I was hoping to get up a post on Friday evening but it was not to be. Happy Equinox everyone, North and South, East and West. A changing of seasons – always meaningful. The outer changes in Mother Nature as she’s engaged in different functions often mirrors an inner sense in us as humans.
O my goodness, these last several months have been extraordinary, trying, difficult, painful –
But, the medical intervention that happened on Tuesday 20th September at a hospital in Cape Town, performed by a vascular specialist and his merry team, under spinal anaesthetic did the trick. Praise be – praise be to all that is –
It’s going to take me a while to digest all of this; the lead up to it and the aftermath. And now I must put on my thinking and feeling cap and be brief and concise without compromising on what I have felt to be life-changing ~
I was fairly secretive about my dreadful physical condition. Exacerbated almost 4 months ago from a fall at a bnb in the Karoo en route from Plettenberg Bay to Johannesburg. My close family certainly knew that walking 50 paces resulted in a painful leg and I had to stop for a minute or so before proceeding. They also knew that I was completely sleep deprived due to the extreme pain in my toes in my right foot that woke me without fail several times at night starting in the early hours.
My retired ent doctor husband (ear nose & toes specialist) early on diagnosed a blocked femoral artery in my right leg. As did doppler x rays (non invasive x rays); as did a vascular specialist in George. No blood reaching my leg and foot and toes. (Horrible gash on shin from the fall – the blood was working overtime there on the gash to heal it.) My husband did a lot of detective work on my behalf and, truth be told, his connections were of great help in seeking the best person to attend to me.
Friday 16th week before last Friday, we kept our appointment with a specialist in Cape Town. Eight inches from top of my knee going upwards, the blockage inside my leg was total. Thick black line. Atheroma (sort of like plaque I think). Scheduled for Tuesday 20th. 60% chance said he … but that there was a plan B, which would have to be scheduled for another time, should plan A not work.
So it was on this Tuesday past, that I checked in at the hospital, my husband beside me.
But now to get to the nuts and bolts of my story.
Of course I did let some friends know that I was going in for surgery. They knew about the considerable pain I’d been in for the last 4 months.
I cannot tell you how buoyed I was and still am by the kindness and care and concern of my friends. I truly believe that their love and care helped me enormously in this.
From far and wide – each connection a deepening of my heart. Sheila in Scotland, Peta in Ireland, Inki in Italy, Susan in the US, Jeanne currently in the UK, Nicki abroad at the the time. And close to home those who know me and whose friendship I value enormously, sent me messages of love and encouragement.
We stayed with a friend of mine Lisa in Muizenberg (about 20 mins outside Cape Town). Her beautiful home has a comfortable cottage attached to it, which is where we bunked down. It is such a pretty part of the world – further along the road is St. James and Kalk Bay with their pretty tidal pools, railway line, lovely shops that I would have liked to have spent more time in … Fish Hoek further up, Simonstown –
It must have been Saturday. Gorgeous little shop – Lisa and I are looking, Neil is sitting outside at a coffee shop next door. I bought two small things … the sweet lady behind the counter gave me 2 vouchers for cappucinos next door! That was very nice, and very nice coffee it was. Now, it must have been Monday, the day before my op. I thought I would like to get this sweet lady something from the deli where we had our coffee. So, we stopped in there – for lunch. Delicious it was. Idyllic, overlooking the sea and surfers, mountains in sight. `
I arranged for a treat to be sent to the lady in the shop. I thought the Deli would do this later. We popped into the shop after we’d settled the bill, now to to do some more serious shopping. The treat was brought over while I was chatting to the lady. So excited about the treats, she was so chuffed, and there were 2 of the treats, an extra for the other lady. I do not know how it was that I told them I was going in for surgery on my right leg the next day.
I do not know how long it was, 10 mins? 15 mins? They prayed over me. In broad daylight, each of us holding onto the other. Right there inside the shop next to the till. I was oblivious of any other shoppers. Rati is the woman on the right, Kudzi is the lass in the yellow jersey. Rati knelt down on the floor and held my leg and prayed over it – she said she felt G.d there – she felt something move …
Rati emphasised a few times that she was the messenger only. When we separated and said our farewells I was on a complete high. Floating, buoyed, too out there or in here to think or feel – very strangely moved.
I continue to feel this way, buoyed – a sort of floating, uplifted by that which is uplifting – which I am still trying to determine … I nearly wrote ‘define’ but as I thought it, I thought it was one of those indefinable somethings. Though I now simply say and know ‘G.d moves in mysterious ways’.
In fact there were a few extraordinary serendipities to support my ‘knowing’ – but I’d still be writing come the December solstice if I started telling ~
I’ve ‘dodged the bullet’ as a friend of mine said. Another said she hoped I “…can enjoy and receive from all those who care about you. This is often more tangible when you are unwell or more vulnerable”. Another said about chance encounters. All sent healing thoughts and prayers –
We had some fabulous meetups with a few friends pre op. Those first few days of being in Muizenberg/Cape Town were lovely – Cape Town and surrounds is just lovely. Every sight a delight. That beautiful part of the world will always be so special to me, because of the association of the success of op, the people, the power of prayer, chance encounters, the sense that I had of me needing to trust. And then the op on Tuesday – discharged on Wednesday and we started wending our way home on Thursday, arriving Friday just a few days ago.
I liked my surgeon from initial meeting. Nice looking too. He emphasised the 60% chance of success. I know that he was very pleased indeed at the outcome. I will still write to him to thank him … I wonder if I will say anything about my ‘experiences’ to him. I doubt it .. but I think I will say something about my being grateful for the guidance he had in his surgery.
I’ve yet to go walking – beginning tomorrow. Get appraised for Pilates classes with a view to joining and get my strength and bounce back.
And Rosh Hashana beginning this evening!
Thank you for reading. I hope this finds you all well. Strange times indeed. May the Force & Peace be with you.