Friday, June 27, 2008

My visit to the Zoo!

Mel and I

Today I was fortunate enough to visit the Johannesburg Zoo, as part of our Johannesburg Region A Metro Rehab Department's Team Building... (*phew* - What a mouthful!) Anyway, this was only the SECOND time in my entire 22 1/2 years of existence that I had the opportunity to visit a zoo (the last time was in 1997, when I was 12 to celebrate my nephew's birthday)!

I don't wanna say a lot about the zoo itself, more about the experience. I look at those animals and I feel VERY small compared to them - have you EVER seen the size a rhinoceros grows to?! And the whole time I was there, I kept on thinking how awesome the LORD is to have made all of these majestic animals. GOD truly has a very vivid imagination. And it was also interesting to note that each antelope / mammal species had its own bird accompanying it in the encampment. I found it awesome how these animals could live in such peace with each other, complete balance.

I think my most exciting experience was getting the chance to see a polar bear in real life, as well as the rhinoceros and hippopotamus. They are so huge, and it is awesome to think that GOD provides for them.

So anyway, here follows a few photos of my day at the zoo. Hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I enjoyed taking this pictures!

Check out the little squirrel on the right of the rhino.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

People never cease to amaze me!

This week has so far been rather challenging and yet rewarding in its own way. I've had to deal with patients not rocking up for treatment, although in their defense I must add that it was extremely cold today. Not only that, but our Rehab Dept is hosting a Down Syndrome Awareness Day tomorrow, and the dates given to people were wrong up until yesterday due to poor communication / emails being deleted by non-participating parties, etc. Now I'm waiting to see who will pitch for our awareness day tomorrow.

Right now I'm also sitting here and WISHING that the stupid Jetta (my parents' car that they borrowed to me during my studies) would get sorted out so that I could get it back to my parents, 120km from where I stay. I'm thinking up the most elaborate schemes to get rid of this car, but we'll see if I can manage to organise any of these schemes.

Besides for all these complaints, I do have highlights in my week (including last week) so far:
1. I met an extraordinary woman, Betta, who turned 60 about a week ago. But what makes her really amazing is that she is now attending adult / afternoon school to learn how to read, write and calculate (on paper)! She attends these classes on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays for 2 hours at a time (from 15H00 - 17H00). This was really cool to me, and she says that it is important to know how to use an ATM, and have the literary ability to read the ATM-screen. I'm very happy for this woman who decided to make a change in her life!

2. One of my very hyperactive kiddies came for treatment yesterday. Now this kid has Cerebral Palsy of the spastic, hemiplegic (right side) type. However, if you are not watching closely, you would just thought that he is clumsy, not disabled... I guess in his mind he ISN'T disabled, as he is able to dress and feed himself - quite a feat at 4 years of age. It just comes to show what an influence parents' attitude has on a child's "normal" development!

3. I had to babysit my 3rd brother's children last night (I'm one of 6 children, of whom myself and 3 other siblings reside in Jo'burg). I got there, and as always my nephews and niece had a "show" prepared for me. Now let me tell you, these shows are SUPER cute! We had an almost-ventriloquist, an acrobat, a stand-up comedian (I was included in the show...not that I'm that good at comedy), and dancers. What a show ... and all in the confines of these kiddies' bedroom! I cracked myself at these kids, and they just absolutely made my day.

Now what I wanna ask is, how many of us used to put on "shows" that our parents, and whomever we could get hold of, had to watch? I remember that my youngest brother and I had little sketches for the rest of the family. The point is, how many of us still encourage fantasy play in our children, nieces, nephews or kids that we are close to? I know that as an OT I am constantly trying to convince my patients (most of whom are kids between ages 1 - 8 years) that a box can be anything from a taxi to a conveyor-belt, and therefore trying to encourage fantasy play. It is awesome to see a child lose him/herself and suspend reality for a good dose of a world so fantastic, adults can't even dream it up. But enough of this...

I just had some thoughts, complaints and amazing moments to share today... Wait... one more complaint. My mother-in-law just called to say that we have incurred a R400 speeding fine, which sounds really dodgy! Oh well, will survive husband says that he will contest the fine. There goes my day!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Friends that are worth sticking with... and a Hubby-update

Last night I asked one of my very special friends to join me for church. She was immediately excited and we started working out the logistics of such a visit (since she stays about 35km away from me). I went to pick her up, but 10 minutes before I reached her house, the adrenalin already started pumping. By the time I got there, I was so excited that my legs felt like jelly and driving was somewhat of a struggle for me!

Anyway, went to church (where the minister had prepared an awesome sermon), got back home and started chatting. But you see, this is not just any kind of friend, this is like my spiritual sister... I love her so much! And her family has accepted me to be one of their own...which helped in my first year of study in a new, strange city! We ended up eating LOTS of cake at home (the best chocolate-fudge cake I've EVER eaten), and just chatting the evening away. Finally, at 22H00, we decided that maybe it is time that I returned to my (still-in-pain) husband.

The point that I am trying to make here, is this: Although I don't get to see this friend very often as she is currently studying away from home (at Pretoria University) and I'm working my butt off at Orange Farm, we really make an effort to get together. And when we do get together, my husband is wise enough to know that I will be home late...very late!

Because friends like these are hard to come by, and I am fortunate to say that I have quite a few friends who gets my adrenalin pumping without seeing them, and who makes friendship worth fighting for. I love all my friends dearly, and it really helps to know that we will always be able to pray together as much as we play together and chat together. 'Cause God is the center of our friendship, and you don't get a better foundation than Him!

* * * * *

About my hubby: He was in theater for a mere hour before returning to his hospital room. By 18H00 on the day of his surgery, we were on our way home - JUST in time for him to watch 7de Laan. He is doing well, although still experiencing a lot of pain. As I am writing this (at 08H30 in the morning) he is sleeping, because being awake just holds too much aches and pains. But we are surviving this (Synap Forte is the BEST painkillers EVER!), and fortunately he has no bruising whatsoever and the swelling has subsided considerably.

He will be returning to work tomorrow (I really feel for him, the poor dude!), but we believe that he will be better than ever in performing a good job.

I will probably blog later this week...but for now I'm signing off to go and clean up and tidy my house, as this is a public holiday and these are hard to come by!


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A nurse for a wife and a creative OT at work

Last week Thursday / Friday (not sure which), my husband came home from work complaining of toothache. He ends up not being able to sleep the ENTIRE weekend because of this serious toothache...and when he woke up on Sunday morning his right side of his face (at the glands) was VERY swollen!

So I tell him that he needs to go and see a dentist on Monday to sort out whatever is going on. I give him our medical aid membership card, my library card (whilst he's at it, he might as well renew my library books), some money (for my library books' fines) and my bank card.

On Monday morning at 11h00 he calls me to tell me that he has a problem...he has to go and see a specialist 'cause the dentist won't be of any help. He goes to the specialist (a maxillofacial and oral surgeon) in a pr
ivate clinic (oh my starts the testing of our medical aid benefits). This specialist informs him that he has an abscess or something that is causing the root of one of his back-teeth to infect the rest of the jawbone and surrounding gums. Not too good, but what's worse he needs urgent surgery to remove this tooth. And while they're at it, might as well remove to of his left wisdom teeth which is causing a misalignment of the rest of his teeth.

By now I'm really worrying, 'cause we need pre-authorisation, plus my husband is in immense pain and I can't really do anything about it. When I got home last night, it was with great relief that I heard that I only need to feed him (so he can take his antibiotics and pain meds) and he is as happy as can be! Double woopy for me!

So I've been trying to nurse him back to
health, or a better state of being. He is doing all right, but requires a slight increase in TLC. I've actually even done the WHOLE week's washing to limit stress experienced by I just have to wash the dishes (UGH!).

Regarding my cr
eative OT-side...I had the opportunity to make a child a car (not just any car, a MERC!) from waste, and educate his mother on how waste materials can be used to make functional, strong and stimulating toys. So I thought I would include some photos on what the car looks like... I'm rather proud! The child was also thrilled with his "imoto" as the last picture shows.

The Toy Car
A convertible "nogal"!
From behind

So all in all my day turned out allright, even though we're still waiting for pre-authorisation for the surgery on Thursday... But all's well that ends well!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Sick workshop attendee

Yesterday I was fortunate enough to develop a nice old case of FLU! Now I'm slightly stuck between a rock and a hard place, as I have to attend a Wound Care Workshop (by Johnson & Johnson). Wanna know why? Their conditions state: This course is offered at no cost to attendees, HOWEVER, cancellations must be received in writing at least 3 working days prior to date of course otherwise a catering fee of R100 will be payable by you.

Okay, so I have spilled my guts (figuratively speaking) and have to go take a bath half past five (I'm usually still asleep now...) in the morning. This is in order for me to miss traffic to Midrand and still have enough time to find the place. least there's food that I can look forward to!

So ciao for now, hope to have more positive blog posts in the near future.