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.
68 Comments on EQUINOX
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I’ve read this late, and am open-mouthed, as our next-door neighbor is in for her 3rd surgery because of a blocked vein in her leg. It’s been so painful for her, and walking has been challenging. I must say, I don’t believe she has the amazing “soul group” helping with prayers, vibrations, thoughts as you have. And as you know, this makes a Huge difference. I hope this finds you on the mend, walking, without pain, as you heal. <3
Thanks Pam so much for coming by. Yes, I’m back to walking. A few weekends ago some gentle hiking! Every day I am grateful. I remember a long while back you said about stretching every time before setting off for a walk. I don’t remember the context but I clearly remember your saying this and I was grateful for that gentle piece of advice. I’m sending a vibrational prayer to your neighbour for successful surgery. And that she gets back to enjoying walking pain free. Have a lovely weekend 🙂
I will happily take the credit for you stretching before AND after walking. It helps a lot! And thank you for the vibrational neighbor healing. She needs it! I send that, as well as bring over a batch of chocolate chocolate brownies.
Oh my, Susan, I had no idea! Thank the heavens that you are on the mend and that you had such serendipitous meetings prior to surgery. I wonder what big steps forward you are about to take upon your full recovery?!? Sending love and light, wishes for a most wonderful New Year for of health and vigor, and an easy fast if that’s something you partake of. Big love. oxo, pam
Thanks so much Pam! Big steps forward from now on? Again a lovely serendipity – someone on FB who lives in Plett put up a post recently and she’s done a miraculous thing of getting a bunch of people walking. There are about 5 different times every day from Monday to Friday with set routes that people have joined. My first one tomorrow will be 5.30 p.m. to 6.30 p.m. (I’m the only one down for that time which is a bit strange but I’ll keep it – and in fact may even walk down to the meeting point). So I’m pleased about that … commitment. I’ve had a few gorgeous beach walks in the last few days. Beautiful sunny Sunday today. First day of t-shirt weather. Hope all well with you Pam, thank you for your good wishes 🙂 xx 🙂 xx
Oh Susan, I am so sorry to hear of this. I’m very happy to hear that your surgery went well and that you are walking better. How upsetting, but you have a great support system and it doesn’t hurt that your surgeon was good-looking 🧡
Thanks Barbara so much! It helped hugely that the doc was good looking – fair, kind blue eyes. I googled him obviously – he’s the big cheese in his field. Hope all good with you 🙂 Plan to be back and check all your lovely posts soon xx
Hi Susan. I’m so sorry to respond so late to this lovely and love-filled post. I’m sorry you’ve been in such pain, but how wonderful to have such true friends–old and new. I’m so very happy for you that the operation was a success! 💙
Thanks Merril, it’s so wonderful to walk on the beaches – or anywhere for that matter – without getting a sore leg within minutes, and to sleep through the night painfree in toes is bliss! 🙂
You’re so welcome, and I’m very happy for you! 😊
💙 can do emoji, only on my phone. Not on lap top 🦋
Good you have the surgery behind you and wishes for continued recovery in the New Year.
Thank you Deborah!
Thank you for sharing your beautiful and moving story, Susan. I’m so very happy for you that your surgery was a success and you are now free of the debilitating pain. Thank you especially for your story of how these two beautiful women cared enough to pray for you. How fortunate you were to have met them at just the moment when you needed them most. I used to belong to a community of people who prayed regularly for each other and there were many instances of that palpable feeling you tried to describe, many times when I’ve felt the healing presence of Otherness. That still happens in my immediate family in times of fear and illness and I’m so grateful for it. I attribute the healing that comes from these experiences to being totally present with the person and with my deep love, compassion, and gratitude for them. May your healing be complete and may you enjoy many more long, beautiful walks through this beautiful world. Happy solstice to you. Love and blessings, Jeanie
Last evening the thought occurred to me about fashioning two Black Madonnas at pottery. Blow me down – some several minutes later I came across a short Marion Woodman video talking with ???Andrew Harvey??? about her Black Madonna she met in India when she was very ill. A live one. Thank you Jeanie for saying about your experiences of the healing presence of Otherness and to what you attribute this to. I’ve had a few numinous experiences. If I think/feel about this now, I’m asking myself (as I have before) whether this is not urging me more and more towards trust. I mean, so many times over the years I’ve thought ‘trust the process’ – well, now I think my trust is being strengthened.
Thank you for your lovely comment Jeanie. I’m going to pop over to your post just now. Love, Susan
Hi, Susan – I am so sorry to read that you’ve been in so much pain. I’m delighted to hear that your surgery had much guidance and went well. Sending you warm prayers of continued healing.
Thank you Donna so much! I’m back to being myself I think – happier because pain is no longer my constant companion. Good surgeon. Thank you for prayers of continued healing ❤️
Wooo to God be the Glory Suzie, like I said you where on the right side of place and right time and when you encountered this..
God bless you dear Suzie.
God bless ♥️❤️🌹💞Not forgetting your husband your big Supporter. On your side too.
How lovely of you to come by Ratie thank you! I shall never forget you and Kudzi. I want to come as soon as possible to visit you in Kalk Bay. And your lovely shop and the deli next door. 💙💥💙
Dear Susan, thank you for enlightening us on your recent “adventures.” I’m always interested and find your stories so fascinating. I remember your telling us you had injured your leg — and the blood blockage had to have been alarming. I am so glad you were drawn together with, as Marian said, the surgeons, their prayers and the Great Physician. Your ever-positive attitude keeps those angels around you. I’m thankful your surgery went well and that you are on the road to recovery, though hopefully not as steep as that driveway. So beautiful are your readers’ comments here, I feel all of your recent events, your story and comments imbued with numinosity. This is a high spiritual place. –Carol
I agree the journey has been exhilarating. The great physician definitely. I will write to this man tomorrow. All the comments are so precious. They will be a source of joy for me for a long while. I’m On my phone so I can do an emoji 💥💙💥. My son’s avatar may appear xx
Hi Carol, I’m adding a note here because I answered rather swiftly on my phone last night. Your comment to me is lovely thank you … Just bye the bye, we’re meeting some people up town tomorrow evening for supper, and I said to her that maybe I’d walk up the hill into town. Well, she thought that wasn’t a bright idea on my side … but I’m wondering what the fascination all of a sudden for uphills? Any ideas? xx
I think the fascination for uphills might simply have to do with healing, Susan, you’ve been in walking prison, so to speak, and are now free from the pain, feeling strong and that you can do all these things again. It’s just my idea — almost like the 3 and 4 yr olds on their first day at the pre-school across the street from me recently: the teachers opened the doors for recess, and they were OUT, wild little things running all over the play yard. I think we all feel that way — I’m free, I’m gonna run/walk uphill — it’s a challenge. Though, now that I’ve intellectualized that, I think it comes down to what Jeanie put so well — your healing be complete and you enjoy many more long, beautiful walks. (So, did you walk up the hill into town?) xx
How well you put that Carol thank you – that’s exactly the impulse, kids let out of class and here there and everywhere! Yes that makes sense. But my husband said no, remember what the doc said, take it easy for next several days. (I may get lazy though).
Woo-ooo Susan … that must have been such a difficult time … I did wonder if something was going on – yet so pleased to read this and catch the information update and healing process proceeding, after reading your answer to Elizabeth, rather well. Long may it last …
Not easy times over here … but life goes on and I’m reasonably under control … just need to adjust as times go … still book-ended life – born after the war, and now towards (not near it!) the end after pandemic, Brexit and our politics … just count my blessings in life …
Cheers and continue on healing … Hilary
Hi Hilary, yes a trying time. But I suspect for a great many of us of all ages these are difficult times. Are things going to be unaffordable in the UK? Friends have just come back from Löndon – so many people. Scotland also 1000’ s and 1000’s of people.
Count your blessings , I’m counting mine- cheers, susan
Hi Susan – yes … it is going to be very trying for so many … I only rent and probably will need help – but that’s the way it is. The agents said they’ve had people who are struggling now … the jobs aren’t very good – politics is a sad joke. I’m doing what I can within reason … this year will be ok, next – who knows. I’m being as pragmatic as I can be … and not getting in a paddy: no point.
I’m healthy thankfully … but it is interesting – may not be the way to look at it … but where I am in life – my history has been bookended – being born just after the war, but in that scenario, now much the same … we have to knuckle under and not have and do everything. Thankfully I’ve had an interesting life … I do so feel for so many … and yes I am counting my blessings, as you are too … life will continue on … cheers Hilary
Hi Hilary. Had typed out a nice longish response to you which disappeared! Never mind. I suspect that we baby boomers are maybe more robust and resilient being as we are the offspring of our parents who endured WW2. Let’s face it though, these last few years have been a real curved ball, upending everything. I feel for those who are in bleak circumstances and who face a bleak future. Who knows what is just around the corner for you and me … I guess we have to just stay present as much as possible and not be overly anxious about the future as anxiety doesn’t help. Easy to say but we have to have an idea at least how best to prepare for further uncertainty. Life continues. All best, Susan
You’ve been on an amazing and varied journey. I’m sorry you had surgery but glad that you could have surgery. I’m not familiar with what happened to you but pleased to know that you’re getting better. Are you walking yet? Recovery may be tough, but worth it, I’d wager.
Thanks Ally Bean … yes, glad indeed that I could have surgery and also Plan B was available as an option if Plan A was not successful. I can walk without pain in my leg (still to get onto beach and/or proper walking) and best of all, extreme pain in my toes on right foot is a thing of the past and I sleep like a baby.
What a story! I’m so glad you are healing now.
Thanks Anne so much, hope all good with you 🙂
Things are going well for me, thank you. Our weather suddenly cooled off, and all of us on the street are enjoying it.
Weather is fickle at this time of year. Glad you’re enjoying the cooler climes
I’ll bet you are ready to welcome spring.
wunderful read! Thank you, dear Susan and happy Equinox. 🤗💖
Thank you Alaedin … hope all good your side 🙂
Susan–what a journey you detail and now the one to proceed on to keep all unclogged and smiling like in the lovely photo of you. Stay well and in good form. I am so glad you are on a good path…
Thank you Susan so much. The photo was lovely I agree and muchly because of Rati and Kudzi and their warm love.
Susan, you’ve really been through the wringer these last few months. So sorry to hear of your injury and all the pain and incapacity you’ve had. How wonderful that the surgery went well, and that you have been surrounded by so much love and care. I hope you continue to heal rapidly and are soon enjoying great mobility, and able to partake in all the beauty surrounding you.
Thank you so much Donna, I really appreciate your kind response. I’m still awed by everything and will no doubt continue to be so! I hope all is well with you. Thank you for your good wishes.
Nice to read your update, Susan. True words…how the changing of the seasons is always meaningful. Oh, my goodness…life-changing. I recall your fall four months ago. The word “blockage” is immediately scary.
I sensed something was up. I wholeheartedly believe in the love and care of others. Goosebumps as I am reading about Rati and Kudzi…loving, healing energy messengers. “Serendipity” “knowing”…more goosebumps. I truly hope you get your strength and bounce back soon. I am sending you loving, healing energy from afar. You and I both “know” it all makes a difference. ❤️ xx
I’m feeling your energy and love bomb Erica as I type thank you. Can you see me close my eyes and say a silent thank you? Hope all is well in your neck of the woods. Sending love your way!
Oh dear Susan. You’re getting whacked. I’m always glad to know as much of the hard truth as you care to tell. I hope you heal well and strengthen fast. You have helpers and healing connections. I’m grateful for the support you receive and wish I could make you a pot of soup. Be gentle and heal strong.
It’s so good to not feel whacked any longer Elaine! To know I can walk to the shops if I want to, walk down to the lagoon or beach without pain is huge for me. I plan to catch up big time. I’m also going to be very careful about the food I eat. Last evening we were out for a birthday celebration – what a feast was provided! Huge prawns and self caught fish and delicious greens to accompany. When the puddings came I tucked in very greedily and later at home was totally itchy all over, I reckon from a sudden sugar increase. It’s still cool here in Plett, I will make soup tonight for supper. Love, Susan
Elizabeth, I am SO SORRY to hear of your painful health issues. I am happy to hear that you slowly are improving. I PRAY the New Year brings you all that is wonderful and keeps you healthy.
Your post is lovely, your pictures beautiful, and may your wish for health in the New Year. Come true. I am sending love and Big Hugs! Take Care, and HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Hi Gwynn, I’ll answer to Elizabeth, it is my second name after all! This whole issue has brought into clearer focus for me the pain issues many of us face and how debilitating it is. Whether it’s a heel, a back, a hip, an elbow. Pain does not discriminate and is a friend to no-one. Love to you Gwynn, hope all is well in your neck of the woods.
Oh Susan, Sorry about mixing your name up. See what happens in my early morning when I haven’t had my tea and attached my head! I have my aches and pains. I wish my husband could get well, as caregiving for him gets tiring. Love and Hugs to you too.
Not a problem Gwynn. But my golly you’ve had aches and pains a long while and care-taking John a long while too. I wish there was a magic wand to make it all go away. Are you still getting in your walks on Paulsbro (?sp?) promenade? xx
So glad that the surgery is behind you, Susan…and equally moved by your account of Rati and Kudzi praying over you. The right people at the right time — God sent you the messengers you needed when you needed them.
How beautifully you put that Tammy – G.d sent me the messengers when they were needed! Yes, I see that now …
What a beautiful account of your experience, Susan. The highs, the lows, the fear, the optimism: they all come blazing through, sweeping us along with you on this simultaneously terrifying and uplifting adventure. What an amazing moment it must have been, having Rati and Kudzi pray over your leg.
I’m so glad for you that the outcome was good. Hope the healing goes smoothly and quickly.
Thank you so much Kern! Lovely to see you here. I’m still in awe – good grief it was last week, Rati and Kudzi a week ago Monday. The op was on Tuesday last week … in a way it feels like a life time away. Thank you for your good wishes 🙂
This is a beautiful post, Susan. I’m glad you had helpers on this arduous journey toward healing. Praises be to the surgeons, to Rati & Kudzi for their fervent prayers, and to the Great Physician. I’m sure having a doctor/husband as your advocate helped as well.
May your recovery be complete, and your journey into spring as lovely as the orchid you picture here. Hugs! 😀
I love that Marian, the Great Physician. Of course … And thank you 🙂
Yes, Spring is in the air and in my step. I believe that up on the highveld (Johannesburg) the temperatures have been very high – 32 degrees C, close to 90 degrees fahrenheit. Here it is only about a pleasant 21-22 degrees during the day.
Hugs to you too!
I am so glad it sounds to have gone well. Blessings to you, Susan.
Thank you Jacqui. Blessings to you too 🙂
Thank you for this story, of the pain as well as the various numinous interventions leading up to the surgery. From my perspective, your presence throughout the whole time creates a ‘vortex of healing possibilities’, a bit like the rainmaker story. I really felt this, in my body, as I read description of each remarkable event. This is one of those healing stories that inspire the collective to open and receptive to other possibilities than simply ‘getting fixed’… We need these reminders for how to stay grounded and open when our entire world is in flux.
O your comment is so lovely Andrea, thank you. It feels to me as if my eyes have been opened, my heart as well and I am beyond grateful. Gratitude has taken on a new meaning to me – it may be a general attitude, but for me it’s been specific for each and every thing. Granted, the setting has been beautiful, environs and so on … but each and every person, occasion, event seems to have been imbued with a numinosity that is hard to describe …
Hi Susan, I am sorry to read about you pain and health problems but glad to know your op has been successful. I thought of you just yesterday, strangely, and thought I would message you and see how you were. I thought you were helping with your grandchild. All the very best with your on-going recovery 🤗
So lovely to get your message Robbie thank you! I’m on top of the world right now. Sam, my grandson is a delight, a tough little almost 9 month old baby. I’ll need plenty of strength to keep up with him! Hope all is well with you and family. 🙂
What a wonderful, uplifting equinox post this is! Thank you so much Susan for your update and lovely photos. I’m pleased to know your close friends and family were there to support you through this difficult time. I feel like I’m floating too as Rati and Kudzi’s prayers reverberate through your words. What an extraordinary, kind-hearted gesture and dare I say, healing you’ve received.
However, I’m sorry to hear it’s been tough these past four months since your fall, especially with sleep patterns, which after even one or two nights would make most of us cranky! In pure coincidence in February I broke my ankle for the fourth (and hopefully last) time but I said little either. Thankfully, specialist physio is working as ankle surgery would’ve been very unpleasant.
Sending you much love, light and laughter across the oceans between us, Deborah.
Thank you Deborah so much! Yes I remember you and me with our limbs that are supposed to keep us mobile and upright and support us, and right and left, not once but twice (or even more) – we empathised with each other, this I do know! There will be NO fifth ankle twisting … no more.
There were quite a few incidences that happened while in the area that were extra meaningful. It’s going to take me a while to digest it all. But, come tomorrow, I hope to have a plan of action for Pilates. I may take up Tai Chi again which I had to stop because I was not coping.
Golly September has been an incredible month for all in the UK. Liz Truss as PM, and Queen Elizabeth dying. Her death though not unexpected because of her age, has left a hole in the psyche of many in the UK, if not the UK itself.
Love to you Deborah. Light and laughter across the waves 🙂 Susan
I’m so glad you are on the road to recovery. ❤️
Thank you Alethea! It feels good –
Golly Susan what experiences you have been quietly having, while as chirpy as ever in public! So glad about the happy outcome, and now nose to the wheel, shoulder to the grindstone 🙂 as you complete your recovery …
Thanks Elizabeth! Just back from a birthday celebration – a verrry steep driveway that the hosts wanted me to drive up – and up – but I hiked it with nary a backward glance. I thought after that if I could do THAT, I could do anything 🙂