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?