©2012 Edward C. Lunnon
Monday 10 December 2012: 6 years 3 months on …
Physical Advantage CBD … Mental Advantage CBD
Early on Saturday 24 November Sean dropped me off at the airport. I was headed for Cape Town – a trip that normally would raise much excitement in me. This time, I was a bit anxious. It was a quickly arranged trip in order to get to visit Tygerberg Hospital and the Neurology Unit at the Stellenbosch University Faculty of Health Sciences Department of Internal Medicine.
Besides that appointment, Cape Town is also always a time to catch up with family and friends and to savour the beauty of the Western Cape.
I am always grateful to everyone who provides me with transport and accommodation. It is difficult to see everyone and to do everything on the list; and this time, even more difficult than in the past.
But I get to see university friends Willem and Gretel, Jacobus and Tillie, Hermann and Annette, Schalk, Miles and an old school mate – last seen 38 years ago – Andre Cromhout. Supper with Dr Franclo Henning and his wife Helen is on the list and then there’s also my sister Lyn and her family including, of course, Sebastian (my tour guide!) and Michelle, and my cousins John and Jeremy Voldsteedt and their families.
I also manage a visit to my late mother and father’s grave in The Strand’s Goede Hoop cemetery. The vandalism, subsidence, neglect and destruction there makes me realise yet again the wastefulness of graveyards!
We get to visit Harbour Island at Gordon’s Bay, Stellenbosch (ofcourse!) and its brand new shopping centre, Blue Rock Quarry (with its cable park, skiing and rock jumping) at Sir Lowry’s Pass Village and a trip through the winelands to the quaint Franschoek, stopping off for lunch (babotie) at Kalfis Restaurant in the historic Huguenot Road. All these places tell the history of the Cape of Good Hope and indeed, the European origins of our country. The Afrikaans side of my family (the Roussouws and the Bassons on my paternal grandmother Susan van Blerck’s side) farmed and lived in these areas and at Agter-Paarl.
Of course, a meal at a wine farm is obligatory when visiting the Western Cape. This time it’s the Dornier Wine Estate on the Blaauwklippen Road just outside Stellenbosch. The meal was great and the view exquisite – all in the shelter of the Helderberg whilst the Black South Easter howled at all other points on the Cape Peninsula (and for almost every day of the duration of my visit)!
But talking about eating – I’m not sure if it was the (one glass of!) red wine or the Thai green curry that did it; but somewhere I picked up a bug and was laid very low with very painful gout and gastric flu!
It knocked me for a six and prevented me from visiting some friends that I had wanted to see and also our planned trip to the railway station restaurant at Botrivier. (It’s amazing how the Western Capers turn everything into tourist attractions!)
The visit to Tygerberg Hospital was daunting but uneventful.
It’s amazing, in the day and age that we live in, that some of the most sophisticated equipment that is used to do brain tests involve toothpicks, pins and needles and cotton wool!
The good prof reckons that I am still in the CBD “box” and can’t explain why it has not killed me in the five years that he originally predicted! What is it that keeps me going, albeit slower and slower?
I had been sent a text message before I went to the hospital – it read “I hope you come back normal!”
I wish; but, unfortunately, the professor can’t make me normal again!
The best he can do is to send to London some of the observations and videos that he took. There a group of “wise men” may come up with some answers – but a cure? Maybe that’s pushing my luck just a bit!
And so, it’s good-bye to Cape Town – yet again!
As that bright orange Mango Boeing took off eastwards over False Bay straight into the wild southeaster that was churning up the “sea-horses” way below, I wiped away a tear or two.
As I fly into the storms that lie ahead, I never know whether I will return to the place of my birth. I never know whether I will see the beauty of the Cape of Good Hope again – indeed, whether I will see any of you, my fellow-travellers, yet again. I never know whether it’s just cheers, good bye or farewell. Maybe the French have it right when they say “Au Revoir”!
Whatever it may be, I want you all to know how thankful I am to each and everyone of you for sharing my life journey and for making it what it is. Some have been on it from the very start – others climbed aboard later. But, wherever you joined my journey, I am so thankful that you have been there with me – and for me, for sharing your life with me, and for shaping my life with me. Somehow, “thank you” doesn’t seem quite enough!
I returned on Wednesday afternoon on the first Cape Town – Port Elizabeth Mango flight at a lesser price than normal. I, too, am less “normal” than I have ever been and with the cracks ever-widening.
Whilst the comment is always “but you look so good!” an honest assessment would see that my thought patterns are disturbed, my sight is problematic, my left hand is all but paralyzed (and my right hand is slowly flowing suit), my left buttock and left leg and foot with its spasms are uncomfortable and uncontrollable – despite all the braces and the new medication in the form of Baclofen @ 2x day! ED is in“slowED down”and “spacED-out” – who needs Washington State to legalise the recreational use of cannabis when you can get your mEDs directly from your friendly pharmacist and have the same effects?!
More importantly, the “being ill” for almost seven years now is starting to take its toll on me and the family. I am getting tirED even before the real show starts. I am struggling to be just a person – let alone a husband and a father and a citizen.
And it’s starting to rub off on the rest …