Wednesday, December 23, 2009

What's Up, Doc?

The past few weeks have been a little bit crazy. Between The Killers concert (which deserves an entire post all of its own) and Christmas shopping madness, as well as an attempted road trip, it's been rather busy. In the midst of all of this, I also ended up with the most amazing (and awful) hay fever last week.

It all started in the middle of the night on about Monday, when I woke up with a sinus headache and couldn't get back to sleep. It got steadily worse from there, and going to work with a streaming nose didn't really help (it's hard to answer the phone without sniffing and I feel really awkward about coughing over people's credit cards). Not even the doggy antihistamines helped (they're exactly the same as the human ones, and the vet and I both take them whenever our allergies kick in). I eventually gave in on Thursday and decided to go to my GP. Without a second thought, I called his office, expecting to get an appointment that morning, and so you can imagine my disappointment when the phone rang and when through to an answering machine message telling me that he was away until January and that I should go to another doctor, who is just down the road. A little irked, I called my old GP, only to be told by his receptionist that he was also away until January. Still feeling like hell, I decided that the best option was to go to the office of the doctor that the first GP had recommended - the argument for this approach was mainly based on the fact that there was no answer when I called the practice to make an appointment. I should probably also point out that my old and new GP's offices are on the same road, and about a block from one another, and that the GP who was recommended by the original one also had his offices on the same road! It's Glenhazel - we have a surplus of Jewish doctors! Anyway, I pulled myself together and drove down the road to the offices, which, lo and behold, were closed! At this point, I drove back up the hill to the original GP's office, because I knew that there was another GP there (see what I meant about the surplus?). Amazingly, they were open, but could only schedule me an appointment for the next day, so I took a business card in case I needed to call them, and drove to the Bagleyston Clinic, cursing the fact that all the GP's in Jo'burg appeared to be sitting next to each other on a beach in Umghlanga!

I got to the clinic (and I swear that the guy who parked next to me was the same guy who I had seen in the waiting room of the GP who was actually open!) and located the offices of one of the GP's. Naturally, it was packed with people - I vaguely suspect that this doctor was the last remaining one in Jo'burg. I tentatively approached the reception desk and asked if I could make an appointment. The receptionist responded by telling me that the doctor was very, very busy, but that, if I didn't mind, I could see "the lady doctor". Happy to see anyone with a medical degree at this point (I was seriously debating just driving to work and seeing if the vet had any ideas about what I had!), I agreed! I feel a lot more comfortable with female doctors and the only reason why my GP is male is because he's the closest one to where I live (expect when he's tanning on the beach, obviously). I filled in their form and saw the doctor 15 minutes later. I was a little mystified as to why the receptionist had given me such a meaningful look when she had mentioned the "lady doctor" - and it got me a little worried, because in my mind, a lady doctor is a gynae. It turns out that she wasn't just a lady, but also a very nice Chinese lady, who was only about 4 years older than me! This got me wondering why I hadn't been asked in I wanted to see the "ethnic minority lady doctor"...

In any case, Holly (the GP), was very nice, and checked me over and concluded that I merely had severe hay fever, and that the exhaustion which had caused me to suspect that it was 'flu was merely incidental and a result of the heat. She gave me a script for some more exciting antihistamines and sent me on my way. I am feeling quite a lot better - aside from the coughing, which kind of causes people to look at me with concern. I'm mostly okay though, and might actually be able to enjoy my holiday, now that I'm no longer feeling sorry for myself.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Sleepless in Seattle

The past few weeks have been rather crazy, hence my lack of blog activity. While varsity term is finally over, it's taken a while to recouperate from the stress of Honours. I really hadn't realised how exhausted I was. Through most of October, while I was writing up my research and studying for exams, I was functioning on about 5 hours of sleep a night - a bit of a problem for someone who usually gets 8 hours in order to be somewhat sane! I caught up on most of my sleep after my psychopathology exam, and had a lovely 2 weeks off in order to study for neuropsychology, but I ended up going from exhaustion to holiday mode in 1 easy step, so I still ended up studying furiously the night before the exam, woke up and revised at 6am and was far more stressed than I needed to be!

Even with exams over, I still haven't been getting terribly much sleep. Actually being able to relax at last has sent us Honours students into a socialising flurry. The week after exams was pretty crazy, with our post-Honours party and Pam's wedding. The Honours party was held at Mailie's house in Westcliff. Despite the utterly miserable weather (it poured the entire week!), we all had fun exploring her enormous house (it's worth a couple of million rand and has the most amazing view), discussing our holiday plans (holiday - what a beautiful word!) and eating far too much!

Pam's wedding was rather interesting - and a lot of fun! It was raining, so the photos that she'd arranged to have taken with all her friends ebfore were moved from a park near the shul to Melrose Arch Shopping Centre. I wore black - *shudder* - and it was utter chaos, with us running around the shopping mall, dodging Christmas trees and being shouted at by the photographer! Anyway... I got changed into my red dress at Melrose Arch, and drove to the shul. The first part of the wedding involved all the women standing in a room, and then the men coming in with Daniel (the groom), so that he could lift Pam's veil to check that it was her, and they could say some blessings. Pam's dad led the procession, and he was in tears from the instant he saw her, and so was her brother - and then so was I! Lame, I know, but I usually cry at weddings. Anyway... The rest of the service was downstairs in the shul, and it was very lovely. The reception was in Sandton Shul's hall, and it was amazing! I knew a couple of people (as aquantainces), but the girls were very sweet. There was tons of food, and the dancing was so much fun! Girls and boys danced separately (there was a screen across the dance floor), but it was so much fun! And the dessert was incredible - every dessert known to man was spread out on a giant buffet table! I'm seriously considering doing the photography for Jewish weddings as a possible career option - if only for the dessert! I did manage to have a fashion faux pas though. I was chatting to 2 other girls outside the bathroom (turned out they'd never been to a Jewish wedding either, and so they were also lost), and after I came out of the bathroom, I got my dress hooked in my petticoat. We were just standing in the passage, and someone told me, but I might have flashed 1 or 2 Jewish boys, who aren't allowed to hold hands with girls, let alone be flashed some knickers! Oops...

Aside from the party and the wedding, I've also had a surprise 30th birthday party, a couple of DVD evenings, a visit to the theatre to see "Cats" and an awful lot of time with He of Many Sports Injuries. My efforts to reestablish my sleep patterns keep being thwarted, because I'll catch up on my sleep, feel better and then have a late night and be back to being a zombie. It seems to be getting a little bit better though - and I'm really enjoying seeing all my friends again!