Thanks for all the great messages – I really needed that last week.
I ended up having a great time in Cape Town! I forgot how very beautiful it is there. Even the car trip wasn’t as tedious as it normally is. The rains have been good this year, and I have never seen the Karoo look as beautiful.
I spent last week Tuesday and Wednesday in hospital, mainlining steroids. I had no idea if I would be in any shape to go on holiday afterwards, but I packed my bags on Wednesday evening anyway and told Michael that if I felt all right in the morning, then I would be going with. Well, apart from feeling a bit sleep-deprived after not sleeping in the hospital, I felt surprisingly good. So I went along for the ride, and I’m so glad I did.
As it turned out, I never crashed from going off the cortisone like I normally do. I have some theories on why this is. Primarily, that that particular batch of cortisone was a bit weak. More on that later.
The four of us (myself, Michael and his parents) took a leisurely drive down over two days, stopping at the picturesque little Beaufort West to overnight. The scenery along the way was just breathtaking. I appreciate a good view very much these days. Ever since that time that I had that vicious attack of optic neuritis that made my eyesight so fuzzy, I have not taken the beauty of this country for granted anymore.
Unfortunately, Michael and I slipped up on providing the music. We usually make a special Argus CD each year, but this year we clean forgot about it. With the result that we listened to the same two CD’s which just happened to be in the car, for the entire 1200+ km. We are pretty intimate with those CD’s, let me tell you.
Driving down to Cape Town from the North West province is quite a bonding experience for four people in a car. My fellow travellors were very gracious about stopping in just about every town for me to use the ablutions. My bladder is not great shakes at the best of times, thanks to a nice lesion on my brain, but because I had just had a (not so) healthy dose of cortisone I was obliged to drink a lot of water to flush out my kidneys. Not a good combination with travelling. Still, it wasn’t as bad as I had anticipated and the others were very understanding.
Finally, we arrived in the Cape on Friday afternoon, travel-weary but still thrilled to see Table-Mountain. Actually, M wanted to go up in the cable-car, but the rest of us refused point-blank. Can you imagine how it would have been if we were half way up and the elctricity cut out due to load-shedding and the winch gound to a halt and there we were?!Suspended half way up, half way down. (No toilet in sight 😉 My worst nightmare. Besides, we have all been up it at one stage or another, so why court that sort of disaster.
We booked into our hotel, which was right next to the Canal Walk Mall. Walking distance from a Kauai restaurant. Like Michael said, I was in my element. I think I ate there at least once a day.
The hotel rooms were lovely. Very luxurious, but in an understated way, almost homey. Very nice. With a view to kill for.
By that time, the ‘roids had kicked in a bit and my wobbly left leg was more or less back to normal. It was at about then that my right leg started acting up, much to my distress. How it starts is I get these huge goosebumps, just on the affected leg. That’s the first sign. The next part is when it starts buzzing, feeling like electrical impulses shooting up and down the leg. Then numbness, followed by weakness.
Because I know the pattern, I was none too thrilled with the arrival of the goosebumps. Fortunately, it doesn’t seem to have progressed much from there.I’m hoping that it was just a bit of residual inflammation that had been treated by the cortisone, but was still busy healing. The more pessimistic side of me was wondering if it was perhaps a fault in the strength of the medicine that they had given me. Remember, I had precious little side-effects from it, and normally, I’m half off my head from it.
I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt however and take stock again in a month’s time. That’s normally how long it takes for everything to heal up and remyelinate.
(On the plus side, it just occured to me as I’m typing this that my left hand is way recovered from how it was pre-treatment. So that’s good. Also, the fledgling optic neuritis has cleared up marvellously. I’m going back to the gym tomorrow, so I’ll see how that goes).
I had the best time in the Canal Walk Mall. I walked about a lot, my stamina has increased hugely. Funny how you can enjoy something as simple as walking in a mall so much. There were times that I thought I would never be able to do it again, and now look at me!
On Sunday, it was time for men to do the Argus. My mom-in-law and I stayed at the hotel and watched the broadcast on tv. Conditions were considered pretty ideal, although at one stage they were worried that they might have to stop the race if it got too hot. Fortunately, that wasn’t necessary. Michael ended up doing a brilliant race, especially considering the amount of training he had (not) done. He did it in 4 hrs, which is a very respectable time. My dad-in-law did it in 4.5 and in his age-group within the group he was riding, he came 2nd. Very well done indeed.
Monday morning we said goodbye to the Cape, and that night we slept at the Karoo National Park. I was overcome by how starkly beautiful it is there. Space has become such a commodity, and there is so much spce that you barely know what to do with it. The air is clean and crisp and mountain tortoises walk around like pedestrians. I could very easily stay there for a week. The chalet that we shared with my parents-in-law was pretty luxurious too. Satellite tv and air-cons. And the most beautiful surroundings one could hope for. (photos to follow)
Tuesday, the last eight-hour stretch, and I must say, by then we’d all had it with the driving, especially as the route we were on had no fewer than three road-maintenance blocks! Finally, we got home and it was a welcome sight.
A far way to travel by car for just a handful of days and a cycle race, but a lot of fun to visit one of our most beautiful cities and provinces.
Not so fun to get back into the car yesterday morning to go to Jo’burg to see my neurologist. Because of the fact that I relapsed I had to go for a checkup (very strict trials-protocol) and fill in a ton of paperwork. Very tedious indeed. We were lucky with the traffic, however, so it wasn’t too bad. Now though, I just really want to veg out at home for a while. Phew.
Tomorrow I’ll post some of the photos from our trip, and catch up on some blog-reading, commenting and meme-ing.
It’s was fun to be away, but it’s good to be back.