Thursday, June 17

Elvira Lindo: Be patient | Opinion

Headquarters of the Bank of Spain after the passage of the storm 'Filomena'.
Headquarters of the Bank of Spain after the passage of the storm ‘Filomena’.Pablo Monge

His wife saw him enter the house like a castaway. He had lost 14 kilos, was floating and hallucinated. When she undressed, she observed with some apprehension the puny body, the skin full of bruises from the immobility, the treatment, and thought that, somehow, her husband was returning from a war. How does a veteran recover who has seen his battalion comrades die between hallucinations? Ramiro Domínguez, Sílex editor, fell ill with coronavirus last Christmas Eve. He did not return home until January 30. Now he makes parallels that for him have a strong symbolic component. The day after his birth, in 1967, there was a historic snowfall in Madrid; the day after leaving the ICU the storm fell Philomena, and he likes to consider himself a reborn, someone whom the snow brought into the world and whom the snow resurrected. Although it seems strange, when he went to the ward he missed those ICU toilets who moved around him to save his life. His life was spent, as a result of the medication, in another country, Morocco. Ramiro was involved in a long psychotropic dream, full of adventures: the storyline was that our hero had to go to Morocco to repatriate the body of a friend who died of covid. He has the feeling of having spent the 15 days of induced coma performing that mission. When he woke up, he felt the urge to see his son, who was turning five years old in those days. A nurse put a screen in front of him that gave him back his own image: half his face paralyzed, his skin bruised, an expression of stupor. The boy, who had dreamed of reunion for so long, fled when he saw that dying man who could barely speak, who was not the father he waited for every night.

As if the traumatic experience had trained him in a kind of awareness of the present, Ramiro, upon arriving home, enjoyed in amazement those routines that are usually carried out without feeling. He got into the shower and the pleasure of regaining his privacy, of washing himself, of preserving modesty, made him feel enormous peace. And after that cleaning, curling up in his bed next to his beloved woman. He was also excited when the other day, sitting in the Commercial Cafe with a friend, it started to rain. The light of the rain, the smell, worked the miracle of returning him to childhood.

He is limping because the sciatic nerve was affected, but that is not what matters most now, but the desire to overcome that feeling of helplessness that sometimes causes him alienation. It is the fear of the sick person not to return to this world at all. Chatting with some neighbors, he felt like a veteran of the Vietnam War who had to shut up what he suffered because it is no longer necessary to talk about it; he was overcome by melancholy. He prefers not to watch the news, he is moved by the death toll, the number of patients in ICUs, although those of us who have not fought in that battle seem hopeful. Seeing the images of madness on the night the state of alarm ended, he grew angry (bastards, unsupportive) that he tried to stop, justifying the thoughtless nature of a certain youth. But in him the desire to join work has been able. The nurse observed his nervousness and said, “Ramiro, you have to be patient”, and that word, “patient”, then acquired its deepest meaning. Last week, the Financial Times He pointed out something on which we have little reflected: the times for recovery from a serious illness were once much longer. The patient had to return to his previous life little by little, and in that later slowness his health took hold.

Ramiro takes his son to school every day. Every day, the child says to his teacher: “Look, my father is there, he’s back.”

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