[Marxism] On Walter, Cuba, Sierra Leone and strangulated hernias...
jbustelo at bellsouth.net
Fri Mar 17 21:22:38 MST 2006
Monday night I was feeling so terrible that I told myself,
program production or no program production, if I felt the same way in
the morning I'd go see the doctor instead of going to work. Tuesday
morning I did feel better, and did finish the program --just barely--
but as the day wore on, I knew I'd made a mistake. It wasn't just the
temperature or the overall malaise I felt but the bright-red swelling
that had emerged just above my belly button on Sunday, and how much it
hurt now just to press it.
So I called the doctor's office, but she could only see me at
five PM. I left work early anyways, and after the preliminary folderol
with the pressure cuff and the weighing and the temperature (too high,
too high and too high, respectively) the doctor looked at it, poked at
it a little bit, and said I had a strangulated hernia and it had to be
dealt with right away.
"Right away like in going to see a specialist in the morning?" I
"Right away like in going to the hospital tonight." She wasn't
sure --she didn't know, AIDS and internal medicine are her thing, not
hernias-- but she couldn't be sure it wasn't one that was a real crisis,
and the temperature was a bad sign.
So she made a bunch of phone calls and an hour or so later I was
in a curtained-off partition in the Medical Admissions Unit of the
The woman who settled me in was an older Black woman who spoke
English with an accent I couldn't place.
"Sierra Leone," she said in answer to my question, "and you?"
"Cuba," I said, pronouncing it in Spanish, koo-ba, not cue-ba.
With a smile bright enough to light up all of Turner Field she
said, "That means we're brother and sister. Let me get you another
A few minutes later I was talking to my sister and comrade
Theresa El-Amin on the phone, asking her to explain my absence to the
other folks on the phone meeting I would miss, and telling her the
"Joaquín," she said, surprised at my surprise. "Everybody in
Africa knows what Cuba is about."
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