I work in the healthcare sphere, my Real Work, that is. Monday to Thursday I deal, in a roundabout way with people’s lives, in a clinical sense. I try to distance myself from it because the stories I hear are often heartbreaking and they make me lose faith in humanity so, in a way, each day as I leave the office, I put on my blinkers and pretend all is right with the world, despite what I have heard during the day saying otherwise.
Perhaps this is a wrong approach, burying my head in the sand, pretending, but I fear that if I didn’t do this, I might not be able to drag myself back to Real Work each day. You see, it is fulfilling what I do, I get to help people, make a difference, do something in a field where so much is needed and, often, resources are slim. So I keep at it, blinkering, opening up, blinkering, opening up…
But then, every now and again, I deal with something that is too raw, too real. I just had a call from a woman who has, in effect, received a life sentence, and her voice told it all. Fear, sadness, chill. My heart broke. Not just for her, but all the others too, the one’s I try to push to the back of my mind, deep down, far below, where I can’t see them.
You see, while I faithfully put those blinkers on, hide my head in the sand, push those souls where I can’t see them, they are still there, watching silently, waiting to jump up and yell. Because this disease we’re trying to deal with in this beautiful country at the tip of Africa is a monster, creeping in, not-so-surreptitiously anymore. It wraps its cold hands around our people’s throats, tightening slowly and cruelly. HIV – monstrous megalomaniac.
1 day ago