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.”