A Fit, A Faint Or A Fatality?

The bed plunged and the wall spun endlessly. It was 5.0am. I was in a single room - the co-leader of a retreat for 91 people - and on Iona, an island with no resident doctor.

Mercy, however, was resident. The Iona Community drove me across the ferry to the medical centre on Mull at their expense. That is their policy. The doctor put me on their new, state-of-the-art machine, which revealed I had not had a fit or a faint... 'so we are talking pathology.'

Mercy also accompanied me on my return. A young German lady ditched her train journey and helped me drive to Edinburgh. A member of the Community took me in overnight. Next day I got to Berwick Infirmary. They told me I could choose one of two hospitals. I thought of Saint Cuthbert and the view of his hills, and chose Borders Hospital at Melrose. Another Community member drove me there. Through a noisy night of endless tests they eliminated brain tumour and heart problem as the culprits. The culprit was the third, inner sanctuary of the ear. Medication for that followed, and a visit to the 'Falls Unit' in October awaits me. Mercy, however, has never left me.'

Posted at 23:19pm on 27th September 2008
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