An Accident and Diabetes (I)

By Osmel Almaguer

Clothes line, photo: Caridad
Clothes line, photo: Caridad

A month ago today I had an accident in my backyard.  As I was trying to repair the concrete perimeter wall by myself – foolishly – an over 200 kilo slab fell on my left leg.

I was lucky, because if it hadn’t fallen diagonally I’d be writing this story without toes, and I’d have to sign this diary as Osmel the cripple.  The injury consisted of a friction burn that a healthy person would have healed from in no more than a week.

A long time ago I used to have fainting spells, which led me to suspect that I had diabetes; but up till now no doctor has confirmed that presumed illness.  There was a time when I thought that my fainting stemmed from something emotional in nature, but since this injury refused to heal, I didn’t have the slightest doubt that I was diabetic.

Since this accident, I have become friends with the doctor, Dr. Raquel, who attends to all the residents of my community at the family doctor’s clinic.  This is the name of the these community health centers established throughout the entire country to offer first aid to Cuban families, and which are quite effective due to their proximity to the public.

Dr. Raquel referred me to the Diabetes Center, which specializes in that ailment, and as far as I know is the only one of its type in the entire capital; that’s why it is very difficult to get treated there.

I told Dr. Raquel that I had spent a lot of time trying to get a diagnosis of my problem and that the doctors that had attended me previously – after conducting a preliminary analysis – told me that the tests indicated that I was healthy.

My friend seems to be quite competent and serious, but the truth is I don’t know if I would have gotten the service If did had not become her friend, because I find very low moral among almost all the doctors that I know.  I understand this, because their lives are very difficult, and this – inevitably – has repercussions on everything.