Charlie's Bird

living the dream with Charlie and Thandi and chirping all the way back to the nest.

Dreaming

…about a time when I have had a vaccine to, at least, reduce my risk. Dreaming about when we look back at this time in amazement that it ended, because it will, history dictates that. Dreaming about seeing my family, my friends with gay abandon, instead of every encounter being a calculated risk. Dreaming about travel to far flung distant destinations. Dreaming about a time when I am no longer a stressed wreck.

One day…

Broken record

…can you hear the skip and the repeat, over and over again? Freaking hell, it feels a bit like an endless Groundhog Day, I’m just not sure what we have to do to break the spell. And every time I try to relax and put Covid at the back of my mind, something drags it back to the front again. Anyway. I guess I needed to give an explanation as to why I am struggling to post anything at the moment. Every day sounds the same, there is no ‘news’, and since medical science has become mainstream media, I can’t offer wisdom or insights you aren’t all being exposed to already. Except on Ivermectin. Until we have proper evidence on it, please don’t use it. You’re pushing the share price up of the company that makes it, so those shareholders are rubbing their hands together in glee, and we currently do not have good quality evidence that it actually makes a difference. My colleagues and I joke, wondering which obscure drug we could trial on our about to be discharged and (relatively) well covid patients, after buying shares in whichever pharmaceutical company it is that manufactures said drug and then count our blessings as the world goes mad.

Anyway, I don’t have much to tell you, I’m exercising, I’m trying to get back onto a controlled eating plan, I’m starting to plan for a few future events – a valentine’s dinner, my nephew’s wedding, the return to school. So I’m busy, but there isn’t much ‘news’.

The case of the missing diamond earring

…it was a steamy Friday morning. There was a buff, an over heated runner and the ting of a diamond earring hitting the tar. But never fear, the Intrepid Two were there. On hands and knees, guided by 4 cyclists’s lights, the scoured the tar. It seemed lost with no hope of being found, they crawled around, dug through the mud filled gutter, until Eureka rang through the suburbs! All was not lost, the earring was found! And so the run continued. The Intrepid Two smiled, that was a job well done, with a bottle of fresh juice, and a cappuccino at hand, they retreated home to rest, because before long, they knew they would called upon again, to solve another mystery.

 (it was a gorgeous morning!)

Hump day

…it’s the middle of the week, and I think I am having a productive day. Since Cyril eased the curfew I was able to get my run in at 5h15 this morning – hallelujah! It was a tough hill session, in the rain, but I did it! I went off to theatre this morning, I just had a quick day case, I did some groceries, and got some new linens for Thandi’s bed – one of her fitted sheets is missing, another has a tear – which I will repair, but our domestic goddess (bless her soul!) has been using her winter sheets – in an Eastern Cape summer, that is ridiculous! So, the poor girl, at least she will be able to have a few better night’s sleep now. Saying that, it was insanely hot and humid over the weekend, and then on Saturday night we had a humungous storm, and temperatures have cooled down since then. The humidity is still grim, but it is tolerable. (God, I’m sorry, I am talking about the weather, how boring…)

Since we are seeing friends for dinner tonight, and we are celebrating their anniversary, I got home and started prepping a few things. Last night I made a frozen cheesecake (its the bee’s knees!), and this morning I prepped the red wine berry sauce that goes with it (yum!). I set the table, leaving Thandi to do some decorating, and then, before I knew it, it was time to start the slow roasted leg of lamb, that Charlie will watch while I am at work this afternoon. I am already hungry for supper!

And, I am currently at my desk, getting on with my work. It seems like a few patients have decided to skip their visits, so I am not feeling under too much pressure, an hour more to get through. I can do this!

What is wrong

…with people?

Maybe I am just such a compliant geek, but because there are rules, I stick to them. I don’t like the lockdown rules, but there is not much I can do about them. I can make myself miserable thinking of all the things that I am being deprived of, or, I can just figure out how to live within the rules, knowing that they are not forever, and that, honestly, the whole world would like to ‘go back to normal’, but right now we can’t.

Or maybe we could have, if everyone had just stuck to some kind of rules.

I don’t know. When I see well educated middle class suburban dwellers looking for loopholes, or running around with a ‘F%*k the government and all of you’ kind of attitude, my heart sinks. When friends say that I am so good for staying at home while my family were on holiday, I wonder what they expected me to do, possibly expose an entire community to Covid, or just stick to the rules and do the right thing? And before we judge the cops chasing people on the beach (yes, it is ridiculous to watch), imagine what it would be like if they didn’t have to? Imagine if everyone had just stuck to the damn rules, and not gone to the beach.

The rules may not make much sense, but, we have 4 more sleeps with these rules, and then maybe things will improve. Actually, they probably won’t. In fact, they’re probably going to be more draconian, because, while here in the EC, we maybe, just maybe seem to be catching our breath again, you guys in the rest of the country have been making hay while the sun shone, and your numbers are totally out of control.

Charlie reckons I am a special kind of naive, but hey, that’s me, I do just wish the everyone would make the government’s job easy and stick to the rules, and that government would then perform that job with efficiency and pride. So, yes, probably just naive muggins, that’s me. I’ll die sticking to the rules while everyone else just laughs at me.

Whimper

…and just like that, with a whimper, my 5km a day streak has ended again. Trying to run against the clock of a (somewhat irrational) curfew and being back at a very busy office has just made things completely unplayable. And when you are trying to find time at 21h30 to climb on the treadmill and run, it becomes more stressful instead of the stress reliever its supposed to be. So, 225 days in series 1, and 142 in series 2. I haven’t enjoyed this series as much as the first, I have struggled with restrictions and my own sense of responsibility. The absence of organised training sessions and the need to be self motivated at all times has just worn me down. I am at my emotional nadir and running is not being my usual serotonin boost. Time to re evaluate things.

On that note, so last year I ran an impressive (for me) 2099km! I ran on 296/366 days, meaning I skipped 70 days the whole year – that doesn’t feel right, but I can’t argue with a tracking app. I know March, May and June were not good months for me, and I started streaking again in August, so I guess that it maybe makes sense. Despite running as much as I did, I have ended my running year felling out of shape, slow and unfit. I think my body may be asking me to take a break. So I am going to listen to it, for a day or 2…

I am also sore, not injured sore, but my joints are moaning, I’m feeling stiff and not very flexible, and I am known for my lax ligaments and flexibility, so I think its time to do some cross training – some yoga/pilates/swimming and cycling. Let’s broaden the horizons.

Sometimes

…I’m my own worst enemy. Sometimes I am the queen of self sabotage. Sometimes I just screw up. Sometimes I wish…

Reality bites

…and it’s back to work, back to reality. I am struggling today with that feeling that most people are still on holiday, and I am back at work. I think the biggest part is that I feel a bit cheated, I didn’t get to spend the holiday with Thandi and Charlie, so now, they are home, and I am back at work. I couldn’t not be at work, one of my partner’s has tested + (again, it’s a second infection for her), so I have to help pick up the slack here at the office. Reality check.

In other news, a friend of ours has been admitted to hospital for Covid, he tested + on Christmas Eve, and they have looked after him at home as best they could, until yesterday his oxygen requirements were rising, and he wasn’t any better, and that difficult call was made to admit him. He sounds like he’s settling down, but it’s been a rough ride for his wife and family. Another reality check – he’s one of us, fit and healthy, and now, in hospital.

And so, here’s to this year, I’m not predicting or planning, or offering encouragement. My head is down, and I am slogging through this, with the hope, that at some stage, I will get a chance to be with my family in a meaningful way again, without fear. Sending love to all my blogging friends!

Mixed feelings

…as we close the door on this year; this year that no-one could possibly have prepared for; this year that has broken so many promises, so many people, so many hearts…

I haven’t blogged for. bit, and I guess that’s because the events of the past few days have left me speechless. Christmas came and went in a subdued form, the tinsel didn’t sparkle quite the same, the festive fun was lacking, but it was still a nice day, and Thandi had a wonderful time. We did some visiting of friends and family around the actual day – a 50th on the 24th, a visit to the in-laws who are staying at Hogsback on the 26th, and a visit to a family friend on the 27th.

The morning of the 28th dawned overcast and drizzly, I got a run in, and then headed off to do a big case on a young cancer patient, even though I was officially on leave. It was a tough case with 4 surgeons all working on her, myself and a gynae oncologist, a general surgeon and a colorectal surgeon. 4 hours later we had finished a very difficult, but successful surgery. I headed home, and then quickly got packed for our holiday on an isolated guest farm in the Winterberg region. We enjoyed a wonderful first evening with our friends.

Tuesday morning, I had a lovely walk around the mountain, and then just as we were finishing breakfast, Charlie got a call from my dad’s carer to say that he was experiencing some chest pain. Now, we are 3 hours away, there is almost no-one I can think of to call and ask for help… floundering. Charlie called a friend of his who knows my dad, so he went along, I arranged some paramedics to pop in too, they checked him out, things sounded pretty ominous, so now, what to do – we’re en route, through dodgy signal zones. I call his cardiologist – admitting him isn’t ideal with Covid etc, his GP has retired, the replacement emigrated, so, I call on the now seniors in the old practice – they agree to see him and work him up, and if necessary, we’ll admit him, with a covid result, directly to the cardiac unit. Knowing how stubborn the old man is, I am astounded that our friend got him into the car and off to the doctor, but, thankfully he did. As we arrive back in town, the GP calls to say, he’s ok, it looks like his heart has just gone out of rhythm, and that’s what made him feel bad, but that we will do the bloods and work up anyway, but that we can take him home. As the results come in, we hear the news that he has indeed had a heart attack, a small one, and that is what threw his heart out of rhythm. But all is good, and he’s ok, and we continue with our plan, keeping him at home, on some meds. So, we plan to spend the night at home and head back to the farm after checking on him in the morning.

Until… I get a message from the gynae oncologist telling me that while he felt fine all day on Monday, he noticed he had lost his sense of smell that evening, he tested on Tuesday and was now +. So, although I had been properly masked the entire surgery, 4 hours together is a long time, and we did unmask when having a cut of coffee afterwards, although, more than a meter apart during that time. But, in good conscience I couldn’t go back to my holiday. So Charlie has headed back to enjoy the time with our girl, who deserves an amazing holiday, and, me, I am at home. I’ve tidied up the sewing area/office/reading area, and now I am on the couch.

So, honestly, this year and all its complications can really just f&^%%k off now, but I’m not convinced that 2021 will bring anything better.

I trust wherever you are, you are safe and sound, and that 2021 does actually show improvements on the disaster zone of 2020.

Bah Humbug

…I feel like I am turning into the Grinch. Work this weekend was horrible, and I have so many things that have made me so angry. Things that are really challenging my belief in my fellow man.

  • If you’re feeling sick during these times – with flu like symptoms – get the damn test done. Even if you don’t think it’s possible. Especially if you are a health care professional and are seeing patients.
  • If you have tested positive, isolate, damnit. Don’t go to your daughter’s wedding sans mask and greet guests with gay  abandon!
  • If you’re feeling grotty, get tested, don’t host your inappropriately distanced baby shower first, spreading your germs to all your friends and family, before you get tested. There can always be another tea party, there may not be a granny at the next one…
  • If you come to hospital and are struggling to breath and your baby is showing signs of compromise, do believe us when we tell you you most likely have Covid and that we need to admit you for both your and your baby’s health. Don’t, for the love of all things holy, tell us you need to take care of your 2 children at home (when you should be isolating) and leave against medical advice!
  • After your positive test results come in, do self isolate for the appropriate amount of time – 10 days minimum people! Don’t go back to your busy medical practice workplace earlier saying that you feel fine!

Ugh, I am really starting to not like people very much at all!

(All of the above scenarios may or may not be real, and may or may not all have happened in the last 2 weeks)