Rainy Monday

It’s a rainy Monday morning, and it’s cold, winter is announcing itself. I am not a winter person. I do not like the cold, so this week is going to be rough! The weather forecast predicts not only cold but rain and overcast conditions, as well for the rest of the week!

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I don’t mind rain as such, I do, however, prefer the rain in summer. Warm and wet I can do, cold and wet not so much.

If it wasn’t for the fact that I have to get up and go to work, I would stay in my pj’s until winter was over.

I have lost my new umbrella, my garden is underwater, I am in ankle brace so the only shoes that I am able to wear at the moment are a pair of very old pumps that are not exactly waterproof.

My morning started early with a dietitian appointment for one of the girls, then take her to school and go for physio. My feet were so cold and wet, that the physio actually put hot packs on for a few minutes to warm them up!

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Around 30 years ago the suicide rate in winter, was higher in the  far Northern Hemisphere, especially in European countries that had very short days and were mostly dark even during daylight hours.

This was due to a condition called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), with proper recognition this has changed and as hard as it may be to believe, spring and summer actually seem to have the higher suicide rates.

What exactly is SAD. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons — SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year. If you’re like most people with SAD, your symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody. Less often, SAD causes depression in the spring or early summer.”

SAD can also affect you during the summer months.

This is a very real psychological disorder. It is not as common here is South Africa but it does happen. The further you are from the equator the more at risk you are to having SAD.

I used to think that for me it was just winter blues. That is until I realised I had become a recluse. It started when I was about 16, came winter and you could not get me out.

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I didn’t want to be with people, I ate mostly starchy foods, I spent my life in over sized jerseys and sock or pj’s.

This continued for quite a while, even after the children were born, I would come home from work, have a hot bath and get into pajama’s. We lived on pasta and bottles sauces, I couldn’t be bothered to cook.

It was during fertility treatment that I went onto an antidepressant and I started feeling better. After the treatment was successful and my first child was born we felt it wasn’t necessary to stay on the medication. I showed no signs of postpartum depression, plus it was summer.

Then March arrived and I started to struggle, I went back onto the tablets until November. This went on for a number of years, then I discovered daylight globes.

Light therapy is one of the treatments and is something you can do at home if you suspect you have autumn/winter SAD. I put a daylight globe into a lamp and sat in front of it for an hour each day, within a few weeks I started to feel better. You can now get special light boxes specifically for the treatment of SAD. I eventually changed my bedroom lights to daylight globes and haven’t looked back.

In the last 10 years I have started to get better. I still avoid going out if I can but I get home from work and instead of immediately going to bath and get into pajama’s, I make dinner and only get into the bath before I go to bed. For me bathing is not to get clean but rather to warm up and feel better.

The problem with SAD, whether it is autumn/winter or spring/summer SAD that you suffer from it is often missed as a condition.

If you suffer from any of these symptoms during seasonal changes you may suffer from SAD. If,however, you are suffering from these symptoms all the time you may be suffering from general depression. Either way it is advisable to seek medical assistance.

Signs and symptoms of SAD may include:

  • Feeling depressed most of the day, nearly every day
  • Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Having low energy
  • Having problems with sleeping
  • Experiencing changes in your appetite or weight
  • Feeling sluggish or agitated
  • Having difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling hopeless, worthless or guilty
  • Having frequent thoughts of death or suicide

Which season do you prefer and why?

Life Partners

pexels-photo-70737.jpegIn 1988 I met my future husband. I had plenty of boyfriends before then and a lot of casual encounters. He had not ever been in any kind of relationship.

We met at a live venue and had mutual friends in common. He was an observant Jew and I was just starting to learn about being an observant Jew. Previously I was like a lot of other Jews, I was born Jewish but did not practice my faith.

We dated for a year and then got engaged. He postponed the wedding 7 weeks before the day. I had just received our invitations. We got married a year later. I should have called it off but I didn’t, because I was comfortable with him.

I married him, not out of love but more out of laziness. He didn’t irritate me and we could talk for ages on the phone. Previous boyfriends began to irritate me within a few weeks of our relationships.

We are still married but for me once again it is laziness that stops me leaving. I can’t be bothered. We don’t fight, he is very understanding about the fact that due to a medical condition we cannot have intercourse.

He loves me. I find him boring, irritating and sometimes annoying but I am lucky to have him, when I look at what other people have. I know how ungrateful I sound and I am about to sound like a spoiled brat. This is one of the reasons this blog is not linked in anyway to my and is being written under a pseudonym.

He was a very hands on father when the children were babies, he taxi’s  those that need it to all their social events, he gets up in the middle of the night to let out a pet making a noise, even though I am the one closest to the door and he uses an apnoea machine, which he has to remove to get up.

He is sometime thoughtless, like leaving the house without letting anyone know, or saying he is on his way only to stop off at his mother or someone else to do something for them.

He is kind to everyone and has difficulty saying no. He never complains about the food I have served or not.

He works two jobs to help make ends meet, while I work part time and try to build a business.

I can’t stand his chewing, his sniffing, his throat clearing, his sense of humor often leaves me baffled. He is slow and never on time.

He loves me and he loves our children and would do anything for us. I know I not likely to ever leave him and that makes me a spoiled brat and an ungrateful human being.

Being a Nurse

 

From the age of 5, when I got my first nurses outfit, I knew I wanted to be a nurse. I don’t ever remember changing my mind.

I have been told that when I was around 10 and one of my grandmothers had surgery, I was the one that cared for her and managed her dressings.

I also gave her her last bath on the day she died from cancer at the age of 81. It was a month after my wedding.

I don’t know  why I wanted to be a nurse, it is definitely not from altruism. As the saying goes, ‘some people are only alive today, because it is illegal for me to kill them’.

When I was at high school we had guidance counselors, these were the people who were supposed to help and encourage us on our chosen paths. My particular counselor told me that I was too lazy to be able to finish Nursing college. Out of the 4 of us that went, I was the only one to complete my full 3 years.

My first job was my worst, it was for a care facility in Berea. The owner was one of the most racist people I had ever met. Considering it was still during apartheid, that is saying a lot!

Then I worked for an endocrinology practice for a short while as a receptionist, I then moved to a great pharmacy in Bez Valley for around 3 years as the clinic nurse, this was a hugely innovative idea as pharmacy clinics were unknown.

Shortly after my marriage I went to work for an extremely busy GP practice, with 2 of the most dedicated doctors. I worked there for 5 years full time. During this time sadly one of the partners died in an horrific car accident.

During this time I was going through fertility treatment.

I learned so much working for these doctors! I eventually ran a staff clinic at a large company for the surviving partner. In total I worked for this practice for 11 years.

I did a little part time work when I fell pregnant with child number 3 and 4.

I then moved on to nursing education. I taught Care workers in Kempton Park for 2 years and then first year clinical skills for another 3 years. It was hard work, we had 60-70 student per year and I was expected to facilitate them all. Theory was taught by someone with a Nursing Education degree.

I was thinking about going back to varsity and getting my degree in order to find a teaching post with less students, when my father fell seriously ill while on holiday.

I flew down immediately to support my mother and convince my father to go to hospital, where he was admitted for 5 days.

When I returned to work and put in for family responsibility the hospital administration (not my direct supervisor), decided that family responsibility is for the death of a parent, not the hospitalization, when another person was available to care for them.

During the previous week I had become disillusioned by nursing after hearing a student say she was only doing nursing so that she could have a job while she builds her business!

There was also an incident of a patient who had died due to lack of due diligence on the part of the entire medical team. From the nursing staff up! I used it as a case study lecture to highlight the correct nursing care, record keeping and protocols of a patient whose life could have been saved.

I will be writing a lot of posts about nursing and it’s decline.

I handed in my notice immediately. I had no job and was unlikely to find one soon. The first month I would be out of work and would need to take of 8 days of work, due to religious holidays. I also did not think I would get a nursing post that would allow me Friday afternoons and Saturday’s off every week, as I do not work on the Sabbath. (I do not work on Jewish holy days or Sabbath).

I then phoned my husband to tell him.

That first day I was home, I went to the hospital that was near my house and asked to speak to the Emergency department manager. We filled in forms and then I had a job, 4 days a week, no Fridays or Saturdays. I was there for 2 years.

I then heard about a practice job, I spoke to my unit manager and told her I would like to interview for the job. I contacted the doctor and went for my interview. I am still working there today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A new home

I lived in our suburban home until I went away to college. My parents lived their for 45 years. They moved to a retirement village in 2012.

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Not our real home, free image

We loved our home, when my parents sold we were all saddened. The house was an award winning architectural master piece for the 60’s.

The home was and average home for the area. It was 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, lounge, dinning room and kitchen. My father converted the garage into his home office.

There was plenty of space for us to ride our bikes, the garden to play in and the enormous pool to swim in.

I had friend who lived within walking distance. The convenience store was down the street. I cannot remember if it was always a 24 hour convenience store or if that came later.

It was nothing to walk to the local store to buy sweets with my friends.

My brother and his best friend built a small house in a stand of trees on the property that stood until we were all adults.

I left from the front door on my wedding day and my children had every birthday there until my parents moved.

That house ruined me for all others, for although I like the home we live in now, I still find it very dark.

I still miss that house.

Life begins

 

Life began in 1967 when my parents *Emmanuel and *Ellen had me. We lived in an apartment in Johannesburg.

I remember my mother telling me that they weren’t sure if they had the money to bring me home from the maternity hospital and that my first bed was a dresser drawer. I then moved to a crib when they could afford one.

I was two when my brother *Martin was born. We had by then apparently moved to a larger apartment and my parents had also taken in a young teenage girl to foster her. (I am not sure how long she lived with us or why), I only know her name because my mother has spoken of her.

My bed was a blue lounger, which has been recovered since and is now in my sitting room.

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Image taken from Amazon

Around the time I was 5 my parents moved us to a house in the northern suburbs. It had a lot of windows, wooden ceilings, a large front yard and a pool in the back.

I was in nursery school in the area. The school is today still running and includes a primary school.

There is not too much to write about this as I don’t remember any of it, although we have plenty of pictures.

*Due to the nature of this blog and my alternate life all names of family and friends have been changed. Some of my pictures are from stock images. I credit all photograph and images to the photographer whose images I use in my blog.

The first 50 years or so

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I was born 51 years ago.  I have been married for 27 years. I have been a nurse for 30 years. I am the mom of 5 children, 1 boy and 4 girls ranging in age from 13 to 22. We have 2 cats and 2 small dogs.

I consider myself to have lived a relatively privileged life. My parents while never very wealthy were comfortable. As is common in South Africa we had a domestic worker growing up. I employ 1 full time domestic and 1 part-time.

I have 1 sibling. My father passed away 2 years ago my mother is still going strong.

My timeline is boring as I have no real memories of growing up. I will be blogging about each step in my timeline:

Born in 1967, in Johannesburg to my parents. We lived in an apartment in Berea, Johannesburg.

1969 my brother was born.

1972 we moved to a house and my parents lived there for 45 years.

I started primary school in 1973 and moved on to high school in 1980.

I began University in 1986, I will not state where or what I studied as this is my anonymous blog and I am relatively well known. I studied in the medical field.

I got married in 1991, he is not the love of my life and I have never been in love. I married my husband because he didn’t annoy me! I am not a romantic person. I dated frequently while at varsity.

I was too young to have married. I settled at the age of 24 for a nice, kind, undemanding soul. I think I did us both a disservice.

He is also in a medical type profession. We lived a charmed life, where money was no object until 1998 when the business my husband was buying into went into liquidation.

We struggled with infertility. We eventually had 4 children and foster a 4th. I had 2 miscarriages after child number 4.

I worked in a busy GP practice, a staff clinic for a large company, a occupational health clinic, as a volunteer medic, in a busy Emergency Department and for a specialist practice.

I am a lifestyle blog with a specific niche, I will not be sharing that blog here.

I believe that life is what you make of it and I am just coasting. I know there are others out there in the same situation.

We are financially strained and struggle each day to survive.

I am sure that I will offend some people, entertain some people. Educate and enlighten.

Hopefully a little of everything. I hope you find this a place of honesty and help.

Any advice I give is my own and should always be followed up by a professional. All opinions are my own and do not represent any nationality, race or religion. I do not tolerate bigotry, racial hatred and intolerance or religious persecution!

I don’t like people in general and I prefer social media over person to person interactions.

*Due to the nature of this blog and my alternate life all names of family and friends have been changed. Some of my pictures are from stock images. I credit all photograph and images to the photographer whose images I use in my blog.