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|Note the triangular shape of this praying mantis, a photo I’d taken when friends Lesley and Andrew stopped by for a visit, and I allowed myself to sit outdoors for a while with the camera in hand.|
All of today’s photos were posted one year ago from here while still in Marloth Park as we awaited the doctor’s OK for us to book a flight to Ireland leaving South Africa on May 11, 2019.
|A face only a mother could love.|
Flying on an airplane was a scary prospect for me based on the fact by the time we’d leave, it had been a rough 90 days since the open-heart surgery and only a little over a month since the two surgeries on my infected legs.
We decided to book a business class ticket for me when that particular plane would have special seats that completely reclined. With pillows and blankets provided, this would be a much more comfortable option for me, mainly keeping my legs up throughout the flight.
|A distant elephant from across the Crocodile River.|
With the added expense of the upgrade, Tom insisted he’d stay in the “coach” section and be available for me if I needed him. At that point, I was far from recovered. We ordered a wheelchair at each of the airports. As it turned out, it all went well, much better than expected.
Many who’ve had known heart disease before their surgery claim to be so much better once they heal. I never had any signs of cardiovascular disease other than the pain in my jaw, which started about a month before my condition was discovered. Hence, I never observed feeling better than I had before the surgery.
|View of the Crocodile River from Aamazing River View (spelled correctly).|
I never had shortness of breath, nor did I ever have chest or arm pain, weakness, or a feeling that “something was wrong.” May this serve as a warning to those that may have familial cardiac disease and not be aware of it until it’s too late.
Please get checked if your family members had hypertension, heart attacks, strokes, required stents in clogged arteries, or ever had any cardiac/heart surgery, regardless of your age.
|A zebra, contemplating his next move.|
It’s not a bad idea to have some tests after reaching the age of 60 or 65 to see if you potentially require treatment even if you don’t have any risk factors. By doing so, many fatal heart attacks and disabling strokes may be prevented.
All I can do is eat a healthy diet, exercise daily, get plenty of sleep and keep stress to a minimum. Hopefully, my efforts may prevent it from getting any worse than it already is.
|Baby zebra frightened by all the commotion from the dazzle of zebras nearby.|
Fortunately, during the lockdown in India, I can eat fresh, healthy meals twice a day; a vegetable and cheese omelet with chicken sausages for breakfast with green tea; and grilled salmon or chicken breasts for dinner with a huge plate of steamed fresh vegetables.
As for stress, neither of us is feeling stressed under these peculiar circumstances. The only time we’ve felt stressed, especially me, was a month ago, on March 24, when we didn’t know if we had a place to live for a few hours.
|Instructor Chris and Tom at snake school dealing with a black mamba, one of the most venomous snakes in the world. Yikes!|
Today, we paid our hotel bill, including the meals for the last four weeks, and confirmed our reservation for the next four weeks. With the speed at which India is logging new virus cases every day, we could be doing this many more times.
We accept this fate and continue with determination and confidence for the future for all of us.
Stay in, stay safe, wash your hands, wear a mask and gloves, social distance, stay busy and, continue to have hope.
Photo from one year ago today, April 22, 2019:
|This is one of my top five favorite photos of sightings in Kruger National Park…the prolific impalas. For more photos, please click here.|