Thirteen Years: Staying In Bed

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

Staying In Bed

Continued from… Time Away From Home

Annie couldn’t keep her tears from flowing when she read Isaac’s e-mail. She knew it was only a matter of time before the end would be there. She just hoped their trip to South Africa would happen in time. She really wanted to see her friend one more time.

Her reply e-mail was full of positive things. Annie didn’t want Isaac to know she feared his end was closer than any of them wanted to know.

After another short e-mail from Isaac, Annie wrote to him again. In about 5 weeks, they were leaving on their surprise trip to see Isaac. Annie wanted to know what they could bring him. However, she didn’t ask that, but pretended they wanted to send him another package. She also asked if Isaac would mind if she included something in his package for both Kathy and Jeanne.

Date: Sat, 15 May 1999 00:23:41

Hi there, my dearest friends,

It’s storming outside. It is good, because we need the rain.

As for the package, I really don’t know what you can put in it. Surprise me. It is okay if you include something for the other two. I will love to be an early Santa.

I have an itch in my throat that feels like I am getting a cold or the flu. I don’t think it’s a good sign, but I’m keeping positive. It gets harder and harder, but I am fighting.

I fight.

Annie, please give everyone a good, tight hug from me. I want to burst into tears and cry and cry, but somehow it just doesn’t happen.

Take care. Lots of love. I miss you so much.

Lots and lots of love,

Annie wished she could be with Isaac, to take him in her arms and let him cry as much as he wanted. She expressed this thought to him in writing.

Date: Mon, 17 May 1999 21:30:25

Hi there you,

Thank you for your mail and the telephone call. The call was easier than the last time.

Everything is fine over here.

I guess I will have the results tomorrow. I will let you know.

I was in bed all day, and I even read a novel of six hundred pages. I don’t do this every day. Tomorrow I will get up again.

I wish I could cry on your shoulder, Annie. My mom gave me the same advice as you did, but the tears just don’t want to come.

I still have a cold. It is in my nose and I do my best not to let it spread. I don’t know where the cold comes from.

Take care for now.
Lots of love,

Date: Thu, 20 May 1999 09:03:14

Hi there you,

I hope I didn’t give you a fright. I was in bed all day. The cold takes its time to disappear, so I’m trying to do everything to make sure it doesn’t get worse. That’s why I didn’t want to get out of my warm bed and come sit here in this cold room to type.

Are you scheming with Jeanne? You will not be able to stay here or with Jeanne, due to your allergies. Just the other night, I had a dream. I was in my hospital room and I had a feeling I had to look behind the door. I did and there you were.

Please, it is too expensive to come here, so do not even think about it.

I went to the doctor, but she wasn’t there because her child was sick. Her assistant saw me. I got a prescription for sleeping tablets, morphine patches and laxatives for a month. I didn’t even tell him about my cold. He also didn’t call the university hospital for the results. I will contact the doctor next week to hear what she has to say.

Take care.

Both Annie and Jacques dished up many white lies in their next e-mail to take the edge of Isaac’s suspicion that they had plans to go to South Africa. They told him they first had to save a lot of money before they would be able to buy five tickets.

Date: Thu, 20 May 1999 22:56:19

My dear friends,

I’m not ill and there really is no excuse for my silences. There are people here who will inform you when I am admitted to the hospital.

I will try to answer all your questions, Annie. I forgot to do it in my e-mail of this morning.

We have completed the forms for the medical board. I had to call the secretary today and all they now need from me is a letter to say I’m aware of the medical board. Then they will discuss the application in the medical board meetings over here. After that, they send it to the headquarters to be ratified. It will take some time before they have completed the procedure.

I still have a cold, and I still doctor myself. If it gets worse, I will call the doctor. My doctor is back and I guess she would’ve contacted me if it was necessary. My antibiotics have been stopped — the old ones because they had caused the allergic reaction and the new ones because they don’t have it in stock. I still feel the pain.

I know nothing more about the hospital bill. I guess if there is any news, they will phone me.

The night is quiet.

I have already taken my sleeping tablet, so I don’t know how long my typing is going to make sense. I’m still in pain. I didn’t wear any patch on Monday. This evening it didn’t feel good, so I stuck on a morphine patch. Not long after that, I felt a familiar sharp pain, and I started to sweat. I guess it was a cramp, because it’s gone.

Nothing else. Take care.

To be continued… Home Renovations

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

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