Adaptation required more now than ever…

We were visiting the hornbill.  We haven’t put up the bird feeder due to the vervet monkeys monopolizing all the seeds.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

A pretty bushbuck were resting in the bush.

Note: While I am immobile over the next few weeks, we’ll be adding photos we’d saved but had yet to post. Thank you so much for being so patient.

Over the years since we began our journey, we’ve often written about adaptation and how relevant it becomes in our daily lives: different cultures, different surroundings, different languages, and different modalities in living everyday life.

A confusion of cape buffalo on the Crocodile River.

Since returning from the hospital on Wednesday after two surgeries on my legs in three days and the prior triple coronary bypass surgery seven weeks ago, adaptation is knocking at our door.

How we lived a mere two months ago has all changed. No longer do I bolt out of bed in the morning, ready to tackle another day of wildlife watching and exploration with zest and passion. 

A giraffe, alone in the bush.

It’s now a laborious process to get from the bed to the bathroom while dragging along the cumbersome drain apparatus connected from the machine to my left leg, basically a thether that I cannot pull or drag without excruciating pain. 

And the pain itself, after the two very recent surgeries, only adds to the awkwardness and complexity of moving around.  

A waterbuck was perusing his surroundings.

But, I continually remind myself…this is temporary, not permanent, when so many suffer from permanent disabilities that make the act of getting up in the morning an ordeal challenging to describe in its pain and complications for both the patient and the caregiver.  

But everything is relative, and the person with the broken leg seldom thinks of the person with no leg. Our human ability to empathize seldom goes further than the nose in front of our face when we’re faced with our debilitating challenges, whether they are temporary or not.

Lots of kudus in our garden.

As I write this now and will again pick up later to complete, lying on the sofa in the living room, legs high on pillows, I’m somehow bathed and dressed to head to Dr. Theo’s office for a “treatment on my legs,” cleaning the machine,” replacing bandages and dealing with the slow-healing wounds.

There’s a certain amount of trepidation on my part. How will he touch any of these outrageously tender areas on my legs without me writhing in pain? As it turned out, he was very gentle, and it didn’t hurt too badly.

At night, a kudu stopped by along with a duiker.

After being required to lie on my back with my feet up constantly, I’m now developing bedsores on my tailbone.  I’ve lost so much weight my boney tailbone is sharp and cutting.  

Doc Theo said this morning. I must change positions every hour, although it’s not easy to keep my feet above the level of my heart while lying on my side. I’ll have to figure it out. Doc gave me a prescription for a cream specifically for this purpose.

More waterbucks.

He said we must get some sheepskin for me to lie on, but the pharmacy was out and had to order it. It won’t arrive until Monday. Tom will drive back to Komatipoort to pick it up. 

There’s so much to do to deal with my recovery. In itself, it’s practically a full-time job. I don’t know what I’d do without Tom. Last night he made one of the most delicious home-cooked meals I’ve had, a perfectly roasted flattie chicken with vegetables, which we’ll have again tonight. I’m impressed! Who knew he could cook like this?

A waterbuck and cattle egret.

It’s 1300 hours (1:00 pm) now. We have the rest of “Day 2, Bed Rest” to lounge, play with our laptops, answer zillions of well-wishers email messages, and dream about the future, which amidst all this madness looks promising and bright.

Am I foolhardy in my optimism? No, I don’t think so. In reality, it’s this hopefulness and determination that will take us to our next adventure.

Be happy. Be hopeful and be well.

Photo from one year ago, April 5, 2018:
These leaves must have been delicious for this giraffe to be willing to bend “down” to eat when most often they stay at eye level or reach “up.” They will bend down to drink. For more photos, please click here.

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