So long ago it happened,
I saw death’s door ajar,
Only a tiny glimpse mind,
Of a darkness extending far,
Far beyond my throbbing eyes could reach,
Infinity I guess?
At the time I was quite unwell,
‘Meningitis’ said the test,
Results there in the hospital,
So I discovered later,
Strange I felt no fear though,
Felt no need of something greater,
Than just to escape my blinding headache,
Escape the curse of light,
Daggers plunged into my retinas,
So much for the gift of sight.
In the ambulance the paramedics,
Forgot to strap me in the bed,
Thus when they cornered sharply,
I fell off and bust my head.
Matters were made worse though,
For in the A&E,
Left shivering naked in a darkened room,
The staff forgot all about me,
That is until Shirley telephoned,
To see how my swollen brain was doing,
It was then the shift change nurses checked,
And discovered this forgotten sickly ruin.
Left to stew in a nest of sweat,
Brought about by a temperature,
The ferocity of which I surmised,
Doubled up as shock and awe,
Slipping in and out of consciousness,
I overheard a doctor say,
“Best try a lumber puncture,
Best try one without delay.”
Yet after a trinity of attempts,
That plan it was aborted,
“We’ll have to see how this pans out,
Viral or biological – sorted!”
I recall that in toiled whispers,
I asked just what he meant,
The answer was that in this instance,
‘Viral’ would be heaven sent.
For if I had been afflicted,
With the type bacterial,
Then in all probability,
From life I might very well fall.
The next thing I remember,
Was waking up and seeing what pleases,
Namely being locked in a rather tasty suite,
Generally used for those with tropical diseases.
Good fortune had smiled upon me,
For my meningitis was viral ‘Phew,’
It was just that until they were sure,
The posh suite would have to do.
Now on the road to recovery,
I asked to use the en suite shower,
Yet the rather lovely Irish nurse,
Said, “It is not within my power,
To allow you to take the risk,
For I am worried you may tumble,
And die a horrid death alone,
Sorry if that sounds like a grumble.”
Feeling wasted yet somewhat better,
My thinking levels now up a notch,
“Well you’re welcome to stand guard for me,
Providing you don’t watch!”
At this she burst out laughing,
And acceded to my request,
Yet I detect I saw her sneak glimpse,
As she handed me my towel and vest!