A long night’s rest at last…Senior’s becoming addicted to prescriptions medications…Piglets paradise…

We couldn’t stop laughing while making this video of four baby warthogs and their playful antics. Please watch for a chuckle.
“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”
The piglets even tried to steal pellets from the kudus. Gosh, they learn quickly.

Yesterday, my first day on six tablets of Prednisone cortisone (with upcoming tapering doses) for my outrageous case of no less than 100 hot, inflamed itching pepper tick bites, we decided to lay low to see how I felt rather than go out anywhere.

Mom proudly showed up in our garden with her four new piglets. It was hysterical to watch their playful antics when they’d yet to learn many of the ways of being a warthog.

It took about five hours after taking the tablets to begin to feel some relief, and I was ecstatic to finally feel the itching subside after an entire month of itching, as I’ve never known.

I was exhausted from weeks of no sleep and several times tried to take a nap. As commonly known, taking large doses of Prednisone makes it difficult to sleep, another problem I didn’t want to tackle. How could I go 12 more days, the course of the medication, without any sleep?

Surely, over time Mom will teach them the ways of being a good warthog, how to protect themselves, how to forage for food, and how to be charming for the residents of Marloth Park to elicit pellets.

Luckily, Dr. Theo is well aware of this difficult side effect of the medication and prescribed sleeping pills to go along with it. I’ve never taken prescription sleeping pills, although from time to time, I’ve taken a Tylenol (Paracetamol) PM tablet in the middle of the night when sleep becomes elusive.  

The effect of these over-the-counter sleep aids only lasts for a few hours, but a few hours of sleep can make a huge difference in how one feels the following day. Never a good sleeper since a child, I’d resigned myself to this reality and try to worry or think about it much, which only adds to the difficulty.

They were always looking around for something they could play with.

When I looked up the name of the drug Dr. Theo prescribed for sleep, enough for 15 nights, I realized it is the South African version of Ambien, which I’d never taken. I heard nightmarish stories about this drug which may cause dangerous and most unusual behaviors in some patients.

I deliberated over taking it at 2200 hrs (10:00 pm), and I didn’t feel the least bit sleepy. I decided to bite the bullet and take the 10 mg tablet. I’d read online that one should put down their phone, book, or whatever they’re doing and focus on going to sleep. If one’s brain is engaged, the tablet may not work.

At only weeks old, they’ve already learned to eat pellets and other tasty morsels they discover on their knees.

I played with my phone for 10 minutes and then placed it on the nightstand and lay quickly under the comfy covers in the air-conditioned bedroom, and surely by 10:30, I was sound asleep, never hearing Tom come to bed.  

I don’t recall a single dream. I know I awoke once but was too groggy to check the time and went straight back to sleep, not awakening until around 7:00 am.  I felt groggy and stumbled around for a while, but I felt great after a shower and getting dressed.

A considerable amount of time is spent pestering their mom.

It’s no wonder so many people use this drug with many cases of abuse, resulting in many becoming addicted. That won’t be me. I doubt I’ll even take them every night during this course of Prednisone. It would be nice to save them for a real emergency.  

As a matter of fact, in perusing through our inventory of preventive meds in our pill bag, I found an entire bottle of Ambien neither of us had ever taken, we’d requested years ago when we began our travels, a just in case thing for overnight flights. We never tried the first pill.

She was very easy-going and loving with each of them, even when they ate pellets intended for her.

As we read news from all over the world, we’ve discovered that prescription drug addiction is rampant in the US and other countries throughout the world, among senior citizens and the younger population.  

We can only imagine how difficult it would be for an individual to support and supply such an addiction while traveling the world. There is often a misconception about how easy it is to buy narcotic-type drugs in foreign countries. Still, surely it isn’t when we read nightmarish stories of tourists being arrested for drug possession.

They are too cute for words.

Most travelers can bring in enough medication to last during their stay in any country as long as the medication is accompanied by a recent valid doctor’s prescription from their home country.  

Sure, here in South Africa, we’ve been able to purchase a small supply of non-narcotic meds (such as for hypertension and thyroid) without a new prescription as long as the home country’s doctor’s prescription is shown, usually no more than a 28 day supply.  

Mom was constantly aware of possible predators, of which there are few in Marloth Park.  If they were in Kruger, it would be an entirely different story.

Beyond that, one must obtain a local doctor’s prescription, which requires an office visit, usually not covered by insurance. Our appointment with Dr. Theo on Thursday was ZAR 565 (US $40.77) a paltry amount compared to an office visit in the US and many other countries.

In any case, yesterday proved to be spectacular. The weekend holidaymakers had yet to arrive, and our garden was jam-packed with visitors, day and night.

They’d run around like crazy on their own and then suddenly return to mom for some attention.

Amid all the wonders, one of the highlights of the day (we’ll share another highlight tomorrow) was the visit of Mom warthog and her four new piglets, who most likely were only a few weeks old based on their size and demeanor. We couldn’t have been more excited about watching their playful antics.

Please take a moment (it’s short) to watch our above video. Seeing this, you’ll surely understand how fun it was for us during their hour-long visit. We couldn’t toss the pellets quickly enough.  

Mr. Bushbuck hid in the bush away from the annoying little creatures.

Their little mouths were almost still too small for the pellets, but even at this young age, they knew to use the warthog’s method of eating, kneeling on their knees. It was too cute for words.

Tonight we’re picking up Rita and Gerhard at the Hornbill house and heading out to Aamazing River View for sundowners and river watching. Kathy and Don will meet us there, and after the sunset, we’ll all head to Jabula for dinner, exactly our kind of evening.

We’ll be back with more tomorrow. Please check back and have a fantastic day!

Photo from one year ago today, November 24, 2017:

On Thanksgiving Day aboard the ship, Tom watched the Minnesota Vikings game before we had to leave for the muster drill.  For more photos, please click here.