I miss you already, but

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When I got confirmation that my boy was coming down for a visit…or ‘sneak in’ to Jozi as he’d say it. So the excitement started building up right from then, the days that followed I was consumed by trying to keep it together and not let the excitement take over my life.

So when the Friday came I drove to the airport with a big smile in my heart but my face was contained. I picked my boy up and as soon as we hit the R21 he became a true Capetonian! All these buildings, no mountain, no sea! I was in stitches 10minutes into his landing. I love that about him, he has the ability to make even the smallest meaningless thing funny.

The weekend was meant to be a time of unwinding in some remote area do the minimal, chill and just catch up. That is exactly what happened! Relaxed, weekend which ended with a bit of an adrenaline drive. I loved every minute of it, had time to catch up, relax and unwind.

Sunday morning was an adventure, the best way to spend my Sunday morning if I’m not in church! I love adventure, I make time to go and hike be out there in the wild and be one with nature…so a canopy tour of the Magalisberg was the order of the morning. Stunning scenery, mountains, fauna and flora, well not much fauna but some game in the farm and our group was lucky to spot some of it.

A group of 8 people, with two guides Tee and Tshepo who kept us entertained and safe throughout the tour. Tee and Tshepo love what they do, during the drive to the tour they kept us guessing, throwing all these brain teasers that we could not get right…Throughout the tour, they would talk to us and share the names of some of the beautiful trees surrounding us, talk about their characteristics etc.

The tour was fun, special and I will remember it always, more so because I shared it with a very special person in my life and six other people and of course our tour guides!

Just like life intends, the weekend had to end and end it did…when I went down to Cape Town for a visit, I had an amazing time, Hermanus, whale watching, the scenic drive, the parting and hanging out with new friends was epic! That weekend ended and I thought I’d never survive the end, I did.

I always use everyday situations to learn something, big or small! I have learned that some lessons are not necessarily nice ones, revelations can be hurtful! So while in Cape Town, I learned one vital lesson. I really cannot share it, but I can say that it was not a happy realization, that it hurt a little. I set that aside and had the best time in Cape Town.

So before the anticipated weekend, the lesson came! Again it was not a happy one, but definitely not one I can ignore. So I did what I do the best, I parked it aside so that I could still enjoy my weekend.

Now that the weekend is gone, it’s time to contemplate my action, measured action, which must have minimal impact. So, contemplation coupled with action commences. The Fox will always hold a very special place in my heart.

Sometimes we make choices in life, sometimes they make us….

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Socially, just running

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Yesterday while suburbia was still quiet due to sleep, I decided to sacrifice my sleep, get up and go train for the upcoming race.

As I expected, there were others who were doing exactly what I was doing. As I got out of the estate gate, there comes my neighbor who is also running at least 4 times a week, we stand for a chat and he tells me he just had to loose the weight because even his son is insisting he loose the weight. Apparently he used to have a six pack!

So I carried on with my run, I had targeted to turn back up the road by the local Spar and its not close by, resilience is needed or maybe endurance. I brave the route though, running and taking brisk walking breaks, am so out of breath mostly and I’m starting to get annoyed with myself! In my head I keep on telling myself that I used to run this route like nobody’s business, in fact I would pass the Spar like it’s not even there.

Along the road I pass runners of all types, real runners and social runners…I spot social runners by the type of shoes they wear to run even their clothes. The one guy passed me at lightning speed wearing Vans sneakers, then when I passed him he exclaimed that this running thing is not his thing. I just said it’s hard but press on, it’s worth in in the end.

I continued with my tough run, to meet two real runners along the road, they are chatty, the greet and make noise encouraging you to carry on especially when they see you taking a walking break! It’s the comradie effect of runners, the knowing that it’s not easy. I meet a couple of social runners who just pass like you not even there. I take one look and wish them well, see a while back I just ran past this guy without even a ‘hello’ to trip and fall shortly after I passed him and guess who can to my rescue? Him of course…for the record this was my second fall, the first one was due to the wet grass, i slipped and fell…cars passing by hooted with excitement I think, I just lay there for a while, then started laughing, got up dusted the grass off myself and started running again.

Anyway, back to yesterday’s run, coming back was smooth until I got to the estate next to my one, it’s a bit steep, I always walk that steep! Always…I promise I will brave it next time or rather soon. Walking approaching this lady, I hear a strange sound but think it’s coming from close by, by the grass maybe! Then as I pass her the sound is now clearly audibly the sound comes from her! She is wearing plastic bags inside her gear! I double take her and almost asked her what’s with the plastic story really? I see a lot of people dressing up in plastics when running.

I once heard a theory that plastic makes you sweat so much that as you sweat it’s good for weight loss, thing is the amount of water you loose thorough perspiration you get home are refill it because you are thirsty and drink until you are fulfilled. Maybe I’ve missed something important on this plastic story.

Anyway, I decided to continue my battle of running through the steep & left her and her plastics alone.

Life of a runner, Aluta Continua, the struggle continues,

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It’s started on Saturday….

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This is a delayed post…really delayed.

On Saturday, the past one I decided to take part in this fun run/walk in Irene, this will serve as my 1st training session in preparation for the Soweto Race I registered to take part in. Okay, let me just say the race I’m doing is 10 whole kilometers!

Early morning I leave my house kitted in running gear, with my phone ready to start tracking my session.

Usually the fun walks are noisy with friends holding each other’s hands, dogs, strollers – it’s just a social fun walk/run and can get annoying for a seasoned runner.

Okay, so I am not sure I should refer to myself as a seasoned runner! The last time I ran was some time in May and I feel so unfit…

Anyways, I am seasoned, more seasoned than those walkers who did the fun run with me.

I struggled though, I felt so heavy, sluggish like I had someone else’s body and the legs I was using to run were not mine at all. Alas, I pushed, I cannot go take part in a fun walk and come back empty handed or without crossing the finishing line!

I decided to have fun during the race because I cannot run with music, I want to feel every step I make and marvel in it. I decide to take pictures of random people, I do that for a while until it just becomes too much. So throughout the race there is that one or two people that you look at and think ” you, I’ll do so much better than you” and I have two that I’ve picked up as I was walking around before the race started.

The one bumped into me like she did not see where she was headed, so instead of excusing herself, she just stormed off. So there I was after that incident thinking she really needs this fun walk to infuse some light in her life. Since then I decided that she will not cross the line before me, even if I had to race right in front of her, you know like they do during serious races? Yeah… That kind of crossing the finish line…

While I was standing my the fence minding my business, this group of loud ones are busy taking selfies and making a big deal out of that. Again, I look at them and think they probably doing this for the very first time, too excited and they do not care about who was watching! I spot just one of the, and decide she will not finish before me!

During the run I spot the 1st competitor, my good heart says I should I
Inform her that we are completing so that she can bring her A game on, and then again I realise if I had my A game, I would not be in this race… She is a very unhappy person generally, she passed me and pumped into some girls who were strolling in front as though they have eyes to see who is coming from the back…so I follow behind her at an average pace, when she slows down for a walk, I pick my pace up, run past her and of course because of my appealing fitness levels, I then later on have to walk to take a break…and then she passes me again, so that was the morning fun run/walk.

As I was running back to the finish line maybe about half a kilometer away, I spot miss selfie herself…so I decide to slow down because I really want to get a picture of the two who have made this fun run interesting and somehow competitive. As my luck would have it, bang! They are alongside each other and I have the perfect opportunity to take a picture of these two!

1st competitor is the one in the pink top and miss selfie is wearing a mint sweater around her waist.

I must say the agro one turned after a couple of clicks to check what the hell was happening? I just looked the other way and from there sprinted all the way to the finish line and crossed it before the two of them….

Now to some more training for the Soweto Race and hours on the road improving my pace and resilience.

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Calm Down, it’s only a birthday

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So every year at the beginning of September I start dreading the fact that it’s my birthday month.

Unlike some of you who ensure that you post a” Calm Down its My Birthday Month” on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter …status update and make sure you remind us even during conversations that are totally unrelated…I mean, really now.

Anyway, so what I have are two dates on my profiles which I swop around to make sure that I don’t get unnecessary, unwanted attention from people I am not even close to. See, Facebook friends are really not friends…for me that is…I don’t know 70% of them…and the 30% that I know, most of them would not be in any position to know when my birthday is.

I prefer to celebrate my birthday with close family and friends, so if I want you to know when my birthday is, I will make sure you know and if you know, then know this, you are important in my life, what you do with knowing when my birthday is, is up to you. If you choose to forget then, I can’t help it.

So today, a few friends, friends I love, my family wished me happy birthday…kind beautiful words which I appreciate so so much..and then, someone on Facebook decided to go through my profile take one of my pics and tag me on a post wishing me a very happy birthday, so I just untagged myself on their post and removed it from my timeline…At the time of writing this post, she has not called me or sent a text message but she took her time out to publish to the world that she is my friend and she is wishing me a very good day for my birthday.

Anyway, moving along swiftly, today as I was worrying about who knows about my birthday and how they found out, I receive one of the most emotional e-mails from a friend who copied an abstract of an e-mail he received from his mom on this day 18 September eleven years ago, this e-mail was to be the last e-mail from his mom, as she met her untimely death shortly after that. This brought tears to my eyes, and made me realise just how much we go around worrying about small things when other people are dealing with final and heavy issues.

I am grateful today that I still have the gift of life, I am not in hospital; in fact I am on my way to improved health. I use this day to reflect on my life where I am right now, where I am headed, milestones and every important part of my being and to do this I have to be in the zone, my zone, my space, my lonesome…

Allow me to be silly and share some of the reasons why I would consider to celebrate my birthday publicly if I decided to…all these things come with age of course

– Wisdom

– Self-confidence

– You’ve figured out shortcuts to some things…i.e. no longer use recipes to cook

– Being grateful – when we mature we know how to put things in perspective, what’s trivial and what really matters

– Accomplishments really stack up…with age it becomes a list of accomplishments

– Cake – I love cake, I can have it any day of the week

So I am still not convinced why my birthday should be a public affair because all of these things I have mentioned above, I still get to do in the privacy of my life…

So this is as public as it gets and only this year…so if you read my blog and remember next year on this day, you will send your regards if you choose to or not.

Happy birthday to me

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The length of my gown does not define who I am…

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This morning just after my X-ray, I jumped back into bed to get some rest. A short while after that one of the young nurses comes through to do some routine monitoring.

I realise that she’ll be coming to examine me next so I run quickly to the loo. As soon as I come back this young nurse asks me “would you like a hospital gown” so I say no thank you why would you ask that, she answers no reason. I probe further and tell her there is no way you would just out of the blue offer my a hospital gown. Do you find my gown inappropriate? She answered no, so I told her to be honest with herself at least.

She left the ward. Soon after she left my roomie tells me that she made a comment that my gown was short. I am not sure why she would feel that way because she is not the one wearing it.

I just do not like judgmental, dishonest people. If you are judgmental keep it to yourself. This young nurse has her life ahead of her, when I was being admitted she could not even complete a mere admission form.

If I were her, I would focus on mastering my job, use every opportunity to learn more about her job…

As for my gown, I will wear it as short as I want to, because I am so very comfortable in my skin and I love the skin I’m in…

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Shut it, please

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I usually opt for quietness when I’m in hospital. Clearly the opposite applies to my roommate. Hospital rules state that you cannot have more than 3 visitors at a time. See, I don’t mind the amount of visitors my roommate has every hour…we all have our preferences, she prefers people, lots of them. I just don’t.

My problem is that the noise is so loud, they are so inconsiderate about the fact that there is another person in the room with them. At any given point they form small groups amongst themselves, so there are 3 groups having different conversations. Would I be a bad person if I ask them to shut it for a short while or keep it on a low?

I really think they are all inconsiderate!

The nursing stuff is incompetent, they are just looking at the group and saying absolutely nothing! Despite the fact that this noise is filtering throughout the ward.

I just really want to sleep in peace, wake up tomorrow and go home…

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Say Nuclear X-ray

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Monday, 8 September 2014

I present myself at Sunninghill Hospital for my long anticipated admission, only this time I have no idea what’s in store for me.

The day goes by very slow, no action just sitting on a hospital bed tossing and turning. My mind is so preoccupied I cannot even focus on reading my book.

The language in this book I’m reading is heavy written by a Mexican author. It requires focus and you have to be in the zone to read and understand. So I put it away after a number of attempts. I decide to watch television…nothing exciting.

At about 7:34 my Specialist Urologist finally makes an appearance. A brief conversation occurs and from this, I have to do some extra texts the following day.

My doctor looks at me, and says “you look like you could use a good sleep tonight?” That was met with so much enthusiasm, I said “yes I would like some sleeping tablets”

I always find the 1st night of hospital I struggle to fall asleep. So after taking my meds with Stillnox, I had a glorious night.

Tuesday, 9 September

At 4am a representative from Lancet comes through for bloods. During morning I have a series of tests which I have done before…so I am almost rolling my eyes after every test.

The porter comes to fetch me at the ward at about 12:30 for some test, we get to that section and I realise that this will be the very first time I do this kind of test.

Nuclear X-ray, I have never even heard of it before, so I get there and a pleasant nuclear specialist or nuclear doctor makes me feel comfortable. So she explains the test and what it seeks to do. So I ask her a couple of questions and differences between the CT scan. So my lesson starts while the nice doctor prepares….

Nuclear Medicine
Nuclear medicine is a medical speciality that involves giving a patient a small amount of radioactive medication, called a radiopharmaceutical. This makes the body slightly radioactive for a short time. A special nuclear medicine camera detects the radiation, which is emitted (released) from the body, and takes images or pictures of how the inside of the body is working, in this case my kidney. She injected the radioactive medication into my blood stream through a vein.

Very interesting,

I made a pact to find out as much as I can about procedures performed on me, so I take care not to annoy the doctor. I ask her about the function of this machine that she is wheeling me into…she explains that it uses a gamma camera that is able to detect and make images from very small amounts of ionising radiation emitted from patients. So this machine she wheeled me into has a narrow table where I had to lie strapped on the sides. The camera has two heads, used to obtain the images. Each camera head has a flat surface that had to be very close to the me. Besides the fact that I could not feel any sensation, this exercise was very uncomfortable, for an hour I had to lie down with minimal movement.

I could feel my bladder was constrained. It was full and I needed to get off the table to empty it, but the nice doctor said “5 more minutes, and then you empty your bladder and come back for the last round”.

Five more minutes, the longest five minutes of my life, a full bladder is not the most comfortable feeling when you have a kidney that does not drain properly.

I remember that I have not asked doctor what is the difference between nuclear medicine from a normal X-ray and CT examinations?

During a normal X-ray or CT examination, an image is formed from the ‘shadow’ created by the body as it is positioned between the X-ray machine (source of the X-ray beam) and the X-ray detector. The body stops some, but not all, of the X-rays and the patient is not made radioactive by the X-rays.

In nuclear medicine studies, the radiopharmaceutical given to the patient makes them, and the organ system or body part being studied, radioactive for a short time. This ionising radiation (usually a gamma ray) is emitted or released from the body, and can be detected and measured using a nuclear medicine gamma camera. All living things contain some radioisotopes (such as carbon 14 and potassium 40); a nuclear medicine study will make them ‘more radioactive than normal’ for a short time – hours or days.

An X-ray or CT image is formed from ionising radiation (X-rays) that passes through the body, but does not arise from the body; whereas a nuclear medicine image is formed from the ionising radiation (usually gamma rays) emitted from within the body. A gamma ray has similar properties to an X-ray, but it arises from the nucleus of an atom, whereas an X-ray arises from the electron shell of an atom.

Another way that nuclear medicine is different from X-ray and CT examinations is that an X-ray study shows what something looks like. This gives indirect information about how it is working: normally, abnormally, diseased, injured and so on. In nuclear medicine studies, the radiopharmaceutical usually only goes to the part of the body or organ system if it has some function and so shows how it is working. The images can also give information about what the body part or organ system looks like.

Nuclear medicine and X-ray tests are often complementary, providing different information that together make a diagnosis more certain.

So that’s my lesson for the day, now I wait for my urologist to explain where to from here, whilst remaining hopeful that there will be a solution, at least a long term one.

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Traffic circle conundrum

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In the past couple of weeks I’ve found myself wondering if I understood the rule of driving through a traffic circle.

A couple of mishaps, middle finger pointing from a number of unpleasant motorists made me do a little research on this traffic circle conundrum.

After reading around and even consulting the K53 learner driver book, I can confirm that I know the basic rule of driving through a traffic circle.

Many motorists do not know that there is a difference between the larger traffic circles and the mini traffic circles, other than their size. So, yes thank you very much! I have discovered that there is a difference between a large and a mini traffic circle. So in a residential area, that’s where you’ll find that mostly mini traffic circles are found.

So here goes…..

A traffic circle is classified as large when it has a minimum diameter of about 16 metres and a 1.5 to 2 metre flattened curb which allows heavy vehicles to drive onto a small section of the circle. A mini traffic circle is normally not more than seven to 10 metres in diameter and the entire circle is mountable for heavy vehicles.

What are the basic rules for driving through a large traffic circle?

– As you arrive at a large traffic circle, traffic coming from your right has right of way,
regardless of how many cars there are.

– Wait until there is s a gap in the traffic and then ease slowly into the circle.

– Watch out for other traffic in the circle and be aware that they may not be using
their indicators.

Use your indicators…

– Signal when you are going to turn – switch your indicator on immediately after
passing the exit prior to the one you intend taking
– If you are taking the first exit, i.e. you’re turning left, then flick on your left indicator
and keep in the outside/left-hand lane
– Keeping in the outside/left-hand lane also works well if you’re continuing straight
ahead as your exit is very close.
– After you’ve passed the left turn exit and yours is next, signal left and you’re free
– If you’re turning right or performing a U-turn, keep in the inside/right-hand lane
– Only signal left and change into the left-hand

Sounds all so very complicated…does it not? Phew!

Rules to remember at a mini traffic circle:

– The first vehicle to cross the line has the right of way, so it really works on the
same principle as a four-way stop or yield sign.
– Proceed in a clockwise direction around the circle, without driving on it.

You see, not bad…and that’s all I ever ask of my fellow motorists.

I hope the douche bags get to read this, just maybe, just maybe there will be less middle finger pointing and swearing at other motorists who are actually observing the rules of the road!

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Getting to the bottom of ‘insomniac’ habits

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So it’s after 12:35 am and I am up because this week I am having the most outrageous sleeping pattern. I would be in bed as early as 9pm sleep until after midnight and then I’m up until right about when I’m supposed to wake up for work.

So this morning I decided to make the best of this ‘insomniac’ habit, I needed to clear my mind and establish exactly what is it that was unsettling me out of my sleep. After a short list of what could potentially be the problem, I managed to identify the route course of my insomnia, especially last night.

This coming Monday the 8th of September, I am scheduled for admission at Sunninghill Hospital for some procedure which at this point I don’t know exactly what it is. Story for another day…. Last year I had to undergo some surgical procedure for endometriosis and some form of cancer, on top of all of this a stubborn kidney that refuses to drain properly. Anyway, all of the time I was going through this I had my family, friends and colleagues who were very supportive, sending messages of support, flowers, fruit baskets, cards….the works. I appreciate all of this so much.

There is this one person, did not bring flowers, fruit baskets just humor, warmth and a very special way of taking care of me…Even when I did not see them, the conversations brought them close to me, close enough to bring a broad smile on my face and my heart.

This person has seen the most outrageous photos from my surgery, has known when I was really down because I was ready to rip the catheter out! An individual who not only asks questions on the surface but goes out of his way and researches some of these medical phenomenon… I laughed the one time when my friend said “dude, I checked this thing out on Google, this shit is scary”…that made me laugh.

Only this person can say that and it does not offend me. Now that I am going back to Sunninghill again and they are far away, I am wondering if I will be able to still feel the warmth….and that is what I think is keeping me awake…

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Doctors who are not qualified to be doctors, but they are anyway…

I’ve had a kidney problem since 2008 now, so I believe I have a pretty good idea of what is wrong with this kidney and possibly what could potentially be a solution. I say ‘potentially’ because it’s a revolving solution.

For years now I have had to learn to talk openly about my health challenges. I was reminded last week why I’ve been so discreet, maybe not discreet but not that openly sharing.

I’ve just been going through a series of tests recently and after a strenuous visit with a fairly new urologist- story for another day!

So after a couple of calls which went unanswered – from a couple of friends and colleagues, I decided to jot down a text message which I sent to a few of my beloved friends. Just an outline of the feedback from the urologist and some of the treat options he was suggesting.

Immediately after sending this text, I was inundated with solutions from these newly qualified doctors! Who happen to know which option I should be taking…

Here I am reading these messages and thinking I have not even applied my mind on my conversation with the urologist! In fact after the news I just went home, made a conscious decision not to apply my mind on what my next step is going to be. I got home and sat in front of the tv, staring absently at it…

I wonder really why is it that people cannot just receive information and come up with an appropriate response like ‘I’m sure you are going to be fine’; ‘is there something you’d like me to do for you’ or ‘I’ll pray for you’….instead of offering you solutions they do not even understand themselves!

So I found myself asking one of my friends “so what are the side effects of this surgical procedure” and she quickly said “yho friend, how am I supposed to know?” This is a person who a few minutes ago was telling me to go with the surgical procedure option.

Alas, all I need from my friends is from them to be my friends, be supportive….and NOT become specialists urologists.

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