Sunday, July 31, 2022

Craving Indian food!


I’ve been in this position for a week now. I lie down or sit up - using a button to adjust the bed when I need to eat something or drink water. 

I could write a post about every nurse who has helped me this week - Flavia, Anastasia, Julia, Maria, Wana, Γ‡em, Monica and more. And I may still do that. I think I would have been in a different mental state had it not been for the warmth of the people around me. I told a nurse now that she’s so kind and she told me that that I am too and that her colleagues love me. πŸ₯°

My thrombosis injections are now administered in my stomach instead of the leg. The nurses are lenient with my husband staying a little after visiting hours, especially now that I’m alone in the room. My energy was low this this afternoon so we went for a stroll in the wheelchair in the passage - just to be out of the room. It hurts when I sit on the wheelchair and the nurse explained it’s because the leg is elevated most of the time, when I’m in a sitting position the blood flows down to the foot - causing a bit of discomfort. 

I have so many little stories I still want to share on here. Sharing my experience - all of it, is helping me a lot. I never thought I’d talk about me sitting naked on a toilet. Well - there are a lot do things I have experienced this week which has been different, but a learning experience.

I have been day dreaming of my mum’s dhal, rice, dhokra, veg biryani, sojji and more. My hubby managed to find an Indian place near the hospital and went and got me samosas. They were nothing like the samosas of my kakis in East London!! But the the flavour was satisfying πŸ˜‹

I was happy to join virtual mandir (temple) this evening. I didn’t mind sharing a room with the older lady, but I’m glad that I have my own bathroom now and that I can listen to my bhajans (devotional music) as I fall asleep. 

I am still reading all my birthday wishes - thank you so much. I really feel the love. πŸ’

LOOK at me in a wheelchair!

I slept through the night and when I realized it’s Sunday morning, I had a sudden longing of being at my parents’ home having coffee & koeksisters in my PJs. 

I’ve just been to the bathroom for my morning rituals. If, last week, you told me I’d be sitting naked on a loo weeing while being watched, I would have told you you’re crazy. But as my mum told me last night: “When you’re in pain you really don’t care who sees what.”

My left hand is bandaged because of the drip so I make the best with my right hand. Brushed my teeth, cleansed, toned and moisturized, even did a little wash down of my body. The nurse gave me a fresh gown and I feel more energized than I did yesterday.

As I sat over the sink looking at my reflection, I went from: “Look at me in a wheelchair ☹️” to “LOOK at me in a wheelchair - still keeping up with my hygiene and skincare routine during this time πŸ˜€”.
While writing this, two nurses came in and cut the bandage open. My eyes were closed taking deep breaths. 

“Real good!” she said. 

My heart was racing as I lay there, repeating: 
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. πŸ™πŸΌπŸ¦‹πŸ’™

Saturday, July 30, 2022

Today was tough

Today was tough. I was in pain and very uncomfortable. I wasn’t sure how to position my leg when lying down. 

The side effects of medication & anesthesia on one’s tummy is like a curse. I wake up thinking I’m going to eat well but I can barely finish a small yoghurt. My throat hurts from the pipe they inserted during surgery. Tummy muscles feel strained from pulling my body weight up using the railing above my bed.

I had two little outings today - wheeled down to X-rays in my bed & then on the wheelchair in the passage for a change of scenery from the room.

I tire quickly. Moving my body from the bed to the wheelchair, I need a moment before thinking of the next move I have to make. Moving from the wheelchair to the toilet is challenging with the heavy boot. Trying to be good with my water intake, but conscious that I’d need the loo.

There are two patients on the floor who cry out in pain - it’s so hard hearing this. πŸ₯Ί I can’t express the deep admiration I have for nurses.

I pray tomorrow is better. πŸ™πŸΌπŸ¦‹

Friday, July 29, 2022

My birthday op

As they wheeled me from the room around noon yesterday, I had no doubt that my Dad was with me. I imagined him hovering over my left shoulder with his hand on my forehead.

I was chanting the Gaytri Mantra with my eyes closed the entire time, unless I was asked something or when I had to shift from the bed to the one in the operating room.

Many people did their best to make me smile, knowing it was my birthday. The kind eyes, or a gentle stroke on my cheek - all from strangers - helped me feel less afraid.

Post-surgery: when I came around and they told me I could see my hubby in an hour, I asked if they could put me back to sleep until then. I don’t even know what I was saying. πŸ˜… 

When I saw the familiar face of the nurse who’d come to collect me, I was tearful. “Maria! I’m so happy to see you!”

Only back at the room, I realized that it was after 6pm. Apparently, there was an emergency op before mine. The birthday flowers and cake in my room warmed my heart, but I had no appetite. All I wanted was water and something to soothe my dry lips.

I now have a heavy boot on my left foot. The nurse helped me with a drip for pain relief. When I needed the bathroom, I quickly learned that getting up from the bed was different to the other times with the mental entrapment. I’m slower and weaker, but that’s okay.

I’ve had to let go of many inhibitions this week. I’ve gone to the loo in front of people, needed help changing my underwear…and more.

This boot is a new sensation. It’s heavy and uncomfortable and I was unable to sleep last night.

I am in awe of the level of trust we put into medical staff when we’re this vulnerable. From administering medication to being in surgery under anesthetic. Not forgetting the trust I have in my own body to heal - with love and patience.

It's my birthday!

Good morning! πŸ™πŸΌ

My second surgery falls on my birthday.

What a gift of healing!

My birthday falls on the first day of Shravan (fasting month). What a blessing!

This morning, using my right foot, I managed to push myself on the wheelchair from the bathroom to get my phone out of the charger. I was talking to my brother and just felt so emotional and burst into tears. I was also feeling  overwhelmed by the amount of messages and love I’ve received this morning.

The surgeon walked in and said I need to be lying down with my leg elevated. But then he asked me why I’m emotional? Really?! 😳

So here I am - back on my back. They were unsure if the surgery would go through because there is still swelling, so my leg is raised and I’m waiting for the nurse to bring some ice. 

Pic: Chocolates and cookies that I gifted to the nurses and doctors this morning. πŸŽ‚πŸŽˆπŸ₯🎁

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Mini manicure today

I’ve been sending love and energy to my left ankle today.

The nurses have been so kind to me and I try my best to greet them by name. The cleaning lady, Sara, also asks me in the morning if I’d eaten my breakfast. 

The physio visited me today and helped me bend my knee and move my toes. I need to do this by myself -  it feels like proper exercise.

I’m craving all kinds of food - mostly my mum’s: from sojji porridge to dhokra and now veg biryani. 

Today’s highlight: Mini manicure (without colour of course) cleaned my brows and put on a Vitamin C face mask. I was bubbly & chirpy…until our freshening-up rituals before visiting hours were over. 

What a humbling experience. Needing help putting hospital underwear on and then sitting on the wheelchair to brush my teeth, I burst into tears. I remind myself that this is temporary. ✨

Maria, one of the nurses, assured me that doctors perform this surgery daily - so it’s going to be fine for me.

I’m alone in the room tonight. It’s started thundering, lightning and raining - I asked that they leave my door open. I’ve just taken a calming tablet for the night & listening to devotional music.

I need only positivity running through me ahead of my second surgery tomorrow (around noon, they said).

Pic: My view inside vs outside. 

And… my little portable beauty kit. πŸ’…πŸΌ

My happy place

Good morning πŸ™πŸΌ

Apart from realizing it’s time to slow down, it’s also being conscious of the present. 

Knowing that I need to hold on to the right arm rest of the wheelchair when moving off the bed. 

Carefully balancing as I pull up (surprisingly comfortable) hospital underwear with one hand. 

The nurse cleaned and disinfected my ankle. It burnt a bit but she kept reminding me to breathe. The ice pack helps too and they have elevated the bottom of the bed which helps with circulation.

I think today’s goal will be to focus on deep breathing and visualization. I’ve been having flashbacks. It happened after my car accident in 2015 (not a drop of blood or broken bone, but the car was a write off).

It’s like I’m having an outer body experience watching the accident happen in slow motion. Bizarre feeling which induces fear and anxiety. 

When that happens, I go back to a happy place/moment. I’ve chosen Paternoster - 1 January 2019. Smelling the ocean, hearing the squawking seagulls, feeling the sun on my back, the soft sand between my toes. Tasting the best Margarita for dinner. Wow - even writing this description slowed down my breathing.

Doctors have just made their rounds and confirmed that my surgery will be tomorrow. 

I couldn’t ask for a better birthday gift than healing! ❤️‍πŸ©ΉπŸŽ‚πŸŽπŸŽˆ

Pic is from Mum. πŸ™πŸΌ Prayer is powerful and I appreciate each one.

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Finally, some fresh air!

Visiting hours are from 1pm so I try to keep my mind from wandering until then. I rest, but it’s not easy lying in one position on my back. And I have pipes connected to my ankle that drains any liquid - so movement is limited. 

I share a room with an older lady who’s going to rehab tomorrow. We speak different languages, so there isn’t much chatting except for a smile here and there and I give her a thumbs up when she moves without assistance.

I was emotional when my husband walked in this afternoon. I really felt like a drive and eating an ice cream somewhere with a beautiful view.

When the nurses said it was okay for me to go for a little “roll around” I didn’t hesitate…until we reached ground level to the canteen. 

When I saw how people were looking at my ankle with this metal entrapment, I asked hubby to get a sheet from the bed to keep it covered. Even I can’t bare looking at it. πŸ₯Ί

We went outside for a few minutes - blissful. 

And then we shared a Fanta. πŸ˜ƒ

We’ve developed a little bathroom and freshening-up routine before visiting hours are over. I wish I could have my hair washed and blow-dried, but for now, I’m grateful that I can still keep up with my daily skincare routine.

I just got an injection for thrombosis-prevention and they’re giving me a pill to relax for the evening. It’s really frightening when I accidentally catch a glimpse of it. I’ll listen to devotional music and just relax. 

Also, writing and sharing this experience is proving to be therapeutic. πŸ™πŸΌπŸ₯°


Almost a month ago, I tested covid positive - or as the lab results stated: “very strong positive” (translated).

Despite doctor’s instructions to rest, I continued pushing - going through busy days. I think this also prolonged my healing.

As I told my Mum: There’s literally nothing I can do now, but slow down. Surrender. πŸ™ŒπŸΌ

This photo is from the night before my mishap. Looking at it, I started to feel sad thinking of the “could haves and should haves”.

The mix of emotions is natural, but I’m going to think that I’m actually on holiday here. πŸ˜ƒ As the doctor told me now: “You can chill a bit.”

Of course I’d much rather be spending my birthday week elsewhere, but…it is what it is.

Resisting will slow down my healing, so onwards and upwards we go. ✨

What I’m looking forward to today?

For a change of scenery, a possible “roll around” the hospital in a wheelchair when my husband is here during visiting hours. πŸ˜„

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Have a break, have a KitKat

Today’s been a rough day with little energy. Grateful for pain meds that help with discomfort. 

I tried to eat a bit, but was craving chocolate.

I settled for a KitKat without realizing the irony. 😏

“Have a break, have a KitKat” ❤️‍🩹

I already have a win!

Good morning! πŸ™πŸΌ

Big milestone for me for this morning:

I managed to get myself off the bed, onto the wheelchair and to the bathroom without assistance from the nurse. 

The doctor just came to check up and he assured me that I’m young and will be okay. It’s really the small things that count: He took my hand and said, “You don’t need to be afraid.”

Thank you for all the kind and lovely messages coming my way. I appreciate them all! ❤️

Pic is my view when waking up after a few hours of sleep.

Monday, July 25, 2022

Keeping my gratitude list growing

Lying in this hospital bed is humbling. Wearing the hospital gown and underwear unable to move the way I do every day - without a second thought.

My left ankle was covered with a sheet this morning so I didn’t see what it looked like after last night’s operation. Instead, if the nurse needed to do something, I looked to my right - out the window. But the sheet is off now and I can’t avoid seeing this metal entrapment over my leg. I remind myself: it could have been worse. 

While I’m trying my best to look on the bright side, I won’t lie - it’s scary. πŸ₯Ί 

Even being wheeled around the hospital to x-rays and CT scans, I keep my eyes tightly shut, hands on my chest

I’ll just keep looking at the pretty clouds in the sky and keep that gratitude list growing. ✨

I broke my ankle!

Life threw me an unexpected curveball.  

Yesterday I slipped going downhill. I was rushed to hospital by ambulance and was told I broke my ankle. I’ve never broken a bone in my life. 

I was in pain, shock and terrified. I’m grateful to paramedics who knew this and were so kind to me.

I was operated on last night. And I need to stay at hospital for a week before having a second op. 😱

Just like that, one can be made so vulnerable when you find yourself needing assistance for basics - like the bathroom.

I couldn’t sleep last night. 

Feeling my Dad’s presence with me reminded me of what he often did. I counted my blessings as I tried navigating through through physical pain I’ve never felt before. ❤️‍🩹

Pic is my view from a zipped up stretcher in the ambulance. πŸ₯΄

Friday, July 15, 2022

Photo memories

This popped up in my phone memories today. 

15 July 2019.

Behind these smiles: Uncertainty, hope, sadness, and confusion. 

Just two days before this photo was taken, my Mum & I learned of Dad’s diagnosis.

This photo was taken a couple of minutes before my Dad & brother left for Cape Town to see a specialist. I still believe that the only reason we were able to smile was because of his positive attitude.

The pain of losing a parent is hard to describe. 


Thinking of my beloved Dad now - our guardian angel. 

πŸ•‰ Aum Shanti Shanti Shanti πŸ™πŸΌπŸͺ”