Thirteen years: Back To Work Again

AIDS was… an illness in stages, a very long flight of steps that led assuredly to death, but whose every step represented a unique apprenticeship. It was a disease that gave death time to live and its victims time to die, time to discover time, and in the end to discover life.

~ Hervé Guibert

Back To Work Again

Continued from… Baffled Doctors

The next day they had a short e-mail from Isaac in which he said he was still waiting for the doctor to call him about the colonoscopy. Apparently, his doctor was sick and Isaac was at home, not knowing what was going on.

Then Isaac fell silent. Annie sent him a couple of mails in which she asked him to contact them. She almost begged him, saying she only needed to know he was still there — one line would do.

Date: Sat, 30 Jan 1999 14:34:58

Hello friends,

I am sure it’s not that bad. We had a deal. Remember? If anything is wrong with me, Charlotte will contact you. I am not sicker than I was, and it’s not that I do not want to write to you. It’s just me.

I’m getting better. On Wednesday, I have to see the specialists again and I wonder if I might not be wasting their time. Doctor Bailey also called to say the colonoscopy was scheduled for February 18. I guess if she thought something serious was wrong, she would have scheduled it for earlier. She also told me I’m allowed to go back to work on Monday. I don’t look forward to that at all, but I guess I have to go back to work at some or other time. It’s actually bad. The last day I had worked was 30 October last year! So definitely time to go back.

I have been out with a colleague on Thursday to see a movie. Afterwards we went to a restaurant where I had steak and chips. At the time, I had wondered if I was making a mistake, but there were no consequences.

I have no more news. Listen; please don’t get worried if you don’t hear from me. Someone will always update you if I cannot.

Lots of love,

Annie apologized in her reply e-mail to Isaac. She didn’t want him to be upset with her because she worried about him. She explained he had spoilt them by writing to them almost every day and she think she might have worried too soon about not hearing from him.

In her e-mail, she also told him about Myra’s birthday party, and that she had a nice e-mail from Zoe, who was back in New Zealand. Annie ended her e-mail telling Isaac how much she missed him.

Date: Sun, 31 Jan 1999 17:16:03

Dear, dear friends,

I wasn’t angry. If my words came across like that, I apologize. I guess I would have felt the same if I was on the other side.

Don’t worry about me. I am okay. If I’m not, you will be informed very quickly. It’s just that I’m alone and I don’t go out for any entertainment, so there is little news. On your side, things happen and you always have news.

Take care!
Lots and lots of love,
Just me

Date: Mon, 1 Feb 1999 06:47:44

Dear Annie, Jacques and the rest,

I have just dressed myself, and I am ready to go to work. The body is willing, but the spirit needs some major encouragement. Being at home made me lazy, but I guess I have to go back to work at some stage. So wish me luck.

Lots of love,

Date: Tue, 2 Feb 1999 06:51:18

Hi there you!

It’s going to be a long day. It feels like a train hit me. I was at work for the whole day yesterday, even though I had to drag myself forward at the end. I’m now ready to leave for work again. When the alarm clock went off this morning, I had to think twice if I wanted to get up. I guess I’ll get the car from the garage now.

Take care,
Lots of love. I miss you.

Date: Wed, 3 Feb 1999 06:48:27

Hi there all!

I have to see the specialists again today. I’m not in the mood for it but it has to happen. Work is not good for me anymore. I think I will put in a request to work for half days. I’m exhausted at the end of the day.

I have little news. One thing that I’m NOT happy with is that I’m losing my hair. You should see it. I have patches where my hair is very thin. I do not even brush it anymore because I am afraid that I might pull out all my hair.

I have to get the car from the garage and go to my work.

Lots of love,

Date: Thu, 4 Feb 1999 06:48:38

Hi there all of you!

It’s Thursday at last. I have almost completed a week of work. Doctor Bailey gave me a letter yesterday in which she has written I should only work for half days until further notice.

I have consulted the specialists yesterday. They didn’t examine me. They only looked at the photos of the barium enema and then they read the report. I heard them mentioning an abnormal lesion. They also spoke about a colonoscopy and I told them doctor Bailey had me scheduled for one on the 18th of February. The one doctor said they couldn’t wait that long; that if doctor Bailey couldn’t do it earlier, he would do it himself next week Wednesday. I went to the radiology department, and they fitted me in for next week Wednesday. They will admit me to hospital on Tuesday, because they have to ‘ready’ me for the procedure. Since I’m back in South Africa, I have taken more laxatives than anything else!

I am off to work!


Only after this e-mail, Annie had some time again to reply to all of Isaac’s. She had been busy redecorating their sitting room, which took up a lot of her time. Annie was also getting her and Jacques stuff ready for the weekend they had planned in Amsterdam. Annie wrote Isaac a long e-mail, filling him in about news regarding her children and about Myra and Joe.

To be continued… In Hospital Again

Note: This series is a rework of a self-published book (2009), rewritten for this blog, and in loving memory of a dear friend who suffered from and passed because of AIDS. Keep in mind this story happens in the late eighties and throughout the nineties. Names of characters have been changed to protect their privacy.

© Rebel’s Notes
Image from Pixabay

2 thoughts on “Thirteen years: Back To Work Again

  1. Just popping in to let you know, I will be coming back to read from where I left off, I need to read Isaac’s story, I just can’t cope with it right now. I will be back though. xxx

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