Sunday, May 17, 2020

New Home

I have moved! Since last weekend, I now live in the garden cottage in my sister and Pierre's house. It's very close to where I used to stay... only 1.1km away. So I'm in the same area essentially. There was a few factors that contributed to the move. Safety (Covid and otherwise), financially, this cottage is much warmer, and I get to help out with my nephew a bit! Especially now during lockdown.

The move was rather stressful, but I'm all settled in now. The month with my parents was a life-saver, but it's so nice to have my own little place again. Some pics below:

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

The forgotten post about my UK visit - visiting Bonnie in Bristol!

I realised the other day that I never did a blog post about the last leg of my UK trip. Visiting my friend Bonnie in the Bristol area. Of course looking back now, I can't believe this was just over three months ago only, and it makes me super sad because I don't know if and when the opportunity for international travel will be available again. I am SO GRATEFUL that I did this trip when I did!!! The timing was perfect!

I'm just going to share pics. It includes a day visit to Bath and exploring Bristol and Chippenham! What an amazing experience.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Lockdown Day 25

We're on Lockdown day 25 here in SA. What was originally 3 weeks of Nationwide Lockdown has turned into 5 weeks. 35 Days. Great for flattening the curve. Very bad for the economy. I really hope it doesn't get extended again. For me personally not that much will change after lockdown in that I will still be self-isolating. Working from home, avoiding shops, trying to avoid people who have been going to work and shops etc.

It would however be great to see my boyfriend again. It's been almost a month since I've seen him. So that's my first stop post lockdown, seeing as he's "safe" immediately post lockdown in terms of being exposed to Covid. However as friends and family start going back to work, I worry about what they are exposed to there. As well as what my nephew might be exposed to at school once he goes back. I have a feeling 2020 will be a very lonely year :-( This virus will take a long time to pass, and I suspect that until a vaccine is developed, my entire life will change. That might be 18 months away, meaning I will have to avoid close contact with people for that entire time. I WILL need to leave the house, probably for medical reasons, (or to have my hair cut and other silly but still kind of important reasons) and have to be SUPER careful in terms of wearing a mask, washing hands, spraying my steering wheel with alcohol, just being paranoid in general! I'm struggling to even wrap my mind around it!

It would also be great to be able to run outside again! The exercising indoor thing is getting old now, and I really miss being able to go for a walk/run outside! Especially at the JHB Botanical Gardens! And yes I do think it's safe if you stay very far away from people, the way I did before it became illegal.

What I'm also looking forward to post lockdown, is being able to order non-essential things online again! I've ordered some kitchen toys from Woolies, like a muffin pan, cake pan, some utensils etc, and it can only be delivered after lockdown.

I posted a pic at the beginning of the post of a puzzle I finished yesterday. I've also finished the following two books since my last post. The Heart's Invisible Furies was BEAUTIFUL, I absolutely loved it. Disgrace was less heart-warming (to put it mildly), but a very good book and a fast read. So two very good but very different books.

I'm also planning on moving soon, but more about that in next post.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

2 years 5 months

Tuesday marked 2 years and 5 months with these second transplanted lungs. Coincidentally that miracle also happened on a Tuesday! (As well as my first transplant!.... it's my lucky day!)

Being in lock-down has obviously given me loads of time to think. And the recurring though is I'M SO F@CKING LUCKY AND BLESSED. How am I almost 36 and still here and doing better than ever? I'm still the only person in SA who has survived a redo lung transplant (which sometimes leads to survivor's guilt, but that's not what this post is about.) Is there another shoe waiting to drop? I was trying to count all the surgeries I've had earlier today with some Facebook quiz, and I got to roughly 20ish.

  • 2 Bi-lateral lung transplants
  • 2 Nissen Funduplications
  • 2 Achilles Tendon Repairs
  • Wisdom Teeth removal
  • At least 6 Lung Biopsies
  • About 5 gynae ops (immunosuppression related issues!)
  • 3 Gastroscopies, one which included a colonoscopy 
Not all of them are significant but it's still under General Anesthetic (except maybe wisdom teeth, I think I was only sedated... and possibly 2 of the gastroscopies).

I've also had a renewed gratefulness for being able to sleep on my stomach. It's my preferred position for falling asleep, and I've been remembering many times when I've been unable to do so. I remember specifically quite a few times where my lungs struggled too much to lie on my tummy. This was with my original CF lungs, where I often had to sleep on 3 or 4 pillows to breathe better. I remember my back getting sore and just wanting more than anything to lie on my tummy but when I did, I either started coughing up blood or it just felt like I was drowning. The other significant times were after my transplants, due to the incisions. At least those were "positive" reasons, but it kept me awake at night, and with my Nissen Funduplications. I know this is REALLY random, but like I said... blame the lock-down.

I've also been thinking of stuff that's happened since my second transplant... in other words things I would have missed out on if I didn't get a second donor. This was what I could think of (in no specific order):
  • Holiday in Ballito
  • Two holidays at Storms River Mouth
  • Family holiday at Evelyn Game Lodge close to Mapungubwe
  • New York trip
  • watching my nephew Adriaan go from being 6 months old to turning 3 tomorrow
  • getting a divorce
  • moving into a flat and living on my own for the first time in my life
  • working for Andrew
  • joining a running club and doing Parkruns
  • going to the UK and Scotland
  • dating
  • getting a new boyfriend
  • Two trips to Cape Town
  • going back to gym
  • started playing squash again, tore the Achilles tendon twice and now don't play anymore
  • co-founded a new NPO, TELL
  • holiday with friends in Mauritius
  • in lock-down for a global viral pandemic!
I added the good and the bad, because it's all part of being alive. And I wouldn't have wanted to miss any of it. I hope everyone's lockdowns are going well. I'm still all good, trying to stay sort of active. Sleeping a lot. Eating a lot. Be prepared for more random posts relating to stuff that pops up in my memories!