Can we ever understand life?

She  walked  with  great  difficulty.  The  constant  pain  had  worn  her  down.  Her  face  looked  drawn  and  pale.  She managed  to  get  herself  into  a  sideways  sitting  position,  avoiding  pressure  to  her  painful  buttock.  She  was  of medium  build,  neatly  dressed.  “I  really  don’t  want  this  pain  any  longer.”  Here  eyes  met  mine  with  a  pleading, desperate look. “A while back homoeopathic treatment cured my sinuses. Now I have decided to come here to see if you can’t help my problem. I have been to various specialists and have tried strong antibiotics, but to no use. The infection  on  my  buttock  stays.  One  doctor  told  me  it  is  a  resistant  strain  of  bacteria  which  I  had  most  probably caught in hospital when I had my baby. It was a new hospital, so I don’t think he is right.” The words tumbled out in a  cascade  of  probes  trying  to  find  some  solution.  Every  so  often  she  would  flinch  as  the  sharp  pains  came  and went.

“Please tell me more about when this infection began.”

She  sighed  audibly,  moved  her  body  further  into  a  more  or  less  sitting/lying  position.  “We  moved  here  from  the Transvaal. My baby was 2 weeks old.”

“Was there any skin eruption then?” I asked.

“No, I was fine. My husband was offered a job at the coast. Very soon after we arrived here, I noticed that my baby was breathing with difficulty. I took him to the doctor who said that it was the change in humidity which was causing his  laboured  breathing.  He  examined  my  baby  and  could  find  nothing  wrong.  That  night  the  breathing  became worse and we took him to hospital. He died soon after we got there.” Her voice became softer, weaker, resigned, her  eyes  dark  with  pain.  Physical  and  mental  torture  flashed  through  her,  distorting  her  features.  “The  autopsy revealed that he had a heart defect which was never diagnosed. This caused his death.”

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