Next step - identify.We thought in our grasping ignorance.
Our particular god is Greek. She is guarded and protected by her acolytes, who poke, prod and probe her young clean and clear of bug or germ or age or fear! They smile, nod and pass through words back to the messenger, who take down every word on her Apple-mac.
They tell me nothing.
But Toni does.
I've swollen face, neck and throat - I look like my mother times 3. A Shrek monster, pale green and grey hair, thin and lifeless, My arms and hands stiff with oedema, bear testimony to fruitless searches for veins. I blame the massive dose of steroids - my friend now because it soothes the beast that clings with dirty nails to my tender bronchi and lung tissue. Even as it gives me huge appetite (I see beauty all around me) and keeps me awake all night. But it was the beast blocking the major artery, Toni tells me; so the biopsy must wait - a blow. For the beast is quick to grow, aggressive and greedy.
So I have a stent inserted by a team of demi gods drilled to perfection.
I trained in '55 which is to 2011 as the invention of the wheel is to mapping of the human genome.
I watch as a catheter is inserted into the artery in my thigh and passing, painlessly up to a major cloud of white that's blocking and compressing the dark artery- deep in my chest.
The surgeon patiently, kindly answers my questions and seems to be as enthralled as I at the magic he performs when the stent opens and blood gushes through - he takes my hand and asks,
'Can you feel any difference?'
and I think that I must say something encouraging - a small white lie would surely be allowed! I touch my face and start to say,
'It feels less taut, stretched...!'
and then I say, in wonder, 'It is!' - the tenderness has gone, the skin is softer, I swear.
By the time NOAOSon and Lita Mona appear, they are shocked and delighted that I am a deal less scary and Sara, who arrives later - a wonderful surprise - appears to have been drawn down here on false pretences.
And as I am drawn back into the world by my push me/ pull me duo of porters, I ride high on my bed delighted to fighting back.
The first fecking blow.
Goodnight my loves.