‘My body feels battered and broken’: British playwright Hanif Kureishi shares physical and mental agony from the hospital bed

British playwright and screenwriter Hanif Kureishi, who suffered a fall a day after Christmas during a walk, twisted his neck and injured the top of his spine. On regaining consciousness, he found himself “in a pool of blood”. Though it is still unclear if he will ever be able to walk or write again, The My Beautiful Laundrette writerwho was taken to Gemelli Hospital following the fall, has been sharing his daily health updates, among other things, on Twitter.

“It occurred to me then that there was no coordination between what was left of my mind and what remained of my body. I had become divorced from myself. I believed I was dying. I thought I had three breaths left,” he wrote on Twitter.

In keeping with the same, in a thread of tweets recently, he shared his experience and health difficulties, weaving them all together in prose poetry.

“Sleepless night. Not a moment’s rest. Racing mind. I wake up with an elevated temperature and fear of infection. Blood in the urine,” he wrote, adding, “A new catheter and a massive pain in the genitals. An anesthetic in the penis. A visit to the laryngologist after the incident with the fish and the Heimlich maneuver. Tubes up the nose and down the throat and a sore ass.”

Kureishi continued by talking about his new friend, who he does not name. “A visit from my new friend, a man I call the Maestro, an actor and director who brings me a cappuccino and feeds it to me through a straw. His experiences have been much worse than mine, almost unendurable,” he wrote.

Saying that he is not in the mood to write something amusing, the writer added, “physios come and pull and push, prod and twist me. My body feels battered and broken. I was hoping today to write something more interesting and amusing. I’m still thinking, but I’m not in the mood for amusement.”

Prior to this, Kureishi shared “how easy it is to nearly die”. He wrote, “I wake at four in the morning knowing I will be moving today. I wonder what the place will be like. At five my favorite doctor arrives and we begin our morning chat. We discuss my legs, Giorgia Meloni, the up-bringing of teenagers and the pleasure of when your children become your friends.”

In the same thread, he expressed his mental agony. “Immediately I feel depressed. I am in despair, I don’t want to be here, I want to go home, I’d rather die now. I’ve had enough of this s**t. I feel I lack the strength to take this on. I really don’t want to live like this.” Kureishi further revealed that his doctor told him that he could have died at any moment.

Earlier, the writer also shared that fellow author Salman Rushdie has been his source of courage during this difficult time as he writes to him every day. “My friend Salman Rushdie, one of the bravest men I know, a man who has stood up to the most evil form of Islamofascism, writes to me every single day, encourage patience. He should know. He gives me courage,” Kureishi wrote on Twitter.

For the uninitiated, Rushdie was stabbed while delivering a lecture at an event in New York, in August last year.

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