Still raining…Wildlife under cover…Mudslides on the N4…My four-year “heartaversary!”

Big Daddy and an impala we call Chevy, sitting close to one another.

With both of us outdoors, the temperature is tolerable at 81F and 27C, but the comfort factor is minimal. It’s still raining heavily, off and of, and the humidity is outrageously high at 84%  with a dew point of 76, 11 points above “tropical,” which makes the air heavy. We’d rather have a much higher temperature with low humidity which is considerably easier to tolerate.

This morning when Norman, Nina, and their baby stopped by, it started raining so hard that they immediately searched for a good spot under a tree. Norman seemed most annoyed by the rain, which interrupted his pleasant days of meandering about the bush at a leisurely pace with few distractions.

Norman wasn’t thrilled that this kudu was sitting in “his garden. He fluffed up his hair and tail and hung his head low, making himself appear larger.

The three found shelter under a dense tree and waited it out. They were on the move again when the heavy rain evolved into a drizzle. They stayed around our garden for quite a while, eating pellets, carrots, and cabbage before they took off to continue grazing in the bush.

Most wildlife spend most of their days and nights grazing, occasionally napping from time to time, especially after dark. But they are always on the lookout for predators for potential dangers. Doing so is in their DNA. With fewer predators in Marloth Park, we still have lions, leopards, and smaller cats like genets and civets. Other dangerous predators may occasionally enter the park, including jackals, hyenas, and wild dogs.

The Big Daddy didn’t seem concerned about Norman.

This morning there was a notice on Facebook about the N4 that the road we travel to Nelspruit is closed due to mudslides. This doesn’t impact us since the closures are beyond Nelspruit, where we don’t have to travel until we go to Johannesburg to renew our passports sometime in March. But we’ve read that the road is backed up for hours.

Today is the fourth anniversary of my open heart surgery in Nelspruit on February 12, 2019. I am grateful to be feeling well and not having any heart-related symptoms at this time. But, the experience resulted in six surgeries (angiogram, heart surgery, and two surgeries on each leg), including infections in both legs from where the veins were taken for the triple coronary bypass. The recovery was slow and painful.

There’s no doubt about how traumatic this surgery may be for many patients, especially with complications like those I had. Emotionally, I am fully recovered, but I have experienced many changes in how my body works since the surgery, as do most patients after this type of surgery.

The male kudu develops swelling in his neck during the mating season. He has a few oxpeckers on his head and back.

What are the lingering effects over the past four years? They include:

  1. Weakness  in my legs
  2. Difficulty bending over
  3. Reduced small-hand skills
  4. Concerned about every pain in my chest, neck, jaw, and shoulder, wondering if something was wrong.

It’s normal for heart patients to become concerned over every twinge. How could one not be concerned when remaining arteries throughout the body have blockages. But I can go for weeks without thinking about it. Over time, those concerns have diminished considerably.

Nina, Norman, and their baby were sheltering from the rain.

I do everything I can to maintain good health by staying very active;  getting in a lot of steps each day; eating healthy, unprocessed foods; continuing on a low-carb/keto, sugar-free, grain-free, starch-free way of eating; don’t smoke; low alcohol consumption; good sleep and above all a low-stress lifestyle which includes a positive attitude combined with our joyful way of living.

Of course, having a loving and playful relationship with my fantastic husband and cultivating positive relationships with family and friends…thus, a social network that has been proven to be instrumental in healthful longevity.

As mentioned, I am very grateful to have survived the surgery and had the loving care Tom provided in the many months that followed, along with the support of many friends here in Marloth Park, our readers/friends, and people we’ve met throughout the world. Thank you, Tom. Thank you, readers, friends, and family.

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, February 12, 2022:

A young daddy with lots of growing to do. For more photos, please click here.