7 years 7 months ill …
Physical: Advantage CBD / Mental Deuce
I remember …
The Motor Neurone Disease Association of SA meeting at Old Grey Club.
We had a very touching and different meeting. Kasturi Pillay and her children came down to PE from Durban. Her matriculant daughter gave a talk on “Living with dad and MND.” Kasturi spoke afterwards and shared much insight on her journey and her young husband’s acceptance of his condition, and what he taught them as he journeyed with MND until his death at age 44.
I remember …
Being doubled booked for therapy on Wednesday and getting a free session on Thursday, and forgetting to go for my weekly beard trim at Grant’s …
I remember …
Watching Grey play rugby against Michaelhouse, narrowly winning by 10 – 7, getting caught up in the beer tent and just beating the rain downpour on the way home
I remember …
Heading off to the Bathurst Agricultural Show, staying at the Settlers Cottage circa 1821, eating at the Pig and Whistle, the Earthen, Lara’s Eatery, the Bathurst Arms, the nurseries, craft shops, and thanks to Tanya for the hospitality. It was great meeting up with so many familiar faces again!
I must remember …
The ABC, A Bathurst Country Affair is to follow in August over the Women’s Day weekend. More fun to come!
I remember …
As a kid, 6 April, a public holiday, was celebrated as Van Riebeeck Day – the day that Europeans under the leadership of Jan van Riebeeck from Holland first came to settle at the southern point of Africa. Bringing Christendom to Africa, some would say, and the beginning of our problems, others would say …
I remember …
Rushing home for the 10th Iron Man from Barry’s house at Villas Marinas on Marine Drive. I watched the first one back in 2005 when I was still well … how things have changed since then. And it got quite cool in the evening – watch the video:
I remember …
Oscar Pistorius taking the witness stand in his murder trial in Pretoria and Shrien Diwani arriving at the Cape Town High Court after fghting extradition in London for three and a half years now. I was in London in November 2010 when his wife was killed in Cape Town and the British press made South Africa look like a banana republic because of the murder!
I remember …
The Australians detecting the pings from the black boxes of the mystery disappearing Malaysia flight 370
See the latest on pieces of Malaysian missing Boeing
(c) E.C. Lunnon 2011
Tuesday 1 November 2011: 5 years 2 months on … Advantage CBD
Sunday morning Return to Port Elizabeth
(Plus a list of people to see and things to do – if time allowed!)
I have now, at last, inked in the gaps… the holiday diary is completed!
Day 9 – Sunday 9 October 2011
It was the time …
… For the holiday to end
… to pack up for oulaas (the last time)
… to return to Port Elizabeth
… to return to work and school and home
… for the Springboks to play Australia in the quarter-final of the World Cup
There was no TV set in our cottage, and hence we would not see the big game for which South Africa had been preparing for weeks now, and which would be watched by almost everyone in the country.
It was even scheduled on our itinerary … watch rugby over breakfast and then head home!
Such is the nature and hospitality of the people of the Koo, that when I asked the lady who had prepared our lunch on Saturday where we could watch the game, she immediately invited us (total strangers) to come and watch the game at their home on the farm next door.
However, Pera felt that we would be intruding, and would not go. I lost it again – both the opportunity to watch the game and my volatile temper.
But, it was not to be. And so we packed the car, left the Cottage at 07h30 and headed east: the R62 to Barrydale, then the Tradouw Pass through the Langeberg to Heidelberg where we joined the N2 and then straight on to Port Elizabeth. We would be back by about 14h00.
We listened to the game on Radio 2000 in the car. I enjoyed the passion and enthusiasm of the commentators who, unlike their TV counterparts, have to place the dots, join the dots, colour it in and paint the whole picture in order for the listener to know just what is happening on the field.
But this is mountainous terrain and I did not enjoy losing the signal every so often … and it always seemed to happen just at the wrong time!
So we went into the Tradouw Pass in the excited winning situation of 9 – 8! It’s a beautiful pass and one that meanders along the course of the river through the towering mountains on either side. I’m not sure we really noticed much.
And then we were
… out of our skins
… out of the Pass
… out of the signal-less Radio 2000 area
… and out of the World Cup!
Australia had scored a penalty whilst we had no signal.
It was 9 – 11 all over again – and, this time, not in New York, but in Wellington.
Who was to blame for this atrocity? – we could only earmark the referee!
The car became quiet. The world had ended and our holiday had ended.
(But not before we stopped for lunch in Plettenberg Bay. Why there? Because it was lunch time, as usual we were all hungry, and it’s a Lunnon tradition to stop for whatever meal at the Rod and Reel.)
However, tomorrow, the world would revert to normal and all would be the same again. Including the speeding fine:
Go to Jail. Go directly to JAIL. Do not pass GO. Do not collect R200. And just when you needed it most because, in fact, you’d spent it all on the holiday!
With grateful thanks for a wonderful holiday to:
Sebastian, our tour guide
Michelle, for allowing him to accompany us
Hannah, for not waking me up at night
PS This is the e-mail that started it all:
Plan of action for 7/8/9 October.
7 October 2011: Leave Strand early Friday morning so that we can do the Robertson wine route, will have lunch in between wine tasting, after lunch we will wine taste some more, After wine tasting we will make our way to the cottages just outside Montague,(www.oakguestcottages.co.za) where we will settle for the night. We can braai the evening.
8 October 2011: We can have a light breakfast, then make our way to the Protea farm for the Tractor ride at 10:00 after the ride we make our way to the potjie area which is on the farm for lunch.(http://www.proteafarm.co.za). Rest of the day we can relax, maybe do some sightseeing of Montagu.
9 October 2011: We can have breakfast in Montagu and say our Good bye’s……..
The amount you can transfer for the Two days including accommodation, Tractor and Potjie is into Michelle’s account.
Hope this is fine.
Nearer the time we can chat about the weeks arrangements.
♥ Home is Where the Heart Is ♥
Monday 5 September 2011: 5 years on … Advantage ED
September is the month of birthdays.
Today is my sister, Ingrid’s, birthday.
Next Tuesday 13 September would have been my father’s birthday.
I was born on Tuesday 18 September 1956 so Sunday 18 September 2011 is my 55th birthday
And, of course, this September is my 5th birthday with CBD – having first noticed strange symptoms in September of 2006.
I had first noticed that I was having difficulty typing on the computer keyboard with the ring finger and pinkie of my left hand. Then, I needed to hold my left hand with my right hand when I shaved.
The disease affected my left side first, and being left-handed, I noticed the problem early. I ignored it at first, thinking it was a re-occurrence of a herniated neck disc that I had experienced in 2000 (shortly after returning from Disney World in Orlando, Florida) and for which I then had surgery, fusing two discs with a piece of bone from my right hip.
Over the years I have had numerous operations – my hip is in my neck, and I have bone from my knee in my right big toe to “fix” a fracture I obtained during my military service in Oudtshoorn. I spent many weeks at the 2 Military Hospital in Wynberg,Cape Town.
But, it was on a September hunting trip that I started feeling the numbness in my right arm.
Sean and I had gone hunting with Gary Webb from Addo and Andrew Kettlewell, our plumber from Andrew’s Plumbers. Andrew and his family had decided to emigrate to Australia, and this was to be their last weekend in Africa. Andrew wanted to spend it with his son under the African sun in the African bush, and he invited Sean and I to accompany them. We had just bought our white diesel Peugeot and we drove the brand new car through the muddied gravel roads of the Kirkwood area. I remember not being too happy about that.
But it was a tremendous weekend – up in the mountains around Kirkwood. We slept in the hunting cottage and braaied on the Saturday evening as one does on hunting trips! Everything was perfect, except for my arm. I just kept quiet about it though.
And when we arrived home on the Sunday, 17 September – the day before my 50th birthday – Pera had prepared a surprise party and we braaied again, with everyone who had come round to celebrate.
That next week was the start of the 5 month journey visiting the medical fundi’s – the doctor, the chiropractor, the physiotherapist, the neurosurgeon, the neurologist, the MRI and CAT scans, and eventually Tygerberg Hospital and the diagnosis of corticalbasal degeneration.
I was told that I would, most probably, become severely incapacitated within three years and would die within five. There was a caveat though: “jokingly” I was told that if I made five years I would maybe consider coming back and suing the specialist for giving me the incorrect information, and for pain and suffering!
Well, it’s five years on:
Andrew, Carol and family are alive and well and living in Australia.
Ed is alive and not so well – but far from severely incapacitated or dead – and still living under the African Sun.
Sean now does the driving.
(Maybe I should call my lawyers to call their lawyers in order for them to go and have lunch together on my account!)
Friday 28 January 2011: 4 years 4 months on …
Imagine travelling in China for four years and never hearing any English. Then one day, someone arrives and converses with you in English. What excitement!
Well, that’s how I feel – I am so excited – because this week I have found someone who understands what I am experiencing:
For the first time since I was diagnosed with CBD just short of four years ago, I have had direct correspondence with someone else who also has the illness. Her name is Alison Bevon from South Australia and, with her permission, I am publishing her email to me: