Shoulder Saga Part 2
17-19 Dec 2003
"No! How the hell can he be better
when last night he was groaning with pain? This is not an age of
--Master Harold and the Boys
by Athol Fugard
17 December, Windhoek
We're down in Windhoek now. Last week my shoulder went from "somehow
ok" to "this is really bad." So I called the Peace Corps to try and get some
more therapy, thinking I just needed to jump start my shoulder again. It had
gotten really stiff and painful, to the point where I had trouble sleeping at
night. My shoulder constantly felt like it would dislocate whenever I tried to
move it. Plus, it's been over a month and half since I dislocated it, so if it
was going to get better on it's own, it would have by now I should think.
We left Ekulo on Tuesday morning and a six hour bus ride from hell later, we
arrived here in Windhoek. Actually, the bus ride would have been fine if it
didn't feel like my arm was going to fall out every time we went over a bump
(which was the entire latter 3 hours of the trip). I had a doctor's appointment
this morning because Clara said I couldn't have more therapy until the doctor
said it was ok. So I explained how my arm felt to the good doctor and he simply
said, "Yeah. Muscles won't fix that. You need surgery."
And at this point, I agree. In the beginning, I thought my arm would get
better, but it has clearly only gotten worse and worse. It really needs glued
back together or something. So Clara is sending the orthopedist's report saying
I need surgery to DC this afternoon along with a request to medi-vac me. Meaning
that I will probably be on a plane to DC in the next few days and will hopefully
receive surgery sometime thereafter. All this is somehow complicated by the fact
that my non-disclosure case is still up in the air, but I guess they will now
have to decide soon. In fact, my whole life is up in the air. At least Zac is
down here with me this time, so we can wait it out together. If they do medi-vac
me, he'll probably stay here, at least for a little while to see what is going
to happen with me--and if there's any chance of my return to Namibia.
So, despite the fact that in all likelihood my Peace Corps service is shortly
coming to an end, we're just trying to enjoy ourselves here in the capital city.
We have nice accommodation at a guesthouse called "Rivendell" much to
Zac's delight. Another volunteer and her fiancÚ were staying there as well so
last night we stayed outside on the big porch playing euchre and spades with
them. Tonight we're going to see the final Matrix movie. And then after that
maybe the significance of all this will catch up to me and I'll begin the grieving
process. I think I'm still in denial right now.
Since we're in Windhoek, I'll have access to e-mail so I will let you know as
soon as I know anything. We're just waiting to hear from Washington.
And I know it's silly to ask such questions, but it's always there in the
back of my mind: Why did this happen now? But it's best not to torment myself
with such questions.
Love always, Sera
19 December, Windhoek
Zac went back to the north today to get my shoes. I packed my passport and a
warm hooded fleece, but I couldn't pack my shoes and socks. I believed that as
long as I only had my sandals, my feet would have to remain in Africa. Such is
the rationale of a mind ruled by denial. I'm trying to move towards acceptance
though, and that involves packing lots of warm clothes, and shoes.
My shoulder is not really in pain anymore. I've had three sessions of therapy
where they do some nice massaging, and then ultra-sound therapy and some
electrical stuff. I still can't move it very well and it feels like it will fall
out every time a taxi goes over a bump or around a sharp turn. Now all of my
suffering is mental and emotional.
Zac and I spend a lot of our time discussing the future and all the different
scenarios of what could happen. He wants to stay, to get the school computer lab
up and running. If he stays, and I get kicked out of The Peace Corps, I'll be a
free citizen. So I figure there's really nothing to prevent me from just getting
on a plane and coming back on my own. That's my optimistic plan. I won't go into
the pessimistic ones where I'm a washed-up, broken, jobless ex-volunteer roaming
the streets of America trying to find someone who is interested in how Okonkwo's
fears controlled his actions throughout the novel Things Fall Apart in 350-500
Well, have a nice weekend everyone.
click here to read my
"near-death experience", a creative rendition of this time