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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A ‘cyclist’ is not a different species; just another human being

As Easy As Riding A Bike

Short version – it’s as preposterous to attribute characteristics to ‘cyclists’ as it would be to attribute them to ‘trainists’, ‘busists’, ‘planeists’, ‘tubists’ or ‘pedestrians’. A ‘cyclist’ is just a human being who happens to be travelling by bike, just as a ‘pedestrian’ is a human being who happens to be travelling on foot, and a ‘trainist’ one who happens to be travelling by train.

Last month Radio 1’s Newsbeat programme ran a short segment on cycling safety, featuring MaidstoneonBike, among others.

About halfway through the programme, a number of tweets from the audience were read out, presumably in the interests of ‘balance’. That ‘balance’ being that on a programme arguing we need to do more to keep ‘cyclists’ safe, we need other people arguing that ‘cyclists’ need to do more for themselves.

Among these tweets, read out to an audience of millions, were the following statements –

cyclists have no spatial awareness

and

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Organizing life from a hospital bed

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When I found myself being admitted in hospital in July yet again, I was like “not again, can one year just go by without me being hospitalized?”

Anyway, I have learned over the years that the moment I am told that I will be spending a couple of days in hospital, the sooner I embrace it the better it is for me.

So, I immediately go into ‘organize life mode’, more so this time because it was during school holidays and the boys were at regional hockey camp. A friend who has been loafing around at home due to a change in employment conditions was of course available to help with the boys! That part was sorted. Someone to pick the boys up from hockey camp, buy them some perishables and drop them off at home, check!

Because this friend is my homie, lover, friend…a very special friend, I enjoyed a visit from the boys in hospital while on their way home and got to receive a couple of pictures from prize giving ceremony.

Now, I had to plan for the boys to get a hair cut, packing of bags for school, one final visit before they go to school and lastly for a lift to school.

A couple of friends are always around to help out now and then when I need them, especially when I’m in hospital. That’s the only time I need help really, so I’ve learned to ask for help.

After a couple of phone calls I had one friend taking the boys for a haircut, some replenishment of perishables and bringing them to hospital for yet another visit…

Packing of their school bags is an activity that requires supervision, so this was one area I was worried about! If I could I could go home for an hour or so pack or pick the clothes quickly and return to my hospital bed! Now that’ll be impossible even I know that. I ask my trusted sister to take care of this aspect, anyway she did not help and my helper ended up packing every piece of clothing for the boys to take to school! And I did not know this until I was back from hospital on a Sunday morning when we had to go to church and they had no decent clothes for church….urrrrg so this is one aspect that I could not control! Epic fail!

The day for them to get to school went very smooth, were picked up by another trusted friend, and everything went well with the drop off!

So I figure, if I had to stay in hospital longer than I have thus far, I would manage very well and that sort of makes it more acceptable to stay there….I even managed to take selfies with some nursing staff…next target is to convince my urologist to take a selfie with me…

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Thabo Mbeki’s address at Walter Sisulu’s Funeral

Khaya Dlanga's life on the "internets". All on one blog.

Our country, and nature herself, have been in mourning since that fateful day, the 5th of May, when Walter Sisulu ceased to breathe.

While he lived, there were many in our country who knew nothing about him, except perhaps what they had been told or not told by those who had been his jailers.

While he lived, there were many who did not understand the unwavering humanism of the cause to which he dedicated his whole life, who were blind to what he did to ensure that his movement and his people remained forever loyal to their humanist calling.

When these came to know that there had been such a gentle giant in their midst, hidden from them as though he did not exist, they asked themselves the question – why did we not know!

But there were many others who knew of the place he occupied among the great…

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10 Brands That Inventively Nailed the Ice Bucket Challenge

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Who hasn’t felt the big chill?

From Harrison Ford and the original cast of Star Wars to actor Tom Cruise, Microsoft founder turned billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates to funny man Jack Black, controversy attracting mega-star Justin Bieber to you! It seems that everyone who is anyone is throwing a bucket fulled with ice and water over their heads these days.

The biggest viral craze of 2014 features mega names and everyone in between throwing buckets of ice and water overthemselves to raise funds and awareness of motor neurone disease (also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease or ALS).

The campaign works something like this: A movie star or business celebrity thinks up a way to reinvent the act and then endures several seconds of self-induced icy pain after throwing ice and water over themselves. While still drenched they then nominate up to three more well-known people to undergo the same public humiliation. All these challenges are filmed and…

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