Shamefully late Part Two ;-)
I never did complete my story about our trip to the neuros last Tuesday. Did I mention how beautiful Jo’burg is looking with all the flowering Jacaranda trees? No, I didn’t. It’s too lovely, with purple blossoms carpeting the streets. Some of the streets are actually lined with Jacarandas on both sides, some of which meet at the top, creating a purple tunnel to drive through. Charming.
The Jacaranda is not indigenous to SA. It is actually known as an invasive species, due to its widespread cultivation and subsequent conquest of the country. Pretoria, for example, is affectionately known as Jacaranda city. Read more about it here.
Michael told me that a Jacaranda in bloom stirs feelings of guilt in him. This is because Jacaranda trees notoriously blossom as the students of Tukkies (University of Pretoria) write their year-end exams. In fact, it is even known to the students as the ‘exam tree’.
So that was the setting. Now let me tell you about the actual appointment. (Appointment number two, that is). This particular doctor does disability checks for the insurance companies. What a job, to separate the genuines from the chancers. Mind you, who wants to be on a dis. pension if you don’t need to be? Apparently, scores, but I just can’t imagine it. I feel so guilty, and I am a legitimate case.
I never really cared for this doc, previously, but on Tuesday he was charm itself. He is an elderly gentleman, maybe not quite as active in the field of neurology as he should be, but he knows about MS, I’ll give him that. He examined my reflexes and mobility and declared me to be improved from when he last saw me. Roughly on a par from how I was when he first saw me (circa 2003). This was good news indeed. Unfortunately though, he brought out that tuning fork-looking thingy. He set it a-buzzing and put it on various places on my feet and legs, none of which I felt at all. He eventually stopped at my upper-thigh (thank goodness). He seemed quite surprised by the fact that I have no sensation in my legs, although this is a common symptom. (I must just add in an aside that I do feel pain and hot/cold, for which I am grateful. That is apparently a different pathway in the brain).
We then had a little chat about my bladder and the mobility fatigue that I have. He knew exactly what I was on about; it was nice not to have to paint a picture. I also told him about my ongoing back-ache that I regard as a secondary symptom.
He brought out a tape-recorder and proceeded to give his recommendation to the Insurance Company in front of me (which he has never done before). I was impressed. He really summed things up nicely, and I have no doubt that I will remain on the pension. He spoke about how fatigue is often misunderstood, but can be a severely disabling condition. Very true, and likely very uncomfortable in a work situation. Actually I did briefly work while experiencing the fatigue, before being boarded, and it was very challenging.
I left there in high spirits, not only was I improved from when I was last there, but it also looked likely that I would still be on my pension. The best possible outcome. I want to hear that I’m getting better, but I don’t feel ready to go back to work yet.
On our way home, we stopped at my favourite (fast becoming Michael’s favourite too) restaurant, Kauai. I had a tot of wheatgrass juice, a goji-berry smoothie and a hummer-sandwich, and M had a rooster-booster burger (which is a chicken-breast burger with bbq sauce and salad). They have the most divine bread-rolls. Wholewheat or rye or Italian, depending on your preference. We have severely curbed our eating out, only succumbing when out on a trip, so we thoroughly enjoyed the Kauai experience.
The trip home was a breeze. No traffic, and we made the two-hour trip in, wait for it… two hours 🙂