Thursday Feb 02, 2023

John Mangoseed II

When I “awoke”, it was to the smell of rotting plant life. Someone had brought in some flowers when I was out cold. Probably roses. Or violets. Hard to tell when I couldn’t move a muscle.

Wait a minute- I smelt that. I didn’t even notice when my olfactory senses returned. It felt good- you know, to have another sense working other than hearing. I could smell antiseptic just at the door. I could smell a faint hint of vomit in the antiseptic. Farther to my left I could smell the salt of someone’s blood hanging faintly, stirred around by the central cooling system. To the right of the door I could smell a dirty blood-and-vomit mop in soapy antiseptic.

I could even smell the skin under my bandages. It was forming scabs. The Doctor thinks it’s a good thing I’m healing so fast. Ah, Doctor! Doctor whose clothes held 3 different fragrances. As he bent over me, to adjust my oxygen tank, I picked up a heady cologne and I concluded it was his. A few hours later when he made the rounds, I noticed his clothes had acquired a new floral scent. As he came to say goodnight, a third, fruity fragrance had mixed with the three. Doctor must be very free with the hugs.

As I spent more hours awake, I began to notice that I could pick out other smells than hospital filth. Someone was eating crackers. In another room, someone had a bowl of steaming peppersoup- probably a woman who just had a baby. Yes, definitely a baby. I could pick out the sweet smell of Johnson’s Baby powder and that unique new-born-baby-smell.

Funny how your senses are sharper when only two of them are working!

I heard the squeak of wheels turn into the hallway directly in front of my room. I could pick out a few words…”stabilize”… “gave her CPR on the scene…did a poor job apparently”… “defibrillator”

I’d watched enough medical dramas to know that wasn’t a good thing. CPR often results in broken bones but we only see the pretty part- beautiful woman falls down, hunky man gives her CPR and saves the day. But the force required to massage the heart back into action is sometimes enough to break bones.

Speaking of Broken bones- the feeling hasn’t returned. I still can’t move. Everyday Asabe comes in to clean me up. My legs are suspended from some contraption hanging to the ceiling. I know because I heard the Orthopaedics people talking about it- phrases like“P.O.P”…. “23 degrees elevation”… “10 feet of bandage”.

Violence in CAR. Bangui

The poignant smell of rotting flowers again attacked my nostrils. It was weird- who brought me flowers? Who came while I was asleep? Someone from the office? Doctor did say they had spoken with someone from the office…did they come? Did I miss that? I would have at least sent them with a message to my mother to tell her I was okay.

Oh, that reminds me. I can’t talk. I’m imprisoned inside my body.



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