Monday, 14 December 2009

Seeing Stars

Some nasty things happened since that last, peaceful post.

Boiled down, it´s like this: I went to the doctor Friday because the asthma was bad. I was seeing stars at night, but inside my bedroom, which is not a good thing -- it´s a sure sign your brain´s not getting enough oxygen. Friday is when Doc Tomas comes to Moratinos. I thought he´d just write me a prescription for stronger medicine. But no. He put me on respiratory therapy, complete with steroidal inhalation mixed in with pure oxygen.

Oxygen is lovely. It gives me a sweet little buzz, and the medicine opens up my verklempt old lungs for a while, and I get the feeling that all is well. Until, of course, it wears off. Then I must come crashing back down to my usual, day-to-day level of unmitigated bliss.

Anyway, the initial orders to report ASAP to the local medical center got me on the phone to Paddy, who may have been needed here, had I been admitted for treatment. He knitted his brows with husbandly concern, packed up his troubles, and fled Salamanca on the next train north.

So all is well now, back at the Peaceable. Each evening at 7 p.m. I drive about seven kilometers down to Villada to snort medicated fumes in their quiet little emergency room. The drive home is always a treat. It is a straight shot up a remote country two-lane, and everything outside the windscreen is pure blackness. Except the sky.

The last three evenings I´ve pulled over into a field. I shut off the headlights and stepped out into the cold evening.

I can breathe almost deeply now, and the chill makes me wheeze a bit. I hear nothing else but the wind shifting the stubble below, and a dog barking a long way away. Fields and trees take up only the lowest fraction of the view. Nine-tenths is sky, that vast vault that stretches from one glowing velvet horizon to the other, with a million million little stars, moons, and planets arrayed across it all. Such beauty! I feel so lucky to have such a sky over my earth, to have such a view so available.

I didn´t have to move to Spain to see this. It´s been up there all my life. My parents were star-gazers, and I can well recall lying on a blanket in the backyard with one or the other of them pointing out Cassiopia or Orion, or singing:  "The stars at night/ are big and bright/ Deep In the Heart of Texas."

When I had children I made sure they saw Northern Lights and comets and meteor showers, too, whenever the sky was putting on a show. But these days?  I rarely take the time to enjoy this great field of diamonds, thrown up overhead... it´s a free show, every clear night of the year.

The point of all this?  Even though asthma can easily kill you, it´s not always bad to see pneumonological stars dancing ´round the bedroom ceiling. Not so long as they lead you to trade them in for the astronomical kind. With extra oxygen.

1 comment:

Sil said...

Reb - take care, esecially in the cold weather. I have been a bronchial dilator user, pump sprayer, asthma sufferer all my life. Its not funny - especially when you can't breathe out! I ould love to see the winter starry sky on the meseta - maybe one day. And when you come South, I'll show you the Southern Cross.
Big hug,