Charlie's Bird

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

Archive for work


…Freaking hell, it’s been busy! That is the single reason I didn’t get to post yesterday, I did not touch sides! Work was fully booked, I rushed off to an appointment with the biokinetesist; and then had to leave that early to deliver a baby, which made me late for my afternoon in the rooms… Yoh! Anyway…

So, I had a reasonable weekend. Reasonable because I got some chores done, but not great – all my work happened after hours (the phone really felt like it never stopped ringing) and I did not sleep very well. Which meant that my runs were impacted… One day when I am big, maybe I won’t have to do calls and I will actually sleep like a reasonable person. Who am I kidding? After years of squonky sleep patterns I suspect it will never be normal… A girl can dream. (no, wait, you need to sleep to dream, scratch that!)

So on Friday night, a group of us are hosting a Wild Women on the Run fundraiser – the local surf lifesaving club have offered their venue and we are hosting a movie night. Bring a cushion or a blanket and enjoy a flick, eating a gourmet burger or boerie roll, with some sweet treats for dessert. We hope it will be a roaring success! But it does mean that I am busy getting things organised – 4 batches of fudge are made, some biscuits are made that need icing this evening; the girls and I will get together to package and make some cupcakes and just finalise everything. Phew!



Family and Holidays

…and just like that, all good things come to an end. The holiday is over, all the friends and family have left and Thandi goes back to school on Wednesday. Tragic really!

The holidays have been good. Good to see friends and family, good to take a little time out, but, in their own way, some stressors too.

Work over Christmas was very busy – lots of babies, lots of heartache and some craziness thrown in for good measure! There was one baby born on Christmas Day; and such a fun delivery! It was a privilege to be involved. But, as I mentioned I had more than my fair share of tragic cases too – twins born too soon to stand a chance, miscarriages after long awaited pregnancies; my heart did break a little more this year. But that is the nature of my role, it isn’t always J&J babies and roses…

On the friends and family side, it was busy! My brothers arrived over the weekend of the 22nd with their respective families; and then our German friends arrived on the 23rd, just in time for one of those big fat crazy family Christmas lunches. It was noisy, it was hot, it was messy, there was tinsel and ribbons and confetti crackers. Totally crazy! The feast was good; the gifts appreciated and the love palpable!


The aftermath of Christmas meant lots of cleaning and washing! Thankfully, my fairies stepped in and lent hands, and my house survived the chaos! In between trips to the office, we had the chance to visit some friends staying just out of town – good to catch up, good to connect on different grounds.

On the 29th we headed, with our German friends and our local friends, to Blanco, a fun guest farm near Tarkastad (very rural Eastern Cape). What an experience. There are families who have been coming to Blanco for over 50 years, and they keep returning; It felt like we became part of a very special family while we were there. The kids had a ball – horse riding, swimming, riding bicycles, playing tennis, jumping on trampolines, playing card games – all the things that a good holiday requires. The grown ups slept, swam, ran and walked, drank good SA wine and enjoyed some craft gins! All essential when the temperature hits the upper 30’s! One of my favourite things about Blanco is the compulsory tractor ride for all the children in the afternoon; what this means is the adults all get an afternoon kip! Yay! A very festive New Years party happened – with the theme being announced the night before – Blanco Burn – so the 31st saw all the guests traipsing through parka doing some shopping. Our best buys came form the Co-op! And we won the best dressed table!

A s the dust settled on the party, it was time to head home and back to reality – I did some deliveries, saw some patients and then we celebrated through the weekend, ending with a magnificent party at friends yesterday, to wish our germans farewell. Or rather, as they say in Afrikaans, Totsiens (Until seeing).

It was a holiday where I know we made some awesome memories with our children – cookie decorating with the family was special too; crazy uncles in the pool; endless rounds of ‘Would you rather?’; spontaneous dance parties and swimming with the moms (“But G, you even got your hair wet today!” said one little girl to her mom!) memories that I hope my girl will carry in her heart…

Taking back

…I’m trying, I’m really trying to take back some of me.

After 3 days of no running – damn the rain (and no, I really couldn’t go to the gym and run there), I ran this morning, and then I am running an experiment on myself – I have given myself a vitamin infusion. So my Genius Nurse put up a drip and ran in the bag of vitamins. Im hoping I will feel energised and stronger for it. I’m feeling quite ‘hyped’ now – a mix between that post run endorphin feeling and too much coffee, but in a good way!

This afternoon after finishing my cases in theatre, I will head off or an anti ageing facial treatment thing – I’m not convinced its going to be divine and relaxing, but looking younger will make me happy, then I’m off to the chiro – I put my hip out again; and then its art class tonight.

So, you see, since an actual break is 5 weeks away, I am trying to do what I can.

Tears and fears

…I fear what I am becoming. I cannot end each day in a flood of tears, sobbing in the car on the way home, so that my daughter doesn’t see my tears.

(I know the solutions, I understand my predicament, but I cannot currently implement any of the solutions like taking a break.)

Holiday dreaming

…after a patient saw me yesterday and told me I’m looking 10 years older than the last time she saw me 6 weeks ago, I thought about things.

Yes, I am doing some hectic skin treatments at the moment which are making my skin a bit unhappy. And it may be time for some more botox. I was post weekend on call, so I was justifiably tired; and I am running up a storm currently. I have also lost a little bit of weight, so maybe the wrinkles are showing a bit more than normal.

But in truth, I know I need a break.

I haven’t had any significant time off work since we went to Scotland last year. Health wise I have had a rough year. The stress of becoming senior partner and all its accompanying responsibilities, as I mentioned yesterday, are weighing me down.

So, it’s time to dream and plan… any suggestions?

Working weekend

…and we sang Happy Birthday to 3 babies! I have to concede that I am tired!

I’ve had some tough times this last week – I have unhappy staff, and since I am now senior partner, this is weighing heavily on me. We, the doctors have made a decision overriding something they had always done, and now I have staff who feel like we have gone behind their backs, changed things that didn’t need changing; and upset their comfort zones. I am exhausted by it, stressed out, because I hate the unhappiness; but also resolute in knowing I have made a good decision. The defiant look in their eyes – I feel a bit like that hated teacher at school, who everyone was united in their dislike of – and there is a definite culture of blame. I am trying to put out fires, trying to restore happiness; and it feels like they do not want any restoration. The responsibility is a burden. Even though I have my new PA, who I adore, I am still stressed by all the things that need doing.

And all I really want is a break…


…this morning I was listening to a Ted talk, from the Sincerely, X series – about a doctor who feels she made a mistake when she was burnt out – not something huge like a drug error or operating on the wrong limb etc; but something small. And she has beaten herself up about it over many years. I know I feel the same often. One never judges oneself on the things that go well, the life that is saved; because that is what I, as a doctor is supposed to do; but we judge ourselves on the things that go wrong.

The interviewer, (this is a different kind of TED talk) commented that she is astounded to what standard this doctor holds herself; far higher than most other professional people she has met; and it made me wonder why? Because I am the same – my husband always moans that my standards are way to high; that the worst critic is myself, and that I really do expect way too much from myself. And I wonder – is it something in our training? Is it the nature of our work – if we do make mistakes we may cause suffering? Or is it the nature of the person who becomes a doctor?

Some thought provocation….