Stuck in my own reality…Telling it like it is…

Lion showing off her tongue.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

Too cute for words…mom and baby duiker have been stopping by each day.

Once I started sharing details here of my ongoing recovery from triple coronary bypass surgery on February 12th,  I backed myself into a corner, not one I can’t easily extricate myself from.

If I abruptly stop mentioning how I’m doing, we’ll receive an insurmountable number of emails inquiring how I’m doing.  I love this about all of you…your kindness and concern are more than I ever dreamed possible.

If I sugarcoat it, when and if it takes a turn for the worse I have to wriggle my way out of “lie of omission” to ensure regardless of what happens, I’ve updated our readers with the truth.

We love piglets.  They are such fun to watch.

We always strive to tell it like it is, even if the facts are unpleasant, disappointing, repetitious or tiresome.  In this particular scenario, I cringe at the thought of becoming repetitious and tiresome.  

Good grief, we’ve shared the gruesome details for the past almost three months.  When are we getting back to the business of world travel and all that it entails, the breathtaking scenery, the enticing people, the heartwarming wildlife, the sights and sounds of another country, another culture?  Soon, we hope.

Today, reality prevails over all else, all of my hopes and optimistic expectations are tossed aside for sharing real life with our worldwide readers, and sometimes, it’s just not pretty.
Closeup of hippo face.  Charming.

Keep in mind, as I share today’s latest news, that often readers write expressing their experiences, the experiences of people they know and even experiences from people they don’t know.  At times, the news is daunting and terrifying although I appreciate their good intentions.

Mostly, the content of these emails revolve around trying to convince me to seek medical care elsewhere when many have a perception that medical care in this country is no better than its unstable infrastructure…you, know, no electricity, no water, no wifi for hours at a time.

But, generally speaking, that’s not the case here.  Overall, medical care in South Africa is as good as in any developed country and in many cases, better.  Doctors come from all over the globe, to fine-tune their skills, offering free services (such as Doctors-Without-Borders) to those who cannot afford it or aren’t a part of, nor have access to, the national healthcare system.

Mom and baby wildebeest in Kruger National Park.

Like many countries with national healthcare systems, long waits and less than ideal scenarios exist within that system.  And for that reason, there are private insurance companies, self-funded options and added co-pay options for those who choose.

With private insurance ourselves, we visited a private hospital and those physicians/specialists associated with that type of facility. That’s not to imply in any manner that the national healthcare system and its hospitals, staff and facilities offer inferior care.  

There are many dedicated physicians and support staff whose sole purpose is to provide quality medical care for all.  But, none of these systems, whether as part of the national healthcare system or privatization are infallible.

Dead tree in the middle of a dirt road in Kruger.

However, during my recent medical issues, never for a moment did either Tom nor I feel my care was less than exemplary, as good as, if not better than I’d receive in my home country or any other country in the world.

With this in mind, it never occurred to us to return to the US for further medical care.  Plus, I wasn’t able to fly at that time.  Plus, our insurance policy only covers us while outside the US.  Of course, if we felt the medical care was inferior, we’d have figured out a way to go to another country for treatment, regardless of the out of pocket expenses.

To make a long story short (shorter), the news on my still healing left leg is not where we’d have preferred it to be at this point.  The fault doesn’t lie with my doctors or the quality of care.  

This is a European Roller who will soon leave South Africa to head back to Europe and then return next season.  Such a pretty bird.

It lies within the reality that I still, even after bypass surgery, have inferior blood flow to my legs.  I knew this when I got a bad leg infection in 2017 when I’d walked into the sharp edge of a cardboard box while were in the US.  After three rounds of different antibiotics and considerable care, it took months to heal, not unlike what I am experiencing now.

No doubt, at that time, I had poor circulation in my legs.  I suspected that whenever I got the smallest scratch or nick on my legs, the inferior circulation was the contributing factor in becoming infected and resulting in an outrageously slow healing process.  This is my reality whether I like it or not.  And here I am again.

Today, Dr. Theo removed many of the stitches in my legs but not all.  They just weren’t healed enough to do so.  In my healthier right leg, he left seven stitches intact to be removed in a week and he left many more in my painful left leg. 

This playful baby elephant we spotted in Kruger hangs on to her mom.

He noticed an area with the same type of dead tissue I’d experienced weeks ago when I had to have two surgeries on each leg, once on March 29th and the second on April 1st to remove all the dead tissue.  Now there’s a new batch, a scenario that often requires surgery.

What’s going to happen next?  I don’t know at this point.  We’ll know more next Tuesday when we return to Doc Theo.  Today, as he’d done at each appointment he’s sent photos and a report to the plastic surgeon who operated on me.  Tuesday, we’ll know more.

And so, here we are in medical limbo once again and as much as I’d like to be able to focus on the worse situations others have experienced before me, I’m stuck in my own reality, making every effort to stay hopeful and positive.

I’m meticulously heeding doctor’s orders and keeping myself busy with upbeat activities one can do while lying down with feet up.  We’ve engaged in pleasant chatter, enjoyed healthful meals and watched some fun shows on my laptop at night to ensure I sleep with positive thoughts on my mind. 

We’ll stop these medical posts/discussions over this holiday weekend, and focus on other topics over the next few days.  We’ll report back after Tuesday’s early morning appointment with hopefully better news.

For those who celebrate, may you have a joyful and fulfilling Easter weekend, sharing tasty morsels and endless stories with those you love.  For those of you who do not celebrate Easter, may you also share tasty morsels and endless stories with those you love.

Happy day!


Photo from one year ago today, April 18, 2018:

Mom and baby elephant behind a bush  For more photos, please click here.

4 thoughts on “Stuck in my own reality…Telling it like it is…

  1. Unknown Reply

    Jessica, There is a show we have been watching on Amazon Prime, Acorn channel, titled Wild At Heart about a vet and his family who come to Africa and end up rebuilding an old lodge and wildlife part….amusing, heart touching, and just a fine no stress show….with Africa at its heart. Would be good medicine for you. As long as your legs are making at least some slow process at healing take heart…although it is excruciatingly slow, it IS progress. I hope you can develop a plan to get to Ireland in a medically safe way, don't lose heart.

  2. Linda Reply

    The show mentioned above was filmed in SA at a place called Glen Afric in Mallesburg Mountains. We have visited and stayed at this place often and Kathy's nephew Brad married Bridget at this location. It truly is a wonderful series.

  3. Jessica Reply

    We definitely will watch it. We finally changed to a VPN that will allow us to watch shows streaming from Amazon and other sites that were blocked in South Africa. Thank you so much for your kind words and thoughtful suggestion.

    Warmest regards,
    Jess & Tom

  4. Jessica Reply

    Linda, thank you for writing to us about this show. Now its been recommended by two of our valued readers and friends and we'll check it out tonight.

    Lots of love always,
    Jess & Tom

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