h1

Lockdown continues

2 September , 2020

It has been what feels like a million days. Currently we’re in Level 2…whatever that implies.

So I think the last time I posted, I had just started working shifts from home in customer support? Okay, so that didn’t work out. Not because the work was hard…it wasn’t…but the night shifts were killing me. It turns out I’m not 20 anymore, haha. Even on days where I wasn’t working I was like a zombie. So I decided it wasn’t for me and let it go. Surprisingly I did actually learn quite a bit from the experience, and not just that I need more than 2 hours sleep a night. So I am grateful for that.

Ah yes, I think I also told you about my looming Frankenboob situation? I bailed in that too. My reasoning was that the last time it took roughly 2 years to come back (one), that I didn’t think it was a great time to be in hospital with all the Corona things going on (two), and that when I do need something removed from my breast I’d like to shop around for a surgeon that would be most likely to put what’s left of it back together in an asthetically pleasing way (three). See, sound reasons.

As it turned out, it didn’t take 2 years to come back this time. It took 2 weeks. Grrr…anyhoo, I am home remedying it with cannabis oil, and it’s working pretty well. Every day the lump is getting smaller and less angry looking, and after about a week of applying the oil topically I am happy to say I now also have zero pain there.

I did briefly consider taking before and after photos of the progress, but I really don’t see myself sharing those so I decided against it. ๐Ÿ˜‚

We’ve been running a stall at the green markets whenever we could, and let me tell you, business is booming! We’re making a CBD oil for people and one for pets, THC topical cream and balm and bathbombs. It really gives you the warm and fuzzies when you get feedback on how much the products have helped people. I am going to miss doing this when we leave.

On the home, or home school front I will say this. Lockdown learning has not been great for my relationship with Nicola. We have VERY different styles of learning and skirmishes are brutal! We considered sending her back to school (or every second day school as is the norm in Level 2), when her school had two weeks of no infections. We decided if they get to three weeks we’d do it, despite her higher risk. Well, week three they had 2 new infections, so we start counting again I guess.

We are all super frustrated with the status quo, so keep your fingers crossed. The weekly updates come through on a Thursday.

Also wish us all a bit of extra luck in the next week, because I think it might be time to quit smoking again. Andy has moved over to vape (not healthier but a lot cheaper). There’s no way I’m doing that. So it’s quit for me. I didn’t want to do it while it was forbidden (you’re not the boss of me, haha), but I think it will be a good idea to do before I start paying for smokes in Euros. I have done it twice before, so I know I can…but I remember it being pretty traumatic so I’m dreading it for myself and everyone who is trapped in lockdown with me. There is nowhere to hide…for any of us.

Oh well, lets see how it goes…

Ps! Quitely I also turned 42 a few weeks ago. It’s a significant number to me, because I’m a Douglas Adams fan. Lots happening in this year, at least some of I anticipated. Let’s hope for answers to life, the universe and everything, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰

h1

The madness continues

4 August , 2020

So…Frankenboob is definitely on the cards. I had my follow up yesterday and the surgeon says it has to be done and ideally in the next month.

Great…not. Let’s put aside the emotional toll of this situation purely in how I think of my breasts, and focus for a moment on the emotional toll of all the admin involved in having myself mutalated. I have to fight for this thing that I’m not even sure I want. I have inner conflict and lots of it.

So all I have to do is figure out the series of secret handshakes needed by my Medical Aid to get authorisation for the procedure. They really don’t make it easy. I get a different sort of pain just thinking about the “process” I’ve been introduced to.

Also, on the new work front, I am starting to suspect I’m not built for shift work. The pace is insane! So I’m customer servicing all night and battling the Medical Aid by day. There is not much time for sleeping in between all of this. On top of all that, Nicola is often semi-histerical about me not being able to either be there for bedtime or there for homework during the day.

This would be a bit easier if I was an insomniac, but I’m not.

Anyhoo, enough of my whining. *yawn* I will take my self-pity and go and dunk it in a steaming hot bath. Everything looks better after a bubble bath. And then I’m going to disable all my alarms and sleep for more than 1.5 hours for a change.

Fuck. It. All.

There is only so much of me to go around, and that’s all there is to it.

How’s lockdown life treating you so far? Feels like we’re a thousand days into this, but it’s probably somewhere between 100 and 200 (we stopped counting at about 50 I think).

I’ve updated my life insurances, so on the off chance that I do somehow work myself to death, at least that is sorted out already.

h1

Oh good…more lemons

31 July , 2020

Do you remember this? Haha, well it’s back. Fuck. Bigger and more painful than ever. In a matter of days it also went from mildly uncomfortable to where my left arm is numb and achy, and I can hardly lift a cup with that hand. I NEED to lift coffee, this won’t do.

So I ended up spending a whole day between doctors on Wednesday. I started off at my GP, thinking that a quick zap of antibiotics might do the trick like it did last time. Nope, he referred to a specialist at Flora Hospital.

The specialist (surgeon), then referred me to radiology for another sonar.

I then had to prance back to the specialist to deliver the results (which I wasn’t supposed to see, but had a look at anyway of course).

And then off to the pharmacy for the most hectic antibiotics I’ve ever had to take.

And then Monday I need to see the specialist again so that he can see if I responded to the meds, and most likely to schedule an operation for the removal of this mess.

All this happened while I was pissing my eyes out, and let me tell you wearing a mask and not being able to blow your nose is not fabulous. Also with Covid-19 still very much around, I got to do it alone because Andy wasn’t allowed to come with me into the hospital.

So the long and short of it if I understand it correctly is that on the upside, it’s not cancer. This is a very big upside, and I am grateful to say the least. The downside is that even though I never had milk to begin with, my milk duct is blocked which caused this recurring bacterial infection, and it has to be removed. Or it will be back.

When the sugeon said he had to cut I said, “Cut off or cut out? Be specific.” So cut out, yay. They’ll lift the nipple and take out what needs going, then frankenstein what’s left together again after. Doc says it’ll be a bit deformed but should even out over time.

Right…of course…”great”.

The pharmacist brought more excitement, which to be honest I wasn’t expecting. She first asked if I was very sporty. Hahahaha, err no. Apparently this stuff makes your ligaments brittle for about a month. So nothing strenuous, and no falling. Oh yes, and I have to drink 3.5 liters of water a day or it will form crystals. Not sure where, but it sounds unpleasant. I’m going to be spending a lot of time on the loo! Luckily there are no steps on the way there, since the stuff holding me together is now brittle!

Oh, and for what may or may not be my final-ish rant on this: my medical aid only kicks in on the 1st of August, and doesn’t cover anything in this hospital unless it happens in the ER. No one has actually done anything but feel me up and write scripts, and we’re already clocking over R4000 in bills.

There are workarounds for this I guess. I need to wait till Saturday and ask the medical aid to point me at a specialist that they do cover. Or I need to win the Lotto between now and next week.

New job going great, by the way. They’re especially thrilled about me kicking it off with some sick leave (that I don’t have yet). I’m also not discussing my problem boob gutter with my twenty-something manager who has only been working for two months and is dealing with his first team under him ever, so I’ve referred to it only as chest pains. He might possibly be under the impression that it’s my heart giving me issues, and I’m not going to be clarifying that at this point.

I am now at the laughing point of my hysterics. Feel free to join in if the spirit moves you.

h1

Grateful

25 July , 2020

If you’re connected to me on fb you already know it’s been quite a week!

My father was attacked while out on a walk, less than a block from our home.

He says that the guy walked past him, he still greeted him, but that something was just a bit off about him. Luckily my dad is super alert, because he heard someone running towards him from behind and turned around.

What the guy had in mind

He grabbed the guy by the chin and forced his head back as far as it would go. My dad says if he had a tiny bit more leverage he reckons he would have broken that neck. At the same time he walloped him on the cheek with shambok he always takes along on his walks.

Almost like this, but with weapons

In the process the asshole stabbed my dad in the arm. Better the arm than the back though, right?

What a fucking coward! Who attacks an old man like that. Okay my dad isn’t geriatric, but he is 66. And from behind?! And for what? He saw my dad’s cellphone peeping out of his pocket. You know, I don’t think there are a lot of people who could defend against an attack like that, and definitely not at 66. My dad is not to be trifled with!

The phone fell out during the struggle, as did my dad’s glasses. The coward grabbed the phone and ran away. I am sure he regretted picking my dad as a soft target.

I’m sure you can imagine the pandemonium that broke out when my dad came home bleeding a roughed up. Andy helped him find the glasses where they fell during the attack, and after he cleaned up a bit my mom took him to the ER for stitches and injections. She had to wait in the parking lot because of Covid-19 rules at hospitals.

Andy went looking for the guy, and I’m sort of glad for both of them that he didn’t find him.

Look, we didn’t really think it was safe here to begin with, but this has been a real eye opener. Even in our small bubble, it’s definitely not safe. And it won’t get safer going forward either. People are angry and hungry. It doesn’t excuse it or make it right, but it is what it is I guess.

I think this attack has been rough on us all. This was almost a very different story. It has been especially hard on my brother because he is so far away and really can’t do anything to help. We have all been worried sick about my folks and if they would be safe once we all leave…and they won’t. If there is one silver lining to this, it’s that they have both decided that they’re ready go too.

The next attack might not be outside the house. I don’t even want to think about it.

So glad you can kick ass, dad โค
We live to fight another day!

Thank you to everyone who checked in and showed their support. You have no idea how much it means to us as a family, and specifically to my dad.

The after…my dad is seeing a trauma councilor next week, and as a precautionary step the doctor has also put him on ARVs for the next month. Who knows what else that knife was involved in.

Be safe out there guys! Be alert, pay attention. Take something with you can use for defence if you need to. Hug your people and thank God for every day they, and you, are spared.

h1

Closer

29 June , 2020

We received a letter from the school yesterday, only the Gr7s had restarted classroom education so far during lockdown, and one of those children had now tested positive for Covid-19. Eep!ย The school was deep cleaned again in a hurry yesterday and all Gr7s have been sent home to wait and see for the next two weeks again. Some of the other grades started today.

Nicola’s grade is supposed to start next week and we’ve applied for her to continue remote learning from home for the time being due to her Alpha Thalassemia Trait which makes her more susceptible to infections.

She is of course gutted and misses her friends terribly, but we said that we will only even consider letting her rejoin classmates if the school has not one single infection from now till end of August. We had an above average suspicion that this was mission impossible really, but I must say they are handling this fairly sensibly. I also don’t think this will be the last infection, and they probably won’t come one at a time either in the near future.

Nicola might be more upset about this infection than the poor infected child him/her-self. She was sobbing her heart out yesterday after we shared the news with her, saying she will probably NEVER be allowed to leave the house again. Understandably.

I suppose there are people who are keeping a tight lip around their kids about this chaos, but we have always been honest with Nicola and she needs to be aware in order to be careful. This thing isn’t going away any time soon, and although we would love for her to be able to spend time with her friends and teachers, it is also painfully obvious that we are not actually being paranoid in not letting her go.

How are your kids dealing with the apocalypse?