Thursday, January 28, 2010

Strong Medicine

Since my last post, I haven't been doing much. In fact, I really haven't done anything. I've been battling the evil germy-bug things that appear to have originated from He of Many Sports Injuries' nephew, Kael. Kael is 2 and a half, and adores me. I suspect that this is because I don't like children and they can smell fear. Because of this, Kael usually drags me off into the garden to play golf or catches or to throw a ball at me (I try to throw it back - he's a bit useless when it comes to catching things). Ignoring him is pointless - he'll wander into the lounge and say "Candice?!". Because I know where the whole situation is going, I'll say "Kael!". This will go back and forth for about a minute, until he grabs my hand and drags me outside, while I mutter things under my breath about how "Uncle Garrith" should be teaching him to play golf!

In any case, I spent the night at Garrith's brother and his sister-in-law's place on Saturday night, after Richard and Kath's wedding, which was in the north of Johannesburg. Since He of Many Sports Injuries isn't allowed to drive at night at the moment because of the mini-strokes, we figured that staying at his brother's place was the easiest option. I was greeted in the living room on Sunday morning by Kael, in all his snotty-nosedness. I was more than half asleep, and so I was quite relieved that he seemed preoccupied with cleaning the living room (mostly by moving the TV and DVD remotes from 1 coffee table to another). I was exhausted for most of Sunday, which I attributed to getting no sleep on Saturday night because of a very sore throat, but by the time I woke up on Monday morning though, I was well and truly sick.

Thus, this week I have:

  • slept
  • gone to work twice
  • finished Dan Brown's "Angels and Demons"
  • started Sarah Addison Allen's "The Sugar Queen"
  • gone to the GP twice and Dischem once
  • Facebooked
  • slept
  • watched a lot of South African soap operas

I am now also taking:

  • antibiotics
  • an expectorant
  • more antibiotics
  • cortisone (for my chest)
  • some probiotics
  • a nasal spray
  • antihistamines.

I'm pretty frustrated - I had wanted to finish the study and start my research project, but instead I've been keeping my cat company in bed(although she's definitely not complaining!). At least I'm getting better though - and I've managed to update my blog twice in one week! The part that has kept me the most amused though was the episode of "The Big Bang Theory" which I watched on Monday night. Sheldon got sick and proved to be the worst patient ever - so much so that all his roommates and friends abandoned him for 48 hours, while he wandered around his apartment shouting "Leonard! I'm sick! I want soup!". I love it!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

3 lbs.

You know that you're a neuropsychology student when your concern for your boyfriend's wellbeing is momentarily distracted because of the pretty, shiny machines which are being used to run an angiogram on his brain. Um... Yes, this is true.

I have spent far more time in hospitals in the last 2 weeks than I have ever wanted to. My boyfriend (a.k.a. He of Many Sports Injuries) was feeling a little weird at work on a Monday morning 2 weeks ago. So, he walked to the shops and still felt weird. So, he bought and ate a chocolate and walked back to the office and then decided to call his brother to take him to the GP. The GP sent to him to another doctor to have some blood tests done, but his brother decided to take him to the hospital. It was only when he couldn't walk properly that they decided to have him examined by a neurologist. A lot of x-rays and blood tests, an fMRI, a lumbar puncture and an angiogram later, they discovered that he'd had 4 minor strokes in the space of 2 months. This is spectacularly strange, considering that he is 35, doesn't drink or smoke (and never has), plays loads of sport, has low cholesterol and eats more salad than I do (and I'm vegetarian!)! The general consensus seems to be that the blood clots in the artery in his neck are the result of trauma, which could be the result of anything from too much volleyball, golf, squash or even just the way he drives down the dirt road to his house. He's now on medication to thin his blood to dissolve the clots, because surgery isn't really an option because of their location.

In the midst of all of this, I have spent a stupendous amount of money on petrol and have become rather adept at driving across Johannesburg to places that I could barely find on a map! I've also gotten to know his family rather well! His mom even flew up from Cape Town, and so I finally got to meet her. Granted, our meeting took place in fairly unusual circumstances - she came with me to his house to help clean up and sort things out for when he moved back home. Vacuuming your boyfriend's house while meeting your potential mother-in-law is a slightly nerve-wracking process!

He is at least out of hospital now, and stayed with his brother and his sister-in-law for a couple of nights before going home. He's in good spirits and has gone back to work - although he's only allowed to be there part-time at the moment (doctor's orders). He even came with me to Richard and Kath's wedding over the weekend! The only downside is that I now have the 'flu, thanks to his 2 and a half year old nephew, who absolutely adores me (the feeling isn't completely mutual). Alas, my immune system is no match for Kael's bugs, and I have thus spent the entire day in bed, reading Dan Brown and getting up only to find chocolate or watch yet another South African soap opera. Pathetic, I know! It's also the last way that I want to be spending my last week of holiday!

And in case you're wondering about the title of this post, "3 lbs." is a mini-series about a group of neurosurgeons - sadly it was cancelled because it was deemed to be too similar to "House". That said, it's a really good show - all 3 episodes! It's also how much the human brain weighs.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A Christmas Carol

I really had good intentions of relaxing this December. Relaxing and being vaguely productive, if that combination makes any sense! With my first year of Masters looming, I was hoping to get the chance to recharge my batteries, preferably on a remote beach somewhere, reading Marian Keyes novels and taking amazing photos, and be suitably enthusiastic about starting my Masters. Somehow, none of this has really happened, although I am at least enthusiastic about studying this year!

December has been one long month of Christmas shopping, baking, late nights, lots of DVD's and a fair amount of socialising. And kittens - lots of kittens! Christmas shopping wasn't too bad, although He of Many Sports Injuries proved to be both a help and a hindrance to the process. It is very useful to have someone to carry loads of heavy things across shopping malls for you. It is also very annoying when said person decides that every single homeware shop must be examined before a gift can be bought (even though the ideal salad bowl was found at the first shop)! Nonetheless, Christmas shopping was mostly painless (although my bank account doesn't quite agree). On the receiving front, I got loads and loads of chocolate, a CD voucher, some cute t-shirts and DVD's. The best gift, however, has got to be the Chocolate Kittens that I got. Yes, Chocolate Kittens.
Despite being Jewish, I got into the Christmas spirit, mostly by forcing He of Many Sports Injuries to watch "Love, Actually", which is the most lovely movie. He got to inflict a fair amount of revenge though, because I was roped into the festivities and had Christmas lunch with his sister and her husband and kids and an assortment of other relatives. I also met his father and step-mother - an experience of such mind-numbing pain that it deserves its own post (which I will write, just as soon as some of the pain has passed). My Christmas highlight was undoubtedly He of Many Sports Injuries receiving a smoothie maker from his brother and sister-in-law. I think he is terrified of it and has locked it away until further notice.

New Year's Eve was rather fun. We actually closed the veterinary practice at 17:30, which is pretty miraculous, and He of Many Sports Injuries and I spent the evening at Paul the Frog's amazing house, which overlooks Johannesburg. His sister and her boyfriend and a whole bunch of other friends were also there (most were of the barefoot hippie variety - these are obviously the people Paul feels most comfortable with) and we spent the evening playing "Cranium" and throwing vegetables at one another (okay, mostly at me). We saw the New Year in by standing on Paul's balcony, watching the moon and the fireworks display and playing with glowsticks.

So far, 2010 has been off to a fairly slow start. It's been difficult to do anything because I've been working most afternoons and Saturdays, endeavouring to see He of Many Sports Injuries (boyfriends are strangely time-consuming) and I've been out of action for about a week because of a bizarre neck spasm which was so painful that it reduced me to tears (and not even torn ligaments make me cry). I'm slowly getting back into running, and I'm going to university tomorrow for my Masters orientation day. It seems a bit weird to be doing Masters, and I haven't quite got used to the idea yet. I was chatting to a client at the vet and he asked what I did aside from being a receptionist and I told him that I was doing my Masters in Research Psychology. He was utterly amazed and gave me the same look of awe that I know that I've given to people doing their MA's or MSc's or PhD's. It was kind of cool - and very surreal! I'm getting a little panicky though, because I have no idea what I want to do my research on this year. Updates will follow though...

Finally, I have to mention my resolution for the year, which is to blog more consistently! I've been really bad at it, but I'm hoping to get better and have a little bit more to say in 2010!