Friday, September 24, 2010

La Clinique des Berges du Lac, Tunis.

Keita arrived Monday, I met him at the airport and so did the team from the Clinique du Lac, who immediately took charge of him and put him in an ambulance! Keita is quite well at the moment, but since the deal is that he is taken care of, he is treated as if he is on death’s door.

I am staying in a private room with him, while he is undergoing a multitude of tests, scans and x-rays. I say ‘private’ but it is not quite the word. At any moment the staff just wander in, there is seemingly no concept of day or night here: last night at 1 am when we had just fallen asleep they burst in and told him to get dressed because he was having a MIR scan of his scull!

They are certainly very thorough: they sent a dentist over who discovered that he had a couple of cavities, which, considering he has never ever been to the dentist is quite remarkable. Because of the risk of infection during the stem cell transplant his doctor took the decision to let him go to the dentist.

The news which took us by surprise was that he will have to stay for three month in Tunisia! We had thought it would take about four weeks, in which case I could perhaps had stayed with him. As it now stands I will have to leave and perhaps come back later. The hotel is heavily booked in October and November, and I can’t just leave them to it, however well they seem to be coping at the moment.

Next week Keita will be moved to a specialist place that deals with transplants. Some of his stem cells will be removed and stored to be put back later. He will be put in a sterile room where he will be given high-level chemotherapy for a few days, to kill the cancer in his bone marrow. Eventually his own stem cells, which will have undergone irradiation, will be transfused back into his body as if he were given a blood transfusion. There is no actual operation involved. The treatment is pretty gruelling however- he will feel very sick and he will be very weak. I would like to be here to give him some moral support- even if it is just by waving through a window. So I will stay for at least two or three weeks.

Meanwhile there are worrying rumours reaching us from Djenne…
This year the rains have been very plentiful, and although that is a blessing for the farmers, it causes problems in a city built of mud, and many houses have fallen.
At the hotel we have had some damage in the rooms, but that is of no account compared to the worrying fact that the water is creeping high, surrounding the hotel once again, and Ace is working with the staff filling in the rice sacks with earth and building up the barricades. At the same time they have resurrected the well tried method of pumping out the water which falls inside the hotel compound across the barricades with the foot pump normally used to water the garden with the well water. All this is of course worrying, but since it is not the first time this happens, we feel they will be able to cope. But yesterday we heard even more serious news- the road which leads from the main road to the hotel and beyond to the whole neighbourhood is being cut off by the advancing water!

We are unclear of the situation- apparently cars can still pass, but for how long? And should something be done? Should we be shoring up the road? We are of course not the only ones in need of this road- the whole area needs it. The problem is that there are no municipal funds for this sort of thing, so the town won’t be doing anything about it. Everyone in the whole neighbourhood thinks that I will sort it out because I have the biggest need of a road. No road= no hotel! Therefore they will not only do nothing about it, they will not contribute to the costs involved either. But this year I am here and I will not move for a while yet. Let’s see if this fact will propel someone else into action? We are of course in constant contact with Ace and the hotel- should something be done? Is the water stabilizing? I will look up old September blogs to see when the water starts receding…


Blogger David said...

Well, I do wish him all the very best and hope your troubles with the hotel's incipient underwaterness do not multiply. But I would like to point out, probably unhelpfully, that Your Pope is virulently opposed to stem cell treatment. I wonder how you feel when faced with it as a personal necessity for your nearest and dearest?


1:27 PM  
Blogger toubab said...

How weird! I cannot quite understand the rationale in that? It is Keita's own stem cells they are putting back into him. Why would he be opposed to that? Will have to look it up on the net...
lots of love to you and the Diplomate

10:50 AM  
Blogger toubab said...

PS. I am a catholic, yes, sure. But that doesn't mean I swallow everything the pope says, as you must know..

10:51 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home