Written 12 September, 2020.
They took one look and knew my heart was in a poor state. I was a premature baby, born at seven months, in the days before humidicribs, and I have a missing valve, one in my heart that never developed. My blood is sluggish. As well, there’s a family weakness, for my oldest brother had a quadruple by-pass and now a pace-maker, and my Dad died from his heart. So they put me in hospital immediately, and operated. I now have a stent, a little tunnel, I’m told, of something like chicken wire, to hold open a major artery.
The hospital is nearly empty, for elective patients have been keeping away all year because of the virus. I check and I’m told that there’s been no virus here. They cleared out a ward in readiness, and never used it.
In the night, I wake, and cry that I’m getting old, so old I need metal bits to hold me together. A nurse hears. She stands at the door with her torch, and bends her plump knees together, like a dance move, or an animal ready to spring. She tells me that in her late forties, she feels old, for her knees hurt. Comforted, I fall asleep again.
You got to us none too soon, says the cardiologist in the morning on his rounds. He’s a dashing Indian man, shaved and with closely cup, perfectly manicured hair gleaming with gell despite the hour. You might’ve had a heart attack if you’d been doing anything strenuous.
I don’t tell him what I’ve been doing. So now I’m not allowed to do anything strenuous until 16 September. That leaves us fifteen days to get our land cleared for the wild summer fires.