The procedure was taking place during the French Presidential Election, when Le Pen and Chirac were competing against each other for the highest office in France. Most of Kacper’s colleagues were therefore extremely preoccupied with what was going on in France, and did not notice Kacper’s miserable face, just before setting off to hospital. Kacper thought it was unfair. He needed people to feel sorry for him, the same way, he felt for himself. ‘Oh well’ – he thought – ‘let them worry about their silly elections, and I will suffer on my own’ – decided Kacper rather dramatically (you will have a chance to learn that Kacper has tendencies for being a drama queen).
Everything was supposed to be quick, and Kacper would even not need to undergo a full anaesthesia – just local one would do. Kacper was assigned a private room, but he would not really need to use it much. He was told the procedure would last 45 minutes at most. He would then need to rest for a few hours, and then in the evening, he would go home. ‘Easy-peasy’ – he decided .
Kacper did not like the nurses very much. They did not seem to like what they were doing, and they made him feel like if he was the reason of their suffering – they needed to look after him, rather than enjoying another glass of sweet tea or karkadeil (hibiscus tea). Kacper was not bothered by their attitude; after all, he was not staying there too long.
Finally the moment of his surgery came. Kacper was asked to lay down on his bed, and they started pushing him towards the hospital’s operation theatre. On the way, he caught a glimpse of Pierre, who made it to ‘The Doctors’ Clinic’ to make sure that Kacper was fine. He was really pleased to see him there, especially as he realised that Pierre must have actually been dying to be close to the TV, and follow the news coming from Paris.
Kacper remembered 4, or perhaps 5 people dressed in green gowns and masks walking around the operation table, he was on. He felt sleepy, but was convinced that he would remain conscious throughout the operation, perhaps just dizzy from painkillers and anaesthesia.
His head felt like a stone. Kacper needed to make an extra effort to open his eyes. All felt strange and numb. He was a bit surprised to see Maria – the Portuguese medical coordinator from his organisation, Pierre and a bunch of other people around his bed, looking very worried. Maria was holding his right hand, and smiled at him gently, while Pierre kept on stroking his left arm. Kacper tried to ask what time it was, but no words could come through his throat. Looking at Kacper’s attempt to speak, Maria just rubbed his head, and asked him to rest.
Kacper woke up again, some time later (he was unsure how much time has passed). He felt really hot and unwell. He saw Maria resting on a neighbouring other bad, and Pierre sitting on the chair with his eyes closed. The room was semi-dark, and Kacper noticed that it was dark outside of the windows too. He was attached to tubes and drips.
‘Pierre… Pierre!’ – he tried to call his boss. As Kacper made the noise, he right away, he opened his eyes and approached Kacper. ‘I am not feeling well’ –whispered weak Kacper, and felt like vomitting. Pierre immediately woke Maria up! She placed her hand over Kacper’s forehead. ‘He has got a high fever’ – she said and left the room. Minutes later, she returned with one of the nurses, who again looked very unhappy and annoyed with three foreigners, who obviously interrupted her sleep.
What Kacper remembered next was lots of light, nurses running around Kacper, and a doctor, who did not seem to know what was going on. Maria and Pierre were somewhere as well. Kacper could hear Pierre talking on his mobile phone in French. He recognised that Pierre talked to someone in New York about him – Kacper.
All of the sudden, one of the nurses officially decided to announce: ‘The blood test was negative, but the doctor has diagnosed that you have malaria’. She then jabbed Kacper’s arm with a needle and attached another drip into it. Kacper did not care… he just wanted to sleep.
The doctor was very pleased with himself when he spoke to Kacper next morning. Kacper seemed to feel better, and was conscious. He was still tired, and did not feel like asking any questions, so he chose to listen to what the doctor had to say. ‘We performed the operation, everything went okey, but the piles were big and deep, so we needed to put you to sleep, and the operation took longer than we expected’ – he said (later Kacper found out that ‘longer’ was 5 hours!). ‘We think that you had malaria in the same time, so therefore we want to keep you here in our hospital, and you will go home tomorrow’ – he added and left.
Kacper was in his room on his own. He realised that he had a dressing on lower parts of his body – ‘resembled kind of nappies that are used for babies’ – he thought. His bum was extremely sore – this typical pain, which you get, when you cut yourself. ‘Great’ – he thought – ‘now I have a real pain in the a…’
Next time, he saw Maria and Pierre, he understood how upset Maria was. ‘I can’t believe I was so stupid to let you stay here’ – she said, nearly with tears in her eyes. ‘They are just bloody useless here, and they do not know what they are doing’. ‘It is alright Maria’ – said Kacper – ‘please do not worry, and thank you for looking after me’ – he added. Hearing this, she bent over Kacper, and kissed his forehead.
Kacper was fed-up with his hospital, and really wanted to get better as soon as possible, so he could leave the next day. He went to the toilet. All was still very sore and as he found out, there was lots of blood dripping from him. He did not like that, both because it looked worrying, but also because there was no toilet paper, and no water in the bathroom. Kacper felt so miserable, and started crying for a first time.
The doctor explained to Kacper that blood was normal, as Kacper had a wound that would need to heal. He also apologised for lack of toilet paper and promised he would fix it. He also added that he would keep Kacper in his hospital, until the bleeding stopped, which he hoped would be the following day.
Three days later, Kacper was still in his hospital bed and the bleeding did not seem to be easing a bit. Kacper felt that the wounds were healing, and did not trust the doctor’s explanations anymore. At least, he had plenty of toilet paper! After Kacper complained, the nurse brought 10 rolls, and threw it on the floor in front of him angrily!
Four days after the surgery, Kacper demanded to go home. He could not stand the hospital! Pierre and Maria also preferred him to be near them, as they could look after him easily, when he was nearer. The doctor agreed, and asked that Kacper relaxed and did nothing but rest. He promised that Kacper would stop bleeding, and demanded to be called at any time, should there be a problem. He also asked Maria to bring Kacper back for a check-up in two days.
Kacper was then ‘relaxing’ at home in front of the TV, wondering when the bleeding would stop. It didn’t, and Kacper was more and more scarred. Strangely, the insurance company from New York did not see any reason to take any other actions, and advised Kacper and the team to follow the instructions of the Sudanese specialists.
‘I am still bleeding heavily, doctor’ – announced Kacper on his next check- up. The news did not seem to surprise him. ‘We will do the endoscopy, to check why the bleeding is there’. Kacper did not know what the doctor was talking about, but did not like what he heard. He thought that the doctor did not know what he was doing anymore, so was suggesting new examinations, just to appear to be doing something… Maria was not impressed with the news either. ‘They are mad’ – she screamed, and demanded that Kacper was sent back to a proper hospital somewhere out of Sudan immediately! Pierre was puzzled – ‘the insurance, refuses to do s0’ – he said. Maria just got red, and left slamming the door! This did not give Kacper lots of confidence… He was tired, and wanted to know what was wrong with him.
Despite Maria’s opposition, the insurance company demanded the endoscopy to take place in Sudan, as the doctor had advised.
So once again, Kacper was in a clinic again (different one this time), preparing for the new procedure. He was quite exhausted after the whole night on the toilet – as he needed to clean his intestines with special salts – preparing for his endoscopies.
The procedure was one of the most unpleasant physical experiences; Kacper ever had a chance to have. He hated the pipes being pushed to his body through his back, and his throat… Once all finished, Kacper was still under the influence of drugs, which made him feel silly and dizzy. However, he felt well enough to understand the doctor talking to him. No, there was no mistake – ‘You have cancer’ – announced the doctor!
A word ‘CANCER’ stopped Kacper’s world for a moment. His head started spinning, the tears arrived to his eyes. ‘Was he dying’ – he wondered. ‘What was going to happen now?’
End of part two – to be continued…
PS. Kacper is worried about the situation in North Korea.