I don’t know where to really start with this… and never saw myself participating in something like this. But sometimes - life is bigger than the ego. And that is my child.
I was asked for a “photo” or “video”. And not that long ago I made a video when I made the decision to leave my old life and take my daughter (and our cat) on an 18 hour drive to the furthest corner of South Africa.
The video is titled 517 days. And roughly covers this part of my life.
VIDEO : (having problems with the link)
Before this time, at the age of 26 I was hospitalised for a heart condition, the diagnosis was ARVC / D and prognosis was no good. I told myself “I will heal myself”… and I did. To a large extent. For years I could hardly walk. I couldn’t carry my little girl. It was tough. But as we do, we got through. In 2016, to celebrate the fact that I was now able to live a relatively normal life, I decided to take my first adventure out of SA as an adult (solo, at that) and travel around Turkey for two weeks. Besides it all, I’ve always thrown myself into to work and my passions (teaching, writing, art, music and more).
As life would have it, I was about to be setup on my next little “hiccup”. Sitting in the car outside the departures lounge at the Ataturk Airport, I heard a “boom!”… followed by gunfire… another "boom"... It took me a while to register what was happening, and then it was chaos. I managed to get hold of family back home “Bomb, bomb, bomb!” I panted over the phone. “Just get to the airport!”… “I’m at the airport.”
“Get out and help people”.
And I couldn’t. Paralysed with fear, unable to move our vehicle and sitting pinned in a car whilst this nightmare unfolded around us.
Long story short, four days later I as able to return home.
Without knowing it, I was suffering from severe PTSD, but trying to get on with my life and look after my daughter. My father became very ill and my health too, started to deteriorate again. It was suspected that I may have colon cancer and the wait between government hospitals became unbearable so I paid privately from my savings. By dad lost everything. I was now struggling to look after myself, a child and my father.
Months later I met someone who brought some joy to my life again. I became pregnant. A miracle. I lost our baby, and two weeks after I came out of the hospital, the father disappeared. A missing person.
It was at this stage that my world came crashing down. I was hospitalised with severe PTSD, depression, anxiety. We lived off my savings and then my credit card. For months I was so sick I couldn’t leave the bed. My heart was playing up. I was bleeding. I was in unexplained physical pain. I lost my hair. My vision.
And then my father. My everything. Passed away.
Followed by my new landlord taking my rent up by 50% .
It was time for a new start. I sold, gave away all our belongings bar from what would fit in our car. And my daughter, our cat and I made the long journey up to a new home. A tiny little seaside village in KZN.
For three months I felt good. Healthy again. Certainly happy. It was at this stage, that we completely ran out of money. And let me say, what a humbling experience. I wouldn’t change anything in my life. We had the most beautiful place to stay. We became very creative with potatoes and rice. I had to home school my daughter and sell our car. But. I was happy. We were happy.
I’m again, suffering from health issues. It’s been six months this time. I’m bleeding. A lot. I’m on medication to stop the bleeding, but it doesn’t help. Pain. Oh my goodness some days it gets the better of me. And of course on those days when my body has just “had enough”, my heart decides to chime in with some arrhythmia’s just to let me know it’s still there.
I’m doing the “government hospital wait”. Working as hard as I can, and being the best mom that I can.
Going from a successful businesswoman to someone who now owes the bank R70 000 (over 5000 USD) and I have no idea how I’m supposed to pay it back. I’m putting it out there to the universe.