I wrote this a little while ago on one of the many occasions that I've been an in-patient. I have, for several years now, been MRSA positive, though luckily I have not had sepsis from it (although I have had sepsis from another nasty bug - enterobacter claocae). Because of my status of being MRSA positive I am, what they call, barrier nursed, meaning that I get a room on my own (there has to be an upside to having MRSA) and whenever anyone other than my visitors come into the room they have to put on apron and gloves. The following is a little snippet of something that might one day turn into something longer, but it's about the experience of being MRSA positive and that isolation.
I have an invisible room-mate – a companion with whom I have nothing in common, except the space we occupy. Being invisible she is very easy to accommodate, so I put her up and ignore the bad press she gets. She is reputed for beating the frail and elderly, attacking vulnerable children and further wounding the already wounded. She is a cowardly monster in her choice of victim.
She has done me no harm, though we do not interact much and, for the most part, I forget that we share this space. It is only when medics and nurses, domestics and phlebotomists enter my room, clad in their protective armour of plastic aprons and latex gloves, that I remember I am not really alone. Only then am I reminded of her potential violence.
It is hard to imagine my silent companion as a killer, despite hiding in her anonymity as Mrs A. For all who do not live in this room with her however, proceedings must be undertaken with extreme caution, lest she escape and run rampant in the world beyond my door.
For now she can stay with me here, not that I have a choice as she holds me hostage – both of us in this isolation together.