I had to run to the other end of the garden, not knowing, what I will find. Jan was lying in the grassy path on the back. He had crawled to this place all the way from the underbrush of our little forest. A horrible gaping wound on his lower right leg, I will not go into more details here. I knelt down to him. “Now it´s over”, he said. Later he told me that he meant this inner drivenness. I myself saw the little seedlings of my tiny new world crushed down. My beautiful, strong man, struck down. What would that mean… I directly told him in a very collected way, while I was holding his head with my hand, that there was no arterial damage, that we were lucky and had time. I confirmed that he could still feel and move his toes. He didn´t feel any pain yet.
It was the string trimmer. The blade had broken and one part just shot right into his leg.
Calling the ambulance was a horror moment, when the man on the other end just hung up on me because I spoke in English and when I tried to call again, my phone just shut off and I couldn´t remember my PIN under the pressure. I also tried to contact friends from the island over Facebook with no success. I ran out on the street and found a kind neighbor to call for me.
I ran back in the garden with the first aid kit from the car, blankets and water and covered Jan´s wound. Running back to the house and to the garden several times. Crying the first tears, so scared for my beloved. It looked really bad.
We were driven to the emergency of our health center. It was around six o’clock in the evening. I couldn´t come in at first, had to stay outside for doing the paperwork. Our friend José came for our support, and later also two more friends, waiting with me for hours. I could hear Jan´s pained sounds when they provisorily stitched the wound, heard him doing the Wim Hof Breathing very hard against the pain.
At the moment there was nothing for me to do and so I went in to the bathroom. Washing the blood from my hands. Staring in the mirror into my white face. Staring for a while. How did I end up here? This was it already? Dorothee´s wild little story of some freedom and real happiness.
I sat down and called my mom. Actually today also my father had come into the hospital. The doctors had decided that another surgery was necessary for his brain cancer, that had started (or was discovered) four years ago, after he retired, after I came back from my first trip to the Azores, one week before I finished my master´s thesis. “The doctors said that it went well, but Papa is not waking up… Something is not right…” So we were sitting there in the waiting rooms, she in Germany, me in the middle of the Atlantic, we two women, who had been so close and got separated this year on many levels by different life circumstances, somehow swinging together in a creepy way, reconnected by life circumstances…
X-rays revealed that Jan´s shin bone, the tibia, was completely separated. The helicopter from the island Terceira was already on its way to bring him to the big hospital. Finally they let me see Jan again. He had refused the Covid-Test (we only had 3 mild cases on our island this summer anyway) and painkillers, but got antibiotics. I could see that he was pumped with adrenaline, like a wounded animal.
It was long hours of waiting. José drove me home again. I had decided and was allowed to accompany Jan on the flight to Terceira and so I packed a few things for us, took care of the house and the animals. He would have to stay for around two to three days in the hospital they told us. I was positive and, I must admit, a little bit excited for a small adventure. José brought me home to his parents for a while and his mother was super kind to me, gave me a soup. Some tears could already come out, some relieve.
They drove us to the airport, where the helicopter had arrived, at around midnight. I was still also pumped with adrenaline. Normally I´m already very tired at 10p.m. Jan was lying on a cot, I was sitting in some distance to him, we got earprotectors. We communicated with hand signs in the noisy helicopter, sending each other love and encouragement. I felt a painful ripping feeling in my belly when the helicopter ascended and I saw our home Graciosa disappearing beneath us, heading out in the darkness of the Atlantic ocean. Bye bye little happy bubble.
Landing in Terceira at the military base, Jan and I were put into two separate vehicles. Driving over the long highway… Like we had spoken about just yesterday. Arriving at the hospital, waiting, orienting. More paperwork. It was one of these moments, when brainchemistry and completely unpredictable new circumstances just make you leave your wellknown synaptic circuits and you get into some strange kind of state where you just flow with the waves of the moment.
After a long waiting I could see Jan for a very short moment and give him his belongings. And a kiss. They will have to bring him for surgery now and ushered me out. At least they just accepted me as his „wife“, no questions asked. It felt nice somehow and I felt Jan´s complete trust in me.
I ended up at 3a.m. in the bed of a guesthouse in walking distance to the hospital, where our friend Paul-George had organized a room for me. Jan’s and my first night separated for half a year. It is a strange feeling to fall asleep not knowing where you are and how your life will proceed.