One year of blogging…

Can you believe that I am celebrating a year of blogging already! It seems as if it was only yesterday when I thought it would be a fabulous venture, but not really believing I had the drive to pursue it.

The opportunity came knocking at my door sooner than I thought when I found out I needed to undergo a double bunionectomy. I trawled the internet for information from others who underwent similar experiences and felt there was a need to note mine. Knowing zilch about blogging, I sought guidance from one of my writer/blogger friends, Alison who kindly gave me a 101 lesson. Before I knew it, I was exploring a whole new world and it was fascinating creating a blog from scratch.

As much as I was fearful of the upcoming operation, I was excited to blog about my first-hand encounter. Neil not only doted on me in hospital, he played the role of photographer, capturing my stint there. When I came to after the op, being heavily medicated and incredibly tired – all I wanted to do was commence the writing process. Sitting propped up in a hospital bed; I began to write my first bunion blog on my cell phone!

Bunion Surgery done and dusted...

In November alone I uploaded 12 posts – the highest number to date in a month and blogging felt as natural to me as breathing. It gave me the outlet I was searching for all my life – a platform to express my thoughts, struggles from the past and to convey my gratitude for all the blessings I’ve been bestowed with.

My bunion diaries are the most popular with readers and through the sharing of my experience, I have encouraged people to take the leap of faith and trust that the outcome will bring them satisfaction. I love my new feet – I appreciate the huge sacrifice I made for them, treat them like gold and don’t regret undergoing the op. That particular period was life-changing as I discovered so much about myself.

I am incredibly proud of my blog and everything it encompasses. It has helped me to become a better writer; given me the confidence to add my voice to the world and every post I unleash brings me immense satisfaction. The fact that I have been able to sustain it for a year proves to me that I will continue to do so into the future, always with glee and a happy heart. With the support of my followers, I hope to bring you many more wonderful posts that will inspire you and hopefully encourage you to stay with me wherever the sweet life may lead 🙂

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Week Seven

Recovery after Bunion Surgery

Finally the day of my appointment with my Doctor arrived and I was in high spirits – even though I had butterflies fluttering around in my tummy, I was eager to hear what the next phase in my recovery would entail.

Upon examining my feet, Dr Hastings indicated he was very happy with the healing process. He gave me the greatest news ever – that I could go ahead and fling those ghastly moon boots into the deepest ocean – okay I’m exaggerating here, but that’s what I imagined when he said I no longer needed to wear them *DOUBLE YAY*. He added that I could resume my normal activities – walking, gyming, driving – everything except running.

Next was my appointment with the Physiotherapist and she showed me a few exercises to perform to strengthen my big toes. Then came the moment of truth – whether my feet were strong enough to walk on as no pressure has been applied over the past seven weeks. She helped me off the bed and onto my feet and slowly led me by the hand to roll my feet and walk. I took small steps along the corridor and *drum roll* – NO PAIN – my smile was brighter than the sun!!! She commended how good my feet looked – although warning it was imperative that I perform the exercises daily.

Driving home with Neil felt like I had received an early Christmas gift and got exactly what I hoped for:-). Finally, I was given the go-ahead to walk in normal shoes – okay broad toe-box shoes – at this stage I really don’t care whether they are fashionable, as long as they’re comfortable. The very first thing I did when I got home was hop into the shower – standing on my own feet, water cascading over me, revelling in the longest shower I could stretch! I had dreamed of this moment for months and now that it was transpiring – I was in heaven! I truly appreciate my feet far more now and fully comprehend how simple pleasures can easily disappear from our lives in an instant without us knowing how lucky we are to have the privilege of our limbs or precious bodies.

I was over the moon to resume my normal activities and I went out of my way to ensure that my family celebrated a wonderful Christmas. I prepared as many dishes as I could before the big day to save time and not stress myself out. Even though I found it tough standing on my feet all the time, it was great being able to take care of my family and present them with a delicious Christmas meal with all the fan-fare. My friend Kim joined us and it was lovely having her at our table on one of the most delightful days of the year. Family and friends – the best blessings one could ask for:-).

As Christmas came and went and after eating far too much – I knew it was time to whip myself into shape. Over the past seven weeks, as much as I’ve tried to eat healthy during the course of the week, all the special outings Neil and I undertook over the weekends had cushioned me with unwanted weight. I was struggling to fit into my clothes and the moment of reckoning had arrived to resume an exercise routine.

On Saturday, Neil and I visited the gym eager to burn the excess kilograms. I could cycle, utilise the elliptical trainer, lift weights and swim. When I hopped onto the stationery bicycle, I was cautious not to hurt my feet and placed the level on one and set the time limit to ten minutes. When I finally reached ten minutes – I was flustered and sweating bullets! I couldn’t believe how unfit I’d become, considering I was training for a marathon and had built a huge fitness base before my op. It dawned on me that I was going to have to start from the very beginning and it would take considerable patience and dedication to get myself back on the road to fitness *sigh*.

On the same day I attended a talk by US Romance Author, Natasha Boyd on her journey into self-publishing. I belong to the Romance Writers Organisation of South Africa (ROSA) a group on Facebook which provides a platform for Romance Readers and Writers to communicate, promote their work and review books. I reviewed an anthology by Angéle Wells and Phoenix Kelly “Taking Pleasure Seriously” and was blown away by their writing abilities. Angéle organised this initiative and I decided to attend the event even though I was nowhere close to publishing a book or even writing my first novel.

We met at the Aquarium, amongst the hustle and bustle of tourists in Cape Town, in a conference venue, aptly titled the “Tranquillity Room”. In the back drop was a massive glass panel filled with humungous fish swimming in a merry go round. Only a few writers were present, from the introductions made, everyone was published or self-published writers. Natasha Boyd was warm and friendly and proceeded with her talk on her journey into writing and her great success within a short span of time, the pitfalls of signing with publishing companies who bind you to strict contracts, the advantages and disadvantages of utilising an Agent to market your work, etc. It was a real eye-opener realising that even though a writer has written a marvellous book, the struggles they face in getting their work published and receiving their worth. Natasha Boyd has written two romance novels, and her third “Eversea” was self-published and she conveyed her sentiments on this initiative.

Natasha Boyd gave freely of her time with no compensation made as she was on a visit with her family in Cape Town. It was wonderful sitting with a group of seasoned writers discussing our passions especially in a genre we all love. Even though I felt like a complete novice in their company, it was great to get out again and mingle with other writers, networking and learning as much as I can from the industry and the secrets to their success.

This week was everything and more than I ever expected! Not only have my feet shaped up nicely – I have been able to resume almost all of my former activities:-). I truly feel as if the recovery period was a blessing in disguise. It allowed me the space and time to find myself, to open my soul to new endeavours (meditation), to read to my hearts’ content, to focus 100% on my writing passion, enabling me to meet new writers and broaden my contacts while committing to a genre I adore – ROMANCE. The highlight of this phase was most definitely bonding with my family – a priceless treasure – and I was fortunate enough to be afforded with their unconditional love and care:-).

I want to take this opportunity and thank all my amazing friends – you know who you are – who came out week after week to check up on me, all the messages and calls, I truly appreciated each and every one and I will not forget who walked into my life and left footprints on my heart:-). This might be the end of my bunion recovery updates – however the Sweet Life of Sumi Singh will continue to deliver bigger and better happenings in 2015. I hope you stay with me for the ride…

Week Six

Recovery after Bunion Surgery

I have to admit I’m becoming a bit antsy now that my appointment with my Doctor is around the corner. Although I cannot wait to get out of these hideous moon boots and start walking in normal shoes – I’m not certain whether my feet will be strong enough to handle my body weight on them. Jeez, all these pesky thoughts keep popping in and out of my mind!

However, my feet are healing nicely – the wounds aren’t as discoloured, the stitches have dissolved and they look pretty normal! My one hour marathon bathing sessions are still on track, although I’m hoping to shave some time considerably next week with any luck!

This week I’ve managed to help the family out with the cooking. I’ve also succeeded in getting some cleaning done around the house even though it takes me twice as long, taking plenty of seated breaks along the way – it feels great having the strength to pull my weight at home.

I’m still meditating – yay! I look forward to lighting my candle every day, spending ten minutes alone, my ME time to zone out and steer away nagging thoughts. I truly believe that it has benefited me tremendously, I’m calm and collected and don’t become easily frazzled – but then I suppose the real test would be to see how it works in the big bad world when life becomes super-busy.

I finished reading Writing down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg and as predicted, I thoroughly enjoyed it and I’m itching to write a book review. (Although can one write a book review on a writing book – not sure – but what the heck – I loved the book so I’ll give it a bash!) Another book I’m absolutely loving is One Day by David Nicholls – it’s such a marvellous read – the Author has me in stitches with his quirky clever writing. I’ve been on a FABULOUS read-a-thon for a while now and I’m enjoying every moment:-). It confirms once again why I love reading and why writing is my calling.

I was looking forward to the weekend for it marked Neil and my NINETEENTH wedding anniversary. WOW – I sometimes have to pinch myself for I cannot believe we’ve been married that long, but time flies when you’re having fun:-). On these momentous occasions one cannot help nostalgically reflecting on the wonderful years spent together, the beautiful daughters we created and the life we built. Neil walked into my life at the right time to save me from a very lonely period I was going through. And although we might have married at a tender age – the love we shared for one another continued to grow deeper and stronger with each passing year.

Neil and I don’t have a support structure in Cape Town – we raised our girls on our own, managed to provide them with a loving home even though we had tons of challenges along the way, the main ingredients that kept us together was our genuine love and affection for another. I always knew he had my back and he’d protect us till the end. A love like that is hard to find, needs to be nurtured and treasured at all times.

Normally when our anniversary rolls around, we go away for the day or even the weekend but due to my circumstances, this wasn’t possible. Nevertheless we decided to make the most of it by arranging a picnic. This would be the first time I would actually venture out of the car and walk on the grass in full sight of the world!

Luckily we headed to Maiden’s Cove and found a nice shady spot away from the crowds which did not require much walking for me. It was lovely to be outdoors, the mountainous twelve apostles surrounding us, cheery youngsters frolicking on the beach, overlooking a sprawling view of breezy Camps Bay.

We tucked into a delicious picnic of rainbow fruit skewers, greek salad, savoury samosas, beef frikadels, crumbed chicken strips, skewered prawns and topped it all off with caramel and banana pancakes smothered in crème. We were truly stuffed and ready to relax and doze off when a loud-hailer went off in the distance from a police vehicle summoning everyone in the vicinity of Maiden’s Cove to depart as closing time was 18h00! With utter shock and disappointment plastered all over our faces, we unwillingly packed our belongings and petulantly headed to the car.

This minor setback wasn’t going to deter us from enjoying the rest of our special day. We drove off in search of remote spot close to Llandudno to view the sun set. By this time the weather had also turned nasty with the wind blowing ferociously across the waves, shaking the car with its sheer force. But we refused to budge – we sat chatting about the good ol’ days, all the parties we frequented, all the crazy moments we survived all the while listening to some old tunes we loved way back in the nineties. When the time arrived for the sun to set over a blustry Cape Town, a rising cloud threatened to steal its final moments from us and ultimately won as it vanished into the horizon.

So even though our anniversary didn’t quite turn out the way I envisioned – I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it for I was with the one I loved, the one person who has stood by me from the beginning and continues to hold my hand even when things don’t work out as planned. Love isn’t always about romance, flowers and expensive dinners – it’s the small quiet moments with your special someone which snuggles into your heart and steals your breath away and spending time with Neil certainly does that for me:-)

Week Five

Recovery after Bunion Surgery

My feet are healing nicely and I feel they are getting stronger by the day. I walk around the house quite a bit and have resumed some kitchen duties like washing dishes, much to the delight of my family! Although I have to be careful not to overdo it for I’ve noticed that I cannot stand longer than ten minutes before my feet start nagging me to grab a seat.

Bathing is still an issue for me and I truly cannot wait for the day to arrive when I can finally take a shower on my own without the ridiculous moon boots holding me back! However my appointment to see my Doctor is only on 23/12/14 which means soldiering on until then.

Although I must admit that I’ve been enjoying my time at home. My life is ridiculously stress free – no traffic, no urgent deadlines, no calls from the public, no Boss breathing down my neck, no meetings to organise, no minutes to type (ABSOLUTE BLISS). I’ve felt as if I’ve been living in a bubble where my time is mine to do as I please. If I feel tired I take a nap, if I don’t feel like doing anything – I DON’T, if I want a off day – I take it! These are the gifts I’ve received during this period and I honestly feel like I could get used to this lifestyle. However, all bubbles burst – and once I’m given the all-clear to don normal shoes and drive – my life as I know it now will sadly come to an end:-(.

I’m glad to say I’m still MEDITATING! I practice it religiously – sitting for ten minutes staring at the dancing flame of the candle, swaying thoughts aside, concentrating as best as I can. I cannot say it’s become easier for it doesn’t feel that way but what I can say is I look forward to it everyday – if that’s any consolation! I’ve incorporated it into my life and the one thing about me is that I love to keep up with whatever I start. I hate throwing in the towel for it means I’ve failed, so I persevere to see where it takes me and this is the principle I’ve followed in life which has helped me to succeed in many of my goals. So I have no doubt meditation will remain a constant in my life.

I was delighted to receive news from my Running Coach that my “I love Running” story appeared in the December issue of Modern Athlete. I was aware they were going to use the story, although they had not given me an indication as to when it would happen – so I was pleasantly surprised when it was published. Coach Muller dropped off a copy and it was great chatting to her about the article. They presented my story over an entire page even inserting a picture of me running the Two Oceans Half Marathon this year which I hadn’t seen before – I was DELIGHTED of course (this being my second published story in the past few months – YAY!)

I finally got around to posting some of my poems to a website called “All Poetry” and the response from other Poets has been positive. I tried my hand at poetry a few months ago and although it’s not my strongpoint, I’ve enjoyed experimenting with it. It’s much easier than fiction writing – well the obvious reason is the length of course – but what I truly find enjoyable is throwing all your raw emotions into a pot, allowing your words to waft the air, patiently waiting to taste the feast of your work!

I’m still reading “Writing down the Bones” by Natalie Goldberg and again I have to rave about this Author and her writing. I savour every word she throws at me, sometimes getting lost in the beauty of her sentences, having to sit back and read them again and again! Her advice is sound, the tips are valuable and she has planted a seed within me to frequent quaint restaurants if only to sit at a table and write! The other reason why I’ve taken my time with this book is that I’ve also started another, “One Day” by David Nicholls. I’ve had this book for ages – never getting around to reading it and I resolved it was now or never! I’m always sceptical reading the work of Male Authors, not that I have anything against them of course – but I find their writing so different to Female Authors – stronger, daring, less emotional with complex plots thrown in for good measure. I struggled to get into the book in the beginning, but I buckled down and found that I’m enjoying the characters and flow of the storyline – another surprise!

On Saturday Neil and I decided to venture out to Hout Bay. I had a craving for Fish and Chips so we took a slow scenic drive along the Cape Peninsula stopping off at Snoekies to buy the local fare. It was mouth-watering – battered deep fried hake with steaming hot chips drizzled in vinegar and peri-peri sauce *just-what-I-needed*. We found a quiet parking spot between Llandudno and Camps Bay, catching sight of the sparkling azure sea, while eating and chatting. It was a humdinger day in Cape Town – pleasantly warm with not a wind in sight. We sat there for some time, observing a fiery sun – streaks of orange, gold and red mesh into clouds rapidly dipping into the horizon bringing along the night sky.

All in all, the week was tranquil yet surprising at the same time. I’m truly grateful for the lifestyle I have now – taking full advantage of the free time to improve my frame of mind, incorporating advice coming my way through friends or family or the lovely books I immerse myself in. My writing is growing in leaps and bounds, something I’m extremely proud of and look forward to what’s in store next year. Right now the future seems bright and colourful and I cannot wait to see where my feet will lead me too!

Week Four – Recovery after Bunion Surgery

Recovery after Bunion Surgery

This week has been relatively quiet. I’m glad to say the pain in my feet has subsided for I don’t feel it as much as before, which is marvellous. I took the dressing off my feet and viewed the wounds – they are still swollen and the markings where the Doctor worked is visible. I’m afraid of touching the wounds and cautious when washing them.

At this point it’s still a massive struggle to bath or shower properly. The entire process takes close to an hour daily and I’m very wary of placing pressure on my feet. Neil bought me a foot spa which allows me to soak them while gently washing off the marks surrounding the stitches.

However, they are healing nicely and becoming stronger as the weeks roll by. Finally I’m able to sleep comfortably at night for the fear of bumping them has diminished. I’ve returned to my old sleeping positions of lying curled up on my sides and flipping on my stomach – which I love – always a good indication of a restful nights’ rest:-).

When I awoke on Sunday, an intense dark mood overcame me. I didn’t feel like talking to my family and didn’t want to get out of bed. The more I tried to get to grips with what I was feeling, the sadder I became. I truly felt as if I had nothing to look forward to in life based on my current circumstances. I missed running intensely, craved my active lifestyle, pondered how well I was prospering before the op and how everything had come to a virtual standstill. As much as Neil tried to reassure me everything would be fine – the more I couldn’t seem to snap out of it. I cried and allowed waves of emotions to wash over me – not fighting them.

I believe it’s normal to go through depression after an op as you feel you aren’t living the same quality of life and as much as you try to stay positive, you cannot remain strong all the time. I stayed in bed, feeling sorry for myself while praying to God to grant me strength to get through the day – and it worked.

The next day I felt better. While sitting in my study gazing at my vision board, more especially at my list of goals for 2014 – I found the answer to uplift my spirits! The only goal on the list that had not materialised for me was MEDITATION. It has been on the list for the past two years and due to my hectic schedule in my heyday – I never quite found time to enforce it. Now was the perfect time to introduce it in my life. I immediately searched Google for a beginners guide to meditation and followed suit.

I sat in an upright position in a chair (at this stage I cannot sit in the lotus position), placed a mauve scented candle in a matching flower holder next to me on the table and lit the wick. I watched the flame dancing around, concentrating on the tip, practicing slow breathing through the nose while exhaling through the mouth. I must admit, meditation is incredibly tough to instil! My mind was racing as if it was at Killarney, all sorts of thoughts were buzzing in and out and try as I may, I couldn’t push them aside. Ten minutes felt like an hour and when I eventually came to the end of the sentence and blew out the flame – I wasn’t sure I was doing it right or whether I would continue!

But I’m happy to say I’ve persisted every day since – even though it hasn’t become easier! However, I feel at ease with myself and haven’t had a down day since, so it must be working! The benefits of meditation are enormous in alleviating stress, letting go of unnecessary burdens, refreshing your mind, delivering peace and tranquillity and most importantly, bringing you closer to God. If I can achieve half these benefits, I would make considerable progress in living a peaceful existence. So if any of you out there have any tips on improving my meditation technique, your comments are welcomed:).

This week I finished reading “Looking for Alaska” by John Green – which I consider to be one of the best books I’ve read by the Author and written a book review on it. I’ve started reading “Writing down the Bones” by Natalie Goldberg and am thoroughly enjoying it. Every time I sit down with this book, inspiration stirs within me to write more:-). Following her advice, I incorporated free writing (writing down anything that springs to mind, allowing my thoughts to flow naturally) to my routine. As much as I thought I was going to run out of things to write – I’ve surprised myself by writing pages and pages of thoughts! I had no idea I had so much pent up energy screaming to be set free!

On Saturday, Neil and I went out on our weekly outing. We bought take out from Nando’s and watched the sunset over Milnerton Beach. We had the most wonderful time together, eating, chatting while watching the sun dipping between Lion’s Head and Signal Hill – a blissful sight to behold:-). I loved being outdoors (even if it was only sitting in the car) taking in the sights and sounds of the ocean, dogs running with their owners chasing after them,  people snapping pictures of one another, ships passing in the night and lights twinkling all the way from the City Centre. It was a lazy Saturday night for Capetonians – a calmness before the storm – as the festive season arrives at our front door bringing along holiday makers to swarm our shore.

In summing up my week – I would say it was rather low key in terms of socialising. Even though I might think I’m not progressing as I should and missing out on all sorts of physical activities – I’m in actual fact putting in place vital measures of improving my mental well-being, refining my writing skills and getting to know myself pretty well. What more could I ask for?

Week Three – Recovery after Bunion Surgery…

The week started off rather quietly. I was becoming more and more frustrated having to remain in bed all the time, keeping my feet elevated. I was in pain with my left foot again, finishing my medication rather quickly which saw me sleeping the time away. However, I had an appointment with my Doctor this week to remove the casts which kept my spirits up.

When Thursday arrived, I was beaming with delight. Finally, I had the opportunity to wear normal clothing and I donned a polka dot skirt with a black t-shirt, to match the colour of the moon boots (of course) and I was oh so ready to see Dr Hastings. It felt GOOD sitting in the car with Neil driving to the hospital, taking in the sights and sounds of normal living – things so many of us take for granted on a daily basis.

I must admit, I felt somewhat self-conscious jumping out of the car with my moon boots for I knew everyone would be staring, but I soon got used to the glares and progressed to the consulting room with Neil firmly holding my hand to steady me. I didn’t need to use the crutches any longer for I’ve learnt to manoeuvre around nicely on the boots.

When the time arrived to head into the consulting room, I became antsy wondering how he was going to remove the casts, for adjacent to me were pliers and a drill and I was starting to flip out. However, I was assured by his Secretary that they would not be needed – phew *sigh of relief*. The whole process didn’t take too long for Dr Hastings isn’t much of a small-talker – so I had to prod him with questions as he proceeded to snip the bandages across my ankles with scissors and pulled off the casts rather gently revealing my new feet!!!

My, was I surprised to see them again – and WOW did they look different!!! They were super-straight and looked oh so nice:). Yes, there were stitches on the sides where they operated – but my toes were upright. Before my op, my second toe always hugged the big toe, and now although they were somewhat swollen, they were far apart – and most importantly – the bunions have vanished. I couldn’t believe how astounding his handiwork was!

Doctor Hastings placed a small dressing over the stitches and put my feet in stilts with metal on the sides to protect them. I still needed to wear the boots for the next four weeks which would allow a bit more movement however, I still needed to rest and take the weight off them to heal. He warned that I needed to take good care of my feet, to watch where I walked and not bump them for they weren’t strong enough.

I was pretty pleased with the outcome of the surgery and was happy as a lark when I headed home to show my feet off to my daughters. However, my joy was short-lived for I struggled to sleep through the night. I was completely conscious of my feet now with the tiny stilts covering them and was petrified I would knock them as I tossed and turned in bed.

The next day saw me walking around in the boots much easier though – now at least I could venture to the kitchen and lounge areas – no more meals in the room and no need to be confined to the bed for long hours – yippee:). Now I could  watch my favourite soapie, Isidingo whilst enjoying supper with the family – awesome:).

I asked Neil to move my laptop to my study – I found that writing on the bed and taking naps didn’t work well as I was tired all the time. Now I schedule time for writing and only sit for a limited period before I take a walk and rest up.

My dear friend Kim came over on Saturday and we schmoozed over tea for hours. It was lovely catching up, discussing running and training for the upcoming Two Oceans Half Marathon. It feels surreal not being part of the group in training, but one that I’ve accepted. It’s so lovely listening to how well the newbies are coming along training for their very first 21km race. Kim sparkles in her role as mentor, guiding so many of them, I am always in awe of her dedication and passion for running.

In the evening, Neil suggested we head to the beach to watch the sun setting. I couldn’t contain myself for we were going to buy take out from Simply Asia and head to Bloubergstrand:). It was heavenly – we sat in the car, eating, chatting, laughing and of course viewing a perfect sun falling into the sparkling sea – what a magnificent way to end the evening:).

So to sum up this week, I would say it was rather eventful. Staying at home most of the time can be such a bore, but when you have wonderful moments like these – it makes it all worth while. The LOVE I feel for my family and friends are cemented now more than ever before. Their unconditional love shines brightly over me, touching me so deeply – for I see clearly now who would move mountains for me – and I truly know they would:).

Week Two – Recovery after Bunion Surgery…

As much as I’ve tried to remain positive this week, it’s been quite a struggle to stay upbeat all the time. Waking up late on a Monday morning is GLORIOUS – FINALLY one is afforded the opportunity of staying home legally from work whilst everyone else is battling the traffic and stressing over the amount of work they have. But not me – I had time to rest when I wanted to, write when I felt like and then rest some more for the hell of it:)

But the feel good moment soon lost its sparkle when Tuesday rolled in. The hours seemed to drag on and boredom kicked in realising I was doing the same thing over and over. I was frustrating myself attempting to tidy up my room, finally coming to the realisation I cannot do much without putting pressure on my feet. A hopeless waste of time, I tell you.

My pain seems to be concentrated to my left foot. A throbbing searing pain that seems to intensify as time goes by. I take the recommended dosage of medication every six hours which causes intense drowsiness where I’m floating in and out of dreamland. All this sleeping during the course of the day tends to mess up my sleeping patterns in the evening – which sees me waking up at ridiculous hours of the morning, twiddling my thumbs, thinking what I could do to keep busy without waking Neil.

The bandages on my feet will hopefully be removed on 21/11 and to say I’m counting the days would be an understatement. It feels like I have permanent boots on which makes me look like an Eskimo in summer! Also placing the duvet over my feet at night feels as if they are slowly suffocating. Sleeping in the same position has been tough to work around; I just cannot seem to get comfortable. However, it amazes me the way the body can adapt to your circumstances and you somehow find a way of sleeping through the discomfort.

I was lucky to receive visits from two of my dear friends this week. One of them being, Naomi Williams. We met a few years ago at my Running Club where she was the Coach. I learnt so much from her when I was breaking into running. She always had an abundance of patience, listening to my woes, encouraging me to never give up and offering support when injuries got the better of me. She has been my running Mentor, having coached me on my very first Two Oceans Half Marathon. We would meet up every weekend at the crack of dawn, clocking in the distance, whilst chatting about life. Even though I was injured leading up to that particular race, I still managed to compete in it by following the run/walk approach Naomi recommended and it was mind-blowing crossing the finish line of my very first 21km race!!! She’s currently training for the upcoming Two Oceans Ultra and Comrades marathons and I just love sitting in her company listening to her strategies in tackling these mammoth races. What shines within her is her utter humbleness amongst all her achievements. She has an INCREDIBLE determination to succeed in everything she puts her mind to without the  motivation of others, a striking quality I admire tremendously. I cannot wait to be fully recovered to start training with her again in the future:).

Then my dear friend Heide Seiler came by to see me. I have known Heide for the past four years – which doesn’t seem long – but she’s made a profound impact in my life. I have never quite met anyone like her before – so full of love, kindness, understanding, tolerance, humbleness, the list goes on and on. She came into my life at a time when I needed her most – she helped me overcome so many issues for which I will forever be grateful for. She travels frequently to Germany, and when she’s away there’s such a void and I cannot help but miss her terribly. But when she returns, it’s as if she never left, for we catch up exactly where we left off! And even though she’s much older than me – I so love the wisdom she brings to the friendship. I learn so much from her on a daily basis, brimming with happiness coming out of our lengthy discussions about life. There are just some people in this world who truly fills your soul with contentment and she happens to be one of those special people:).

The upside of this week is that I managed to read a novel and write a few blog posts. I always struggle when it comes to writing fiction – I belong to the West Coast Writer’s Circle as well as a Small Writer’s Group. The goal is to write enough stories to keep me going next year and I haven’t even made a dent thus far!!! Writing is ridiculously tough – coming up with characters, plots, settings and satisfying endings is always challenging in the beginning … but once everything falls into place and the story takes flight, that’s when adrenalin sets in and you understand why you have a calling to be a Writer in the first place. I do so hope I get to that happy place again … soon.

So to sum my week up – I would say staying in bed all the time sucks – big time – but having a loving family who takes care of your every whim is priceless. In today’s world where life is super-busy, having friends find time in their hectic schedules to actually come by and visit you is the delectable icing and sweetest cherry on the cake for me. You fill me up with joy, help me feel special and lift my spirits in ways I can never quite repay. I truly love my family and friends…

Day Three – Bilateral Bunion Surgery

Boy oh boy… this whole hospital experience is a piece of work – not for sissies, I tell you. If I thought Day Two was bad, Day Three was Die Hard!!! Okay, let me stop talking in riddles and fill you in on what happened…

My previous roomie was moved to another facility and she was replaced by an elderly lady called Olga – and WOWZER could she snore!!! She had just had a knee replacement done and I had the misfortune of sharing a ward with her. Don’t get me wrong, I’m the best roomie you can find – not much of a talker, a quiet sleeper and you wouldn’t even know I’m around if you didn’t see me!!!. When she was wheeled in and we introduced ourselves, she grunted and proceeded to snore like wood was being sawed in the forest!!! At first I thought she was heavily sedated due to the anaesthetic, but NO the torture continued right through visiting hours and well into the night – the drone going on and on!!!

At some point, I could feel the window was open and requested the Nurse to close it for there was a nip in the air – but Olga overheard this and insisted she needed fresh air – how could she even feel the air when she was snoring so loudly!! I pleaded with the Nurse to give me a sleeping tablet for there was no way I was going to get any shut eye with Olga the murderer of sleep!!! I needed to pull out the big guns in order to get some shut eye!

So equipped with my sleeping tablet and a squirt of morphine, I was whizzed into la la land before I could even say bunions!!! And even Olga the snorer couldn’t disturb me – I slept the entire night and early part of the morning. I recall the Nurse bringing me coffee but I couldn’t lift my head to take a sip. My old friend nausea was rearing its ugly head again … at some point I thought I was hallucinating, for all sorts of images were floating in my mind.

The Nurse even gave me a bath in bed and I couldn’t understand how she managed to do this for I had a blurry sensation of being there but not really being there! I even indicated to her how awful I was feeling –  but she paid no attention to me (things to be done and all that). I think my Doctor came by to see me and goodness knows what I told him for I thought he was a figment of my imagination!!!

One of the Nurses enquired whether I pad passed a stool in the past two days and I answered rather quietly – No. She then whipped out the suppositories – not one but two – was inserted for good measure. Oh no, why was this happening to me…

So not only was I a nauseous druggie but I was propped with suppositories which created a deadly combination!!! To top it all, the Physiotherapist came by to fit me with moon shoes – as the name depicts, NO I Won’t be able to dance the moon walk like Michael Jackson! They were the most hideous shoes I ever saw in my life!!! To top it all off, I had to wear it in conjunction with the crutches. How much more could I take of this day already!!!

Heaven knows how I managed to walk around my hospital bed in them – it felt like I had run a marathon. The Physiotherapist applauded me on my excellent performance and said I deserved a medal for that – little did she know how drugged up I was – NO dear I ought to be given a Comrades medal for that!!!

I struggled to stay alert the entire morning, couldn’t eat a single thing, had to eventually be wheeled in a commode toilet (a wheel chair toilet) I had no idea such a contraption existed – let alone that I would ever have the use for it – but desperate times called for desperate measures. At least I had the privacy of doing my business in the confines of the bathroom – and boy was it a nasty relief.

I patiently waited for Neil to fetch me. I thought I would change into something nice but just the mere thought of moving my limbs into a clean set of clothing was more than my body could handle. The porter lifted me on to the wheel chair and rolled me to the car. I was a in a complete daze all the way home not even registering what Neil was saying or taking in the warm weather we were blessed with.

At home, Neil carried me into the house for I had no strength to walk in with the crutches. I felt a sense of relief being placed in my bed under the covers and could finally sleep off all the drugs. The nightmare arose again when I had to go to the loo for the first time and Zhané helped me with the unsightly moon boots and crutches. It took me more than ten minutes to get to the toilet, so unsteady was I on my feet. The casts on my feet were so tightly plastered which made it difficult to move around and the straps of the boots were biting into my flesh.

It was tough having to move around for the first time in three days and I knew it was not going to be a walk in the park. But I was determined to get it right and the more I went to the bathroom, the stronger I felt on my legs. When Neil gave me a body bath and I was helped into my PJ’s – I was smiling and happy for the first time.

So today was a TOUGHIE – but I’m sure the worst is over. Somehow just being in the company of your loved ones lifts one’s spirits and makes the long journey seem surmountable. Lesson Learnt today – never underestimate the power of LOVE your family has for you – they’re the ones who truly have your back and want you to succeed more than anyone else in this world. Treasure them wholeheartedly!!!

Day Two – Bilateral Bunion Surgery

In comparison, Day One was pure bliss! Day Two paled in comparison – for it was too good to be true!!! When my family left, I couldn’t fall asleep, even with my nifty morphine pump in hand, sleep seemed to evade me. The hardest part was sleeping in the same position all the time – how freaking uncomfortable with your legs propped up on pillows, unable to twist or move – I couldn’t even lay at a slant before a tingling sensation crept up my leg. To add fuel to fire, the anaesthetic was wearing off, slowly but surely! Sleep befell me around 4am which was the time nurses were making their rounds, checking on blood pressure and checking pain levels.

At some point I couldn’t even register a thing they were saying – I was drifting in and out of consciousness and to my disdain, was becoming nauseous by the minute – the kind of down in the dump sensation where you’re drugged out of your mind with no easy way out. I couldn’t even touch my breakfast, let alone look at it. Only after Mother Theresa injected some sweet relief into my drip, did some normalcy ebb its way into my body.

Lunch was a delight – sticky wings, rice and beetroot – dessert was jelly and custard:). I cannot even recall the last time I had of this oh so delicious dessert, warm smooth custard with blobs of wobbly red jelly, simply lip-smacking:). After a lazy snooze, I was ready for a time trial bathing experience, this time was much better, I bet I shaved a few minutes off my original bath time – making some progress if I do say so myself:).

I felt very bad tonight for my daughter, Zhané as she was performing her final drama production and I really wished I could have been there to witness it. But I do know she will make me proud for she shines supremely in drama, her calling and passion in life:). Although, she was very disappointed I couldn’t make it, I have no doubt it will be an outstanding performance:)

My friends Jaya and Thasin came by to see me and it was good catching up. We have known each other for over twenty years and although the friendship has gone through many ups and downs, we’ve remained committed to the friendship for we share the most memorable times – moments which will always remain ingrained in our minds for eternity. They bring the broadest smile to my lips, joking about the good ole days – it’s true what they say about old friends, “Truly great friends are hard to find, difficult to leave and impossible to forget” so apt to describe our friendship. They totally rock, constantly reminding me where we come from, the crazy times of days gone by and the promise of more good times in the future:).

I must say that one of the greatest lessons I learnt today was how much one’s life can change in an instant.  A few days ago, I was whizzing through life with a million and one things to do and now it’s as if life has come to a complete stand-still. My existence is that of an invalid – unable to walk on my own, needing assistance in everything I do, slipping in and out of consciousness. When I chat to nurses and patients in my ward, I really listen to what they have to say, taking everything in – whereas if the tables were turned, I would be watching the clock, thinking about the next thing on my to-do list!

Yes, lesson No. 1 – things that can change in a split second – take the time to smell the coffee, look out the window, listen, yes really listen when someone speaks to you and just for a second – appreciate what you have:).

Day One – Bilateral Bunion Surgery…

So the morning started rather apprehensively. I jumped out of bed with a start at 04h30 realising it was D-Day and there was no getting out of it. I had a quick shower and shave realising this was going to be my last shower for who knows how long. We rushed to the hospital in the nick of time and I was admitted and directed to my ward to be prepped for surgery. I simply must commend Vincent Pallotti Hospital for its impeccable surroundings, cleanliness and ever so friendly staff. They made me feel right at home. I was scheduled to go in at eight and as I was wheeled into theatre, all sorts of terrifying thoughts were flashing in my mind. All I wanted to do was jump out of the bed and run for the hills like Zola Budd. But alas, my hopes were dashed when the Anaesthetist appeared to insert the drip. He struggled to find a proper vein and had to do this twice before he was successful. I abhor needles so much so that I needed to close my eyes and imagine myself in beautiful surroundings and had to transport myself to my favourite Beach…  and before I knew it, the drip was in. He said he was going to give me something to calm me down whilst wheeling me into surgery. When I was positioned in theatre ready to be operated on, I was already in la-la land:).

The procedure took about two hours and was over before I knew it. When I awoke, ever so dizzy,  I could not believe how quick time had flown. All the evidence I could find was the sight of my two fat feet which was dipped in plaster of paris, bandaged up with only my toes showing. They looked awfully disfigured and felt completely numb from the anaesthetic. I slept most the day slipping in and out of consciousness. When I eventually came to, the nurse showed me how to use the morphine pump, which when pressed, had me floating high on a cloud, DELICIOUS is all I can say. When I finally made it back to reality I was utterly ravenous for I had not eaten since the previous night. The menu at the hospital is delectable with lovely home cooked meals, which was rather tasty and not forgetting those scrumptious desserts… what more did I need? I can already see myself picking up two kilograms whilst confined to this hospital!

The only bummer is that I cannot go to the loo or bath myself!!! I have never had to depend on others for assistance before. My drip consisted of water with salt, glucose to keep up my strength which made me wee all the time, not cool at all!!! Having a bath in bed took about an hour, it felt like I had ran 5 kilometres, it was so exhausting – who knew!!! But when I was in my PJ’s and had sparkling clean teeth, I was a happy camper again. Neil stayed with me most of the day, still carting the girls to and fro from school. He’s my rock, the one person who I can truly depend on to get things done and calm my nerves. A true blessing in my life. When my girls came by to see me in the evening I was filled with happiness and boundless love for they complete my life just being in their delightful company.

So today’s been a very eventful day, I’m truly happy the operation was a success thanks to my brilliant Doctor, Craig Hastings for his specialised expertise and care. My heartfelt thanks to all my family and friends for the good wishes, prayers and support during this time – it was wholeheartedly appreciated and helped me through this trying time.

A special thank you to all who are following and tracking my progress. God bless everyone till the next entry.