Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Maria's brother is in the hospital because his appendix had "exploded".
He's been there two week now and they still haven't sowed him up. My sister prepares his breakfast and I do his 3 pm meal...we just don't have time to make him dinner too. And since he's our brother, we won't bathe him...that's a job for his woman. And it wasn't until this week that we convinced her to come help." Apparently nurses don't normally bathe patients nor does the hospital provide food.

She went on to tell us a bit about her brother and his woman: "She's like him," Maria said, tapping the side of her head, "not quite right." Annette and I look at each other. How do people like that find each other? Maria continued, "They live together in an old country farmhouse that was my mother's. None of us like her much."

"Why is that?" we ask.

"Well, for one thing, when she get's mad at my brother she stones him...with real rocks...plus she is always bruised and scraped from falling down when drunk."

Annette asked, "So wasn't she with him at the hospital from the beginning?"

"She said it was because she didn't want to leave her farm animals, but it's also that she's afraid of cars...can't stand them."

"So how did you get her to come help out at the hospital?"

We didn't give her much of a choice. We just went out and pretty much told her she had to come with us. She was drunk again and had scrapes on her face, but we made her comewith us." I imagine these two soft spoken sisters hoisting a drunk, slightly off, farm woman up into the bus, dropping her off a the hospital and telling her "stay and bathe him!" Maria said she was worried this woman might get lost - since she's not familiar with the city - but Maria's sister said, "Don't worry, she's so scared of cars she'll probably never leave the hospital."

Two side notes: Maria's mother died of appendicitis about 9 months ago after multiple doctors said she just had a stomach ache; the people that stay in the hospital to care for sick family members sleep on the floor.

As you can see... it's a different world.

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