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Friday, April 5, 2013

Sufferings in Africa

I’m not too sure if I’m still going to be around in the year 2016, not with all the pains and strains my body is currently going through, not to mention the National Elections coming up in 2014 and all the high-tension drama that we can expect to buildup long before that time.

Why the year 2016?
Because in March 2016 construction on the largest shopping mall in South Africa will apparently be completed. It was while reading up on this new development that the ghastly thought of not being around at the time of its grand-opening crossed my mind. I know it is sometimes best to keep such dreadful thoughts to yourself, but then again stress is often caused by our troubled thoughts and the stubborn tendency to not share it with others. Why carry your burdens on your own, when blogger.com makes it possible to share it with the world?

The 100,000m2 Mall of Africa is the first phase of the Waterfall City development. Waterfall City is a future city node being planned on the last available prime land along the N1 highway between Johannesburg and Pretoria. The story about this massive new development can be read here on a facebook page.

At time of posting the official website (www.mallofafrica.co.za) was not operational yet.

The Sufferings in Africa…
My health started deteriorating about 6 years ago, roughly at the same time I was bitten by a tick. Yes, that’s right – a minuscule bloody tick! But I’ll get back to that episode later… The real major problems started with chest pains accompanied by an erratic heartbeat, in early May 2012. My earlier experience in the Steve Biko Academic Hospital was reported in the following two postings:

A few weeks ago silly ol’ me got my assortment of heart pills all mixed up, because their shapes and colours keep changing with every repeat I get from the chemist. But I suppose I cannot blame the chemist if I do not read what the package says, can I?

I also started lowering my daily dose of Warfarin, because I’m not all that keen on taking rat poison, and also because the stuff doesn’t intermix too well with most pain pills.

Nonetheless, with me getting all confused on what to take in the evening and what in the morning, and whether the tablet should be broken in half or in a quarter, the old ticker started behaving erratically again, and went totally berserk when I heard the news about the racist comments uttered by Minister Lulu Xingwana on Australian television. Yep, there were other reasons why I decided to declare Lulu Xingwana MAMPARA OF THE MONTH!

It was while I was still in the midst of all this heart-wrenching bewilderment that I started feeling an awkward pain in my left arm. At the time I had no idea it was related to another awkward stiff numbness I occasionally felt in my neck and shoulders, and which I had attributed to stress, and/or lack of exercise. Although I did contemplate the possibility that the Borrelia bacteria carrying tick may possible have something to do with it, my main concern was that maybe the pain in the arm was somehow related to the heart dilemma.

Bullseye Lyme Disease Rash
Man, what a wreck I’ve become!

Incidentally, the tick bite on my left arm quickly developed into the common bullseye rash pattern associated with Lyme disease, exactly as illustrated in the picture displayed on the Wikipedia page dealing with this disease. It was this picture and all the associated symptoms that convinced me that my body was possibly wrecked with bacterial infection – from one tiny tick bite!

The realization that Borrelia bacteria could possibly be the cause of the ongoing flu-like symptoms I was experiencing at the time, only came many months later when I noticed the picture of the bullseye rash pattern.

While we’re on the subject of Lyme disease… I did not realize that some doctors don't want the term even mentioned in their consultation rooms. Some don’t even know what it is, while others are convinced that the disease is not widespread in South Africa. I soon discovered there’s no point really arguing with a pro. It only added fuel to the flames when I insinuated that maybe the disease was unknown because of a lack of awareness and research efforts in the country.

During my last consultation, when the subject of Lyme disease cropped up again, I could see the flames clearly flickering quite madly in the eyes of the young medical practitioner – a sure sign that it was time to leave his office, and never return again.

For more info on Lyme disease, I highly recommend the following two blogs:
lymediseaseinsouthafrica.blogspot.com or rickettsiasa.blogspot.com

X-rays and further medical examinations have now confirmed that most of my pains and strains are largely attributable to an old injury I sustained during a car accident (not sure which one though) in the cervical segment of my spinal cord, and more specifically fusion of some sort to the C3 and C4 vertebrae.

X-Ray: C3 and C4 vertebrae
Click image for larger view

While I’m hoping that this problem can be sorted out without the use of razor-sharp scalpels, it seems that a neck operation sometime in the near future is my ultimate fate.

By the way, in most civilized western countries they treat this sort of thing as a medical emergency. But things work quite differently here in South Africa now that the country is being run by a bunch of communists, who played a defining role in the mass exodus of healthcare professionals and the influx of inexperienced Cuban doctors.

In the meantime, while I patiently wait for my next medical appointment (due soon) the loss of muscle movement in both arms has gradually been escalating. Periodic spells of throbbing pain in my neck and shoulders are also experienced, especially while performing specific tasks such as bending down suddenly to pick something up - or opening the car boot, for example.

BTW: My cardiologist freaked out when I told him that I had lowered the prescribed dose of Warfarin. He proceeded to give me a stern speech about the consequences of suffering a stroke and what happens to you when a blood clot enters your brain. “When that happens and you still survive, you will quickly discover who your true friends are,” he said.

I’m now diligently take the daily prescribed dose of Warfarin, and have substituted pain medication with ICEMAN, a herbal cooling gel which provides temporary pain relief to HORSES and which works splendidly on humans as well :-)

In times of suffering, reading classic tales of adventure can be wonderful therapy for the soul…

Sufferings in Africa, by Captain James Riley
Amazon | Kalahari
Listed by Abraham Lincoln, alongside the Bible and Pilgrim’s Progress, as one of the books that most influenced his life, few true tales of adventure and survival are as astonishing as this one. Shipwrecked off the western coast of North Africa in August of 1815, James Riley and his crew had no idea of the trials awaiting them as they gathered their beached belongings. They would be captured by a band of nomadic Arabs, herded across the Sahara Desert, beaten, forced to witness astounding brutalities, sold into slavery, and starved. Riley watched most of his crew die one by one, killed off by cruelty or caprice, as his own weight dropped from 240 pounds to a mere 90 at his rescue. First published in 1817, this dramatic saga soon became a national bestseller with over a million copies sold. Even today, it is rare to find a narrative that illuminates the degradations of slave existence with such brutal honesty.

6 comments :

LIVING IN THE RSA said... .....Click here to refresh this blog

Hi Tia.

Can I suggest that you immediately get onto some colloidal silver.
Please contact me on namery@telkomsa.net and I will gladly post you some free of charge. I make a superior high quality silver colloid and it has worked wonders for my family, friends and acquaintance's.
Check out my website: www.nanosilver.co.za
Also I suggest that you raise your magnesium level immediately to at least 420mg daily and watch your heart rhythm return to normal. I suffered from similar symptoms and since taking magnesium daily I have never looked back. Instead of tablets I get my daily dose of mg. from spinach.
3 steamed cupfuls a day, and I also drink a bit of the juice/brew.
Try it you ain't got nothing to lose. Nick

Boertjie said... .....Click here to refresh this blog

Hallo TIA

Strongs with all the ailments!!! In my experience, good health is one of the most overlooked privileges one can have. I am often amazed at people’s don’t-care attitude when it comes to their health. One common example – people not caring about how bad smoking is for them.

To share the abridged version of my health-related story… at the age of 12 I was diagnosed with keratoconus – a degenerative eye-disease affecting the cornea. 14 years, blindness, 3 corneal transplants (one failed) and 3 lasik-operations later, I am facing another corneal transplant (due to reappearance of the disease in my left eye) and a crosslinking operation in my right eye (to prevent the disease from reappearing in my right eye). All this while I constantly need to use eye-drops for a severe eye allergy I had since early childhood. This allergy increases the risk that my body will reject the transplanted corneas (the risk remains for life).

When it comes to finding soul-comfort from all these things, I usually turn to something more lighthearted – Bugs Bunny, Cayote and Roadrunner, Tom & Jerry, Pixar-films…etc.

During the time of my blindness and semi-blindness, I turned to the piano (I’m an avid classical pianist).

So I can sympathise with your ailments. Strongs!

White Oak said... .....Click here to refresh this blog

Hi TIA, hard as it may be, stay in a positive frame of mind buddy. Know that there a many people that will, even though it may not be PC, pray for you. That is after all where we get our strength from - you, like so many others, have a big influence through your blogs, on a great number of people. Best wishes my friend - I'm sure you'll be around for a long time.

Tia Mysoa said... .....Click here to refresh this blog

@LIVING IN THE RSA (Nick) – Thanks for the info. I’ve also downloaded the Colloidal Silver Hand Book compiled by David Hooper… very interesting – the connection between Blue Blood and Silver. Odd that you mention spinach, as I’ve been having a craving for it for months now. I’ll be in touch via e-mail.

@ Boertjie –I’m sorry to hear about your ailment, and thanks for sharing it with us. One can never get too old for Bugs Bunny, Tom & Jerry, etcetera. I also love and enjoy them all!
Sterkte en dankie ou maat!

@White Oak – Thank you for the kind words… I was very reluctant to post this article as many would perceive it as ‘unchristian’ – as we shouldn’t worry about stuff that hasn’t happened yet. There are also 1000’s out there far worse off – suffering in silence

I’ve also received several e-mails in response to this posting, offering advice and suggestions. I will definitely follow-up on all of them.

Thank you!

whiteson said... .....Click here to refresh this blog

My best wishes to you Tia. Everything will be ok. Believe me. I am really sorry to hear about your health problems. Keep your faith and leave yourself in the best of hands ever.Be sure that many aprayer will go up for you.

Alexander Paterson said... .....Click here to refresh this blog

Hi TIA,

I think you should contact Dr Cecile Jadin, who has rooms in Johannesburg, I think.

She is one of a small number of Doctors in SA who know something about Lyme disease.

I'm pretty sure you have Lyme.

Best,

Sandile

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