to forget their roots.
If there’s someone who trusts their brothers protects them.
Someone who doesn’t feel the abhorrent need of broke a little orange tree planted in the street of our city.
Someone who doesn’t break the skull of a poor kid because of being different in color, culture or language.

The ones who left, who are quite a lot, go out and proclaim that you understand the LOVE! Don’t feel ashamed of being different, because on this dunghill where filth abounds sure can arise a green full of life outbreak. And so who can compare that large filth with the little outbreak?

My mother went out from the hospital room with Rosa María, to take breakfast, and I was left alone with Rosa, my dear room mate, mother of Rosa María.
Rosa was an adorable, young granny, with four daughters, every one of them were different but always getting along between them. They came from a place called Santa Coloma, on the north of Barcelona. My mother and I use to call them even now: “the roses of Santa Coloma”.
They were a family to remember, bright, smiling, loving: just like a bouquet of kind, healthy flowers.

When I saw my Mother coming in with a big bouquet of red roses, I felt not worthy of that caring and I noticed the difference between the flowers cut off for the sick person, and the ones that anyone can enjoy on the Nature, without touching them.
Rosa María brought me a little dressed up basket of yellow daisies that I put on the windowsill.
“Thank you, thank you”…But it doesn’t fill this emptiness…
The first night I couldn’t sleep. I had to be face-up with the left arm as straight as possible, because the catheter annoyed me with any movement. All arm to the wrist hurt me, so because of the apprehension I left it still and rigid so it froze. I’m a disaster.
When the nurse came at 12:00, I commented it, told me to move it it at least a bit, so it will not cool and hurt that much.
My mother “slept” in a chair. The back of that chair reached only half her back. so because of it, to lean the head was impossible.
That new situation, strange one, with that damn blood tests, nausea, my extreme thinness…All was transformed into a impossible to digest ball that filled me with sadness.
I could stop my tears anymore. I felt sick, finished, both physically and morally. And every second I felt that the ball was becoming bigger and bigger.

It grew up more and more within my chest, and the spring of tears were crowding my eyes.

Finally arrived the time for the psychiatrist visit. He took everything out of myself, and of course he had to do a break to pass me some clínex – paper handkerchiefs-.
I remember we began for the very beginning.
_ I don’t know if they commented to you something…If you know about it…
I was expecting something new, surprising, unexpected…I don’t know.
_ …But, how was your pregnancy?
I was stunned.
_ What?
I suppose my expression was saying everything. If I don’t have even menstruation, to begin with…Maybe he had the wrong patient?

The doctor did understand right away and made me do so too: he was talking about my mother being pregnant of myself. So embarrassing!
But the truth is that after more than 2 years of docs and docs, the Mr or Mrs of the white coat and the Vademecum really scare me, and I expect anything from them.
The last time I went to the hairdressing salon – I hate them – They brought me a little coat without sleeves to wash up my hair, and I was putting my arms all straight, as if I was going to take a radiography and the nurse was waiting for me with that ridiculous coat with the back all open.

The good man (the doctor) asked me the formal, typical questions about anorexia nervosa. It’s said that it’s the disease that’s fashionable now. Just as if it has to be something you want to get.*
The persons who are affected with this disease are victims of a strategy of their own minds: they don’t need to be at fault, to be blamed. They need help. You see, nowadays, everybody wants to be thin at any cost. It’s obvious that every one of us must accept onself the way they are and try to be happy. But this is a too chewed topic here in my century. I imagine you don’t know it at all, Beatrix.

It became clear that, to resume everything, I needed an antidepressant.
And plus, it has to be free of lactose. This part was the most complicated.
Only a few tests were left. Once they were finished the doctors told that they will decide if I needed a biopsy or not. Because of their expressions and the way they were approaching the situation I saw that it wasn’t necessary.

That’s why I was so surprised when that day they told me that had decided to make the tests to discard a possible autoimmune hepatitis.
The liver tests always had shown little alterations since two years ago.
Right after they left, I apologized to Rosa and went to the toilet, and I cried again.
At that moments, my mother was I and I was my mother. Well, sometimes I think it has been always like that. I’m so thankful I had her with me.

I must thank you “Mami“.

That night I accompanied her to the hallway, near the elevators, because she had to check in the cockpit in the lower floor if the card  was working. Being there, I insisted so she took something sweet to eat and a milk coffee at the vending machine.
I waited for her there. Beside the windows a middle age man with slippers and hospital coat, was waiting that hours pass and go, all alone. I saw him at mass of 18:00, touched by the words of comfort by reverend Fort.
We smiled each other and so needed of company he was, that began to talk with me.

He explained to me all they have done with him (he had big black stitches on his head, his chest, his tummy…) It made my hair stand on end.
He told me that a 20 years old young man had a biopsy of liver too, and being so very precise execution, they touch a vein and they had to made a liver surgery. He died.
It’s true that I was afraid, but it’s also true that  mentally I wasn’t ready for that damn test.
Neither to take decisions. But, even though, grabbing strongly my mother’s arm, my bestfriend’s arm, on that naked corridor, I decided with effort, to not have that biopsy, leave the semester and take my time to rest and recover. If this wasn’t going to work I would have the biopsy. And so I told to the doctors.

They let me that night to think about I and I really had a hard time. I wasn’t sure about what was the right thing and I felt literally “left alone from God hands”, but that never happened to me.
The reverent Fort told me “I will pray for you”.
Only Five words were needed to let me feel OK. I could sleep and when I woke up my Mother took my hand and kissed me.
_ What…- she asked to me.
_ I won’t do it.
I smiled because I felt with renewed strength that seemed to have been disappeared from my life.

When I stepped the streets again, and I felt the open space, the vestiges of sunshine sounded like a resurrection to me.
Of course the way in front of me, was not going to be easy.
But I had my family.
And that was my everything.

I have regained HOPE.

(year 1998-99, Saint John hospital, Tarragona)

* we are talking about the 90′ here!back then was the beginning of this terrible disease here in Spain. But there was not awareness at all.
Some of the (not psychiatrist) doctors that visited me mistook my Cystic Fibrosis with an anorexia nervosa. It was quite hard to deal, because I was treated like a disgusting convict.

After all, I had lots of medical proofs that tell I was not affected by anorexia nervosa, but it seems the bias remained quite a lot of time…

Originals in Spanish. Thanks for reading so much! Sorry for my bad English! (blush!!)

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Letters to Nowhere chapter 4 (Cartas a Ninguna parte capítulo 4)

Estándar

This food is my weakness, because I am so able to eat half of a kilo of bread per day – minimum – I love all with bread, bread with everything and bread alone.
I inherited it from my Mother.
I’m sure you would love to meet her, Beatrix. She is wonderful.
For me, the word Mother doesn’t’ mean the same that for the rest of my generation…And maybe from the future generations.
My mother isn’t my old hag. Not mine neither for anyone. She is not either that menopausal woman who I hate meeting when I’m with my friends. She doesn’t wear hair curlers all time and makes her dressing gown as her best ally all day long. I think she has not touched gossip magazines in her life.
She’s extremely attractive. I get why my father lost his mind for her.
And she has a bright intelligent, sharp and above all, young. She likes music, dancing, laughing, sweets and jeans.
She gave born to her kids, having so many qualities for all kind of things… There is not even a small glimpse of selfishness within her. That’s really strange in a human.
She is a mother-friend, a mother who knows to listen, a mother who knows to give advices.
When she went in the bakery, in views that I wasn’t coming out, she found me suffocated and stunned.
I had been arguing with the new clerk of the bakery. who, like an appearance, showed up behind the counter.
He has put in front of my face, solicitous, a tray of choux a là crème.
_ Look, take a taste, they are really yummy.
_ I don’t doubt it – I said – But I can’t…
_ But if they are really good, come one, take one!
_ I, I can’t…I don’t tolerate dairies and..
_ But if they are filled with custard!! – the boy was looking at me in a aggressive way offended at my refusal.
_ For this reason, custard cream is made with milk…
I began to move back to the door, understanding that it was in vain even trying to convince the clerk. According to him, custard was “a really yummy thing with vanilla flavor”. Boy, you’ve discovered America.
When I saw my Mother going in, I felt safe.
_ Let’s go Mami.
I took her arm and dragged her outside without saying goodbye.
_ We  “fought” during some seconds for the wheel of the car and I won, faster, already inside. I was driving down San Roque street – my favorite – When I saw him.
A black eyed boy was looking at me.
That half-smile activated a mechanism in my mind. After some months I remembered him.
_ Who is?
My mother looked at me in a funny way, with a smirk.
_ He looks at you like…You know him?
_ Not yet.
I followed him with my eyes until I saw him disappear behind a corner.
_ The light is green.
Of course, Mom was referring to the “traffic light”. She kept smiling. But appreciating my complete confidence with her and testing her trust in me, she had not asked a thing.
I put the first gear and feeling the nice texture of the wheel, I drove home safely.

Manu, Patricia and Helena decided to go take a tasty “mineral water”  as a snack. I, almost one month without taking too much dairy, forgot totally the diarrhea and nausea crisis, the unpleasant itching, and I ordered a croissant. I know, I know. What a hobby with the french pastry!…But I really liked it so much…!
_ Golly gee! you are so lucky, eating that much and always so skinny… -exclaimed Helena with a smirk.
I just smiled, a but stunned by the absolute silence of the other two.
_ How is the work?
_ Oh, really good – replied Helena finishing her drink – I have a good salary, that’s all matters. This way I will get my driving license…
_ You will be so excited with it! To be able to drive…I am very happy. I think it’s a really important thing nowadays, and more to us women. It helps to be independent.
_ I don’t see it that necessary – Manu interrupted me scornfully.
_ Then, you would not love to know how to drive? – I asked her surprised.
_ I don’t need it at all. I’m not interested.
_ “The knowledge does not take place” (Spanish proverb)
She did not even look at me. She just did as always, with her little chubby fingers, to tear up the paper from the bottle of water.
Helena, like everybody did, noticed the tension from Manu and changed subjects.
She asked Pati about Juan Diez what made her put a face of a sad lamb.
_ I haven’t seen him…Anyway, what matters if I saw him or not?
_ He’s still going out with Desiree?
The answer was “yes” and sounded worse than a vomit.
_ Really? It’s taking longer than normal, almost 15 days.
And that’s because Juan Diez* has gained his nickname for pure cache.
Here in this city, the first thing that matters is the money, the second, and not less important, the family tree.

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* Juan Diez means John Ten in spanish, a ten man or ten woman is a very popular one.
Of course it’s a fictional name for a real person!