It has been a whirlwind, bumper car, roller coaster, loop de loop couple of months!
First Ma-in-law became ill and just got worse. After 3 weeks she developed pneumonia too – not good for an immobile 87 year old. We thought she’d be leaving us any day. I postponed my Dream Trip. She rallied round and I finally left 12 days later.
The costs involved in changing flights, tours and hotels were enough to have bought a 2nd airticket! No, I didn’t have travel insurance! NEVER again!
7 weeks before I left I had surgery on my left wrist for huge ganglions. The nerve was entrapped in the mess and necessitated a second incision to repair. Bone had become damaged too and that had to be removed, so it ended up being far more than bargained for! However it was successful, and I’m recovering well. I had to wear a removable splint to drive, and during travel with my suitcases, for protection.
A week after the surgery, I fell while taking the Grandies for a walk around the farmstead. I thought I’d broken my ankle. I was devastated at the thought of cancelling my trip, and put on a brave face. It was a bad sprain. I had very little time to rest it and it just swelled and hurt badly. I finally had xrays 2 weeks later, relieved when no fracture was found. RICE I was advised: Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate. I managed Compress ok, but little of the other 3. The night before I left, I fell over a keyboard that jumped out of nowhere. Agony! Hubby said to cancel, I gritted my teeth and insisted I was fine! I’ve waited all my life for this!
Two flights and a bus trip later – 32 hours after leaving home, I lay down on my hotel bed and sobbed. My ankle looked like a rugby ball! I laid a cold damp towel over it and elevated it by putting a pillow on my case. 2 hours later I went to get anti-inflammatories; and a bigger ankle support from a chemist. I’d pulled the other off about 8 hours before, my foot was starting to go blue. They advised me to have it seen to. Hmmmph, yeah right!
I spent the next two days on the open-top tour bus trying to see as much as I could.
The next 2 1/2 weeks were fabuliciously fantasmagorical! I refused to allow my foot interfere as far as possible! But it did, and some days had to be cut short due to swelling and pain. But it was glorious (posts to follow!) and better than I’d hoped!
Tuesday, the day before my 10 day tour of Ireland, was spent packing and resting my foot. I’d managed to fall down the stairs, and my foot was going crazy again!
At lunchtime my Father-in-law passed away. My husband messaged me to say he’d gone to sleep after breakfast and when they came to rouse him for lunch he had virtually no pulse and was only taking a few shallow breaths. They pushed Mom-in-laws bed next to his and helped her hold him in her arms. Hubby and our youngest son were there when he stopped breathing a little while later.
The rest of the day was a frenzy of cancelling my tours, hotel, trains, ferries, letting people know, arranging a flight home, etc.
I could only get there on Friday, and we went straight to the home so I could see Mom. The funeral was on Monday.
The family and friends were wonderful, and it was good to see so many of them, despite the circumstances.
The next week was a mixture of being with Mom, trying to RICE the foot and move.
My son, Daddy of the Grandies, and his new love, moved home to manage the farm the day before I left on my trip.
There was mixed-up everything from one end of the house to another! We also had another 6 people in the house for the funeral. 12 people in total, amidst moving chaos! Aarrgghh!
The biggest challenge was linen, I just threw stuff on beds and apologised that not everything matched. Being family, they didn’t care.
Sunday following the funeral 5 went back home, making things more manageable.
Sunday morning I also received a phone call from a dear friend to say his ex-partner, a very close friend of mine, had been missing since Thursday at 7am. P-H had gone for a jog, leaving his work clothes neatly folded on his bed.
I was devastated, it was all too much, too soon.
My brother-in-law went back to England on Tuesday night. Terribly hard to say goodbye, he and the family plan to come for 10 days over Christmas, but will they see Mom again? She is so frail now, she can’t move at all, and has to be helped with everything. We thought she’d go first. What a shock. Even at their age, you are not prepared when one dies.
We finally had a break-through with P-H on Wednesday. The police had informed us that 3000 was withdrawn from his account at Cape Town station the morning of his disappearance, but they would not release the security video for some reason. Finally after some hysteria they allowed his housemate and ex-partner to see it. He withdrew the money, bought a train ticket and boarded the train carrying two bags! WTF!
Nothing could surprise or shock any of us more! It appears he has opted out of his life! Will we ever know why? Or why he deeply hurt so many who love him dearly. He was brought up in an orphanage, WE are his family! It’s so far beyond our collective understanding!
Wednesday, I went to the doctor. To say he hauled me over the coals … More xrays, thank goodness no fracture. It’s either torn ligament/s or tendinitis. I’m seeing my Orthopedic Surgeon next Thursday for a final check-up on the wrist and I am to give him the xrays and my story.
I chose not to be put in plaster of Paris – it is hugely hot right now. I’ve opted for crutches and rest. Absolutely no weight-bearing on the foot, and the crutches hurt my wrist anyway. I’m essentially in bed.
I can’t think of a place I’d prefer to be.
Does anyone else have a fairground life? Yes, of course, so many of you do. But I’d really appreciate some boredom and nothingness for a good long while!
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