Extreme poverty, lack of work, and unrequited love, are probably the paths to the loss of dignity.
But if those are the paths, a disease is the motorway that leads more quickly to that same destination.
Illnes put us in the absolute defenselessness. Bows us, makes us dependents. We lose our strength and many times our decision making capacity. The invisible enemy invades us, makes us knowing pain, makes us believe that it is invincible. It has no pity. Move us away from work, family and life. That life we had until yesterday but we couldn´t see.
Until yesterday we laughed with friends; today they only can visit us for a few minutes.
Until yesterday we played with our children; today we prefer they do not see at ICU.
Until yesterday we hoped to reach the bed to meet there with our love; today that love looks at us sitting beside, struggling to hide her tears.
Until yesterday our arms seemed insufficient to embrace everything we had; today the last of nothing slips rushed through our fingers that already hold nothing.
Pain is not content with living us completely. Little by little begans to invade our environment. We see it installed on the face of each loved one suffering with us. The portion of suffering begins to multiply. Our pain hurts us and those who we love.
We are lying on the floor, in the most foul-smelling mud, in the thickest shits. It seems that nothing will return us from there. Disease is smacking, sees us without resistance, supplicants, now concerned about death. Doctors give their explanations, speaking of analysis, cultures… I don’t know what percentage of possibilities on I don’t know what. They do not speak with us, they prefer to do it with our family. They say they are optimistic. We do not remember the meaning of that word.
Suddenly, the wonder happends.
The door opens and a huge white dust sun illuminates our face. At the beginning, we assume that she does not understand what is wrong. She seems alien to the gravity of the box. The boat is sinking and she seems to dance, magic, on the cover. We soon realise that she is really the only one who understands what happens. She sees what all the others do not. In her incredible wisdom, behind the serum, of dirty blankets that will changed once more time, behind that trembling hand which can not use by himself to put a spoon in the mouth, behind all that, she is the only one that sees us. For her there is no floor, there is no mud nor shit, just the Sun. She seems to come to give us a remedy but she comes to bring us the breeze. She seems to come to take the temperature, but she comes to give us the sea.
We believe that she comes to take our blood pressure, but she comes to tell us that love is waiting for us. It seems that she stops a minute to chat with us because she doesn’t have another thing to do, but she has stopped because there is nothing more important that anyone can do. She is kind-hearted with us and seems to be the only one capable of spitting in the face to the pain, with each visit she seems to lighten our burden of suffering.
Nurses don´t walk, they dance. Nurses don´t speak, they sing. Nurses don´t look at us, hypnotize us. It doesn´t matter what hurt, a single organ concern them: the soul. Pain is retracted to their passage. He thinks that it is not an piyama what she is wearing but a cape; he believes she is carrying a sword in her hand. He certaintly knows pain doesn´t with a nurse.
Disease is waiting for us in a corner of our lives. It will find us. Sooner or later we will know it. Someday we will see its face, look at us in the eye and try to remove everything to us.
It won´t have luck, a nurse wink us and she will deal with it.
By C.A.S (2001, Argentina).
Shared with Proyecto HU-CI by Mariana Torre