Wednesday, September 09, 2015

A Haven at Eva's and Kindness from the Sleeping Camel

‘Keita has just had his 2nd treatment and is feeling good” I wrote in the entry below. Here he is that same evening with Eva’s cat Sotis on his lap (the cat loves Keita). But that picture marks the the end of the plain sailing days alas...
 For four days he had been able to drive our car to the hospital called Point G, receive his treatment and drive home again; have dinner with Eva and me in the dining room and all seemed almost rosy. But suddenly, overnight, he developed severe pains in his lower back and he became almost unable to move. His lab tests also showed signs of an infection, so his doctor decided not to go ahead with the third treatment but instead to give him a week’s rest with antibiotics. So here we are: Keita finally started on the Morphine after all since he is in severe pain. He does not leave our bedroom anymore and our friend Dr. Guida Landouré passes by with a nurse in the evenings to tend to what is needed. I felt I had to ask him if he thought we shouldn’t call the rest of Keita’s family? He relieved me by saying he didn’t feel it was at that stage yet.

Meanwhile he has to have blood transfusions and here in Mali one has to bring a donor to the blood bank when one needs blood. On Saturday I decided to go back to my old haunt the Sleeping Camel and see if I could find some volunteers. And lo and behold, there were not only one but three volunteers from the staff: Djenneba the cook (who modelled MaliMali’s new collection last September when I took pictures at the Sleeping Camel) and Bintou, also from the kitchen staff as well as Abdoul from the garden staff. Here, in a bad picture are the three heroes at the blood bank, having given their blood. I wanted to give them 5000FCFA each but they refused categorically. ‘OK, but take the money anyway and  give it to someone else who really needs it’ I suggested. ‘In that way you will have done two good deeds!’ They still wouldn’t hear of it.

So, what do we do? I stay here at Eva's with Keita all day since I too am not totally well- still taking tests and suffering from extremely low blood pressure (80/60). We watch Fela Kuti or Johnny Clegg or Phil Collins (favourites of Keita’s and the latter of all Africans I know) on You Tube; we snooze; I try and keep  in touch over the phone with the studio, the shop, the library and the hotel. Eva comes and says hello before she leaves for some glamorous diplomatic reception. I stay up sometimes to see her for a night cap when she gets back. Certainly, in this sorry business, there are golden aspects: Eva does not mind our staying here and we could not dream of a better place to be.

Next week will be deciding of course: can Keita go on with the treatment? I must finally leave for Djenné again and his other family will have to pick up- but that is next week. Much can happen: he can get better for instance. Sometimes  I feel certain of that and then I am able to cheer him up a little: we make plans; we talk of getting the old Mercedes in shape again, ready for  the lovely trip we will make to the Ivory Coast when Keita is back  on his feet. But sometimes of course I am not so sure... an enormous question mark hangs over our existence.


Blogger mary said...

We are, of course, so sorry to hear about the difficult days that you are experiencing. And admire your openness in sharing it on your blog. But, please, remain hopeful and more than that enjoy each day as it comes without dwelling on the future even as far away as next week. Today, tonight - enjoy those. Celebrate what you have with that nightcap with Eva. Enjoy sharing time with Keita in the luxury of Eva's abode. These days are precious and to be savoured with no thought of the future.Take care of each other.
Greetings from a balmy Northumberland where the combines roll and the grain is gathered in.

7:22 PM  
Blogger Susan Scheid said...

You are both in my thoughts.

6:37 PM  
Blogger toubab said...

Thank you both. Indeed, there are many aspects of this trial that we are able to savour: we are together and we are hopeful.

8:57 PM  
Blogger David said...

I won't say how lucky you are with your friends in the midst of this severe trial: you made your luck by your kindnesses to them and how you impressed them with your personality in the first place. Together and hopeful is a moving way of putting it.

Much love to both.

8:39 AM  

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