“I’m sorry what? Today? No, no, no you can’t.” I said standing up ready to walk out the room, he was crazy if he thought I was going to allow him to cut my husband’s legs. The doctor stood up and started explaining to me how critical it was that something be done sooner rather than later because later there could be more complications, I was not hearing anything that he was saying all I knew was I was not going to allow them to disable my husband not while I was still alive. “I will not allow you to do that to my husband, give him antibiotics, Dettol, whatever the hell it is that will stop the infection from spreading” I said walking out before he could even respond. I didn’t know where I was going all I knew was I needed to get the hell out of there, I needed to be very far away from this crazy doctor who had stupid ideas, he was probably one of those doctors that passed with only fifty percent o only knew half the work.
I went to the waiting room and just sat there, I could not face Mthobisi, not while I knew what I knew. I found myself in the waiting area and I couldn’t go outside because it was raining heavily, I hated the rain, I hated the doctor who wanted to amputate my husband’s legs, I hated life and its unfairness. I sat on the chair next to an old white lady, I laid my head on my hands trying to think very hard of what to do next because I had just hit a wall and I didn’t know which way to turn. To other people it must have looked like I was crying I only realized that when the old lady sitting next to me tapped me on my shoulder and asked if I was okay, I quickly sat up straight and told her that I was just tired. “You look troubled, they say it’s good to share your problems with a stranger. This will be like therapy the only difference is this one is free.” I smiled and asked her if she time because my problems needed hours, she smiled and nodded and told me her husband is having a major operation and that there was something wrong with his heart, they were struggling to find a heart donor and he was at number three thousand five hundred and seventy-three on the list of people waiting for hearts. Geez her story was even more depressing than mine, I realized how selfish I was being by not letting the doctors operate on my husband, yes he was going to have a missing limbs but there are fake legs that he can use, here was a woman with a husband whose live hood dependant on someone dying not just one person but over three thousand people had to die in order for him to survive, that was proper messed up.
I was starring in the air and all these thoughts were running through my heard and I realised that she was waiting for me to say something but I had lost myself in my thoughts and problems. “My husband has very bad burn wounds, he got burnt while trying to save our daughter and didn’t take care of the wounds, now he has some sort of infection and this doctor says he needs to amputate his legs. My husband is a very strong man and I am afraid that this will completely crash him” she looked at me and gave me a warm smile. “my dear don’t take one doctor’s word, these people are human and sometimes and I’m not saying he’s right or wrong about your husband but sometimes they make mistakes, speak to God, get a second opinion and then speak to your husband, the two of you need each other now more than ever, this can either break you or build you up, the choice is yours and you seem like a woman with a good head on top of her shoulders so I know that you will make the best decision.” This white old lady was wise, old people have all the wisdom and understanding that we lack. I looked at her and wondered how did she just give me answers to my problems in less than five minutes, a nurse came to get her and said something was happening to her husband was happening and she needed to come quick, I said a small prayer on the inside praying that he wasn’t dying, she hurriedly left with the nurse before I could even get her name.
I made my way to my husband’s ward, he smiled when he saw me and told me how much he had missed me, I smiled back even though inside I was dying, I asked how the pain was and he said it had moment where it was extremely painful, where even coughing or sneezing would cause him to feel pain and he would ask the nurses for medication and they would inject his drip with the strong stuff that would make him feel high as a kite, I laughed at him and jokingly said he was such a druggie, we both laughed and secretly I wished we could freeze in that moment, I didn’t want to be the one that breaks the news to him. A nurse walked in as I was preparing myself to tell my husband the bad news, I asked her to tell the doctor that I wanted to see him and she said she would, she checked my husband’s drip and then left. After she left Mthobisi asked what I wanted to see the doctor about, it was now or never. “My love the doctor told me that you have some sort of infection on your legs and it’s spreading so they, uhmmm, he needs to amputate your legs before the infection spreads to other areas.” And I waited and waited for his response and all I got was dead silence, I was now feeling confused I wasn’t sure if he had heard what I had just said or if he was under the strong medication and could not understand the life changes implication to this. When the doctor came in Mthobisi had still not said a word, I was now worried that he could have a stroke from all the stress I had just given him. The doctor asked if I wanted to speak outside and Mthobisi finally spoke and said it’s his life he would also like to know what is going on. The doctor explained the infection to him and where it was, he showed him x-rays of how bad things were and how worse they were going to get if we didn’t act at that moment. Mthobisi looked at me and asked what I thought and I said “I want us to get second, third, fourth and fifth opinion, we can’t take one person’s word on this.” Mthobisi nodded and said “You heard what the boss lady said, let’s get cracking on those opinions, I’m going to call my people and you call yours.” Mthobisi said to the doctor. I like the fact that he was taking this situation so lightly, I was freaking out, I wanted to run up and down the hospital corridors screaming blue murder but I guess that was the mental patient in me, I still blame that psycho places pills for my craziness. After the doctor, had left Mthobisi asked me to give him his phone and I did, he told me he was going to make some calls could I please get him water, I knew he wanted to get me out of the room by asking me to get water, one reason, he didn’t want me hearing the conversation he was about to have on the phone. I took the hint and left and went to the waiting area because there was a pharmacy close by the waiting area, as I passed the waiting area there sat the old lady in the same spot, she looked sad this time, I walked up to her and told her that her advice had helped and I thanked her, she just smiled then looked away.
I asked how things were going with her husband and she said things had taken the toll for the worst, her husband was basically alive because of machines. I gave her a hug and told her that everything was going to be okay she shouldn’t give up hope, her husband could wake up and walk. She shook her head and said she had always know that this day would come, she had just never thought it would be her husband to go first she always thought that she would die before him. “Quit talking like that, he’s not dead, miracles do happen, just believe.” She smiled and thanked me for being so positive compared to how gloomy I had looked earlier on. I went and bought water and also bought for the old lady when I came back she was no longer where she was sitting I looked around for her and couldn’t find her, I figured she probably went back to her husband, I decided to go back to mine too.
When I got back to the room Mthobisi was done with the calls he said he had managed to get two doctors that were going to come in the afternoon to assess his condition. One of the many things I loved about my husband was how he had no time to sit around wallowing in self-pity, no he took charge and action of every situation and we women love a man like that, not a man who is going to ask you to come up with solutions to every problem, that defeats the purpose of having a man around, very few guys get that a woman wants you to take charge, yes in some situations she will take control but no man should let his woman be in control of everything, a man is supposed to be the head which means the leader of the house, I get this whole 50/50 thing that has been going on for some time but I was not about that life, I wanted a man who took charge.
“Lesedi if all these doctors come to the same conclusion that I need to have my legs cut, please don’t fight it, I have already accepted that there is a high chance that tomorrow I might wake up with one legs and I am fine with it, legs don’t define who I am, with one leg, one arm or none I will still be Mthobisi Jumbe no one can take that away from me. I just need you to also accept it, I know it’s hard but nothing will change, I will still be the same man you married and promised to love and cherish no matter what.” I loved this man deeply his strength was amazing.