We Live in Moving Times

We Live in Moving Times

Saturday 5 March 4 years 6 months on … ADVANTAGE ED

So much has happened lately that it has often been difficult to find time to document all the events. To crown it all, there have been my personal battles with the CBD and myself, the medication and the side-effects and my ongoing tiredness that have often just kept me away from writing. And, then sometimes, my memory just leaves me in the lurch – and things that I have been doing for years on the computer just suddenly evade me. “Now how do I make capital letter …?”

The last two weeks have seen considerable movement health-wise to the positive side. I seem to have found the right balance with the medication – at least for now!

But talking about moving things – there has been a string of occurrences worldwide over the last few months that need mention. The world seems to have gone mad!

We have witnessed snow storms all over the Northern Hemisphere that brought movement to a halt on numerous occasions. I was lucky to get out of Dublin just at the right time early in December – thousands others were not so fortunate.

There have been numerous floods in South America, Australia, South Africa – torrents of water moving everything in its way, including people and property, on its path to the sea. (And yet, ironically, we here in the Eastern Cape still buckle under the ravishing effects of a prolonged drought. The only movement here is that downward movement in our reservoirs, and if we don’t get rain soon, there is only sufficient water to see us through to the end of this year!)

Large fires have moved through areas of California and Australia destroying homes and hectares of land and vegetation.

Popular movement in the political world has seen life-long leaders, despots and dictators moved out from their positions of power, abuse and absolute authority. First there was Tunisia, then Egypt, then Libya and a number of other North African and Arab states. This movement continues daily and one can only wonder when it will spread to Zimbabwe and where it will stop.

Of course, all this political movement in the oil-rich lands of the world has led to an incredible upward movement in the price of petrol with warnings that we could see prices double if this political turmoil is not contained soon.

And this political turmoil leads to the millions of African refugees moving into our country that has great difficulty in sustaining itself and our own population! And, as we see a continuing downward movement in our own security, education, health services and infrastructure, we also see so many of our countrymen, friends and family continue moving to other parts of the world.

Therefore, when we witness the wrath of the earth itself, shaking and moving in the form of earthquakes especially in Christchurch, New Zealand this past week, it strikes home because it involves and touches those nearest and dearest to us. Luckily, my sister, sister-in-law and cousins were not directly affected, but Sean’s school mate Curtly Diesel who left for Christchurch just weeks ago to stooge there, was having lunch but three blocks away from the devastated city centre and the Christchurch Cathedral that we saw so often on TV news here! Luckily, physically, he was not hurt. Mentally, it takes a while to recover from the violent movement of what we consider our solid foundations.

I still remember the physical and mental effects of the 7-odd Richter scale earthquake that moved the earth and woke us up at 10h29 on 29 September 1969 in the Western Cape (and we were in The Strand some 150 km from the epicentre of that earthquake at Ceres and Tulbagh.)       

Movement in the fields of medical science was the topic of a talk by Dr Norman Doidge that I attended last week. He researches the brain and has written a book about neuroplasticity – the ability of the brain and its cells to adapt, recover and renew. There were so many things that I could relate to that are so particular to my illness and my experiences – my left hand that worked so well whilst my rand arm was in a sling after I fell and broke my elbow; my left paralysed fingers that will automatically “kick in” when I play the piano; the walking in London and Dublin that rejuvenated me! I have included links to his website on my web page www.edlunnon.co.za.  

Unfortunately, I had to discontinue my discussion with him because I had been invited to a book launch by Belinda Walton at Collegiate High and was running late. (I wanted to go as I knew her brothers Adrian and Andrew from school days and spent many hours teaching Adrian extra maths in the hostel.)

Belinda was severely injured in a car accident 15 years ago and, despite the odds against her, has made the most amazing strides on her continuing road to recovery.  She has written a book BELINDA that details her journey of the last fifteen years. What courage! What determination! What resolve!

That gathering was possibly the most moving experience of recent times. There are so many of her feelings and situation as a handicapped person that I am starting to understand. I certainly have come to realise that we and our children are not exposed or properly educated on interacting with disabled people.

It takes situations such as Belinda’s to bring home the reality to me (and to many people) just how fortunate one is. As you look around you, there are always people in so much greater distress and need than yourself. It came as a wake-up call to me to realize just how fortunate I am! Belinda’s youth and life were taken away in the prime of her years – I have been so fortunate to have lived (and still do to a large extent) a very full and rewarding life.

Such as Sunday that saw us back at the Sundays River for the swimming of the Redhouse River Mile. The organisers have moved the Redhouse River Mile to Sundays River.  We used to have a sort of annual gathering braai at the Colliers at Redhouse on the day of the Mile, but that has all changed now that they have moved the swim to the Sundays River – supposedly because of the high bacterial levels in the Swartkops River.

John and Wendy Clarke loaned us their boat and we spent a lovely day in magnificent weather  – picnicking on the river bank and watching the thousands of people moving up with the incoming tide and swimming that mile – not for the faint-hearted! A seething mass of moving people …

And this weekend, the family moved in different directions – Pera was asked to speak to a mothers’ conference about MOTHERING. So off she went to some or other game farm for the weekend; Sean has joined the NSRI so he had to do weekend duties at the PE Harbour; Phillip was going to friends.

Well, that left me … so I decided to move off to St Francis Bay. It’s always good for the soul just to relax at the river, meet up with friends and acquaintances like Len, Barry, Charles and Julie, Pat and Louis … and visit the Porthole, Legends and the Trat! The pizzas are still very good!

And, of course, at this time of the year there is not much movement in the laid-back village other than the water in the canals that moves up and down with the tides. So, I get to finish reading BELINDA, bearing in mind that reading is becoming more and more difficult for me. I have to read each page a few times before it sinks in, and with this book, I also have to stop regularly to wipe away the tears …

We surely live in moving times …

 

Health-Meter

Cognitive Excellent===================Average============================Poor
Memory (Short) ************************************
Executive function *************************************
Spelling *****************************
Figures ****************************************
  Physical functions
Left hand/arm *******************************************************
Left leg/foot *******************************************
Right hand/arm **********************************
Right leg/foot *
Lungs *******
Swallowing *
Spasms –left side *************************************
Spasms –right side *

Red stars = Deterioration / Green stars = Improvement from previous week