There are a lot of people that I love
that don’t love me. The family that
believed my sister’s stories, about me,
my father, and her daughter’s father.
My sister died ten years ago.
I wait a decade, trying to repair it,
and now I give up. I do not want to
see them again, any of them, though
I still send them love. They may not
have my presence, after a decade of
cruelty or indifference.
Work, too. I am labeled malingerer
twenty years ago, after influenza.
“I don’t understand how you could be
out for two months from flu. I could understand
a heart attack or cancer, but not flu.”
Do you understand it now? I had
Long Covid before Long Covid existed,
after pneumonias: influenza, strep A
strep A and then Covid. Each time it
takes longer to recover. After the third round
and a year, I know that I have chronic fatigue.
I don’t bother my doctor as I am a doctor
and I know we have no cure. I can work
half time, see half the number that we are
supposed to see daily. I work anyhow.
The money ends almost meet. After a decade,
Covid closes me down. I go to work for The Man,
suspecting I’ll get pneumonia. I walk in rooms
to patients with their masks off. I react
with PTSD each time but take care of them
anyway. It only takes five weeks to get
Covid. I am on oxygen for a year and a half,
chronic fatigue magnified. How did I not get
it in my clinic? I masked everyone with a cough
or cold from 2014 on. My patients were USED
to masks and I masked too.
I am on oxygen and suddenly the doctors
who thought I lied, are pleasant and stop to
talk to me, while I think cynically, you’ve
disbelieved me and spread rumors about me
for 20 years. Do you think I forgive you now?
And one who said he’d be my friend forever
no matter what. And also said that when people
go over his invisible line, he never speaks
to them again. I think, oh, that will be me,
this is a set up. It is. But Beloved, Universe,
Earth, Sun, and Moon
why do I love them all anyway?
For the Ragtag Daily Prompt stable, because maybe love is the only stable thing in an unstable world.
The bones of the great blue heron are so light, that I think it is standing on the floating kelp beds. I’d wish my bones were that light, but that would be osteoporosis. Maybe I could come back as a heron.
Family in my experience is inscrutable and complex. I love them anyway, too.
“Malinger” is an ugly word. Once it is attached to you, it doesn’t wash off. The definition seems to be “I don’t understand”. We learn so much more from being a patient than we do in school. 💜
That is too true, with bells on.
Thank you. Miss my sister this time of year especially.
Wow! This is the side of illness people don’t talk about – it struck a chord.
Thank you. Hope it was not too dark a chord.
No. I could relate to it all – family issues, co-workers who never called to see how I was, but sure have opinions. It is a rude awakening to discover how disposable you are in the eyes of others, and a testament to our inner spirit that we find new meaning.